How to Improve Posture: 4 Upper Back Exercises

By Dr Ken Nakamura+

How To Improve Posture-Toronto Chiropractor

Do you have a rounded upper back? This can be the cause of your neck pain, stiffness and headaches.


Do you want to feel better about yourself and exude confidence with great posture?


This issue teaches you ways to help the rounded upper back problem that is prevalent in our sitting society.



See Also: The 5 Best Exercises For Your Stiff Neck


So you have a rounded upper back and you can’t keep a straight back for more than a couple of minutes. The reason is muscle imbalance. The muscles of the chest are too tight and the muscles in the back of the spine are too weak.


How can you fix this? Stretch the chest musles and strengthen the muscles at the back. This Toronto Chiropractor does his best to do the following stretches 3-4 times a week.


You need to stretch the pectoralis minor, pectoralis major and strengthen the upper back (thoracic muscles).


Stretch the Pectoralis Major and Minor

#1 Pectoralis Minor Stretch

How to Improve Posture: Pectoralis Minor Stretch Toronto Chiropractor

  • Stand at a corner or doorway opening with your arm at shoulder height.
  • Step forward.
  • Rotate your body awat if you don’t feel a stretch.
  • Stretch for 30-60 seconds 3 times.

#2 Pectoralis Major Stretch

How to Improve Posture: Pectoralis Major Stretch -Toronto Chiropractor

  • Stand next to the wall and extend your arm back.
  • Rotate your body away from the wall.
  • Stretch for 30 -60 seconds 3 times.

#3 Strengthen Your Upper Back: Prone Cobra


Get Rid Of Your Neck Pain With These Neck Exercises- Toronto Downtown Chiropractor-Deep Neck Flexors

  • Lie facedown on the floor.
  • Contract your gluteus maximus (butt muscles) and raise your chest and arms off the floor.
  • Point your thumbs toward the ceiling.
  • Bring your shoulder blades together with a hard contraction, while pushing them toward your tail bone.
  • Hold for 10 seconds 3 times. Work your way up to a total time of 60 seconds without rest.

#4 Stretch the upper back ligaments

How to Improve Posture: Foam Roll -Toronto Chiropractor

  • Roll up a towel (4 inches/ 10 cm ) and either tape both end or put an elastic band around it
  • Put the roll under the apex of your upper back
  • Lie on it for 30 seconds and work your way up five minute


You should do all these exercises 4 times a week. Start by doing the “Wall posture check” explained below, right “before” and “after” your stretches. You may start to see some changes every time you do the exercises.


Better yet take a “before” and “after” picture 4-8 weeks after doing the exercises on a regular basis.

How to Improve Posture: Common Postural Problems Toronto Chiropractor Downtown

Wall Posture Check


  1. Stand facing away from the wall and put both feet against the wall.
  2. Find where your body touches the wall.


See Also: Correct the Exaggerated Posture In Your Low Back

Correct Posture Should Be:


  • Touching the wall at the: Hips, Shoulder blades, back of your head.
  • Your flattened hand should just fit between your lower back and the wall.
  • Your head should touch the wall flat without having to extend your neck backwards. In other words your nose should not move up or down so you can reach the wall with the back of your head.


You will likely see that your posture correlates to one of the postures in the picture above. Most likely:


  • Kypholordotic Posture
  • Sway Back Posture
  • Forward head posture


If you do these exercises 4 times a week your posture should improve. Send us a picture of your “before” and “after” pictures to or leave a comment below.


Tell us what you think in the comments below and like us on Facebook. I will answer all questions in the comments section here at this downtown Toronto Chiropractic clinic.



Dr Ken Nakamura

74 Responses to How to Improve Posture: 4 Upper Back Exercises
  • Emily says:
    November 13, 2018 at 11:11 pm

    I have rounded shoulders and forward head position from poor posture at my desk. I have tried your exercises but when in prone cobra i feel a very strong contraction in my triceps and not my upper back, which is almost painful they contract so hard. Am I in the wrong position or is this due to a muscle tightness somewhere?

