How does upper back pain develop?
When one thinks of back pain, initial thoughts tend to concern the lower back. But let's not forget that the mid and upper back are part of the spine, too, and back pain symptoms can be felt there as well.
The structural support of the upper part of the spine is constantly challenged by the pull of gravity and the weight of your head. Since gravity is pulling the body forward and down and the weight of the head is substantial, the muscles in the thoracic spine (the portion of your back below the neck and above the lower back) have to constantly work to keep your torso upright. If those muscles are weak or deconditioned, the resultant stress of even the most natural of forces can create chronic or acute upper back pain.
Posture is the key to preventing this type of back pain, so for all those parents who nag their kids to stand up straight, keep it up! People who sit a lot, work at a computer or desk, or otherwise spend the majority of their time doing tasks in front of their body are prone to developing rounded shoulders. Having this type of hunched posture creates an alignment problem in the upper back and shoulders and results in a constant strain on the postural muscles. This continual strain causes those muscles to become overworked, which weakens them, making them less tolerable to even normal stress and strain. A cycle is created, perpetuated by weakness and poor posture. The result is upper back pain.
Upper back pain relief is best achieved through a combination approach. The use of modalities such as ice or heat will help ease the pain and muscle tightness. Exercises aimed at stretching the neck, chest and shoulder muscles will make it easier to achieve correct posture, and strengthening exercises for the upper back and shoulders will give those muscles what they need to maintain that posture. A physical therapist or qualified trainer are great resources to help you develop a comprehensive program that will alleviate this problem.
Pain Relief Frequently Asked Questions
What is an aneurysm?
What is Abdominal Rigidity?
What distinguishes appendicitis from other abdominal pains?
What is Arm Paresthesia?
Which type of arm pain is accompanied by an inability to reach backwards?
What condition causes arthritis pain of the wrist?
What may be a cause of unexplained back pain?
What is Scoliosis?
What are the symptoms of disc injury?
Can weather affect my health condition?
Does gender affect pain?
Is psychological pain real?
What can cause feet pain in children?
What may be causing anal pain and bleeding during pregnancy?
What may cause symptoms of pain and itching in the buttocks?
What may cause acute or severe joint pain?
Is my arthritis a result of wear-and-tear?
What may be an underlying cause of muscle pain?
How will my shoulder injury affect my neck?
Is Whiplash Serious?
Is my posture important?
What is shingles?
What are the complications of shingles?
What happens if shingles is not treated?
What may cause a bulge in the groin?
What is a Hydrocoele?
What is testicular torsion?
Can I train too much?
What may cause shin pain after running?
What are the effects of a concussion?
What does "abdominal pain" refer to and what could be the cause?
What signs and symptoms should I look for to indicate I need to seek medical attention for my abdominal pain?
What does it mean if I have numbness or tingling in my hands or arms?
What can referred pain to the arm and shoulder be a sign of?
What causes a rotator cuff tear?
What is arthritis?
How does one manage or treat arthritis?
Do supplements and herbs advertised as helping prevent and treat arthritis symptoms really work?
What are the statistics related to arthritis?
What can cause back pain?
How does upper back pain develop?
How can I deal with chronic back pain?
What is chronic pain?
What is the truth about low back pain?
Does heavy lifting cause back pain?
What are some pain medication myths?
Where can I turn for information on pain?
What is gout?
What is plantar fasciitis?
What are orthotics?
Are flip flops bad for you?
What are some conditions of the toes that can cause pain and disability?
What are hemorrhoids?
How does pressure in the abdominal and digestive system affect hemorrhoids?
What causes hemorrhoids?
What are the treatment options for hemorrhoids?
Is it normal to be stiff and achy after a hard workout?
What is fibromyalgia?
How can I manage my fibromyalgia?
What are the causes of neck pain?
What are the symptoms of neck pain to be aware of?
What are my options for pain that won't go away?
What are some of the causes of groin pain that are specific to men?
What are the causes of groin or genital pain in women?
What is the difference between a sprain and a strain?
How do I treat a sports injury?
What are the types of knee injuries that occur in sports?
What is neuralgia?
Who is at risk for getting shingles?
What can be the lasting side effect of shingles?