Backpain Overview

Stand Straight, Feels Great! That is Upper Back Pain!

Upper back pain is not very common and usually not associated with serious conditions. Since the upper back is firm and not subjected to vertebral movements, the pain is mostly a result of poor posture. Unlike the lower back, the upper back is not likely to experience herniated discs or degeneration of the vertebral column.

Causes of upper back pain:

The first and foremost reason for upper back pain is bad posture. Whenever your back aches, it is probably signaling you to straighten up. Bad posture causes muscles in the upper back to weaken. Bad posture also strains the joints and ligaments, which compounds the back ache.

The second reason for upper back pain is overuse of upper back muscles. If you’ve been pumping iron or even just straining your neck to clean some shelf, you are setting yourself up for upper back pain. Women with particularly large breasts are also prone to back aches.

The other reasons for upper back pain are underlying medical conditions that could be serious in nature. Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones become porous and difficult to heal. It happens mostly in old women. Injuries to the spine cause severe back aches. Rupturing of spinal disks causes intense bouts of upper back pain, but the condition is very rare.

Treatment of upper back pain:

In most cases you can lessen upper back pain by manual treatment.

* Improving posture: By improving posture, you keep your vertebral column in its original S shape. The muscles of the upper back tone up and your pain reduces. An erect posture should be maintained at all times of the day. Even at the desk while reading a book, your head should be held up without any tilt.

* Proper exercise: The right kind of exercise helps the back regain alignment and greatly improves your posture. Exercise strengthens the upper back muscles and minimizes risks of injuries. Some yoga postures are great for giving your back a good exercise. Rehabilitative programs always incorporate stretching exercises to strengthen the back.
* Massage: Massage helps reduce spasms. The tender spots in the back heal with a good massage. You can either do it yourself or ask someone to help. Massage improves circulation and gently stretches the area for quick relief. Ask your assistant to use both palms and elbows for massage. Elbows can be pressed against the back for a few seconds to soothe it. Pressing of elbows causes blood flow to slow temporarily. When lifted, the blood surges through and helps the area relax.

* Acupuncture: Acupuncture helps work on the trigger points, similar to massage.

* Anti-inflammatory medicines like ibuprofen can work on upper back pains.

* In case home treatment doesn’t work, you can go to an osteopathic physician for professional guidance. Osteopathic physicians work on aligning the bones, ligaments and muscles by using manipulation treatment.

* In cases of severe back problems, your doctor will check your MRI scan or X-ray for correct diagnosis.