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      January 13, 2019 at 7:08 pm

      Thanks for your question Emily. This is often due to a muscle spasm. Stretching out the triceps muscle before the exercise would be helpful. Also taking 200mg of Magnesium bisglycinate per day often helps muscle spasm. However, I have not examined you or gotten a proper history but that is what I often recommend when they have this exact problem.

      You also have to keep in mind that if your forward head posture can sometimes cause the nerve to be irritated in the neck that leads to the triceps. If that is the case you will need professional help.

      Hope that helps. The above is an opinion and not a recommendation.

      If you have any more questions regarding your particular situation I will do my utmost to give you the best answer based on my experience, research for the articles that I do and the numerous seminars that I do. I’m always aiming to be the best chiropractor that I can be so that I can help you.

  • Vijay says:
    December 19, 2017 at 7:11 pm

    I suffered a Brachial plexus Injury in my left arm 10 years ago, due to which i have had muscle loss, Doctors informed that its not cut or Avulsion but just a nerve got stretched , over the years i have managed to regain some (60% ) strength, however raising my arm beyond my shoulder level, folding my arms are difficult tasks even to this day, any exercises to improve and regain complete strength would be of great help.

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      December 22, 2017 at 9:09 am

      Thanks for your question Vijay. From what you have told me you may have torn the nerves either at the nerve root or further down at the brachial plexus. If it was just a stretch you would have healed by now so it doesn’t sound right to me. That’s my opinion. Did your head and shoulder separate so that your neck was bending sideways like falling off a motorcycle and hitting an on-coming car causing your neck to stretch sideways or was it more of a sports injury with a similar mechanism of injury? In cases like that the nerve can be stretched but in more severe cases you often find out that the nerve has been torn.

      If the problem is a tear of the muscles you don’t get full function back but surgery can help. I cannot tell without examining you. However, an MRI in the correct area can determine this.

      Hope that helps your brachial plexus or nerve root/s and posture. The above is an opinion and not a recommendation.

  • Alice Kotler says:
    October 1, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    Hi Dr. Ken,
    I am a 75 year old woman. I suffer from severe kyphosis. I was told surgery is possible but it is a dangerous
    Operation. On an x-ray my spine is like the letter C. Do you think these exercises could be of help to me.

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      October 1, 2017 at 9:26 pm

      Thanks for your question Alice. Most likely that you have osteoporosis with fractures or you had Scheurmann’s disease as a child. So the problem is not likely due to a postural problem. So the posture will not likely be fixed. You could try the exercises but I would get the guidance of a professional as there are several possibilities for your pain. I am assuming you have pain and not likely contemplating surgery for cosmetic reasons.

      Hope that helps your posture. The above is an opinion and not a recommendation.

      • Alice Kotler says:
        October 6, 2017 at 10:46 pm

        Thank you for your response.. They thought I have osteoporosis but all bone density’s show I do not.They
        Did put a brace on me as a child but unfortunately my mother removed it due to my crying. So I have two
        Questions for you. First do you think these exercises will help my posture from becoming worse and could
        It help with the pain. And second I Live in Montreal,is there any one you could recommend that would
        Be very knowledgeable with my particular problem. I would so appreciate any advice you can give me.
        Thanks so much, Alice.

        • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
          October 10, 2017 at 9:47 pm

          Thank you for your question, Alice. So now you are telling me you had this severe kyphosis as a child, or do you have scoliosis? If so the exercises will not help your posture. If your pain is due to previous Scheurmann’s disease or scoliosis that is still present that is causing your severe kyphosis is possible the exercises may help. However, I don’t recommend the exercises as the cause of your severe kyphosis can be many other diagnoses. My opinion is that you figure out the cause through your medical doctor before treating the problem.

          Hope that makes sense and guides you to helping your posture.

  • Nadj Asri says:
    March 9, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    Hello again. I experience an ache in my neck after doing these exercises. Is this normal or is it that I’m doing those exercises wrong?

  • Nadj Asri says:
    March 7, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    How to do exercise#4? Where should I put the rolled towel, at the base of my upper back or at the upper part? Sorry if my English is confusing.

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      March 7, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      Thanks for your question Nadj. It depends on the person. The foam roll, not a rolled up towel should be placed where the peak of your mid back curve is. For some, they have more of a curve at in the upper back for others it’s in the middle of the back for others, it’s a even lower down.

