The Top 7 Reasons for Middle and Upper Back Pain

7 causes of middle and upper back pain

Middle and upper back pain is among the most prevalent conditions in the world, and chronic back issues can result in disability. There are a number of common reasons for back pain, but how can you find relief? Let’s take a look at a list of the top seven causes of middle and upper back pain.

#1 Poor Posture

Many times this a primary source of back pain. Having improper posture is extremely common in the business world since people are sedentary most of the day while using mobile devices, staring at monitors that are below eye level, and holding phones between their shoulder and ear. Hours spent commuting in the car usually means a stooped posture as well. Any of these can cause misalignments and pain as the back locks in a stressed position.

#2 Lifting with the Back

The best technique to employ when lifting heavy objects is to “lift with your knees not with your back”. Unfortunately, this advice is more often ignored rather than heeded. Poor lifting methods are behind numerous cases of back pain that are caused by misalignments and injuries.

#3 Wearing a Weighty Purse or Bag

A major mistake people make while carrying their daily bag or purse, is using only one shoulder to sustain the weight. When the weight is unevenly spread across the body, it negatively affects posture, spinal alignment, and can cause back pain. It is a good idea to find a bag that evenly distributes the weight of the bag. Another important adjustment to make is to minimize the amount packed in the bag altogether. This can alleviate a large amount of daily wear and stress on your back and be a tremendously helpful lifestyle change.

These are important changes to make for kids as well. In particular, backpacks can be far too heavy for their developing spines. Finding a backpack that distributes the weight evenly for your child is an excellent start. Also, reinforcing the proper way to wear the bag, avoiding the habit of wearing it over one shoulder is a good idea as well.

#4 Injuries or Accidents

Injuries and accidents are another major contributor to chronic back problems. It can be surprising to know that even when an accident or injury was not very serious in the beginning, it can still lead to long-term difficulties down the road. When you have had trauma that has impacted your head or neck, it is a good idea to have the top bones in the spine examined by an upper cervical chiropractor to make sure the correct alignment is still intact. When these two bones misalign, they can cause negative changes throughout the spine, leading to long-term upper back pain symptoms.

#5 Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is an ailment that progressively causes the bones to become weaker. The area of the spine that is the most affected will be where pain is present. These changes usually start higher on the spine, then make their way down. As osteoporosis progresses, fractures in the vertebrae are a regular occurrence. This can lead to increasingly worse posture, pain, and eventually faster degeneration. This is why it is so important to get ahead of these types of degenerative spinal conditions.

#6 Kyphosis

A healthy spine should have a subtle S curve when viewing it from the side. Between the shoulders, the spine curves slightly. However, when the spine curves out farther than normal, the condition is called kyphosis. This can result in issues with the upper spine such as upper cervical misalignments or degenerative conditions like osteoporosis. Kyphosis causes a person to have a “hunchback” look, and includes experiences of pain, stiffness, and can even change the way a person walks.

#7 Scoliosis

This is yet another abnormal curvature of the spine that mean long-term problems as it progresses, affecting posture, gait, and pain levels. Thankfully if you catch scoliosis early, you will have more treatment options to help manage the condition. That is the reason that children are often screened for it in school.

In a case study involving a 15-year-old girl, upper cervical chiropractic care reduced a 44-degree Cobb angle scoliosis (which would usually necessitate surgery) to a 32-degree angle in only 5 months. After 4 years, it improved to a 25-degree angle and surgery was no longer recommended for the patient.

A Promising Solution for Middle and Upper Back Pain Sufferers

If you are one of the millions who are suffering from back pain, then it will encourage you to know that upper cervical chiropractic care can improve more than just scoliosis. This specialized area of chiropractic care focuses on the adjustment of the C1 and C2, the top two bones in the spine located just below the skull. Misalignments in this part of the spine can result in a variety of symptoms throughout the body and can cause major adjustments to the rest of the spine since the bones and soft tissue will automatically compensate in order to keep the head level.

Upper cervical chiropractors make a thorough examination, including taking precise measurements of the C1 and C2 using modern diagnostic imaging techniques. This makes it possible to give gentle adjustments designed for each patient’s needs. If you have already had general chiropractic care, but not upper cervical, it is well worth the visit. Our adjustments are never forceful and usually require very little or no pressure at all. Some practitioners will even use an adjustment instrument in the place of their hands.

The results are impressive, and they stand alone. Another wonderful part of this care option is that it avoids the side effects of painkillers that only treat symptoms and provide little long-term benefit. Upper cervical chiropractic care is safe and effective on a long-term basis because it resolves the underlying cause of so many back problems. To learn more, call a practitioner in your area to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Read this Blog for Further Information: What to Do If You Have Upper Back Pain and Headaches

Frequently Asked Questions

What Causes Upper Back Pain?

Middle and upper back pain can result from various factors, including muscle strain, poor posture, overuse, herniated discs, joint dysfunction, or underlying medical conditions. Identifying the specific cause often requires a comprehensive assessment by an upper cervical specialist.

What Causes Upper Back Pain In Females?

Pain in the upper back of females can be attributed to factors such as hormonal changes, pregnancy-related changes in posture, breast size, or conditions like osteoporosis. However, similar to males, upper back pain in females can also be caused by muscle strain, poor ergonomics, or underlying medical issues.

What Are Reasons For Upper Back Pain?

Reasons for middle and upper back pain can include muscle strain, poor posture, trauma, herniated discs, osteoarthritis, or conditions like scoliosis. Identifying the specific reason often requires a thorough examination and diagnosis by an upper cervical specialist.

 Why Does My Upper Back Hurt?

Middle and upper back pain causes can be attributed to a wide range, including muscle tension, poor posture, injury, or underlying medical conditions. Factors such as stress, heavy lifting, or prolonged sitting can contribute to discomfort. If the pain persists or worsens, seeking an upper cervical specialist for middle and upper back pain is recommended for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Find An Upper Cervical Doctor in Your Area

to schedule a consultation today.

Find an Upper Cervical Specialist In Your Area

to schedule a consultation today.

Featured Articles


Montel Williams
Montel Williams

TV show host Montel Williams describes how specific chiropractic care has helped his body.

NBC's The Doctors

The TV show "The Doctors" showcased Upper Cervical Care.

CBS News/Migraine Relief

CBS News highlighted the alleviation of Migraines and Headaches.

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.