How to Tell if Your Back Pain Stems from Arthritis

upper and middle back pain

Waking up to excruciating upper and middle back pain is a nightmare for anyone who needs to head out for work or do labor-intensive chores. But, unfortunately, this is not uncommon for many Americans these days. Some back pain cases happen because of the constant wear and tear of the body, while others develop due to health conditions like arthritis.  

So, the question now is, how can you determine the cause of your back pain? How do you know if it happens because of arthritis? Feel free to read through our discussion to learn more about upper and middle back pain and your options for relief.


Arthritis-Related Conditions That Can Cause Back Pain

According to CDC, about 23 percent or roughly 54 million American adults have arthritis. It’s also among the leading causes of disabilities and income loss in the country. If you get diagnosed with this condition, it means that you have inflamed or worn-out joints, causing you unbearable pain every time you flex your muscles.     

As a patient or a loved one with arthritis, it’s crucial to understand how this condition can affect the body, especially the back. This way, you can find a remedy that will work for you. Here are some of the most common types of arthritis-related conditions and how they can cause pain and discomfort: 


Wear and tear arthritis or osteoarthritis develops once your cartilage starts breaking down. This causes your bones to rub on each other, triggering pain, muscle stiffness, and loss of joint flexibility and movement. This condition can occur in various parts of the body, including the spinal column.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

The spine can also develop rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the synovium or your joint lining. While it commonly develops on the elbows and knees, it can also affect the spine, specifically the cervical portion. This results in upper back pain that comes and goes. 


According to the latest numbers, about 3.2 million Americans have spondyloarthritis. It’s a poorly understood group of inflammatory diseases that affects the joints, tendons, and ligaments. Although it causes similar reactions, studies note that it is not the same as rheumatoid arthritis. Spondyloarthritis usually involves the spinal column but not the peripheral joints. On the one hand, RA primarily impacts the small joints of your hands or feet but can sometimes develop in the upper section of the spine.  

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis develops in 1 out of 1000 patients and causes joint pain, swelling, and stiffness. While it mainly occurs in the small joints of the body, it can develop along the spinal column. It can also increase your risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a condition that can lead to increased pain and suffering. 

Enteropathic Arthritis

Enteropathic arthritis might not be a condition you hear about every day, but it’s a real problem for patients diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease. Like the rest of the arthritis-causing illnesses listed above, enteropathic arthritis can also affect your spine and cause lingering back pain.

upper and middle back pain






Other Causes of Back Pain

Back pain doesn’t always stem from arthritis. Sometimes it happens because of pre-existing conditions like degenerative disc diseases. Some patients also develop an achy back due to a pinched nerve in their cervical or lumbar spine. Let’s take a closer look at these health problems below:

Pinched nerve

Did you know that up to 80 percent of Americans suffer from back pain because of a pinched nerve? Nerve pinching or compression occurs when nearby bones or tissues impinge on nerve roots located on the spine. 

Disc herniation

The protective layer between the spinal bones wears out over the years. It can also rupture, causing its content to leak into tissues like the nerve roots. This leads to nerve irritation which causes sharp and shooting pain. While surgery is the most common remedy that patients use, some turn to physical therapy and upper cervical care to ease the pressure in the affected spinal region. 

Bone spurs 

Around 40 percent of aging individuals have bone spurs or bone overgrowth.  This condition is a consequence of having osteoarthritis for several years. Most of the affected patients can’t straighten the affected joints, so they struggle to move around. 

If you think your discomfort stems from these conditions, make sure to schedule an appointment with your primary doctor. This way, you can get referred to a therapist or an upper cervical chiropractor.


Get Help for Your Upper and Middle Back Pain

Finding relief for upper and middle back pain through upper cervical care is indeed possible. Thousands of patients who have struggled with back pain for years experienced lasting relief and comfort after receiving C1 and C2 chiropractic adjustments.  

Essentially, upper cervical care is a chiropractic technique that focuses on correcting misalignment in the neck. It’s a precise procedure guided by digital imaging techniques and a detailed physical assessment of the neck structure. 

As your neck bones return to their proper places, your spine alignment also gets restored, alleviating the pressure on your upper, middle, and lower back. It also allows your body to recover from the damage so you can begin experiencing lasting improvements. 

Thousands of patients with terrible back pain tried upper cervical care for pain management and to resolve the underlying cause of their condition. Whether your pain stems from arthritis or other health problems like a pinched nerve or bone spurs, an upper cervical chiropractor can help you experience massive relief. 

Consult with a nearby upper cervical chiropractic practitioner today to start experiencing relief from your upper and middle back pain.


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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.