      Hope that helps your posture. If you have any more questions this downtown Toronto chiropractor will be his best to give you a helpful opinion. The above is an opinion and not a recommendation.

  • Jenny says:
    January 31, 2017 at 8:36 am

    After 2 years of physio and osteopathy treatment I have been told that my clavicle and shoulder pain is being caused by an impingment of the nerves whenever I raise my arm above shoulder height… my physio tells me it is a postural problem. I am 60 and very active but cannot swim or surf. Do you think the exercises will help as I have been given so much counter advice over the years and feel confused Jenny

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      January 31, 2017 at 11:21 pm

      Thanks for your question Jenny. Usually if the shoulder has been treated for a long time the missing part is the neck. If the cause isn’t treated you won’t get better. It maybe that in your case the shoulder is the problem but that the neck is what I have found in practice.

      The above is an opinion and not a recommendation.

      Also, these exercises will not interfere with your physiotherapy.Hope that helps your posture and shoulder.

  • Harmony says:
    January 27, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I’ve been to gyms, had personal trainers asked for help with my posture amd NOTHING. Google came up with your exercises and after only twice i can breathe better.

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      January 28, 2017 at 10:41 am

      You are welcome Harmony. Hope that improves your posture.

  • Andrea says:
    October 2, 2016 at 2:06 am

    I’ve had poor posture most of my life, but after doing these exercises for a short while I’m already noticing a difference in my “posture checks.” Thanks for the tips!

  • Eugene says:
    September 18, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    I have a problem in walking as I fall backwards due to a arch backwards and when I raise my arms towards the sky I fall backwards even while standing. What can I do to solve this arms/shoulder oproblems ? Thank you.

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      September 18, 2016 at 9:56 pm

      Thanks for your question Eugene. Sounds like you may have a different problem. Possibly with your balance centre. You need to consult a medical doctor that can examine you. A shoulder or arm problem will not cause this problem.

      Hope that helps your falling.

  • Aimee says:
    September 2, 2016 at 5:38 am

    Thank you so much for these exercises. I have kyphosis and lordosis. I have a very noticeable hump if I do not completely focus on my posture and even then I tend to over extend and it makes my lordosis bad and hurt ever more. I suffer from severe back pain when I stand too long. i had x rays taken, it showed no deformities or abnormalities in my spine. The doctors couldn’t help me so I took steps to help myself. I searched online and found some wall exercises that did help a bit but I could still notice a hump. I have been doing those for a year. Then I found your site and I am so happy! Just by doing these exercises for 3 days I notice how much easier it is to stand straight and how my bettermy back muscles feel. Its going To take time but I’m hopeful with your exercises I can improve my back to look better and feel better.

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      September 6, 2016 at 10:40 am

      Thanks for your comment Aimee. Glad your posture is improving with only 3 days of exercises.

      Hope that helps your posture.

  • Trish says:
    July 3, 2016 at 4:12 am

    Your site is wonderful. When I do the above stretches with my left arm I feel faint and nauseus. I have pronounced lordosus and khyphosis.

  • Parikshit says:
    April 29, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Hey…I do have this back kyphosis…. And rounded upper back…I’m 21 years old..and yesterday I read your article…after doing these exercises …. I started feeling headache for like half n hour…so is it okay to do these exercises??… Course the rounded back is clearly noticeable and I do want to get rid of it ASAP…plzz do comment …I really need help

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      April 30, 2016 at 8:50 am

      Thanks for your comment. Why don’t you check with your local therapist, as I cannot check to see if you are doing the exercises correctly.

      Hope that helps your posture.

  • abey says:
    April 10, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    my name is Abey
    and i have a rounded upper back but i am an architecture so i dont really have a time to do these exercises so can i get like a one day or week exercises to get a flat back
    i will do anything please help me out
    thank you

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      April 10, 2016 at 11:45 pm

      Thanks for your question Abey. You need to work on it at least 6 days a week for 10 minutes a day. If you don’t want to put the time into it your posture won’t improve. You can’t improve without putting in the work, like most things in life.

      Hope that helps your upper back posture.

