Quite often, stiffness, aches or spasms in the upper back, neck or shoulders could be the result of a misalignment of the spine in the upper, or thoracic, region of the back. You can relieve this pain by administering a chiropractic adjustment to the upper back. Following is one of the better methods used to adjust the upper back.

Relax any muscle tightness or spasms in the upper back by massaging, stretching or stimulating the area with electrical muscle stimulation. The upper back must be relaxed in order to correctly perform a chiropractic adjustment.

Stand at one side of the adjustment table. Have the patient sit up and cross his arms loosely over his chest and tuck his chin toward his chest.

Place one hand on the upper back at the spot where you will adjust the spine. Place your other hand on the patient’s crossed arms. Instruct the patient to take a deep breath.

Bring the patient slowly back to a supine position. Have the patient exhale throughout the movement until he is lying flat and his breath has been fully exhaled.

Push straight down on the patient’s crossed arms and up with the hand on his upper back until the adjustment is complete.

Recheck the patient to ensure the adjustment has been properly made and the body is reacting favorably.


  • If this method does not work for a particular patient, try lying the patient on their stomach, place the palms of both hands on either side of the spine between the shoulder blades, and thrust downward as the patient exhales.