6 Ways to Get Rid of the Knots in Your Upper Back

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Neck pain

Do you ever get those really bad knots in your upper back?

You know the ones I’m talking about, right?

The ones that keep coming back over and over again no matter how many times you rub them?

The knots that linger no matter how many times you lather them with muscle ointments and pain creams?

The commercials keep telling you that pain pills are the answer, but they don’t seem to be working either do they?

Wouldn’t it be great if you learned how to get rid of this problem on your own and could make sure it didn’t return?

I was reminded of this recently while I was camping with friends in beautiful central Texas.  As we were all gathered around the campfire one girl asked me this question…

“I’ve got these really bad knots in my upper back…do you think I should get a massage first and then do acupuncture OR acupuncture first and then massage?”

I then asked her what position her body was in throughout the day and she said…

“Actually, I sit….like ALL DAY

My reply…

“Well…both can be very helpful, but until you address your frequent sitting position, poor posture and forward head you’ll never get to the root issue of what’s causing your pain.”

I then explained to her exactly what I say in this video and gave her these 6 different ways she could fix it.

The 6 ways to get rid of the knots in your upper back

  1. Wall thoracic extension – 2:30
  2. Upper trap smash – 3:20
  3. Wall angles – 5:30
  4. Forearm wall slide – 6:55
  5. Wall pec stretch – 8:07
  6. Shoulder Shrug – 9:41

After explaining everything she said…

“That makes perfect sense…I totally understand what is causing my pain and I know exactly what to do…and I’m GOING TO DO IT!”

I’m happy to report she is now pain free!

So what about you? What are you doing about the knots in your upper back?

Try these exercises out, let me know how it feels and what results you get!


Peace, love and upright postures!

Chad Walding, DPT, OPEX L1, RKC



If you are looking for more help in getting to the ROOT issue of your pain, check out The Sitting Solution.

==>Go here to learn more about The Sitting Solution

Getting to the root issue of what’s causing your pain should be the primary focus.











14 Responses to 6 Ways to Get Rid of the Knots in Your Upper Back

  1. Renee

    This is great information. I have now incorporated this into my day and it makes a big difference!!!

    • Chad Walding

      Great to hear Renee! Thanks for visiting!


  2. Cinders

    Thank you for this video. It is very helpful and easy to follow.

    • Chad Walding

      You’re very welcome!

  3. Shannon

    Where can I find a body works ball like the one in the video which looks like a ball mounted on tubing with handles? For the knots in my upper back! Thank you

    • Chad Walding

      Hey Shannon! Here you go:


      • Shannon

        Thank you for such a timely response! Kudos for your Sitting Solution Program…phenomenal!

  4. Joseph

    Chad – Just purchased your sitting solution ebook. Great stuff. I have an area around my right shoulder blade that has been numb/tingling for a number of years. I’ve been checked out (MRI, X-ray, etc) and nothing can be found. Is it possible that this is all related to posture? My posture is pretty bad and I’m working to improve. Hoping it takes care of all the aches/pains!! Thx.

    • Chad Walding

      Hey Josepsh…yes, it’s possible (and very likely) that this is all related to posture. Poor chronic positions lead to adaptations to the body which lead to the body absorbing stress in a very inefficient way…which sets up you for injury (especially when you move).

      Think about how the tires on a car can be out of alignment and how they will wear down much quicker than when the tires are aligned and straight.

      Keep working and your posture and stay AWARE of your position. It will take time but it’s something that you’ll want to look at as a journey:)

      Also…the pain in your shoulder could be coming from your neck. Being that you are experiencing tingling and numbness it could very likely be referred pain coming from the cervical spine. I would look there first if you were my patient.

      Try the chin tucks in the book and see if that changes your pain…if it does then you’ll know the pain is coming from your spine.

      Also…if your pain doesn’t resolve I recommend you see a Mckenzie practitioner in your area. This is the program that I’ve gone through and I feel is the most effective approach in treating issues such as this.

      You can find a practitioner in your area here…
      look for “find a provider” at the top:

      Thanks for joining the conversation and sharing your experience. Please keep up with the program and let me know how your doing:)


  5. Sue

    This video is extremely helpful, thanks. As a personal trainer, I do most of these with clients and I plan on sharing your video with them so that they have these tools at their fingertips. Great explanations and reminders of how profoundly our posture affects our quality of life.

  6. Chelsea Nielsen

    Oh my gosh! I’m a classically trained ballerina, you would think with all of my training I would have minimal upper back pain, but sitting at my desk takes a toll. I did these exercises through out my day today and I already feel such a huge difference! I use to feel like my spine needed to be popped constantly, but no more. Thank you so very much, sitting solution! I can’t wait to share my knowledge with my dance students who have similar issues!

    • Chad Walding

      Ahh…so great to hear Chelsea and thanks for sharing our message:)


  7. Olivia

    Thank you so much for this very useful information.

    • Chad Walding

      You’re very welcome Olivia:)

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