      • abey says:
        April 11, 2016 at 3:59 pm

        hi again
        i have another question
        in how many days do i see the result
        and in the number 4 exercise i don’t have the equipment (the roller) so is there any other exercise

        • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
          April 12, 2016 at 9:45 pm

          Thanks for your question Abey. It depends on how often you do the exercises, if you do the exercises correctly which is a big one as many do the exercises wrong and how much a forward posture you have and what the shape of your actual spine is.

          As for the roller you can buy one on They are around $20.00. You can use a towel by rolling it up but it won’t be nearly as effective.

          Hope that helps your posture.

  • AJS says:
    March 19, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Dear Dr.Ken, your post is really informative. I am 36, had tendonitis which lead to bursitis and right shoulder pain with C4-C5 disc bulge. Someone recommended Gonstead Chiropractor and I have been going for almost a year now. Everytime he adjusts right sacrum, mid back (L4/L5) and Upper back(T something) and right neck. He does not give any strengthening exercises. I started standing at work and now after a year every morning wake up with severe right heel and knee pain. I can neither stand nor sit for too long. Very frustrating. I would visit you if I lived in Toronto but cannot. Are there any exercises I can safely do without worsening/adding new problems that would help me. Thanks very much in advance for your time

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      March 21, 2016 at 9:34 am

      Thanks for your question AJS. Often times neck pain problems will cause shoulder pain. You need somebody that will treat the problem and not use a cook book (meaning using the same treatment each time). This method will only get some of the people better. Also you need exercises like you say.

      If the pain increases or any symptoms like numbness, tingling or pain goes further down the neck to the shoulder or further down the shoulder to the upper arm than you are getting worse. If worse you should immediately stop the exercises.

      If it turns out to be just a shoulder problem than you need a different set of exercises. If the shoulder gets worse or better you know that the problem is coming from the neck.

      Hope that helps your shoulder pain and neck pain.

  • Joyce says:
    March 17, 2016 at 6:56 am

    I think I’m at forward head or kyphotic lordotic … I just did day 1 of your stretches and exercises.,. Do you think at 39 years old my posture problem can be corrected?

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      March 18, 2016 at 7:36 am

      Thanks for your question Joyce. Your posture can be improved to a certain extent but not perfected. Give them a try for a few months and see you do. I would do the exercises everyday.

      Hope that helps your posture.

  • Deb M says:
    February 5, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Dr. Ken, Thank you so much for these exercises and tips, my shoulder and neck have improved so much and I have ROM I haven’t had in a long time. I have tendinitis and bursitis on my MRI along with C8 herniation. It seems my ulnar nerve is giving me trouble still. I have constant right arm pain especially when I bend my right arm in excess- like typing you this comment. It really hurts above my elbow, down my arm and a annoying, constant, aching, numbness into my pinky finger. Do you have any exercises to help ulnar nerve pain to avoid surgery?

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      February 6, 2016 at 12:27 pm

      Thanks for your question Deb. Assuming the C7 T1 disc is causing the problem pushing on the C8 nerve than could try these exercises.

      Remember that any exercise can make you worse. Especially these ones. These exercises should be supervised by health professional. If the pain, numbness, or tingling gets stronger or goes further down the finger or becomes more constant than you are getting worse so should stop the treatment.

      Hope that helps your possible C7T1 disc herniation.

  • Cally says:
    January 5, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Hi, I’m currently working on the exercises in your other post about hyper lordosis. Like the girl in the picture there, I have a straight neck but a rounded back. That post suggested to look at the post 4 Upper Back Exercises to Improve Posture, which then directed me here. Just curious…will the exercises on this post harm my neck from its current natural, straight posture, or will it, like I want, only help my upper back?

    Thanks so much…just curious

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      January 6, 2016 at 12:14 am

      Thanks for your question Cally. The exercises in this article won’t harm your current straight posture. It will reposition your upper back under your neck.\

      Hope that helps your posture.

      • Cally says:
        January 8, 2016 at 12:54 pm

        Thank you so much for your reply! My postural appearance means a ton to me

  • richa says:
    October 25, 2015 at 12:17 am

    I have forward head problem and i m 18 years old .. Help me out how to get rid of this thing 😢😢 and headache is permanent .. Please help

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      October 25, 2015 at 6:35 am

      Thanks for your plea Richa. I would consult your doctor if you have a permanent headache or a constant headache. While a forward head does cause many people headaches you could be suffering some other medical problem. Better to check it out first then if it’s Ok I would try out the exercises to improve your posture.

