Upper back conditions are not as common as lower back conditions. When problems appear in the upper part of your back, it is usually more serious than a muscle strain or herniated disc. The upper portion of your back is different from the lower part of your back because instead of being flexible and mobile, the upper back is supposed to be strong and provide stability for the body.
This is the part of the body that gives us the strength to stand and walk. The upper part of your back is not very mobile and any bone breakdown is rare; having the strength to stand up protects the muscles and organs in the chest. Most upper back issues are a result of irritated muscles or joint dysfunction.
Mild forms of pain in the upper portion of your back can result from years of bad posture. As the technology age has taken off, more people who work at desks all day are complaining of upper back problems. Slouching in a desk puts great strain on our backs. As with any injury, upper back pain can also be the result of an accident or trauma, but the most common causes of pain stem from the muscles and joints.
Muscular irritation is caused by either the overuse of the muscles in the shoulder area or by a complete lack of use. Not using the muscles in the shoulders and upper back causes them to weaken, resulting in them not being able to support the body as well, causing a strain and pain. Overuse of the muscles is a common problem for athletes or someone with a job that requires repetitive motion affecting the back muscles.
The muscles will get overworked and irritated, causing swelling that results in a back pain that is sometimes very hard to treat. Physical therapists recommend gentle exercise and abundant stretching as the best way to relieve and treat upper back pain. Rest if the exercise becomes painful. Medication may help to bring down the swelling.
Joint dysfunctions focus on the area where the ribs attach to the upper spine.
These two joints are responsible for holding the ribs in place; if they are flawed in any way, upper back pain will result. In addition to pain medication and rest, treatments will include visiting a chiropractor and physical therapist. They will manually manipulate the joints to try and move the joint and relieve your pain.
Stretching is an essential part of recovery from any upper back pain. An exercise and stretching routine at home will help maintain overall back strength. Aerobic exercise is very important as it will help a patient lose or maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight, especially weight that sits in the stomach area, will pull the upper body forward, putting strain on the back muscles.
Upper back pain is usually more serious than lower back pain. If during pregnancy you experience pain in the upper part of your back, it is likely just a result of the additional weight. Rest and speak with a doctor if the pain is unbearable. Upper back pain is typically moderate to serious and requires consulting with a doctor.