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Relieve Neck & Upper Back Pain at Home Using a Theracane

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Many of my patients have come to me having headaches, neck, shoulder, & upper back pain and asking what they can do about it at home to get effective pain relief. They want to avoid pain medication and focus on home remedies instead. One technique that I like to use, even on myself, is using a Theracane.

A Theracane can be used for self-massage to reduce muscular knots & tightness on your own without having to go to see a physical or massage therapist. Learn more in this post on how you can get rid of aches and pains with this simple, but effective tool!

Interested in purchasing your own Theracane? Check out this link here.

Using a Theracane For Neck & Chronic Back Pain


I want to share with you a couple techniques that you can do using the Theracane, especially if you have a lot of knots or tightness in the upper back, neck, & shoulder blade areas.

One of the common spots my patients complain of tends to be the upper trap muscle. A lot of us carry tension in the upper trapezius muscle and have poor posture (which is very common), making this muscle work on overdrive. Check out our blog post here where we go into detail on the role posture plays in shoulder pain symptoms.

To help relieve pain in this region, take the knob at the end of the Theracane and place it on a knot or area of tension. Because of the shape of the Theracane, you just keep in on that area and push down slightly. It takes some practice getting used to the hand placement of using a Theracane, but once you get it, it’s very effective.

Once you find the spot you want to work on, hold the Theracane there for up to three to five minutes, or you can release pressure every 30 seconds and then reapply. Do whatever feels most pain relieving for you.

The Amount of Pressure You Use Matters

a woman having her neck stretched

An important thing to remember working in this neck and shoulder area is that there are a lot of nerves & blood vessels running through this region. It’s important to be careful with the amount of pressure you use and the goal is not to make your arm or hand go numb or feel tingly.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you are putting too much pressure. The pressure you apply should be uncomfortable, but not so much that it is cutting off supply to your nerve endings.

Exercise Program with Use of a Theracane

a man doing a resistance band exercise

Another technique I like to use when I am pressing the Theracane into a spot of tightness is to breathe through the pressure. Sometimes breathing through the pressure helps to better release the knots or tightness in that region. You can also perform a gentle stretch in conjunction with use of the Theracane to release tension.

To see demonstration of use of the Theracane in these areas, check out this video here.

I would also encourage you to utilize the Theracane in conjunction with exercises you have been instructed by your physical therapist to perform. An example would be to use the Theracane for your tight upper trap and then once you are finished, complete an upper trap stretch following. You can also follow these interventions with heat or ice to further help with tightness and pain.

If you are struggling with pain and the Theracane just doesn't seem to be cutting it, call us today at 810-215-9222 to schedule an appointment!

We also offer free 20-minute consultation calls for us to get to know each other and see if you may benefit from physical therapy. Working with us may be the first step toward getting back to doing your favorite activities pain free!

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