      Hope that helps your posture.

  • Jay ahir says:
    September 18, 2015 at 1:06 am

    Can i do these exercises twice in day for everyday? Sir i do it every day fthan from your point of yoy how many time it take to correct my posture? And sir i saw this to 2 doctors here in india and thay said it’s normal i mean its foolish i hav a kyphosis surely and my back is more rounded and and i feel pain. I have both kyphosis and lordosis so what i have to do now sir? It bother me in boxing and in my social life I’m only 19 years old plz help me sir

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      September 24, 2015 at 11:27 pm

      Thanks for your question Jay. Everybody has a kyphosis and lordosis in their upper back and lower back respectively. Your doctor says it’s normal and it very well may be. I can tell you that when you have too much of a kyphosis it’s called hyperkyphosis and too much of a lordosis in the lower back is called hyperlordosis. If you do have these problems these exercises are often helpful.

      Chiropractors by their training have look at posture everyday. Those that do something everyday and are trained for it are generally better at it. Although there will likely be some exceptions.

      Doing your exercises twice a day will be helpful. I have no idea how long it will take as I haven’t examined you.

      Hope that helps you posture.

  • Jay ahir says:
    September 17, 2015 at 12:59 am

    Hello sir my name is jay ahir, I’m a boxer
    My problem is i have kyphosis and little lordosis too. I’m suffering from pain after or during practice. My spinal cord band more than usual and feeling pain after 5 min of straight posture.
    I’m a very good sports man running 21 twice in week, but this problem bother me
    Plz tell me sir what to do
    I can do that exercise daily for an hour but i don’t know what to do
    Plz explain me sir

  • Tim says:
    September 14, 2015 at 3:36 am

    Ken, I think my back is curved but i dont know much about it and when i tried the standing against a wall my hips, shoulder blades and head touch the wall but their is too much space between my lower back and the wall, But from looking in the mirror i think my upper back is curved to because it goes further back than my butt.
    Is my back curved on the lower and the upper or only the lower? And which exercises should i do?

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      September 16, 2015 at 6:07 am

      Thanks for your question Tim. You likely have both too much of a low back and mid back curve but only an exam can confirm that. You should do these exercises if that is true.
      Obviously I can’t tell for sure as it is only what you say and you may be standing in an exaggerated way etc…

      As wit any exercises they can cause you pain. You should have these exercises supervised by a health practitioner.

  • Dayanand Tiwari says:
    July 29, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Dear doctor,
    I have been suffer from Ankylosing spondilysis more than 15 years, now I am 46 , and this effecting my posture a lot make me forward neck , I try to do several exercise to release my muscle, but it make me huge pain around lower back , due to I have AS can I do above exercise.

    one more that my lower part from hip downward to leg is to stiff I am not able to bending my upper part down to 90 degrees is there any exercise that will help me to release the stiffness of my leg muscle link to the back

    appreciate your advice sir.

    Dayanand Tiwari.

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      July 30, 2015 at 9:40 pm

      Thanks for your question Dayanand. Ankylosing spondylitis is a condition where there is inflammation of the ligaments that attach to the bones which eventually become calcified and fuse the bones together. Sounds like the bones have actually fused together already. There is no way to unfuse the vertebrae even with surgery.

      No amount of exercise can change your posture although stretches can help relieve symptoms for a short period of time.

      You can try the first 3 exercises to see if they will help. Remember even if they help the effect will be very temporary.
      You should these exercises supervised by a health care practitioner as any exercises can make you worse.

      Hope that helps your Ankylosing spondylitis to a certain extent.

  • Paul says:
    June 18, 2015 at 5:14 am

    I can only imagine how prevalent upper back and neck pain will become for the millions of people who are constantly texting on their smart phones. There is even a term for it now – “text neck”

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      June 18, 2015 at 10:20 pm

      Thanks for your comment. Lots of people do have neck and upper back problems. From my own experience with patients in the financial district of downtown Toronto, I find most people that come in with neck pain and upper back pain is due to posture from sitting all day at the computer. The smart phones don’t help.

      Hope that helps.

  • linda kirmeier says:
    May 26, 2015 at 6:49 am

    Thank you. I am very impressed how accurate you are. Your information is most effective. Wow.

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      May 26, 2015 at 9:39 am

      Thanks for your comment Linda. Hope this article improve your upper back posture.

  • Richard Nixon says:
    March 26, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Ken, many thanks for your articals, very informative, however I have a very straight thoracic spine and i rarely find any information on this condition, with an addional injury to the muscle there it tends to cause pain. Do you have any tips for this condition, straight or flat thoracic spine.

    kind regards


    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      March 26, 2015 at 11:43 pm

      Thanks Richard for your question. When you have a straight back this puts a lot of pressure in the transition areas of the spine. Basically the base of your neck where your mid back end and your neck starts. Also where the mid back ends at the top of the lower back. For most people that is where the curve in your lower back starts.

      Sitting is the worst and standing is usually a little better but still strained given enough time. It is very difficult to increase the curve in your mid back. You would have to do daily “cat” part of the cat cow exercise.

      Hopefully that helps your straight thoracic spine.

  • Zoey says:
    March 25, 2015 at 11:45 pm

    Hi there. I have been experiencing pain on & off mostly on, through my left scapula, arm and chest. Sometimes when I sneeze a have a “pinch in my chest or just under the scapula. This started about a year ago and I went to the hospital and had all kinds of tests done with results indicating that I am extremely healthy, I’m 47 years old.
    I started going to the chiropractor and got some relief the symptoms. they come and go and presently they are back, and when touch the area near the centre of my left chest, its sore to the touch. I find when I sit as straight as possible the symptoms subside, and then return again. My posture has improved since I started going to chiro, as could not straighten my shoulders before. I still go to the chiropractor.
    Are you familiar with what I have described and do you have any suggestions?

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      March 26, 2015 at 8:18 am

      Thanks for your question Zoey. You have a disc bulge in your thoracic spine. When you sit slouched it put your thoracic spine or mid back in a forward position. Given enough years of slouching and weak cartilage the disc weakens further rupturing the out rings. When this happens you start to feel it each time the disc bulges. When you sit up straight you take the pressure off so you feel better. When you slouch it puts more pressure on the disc. Since the disc can press on the nerve it can push on the nerve going to the chest or in the scapula.

      That’s my opinion anyways without examining you. Try these exercises and stay with your chiro.

      Hope that helps your disc. I say this for educational purposes only.

    • Zoey says:
      March 26, 2015 at 9:05 am

      Thank you! I researched what you had written “disc bulge in thoracic spine” and YES the symptoms all match exactly.
      I have tried a the exercises today and noticed my posture change. I am going to book an appointment to come see you tomorrow!

      • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
        March 26, 2015 at 11:35 pm

        You are welcome. I’ll see you tomorrow then.

  • Samantha H. says:
    March 24, 2015 at 12:58 pm

    Thank you for a great article, I will definitely try the exercises. I am a 50 year old woman and I’ve had back pain on and off for years, however the last year has been great. I’ve shoveled snow, planted flowers etc. etc. and have had no problems. But then out of the blue I experienced tingling, numbness and the feeling of “heat” in my left leg when I lie on my left side, sometimes when I lie on my back or front and if I sit for too long, especially on a hard surface. If I don’t move or stand then the feeling rapidly gets worse and then it takes a long time to go away. Standing is fine so I have set my computer up on a tall stereo stand and this seems to help. My back felt great at first but I think always lying on my right side at night is throwing things out of whack and I sometimes have pain in my upper back after sleeping. This has been going on for 2 months. The doctor recommended a physiotherapist. The physiotherapist told me to stretch the muscles in the front of my thigh but if anything this seems to make it feel worse, so I went to a chiropractor. The chiropractor had me get xrays and pointed out the excessive curve in my lower spine, rounded upper back and head tilt forward, I guess I have a Kyphotic Lordotic posture. He also pointed out there was a very slight disc bulge and apparently I have a problem with where the front of my pelvis is joined, the one side is slightly higher than the other side. The chiropractor recommended I come for adjustments, but after 3 weeks my leg isn’t any better and if anything it feels worse after the adjustments (today it throbbed and tingled for about the next 10 hours). I also go in for the appointment with my back feeling fine but once I come out my upper back is sometimes quite soar. Two questions; if my posture is poor will things have to “get worse” before they get better, ie is it normal to experience back pain, that you didn’t have before, after an adjustment, while everything starts to go back to where it should be, and second when I asked about exercises he said I should just walk for 30 minutes a day. I know walking would be good for me (I am about 35lbs over weight) but I was looking for something more like what you’ve suggested. Are there any other exercises that you would recommend for my leg condition. Any help would be greatly appreciated, I feel like I haven’t slept for more than a few hours in weeks and I am so afraid it will get worse.

    Thanks in advance, Sam

  • sohail says:
    March 22, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    Worthy advises ! I am lookinf for exercise for pain in Left leg above knee ( Between Knee and Thigh).

    Sohail Mandhai

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      March 23, 2015 at 9:09 am

      Thanks for your question Shoahil. You haven’t said why you have this pain or provided a lot more detail so I cannot give any educational advice. Why don’t you write a lot more about your pain. Think about any doctor would need to look at you and give you advice.

  • Carmen Massey says:
    February 28, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Thank you so much!! these are great exercises!!

  • Amy Heffner says:
    February 14, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Hi Dr. Ken.
    I am an active, athletic and healthy 49 year-old woman. I’m 5′ 8″ and 125 lbs.
    About a year ago I noticed that my upper spine protrudes at the base of my neck. When I stand as straight as possible, the bumps are still visible.
    My spine looks somewhat like the photo on this page, illustrating cervical disc herniation. I am wondering if this is my condition. Fortunately I don’t have any discomfort – no pain or numbness.
    I am aware that I tend to slump and I make an effort to maintain good posture. I’m going to try the exercises you recommend for better posture. Is there anything else you recommend that might help to reduce this condition?
    Also, would you recommend having an x-ray?
    Thank you in advance for your time and any advice you can offer.
    Amy Heffner

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      February 14, 2015 at 9:49 am

      Thanks for your question Amy. Try these exercises as well.
      Let me know how you get on after a couple months. Make sure you do the exercises everyday. Some of the exercises are duplicates so obviously you only need to do them according to the instructions but doing more won’t hurt.

      Hope that helps improve the bump at the base of your neck.

  • Shweta says:
    January 28, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    Hi dr ken.. I just read your articles.. I have a kyphotic lordotic posture and head forward but i also have c4,c5 disc bulge..
    So is it okay if i do these upper and lower back exercises and do i need to do only these 4 exercises or those lower nack exercises as well??
    Waitinf for your reply.. Thanks

  • TJ says:
    January 27, 2015 at 7:46 pm

    When I do the pectoralis major stretch, it just feels like I’m stretching my arm muscles. What am I doing wrong?

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      January 27, 2015 at 10:45 pm

      Thanks for the question. Try changing the angle of the arm so it is higher or lower against the wall till you feel it in the chest.

      Hope that helps your Posture for your upper back.

  • Nathan says:
    January 19, 2015 at 7:47 am

    Hi Dr. Ken,

    I’ve just read both this, and your article on correcting an exaggerated lower back, and both are great articles, really easy to understand.

    Unfortunately I fall into the kyphotic lordotic category, and was wondering if I should do the four exercises above, as well as the ones on the lower back article?

    Also, when I lay on my side, and arch my lower back, it makes cracking noises in my loser spine. Is this normal?


    • Nathan says:
      January 19, 2015 at 8:11 am

      Another thing Doc is that when I place my feet hips and shoulder blades against the wall, my head is still quite forward.

      • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
        January 19, 2015 at 9:07 am

        Thanks for your question Nathan. Than you should do the exercises in this article. Hope that helps.

    • Dr Ken Nakamura says:
      January 19, 2015 at 9:06 am

      Thanks for your question Nathan. You should do all the exercises for the upper back and the lower back. Yes it’s normal for people that self “crack” their joints or people that simply have looser joints to have cracking noises in their lower back.

      Hope that helps your upper back posture.

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