Upper back pain may hit everyone, especially adults. Those who are in luck may only experience slight discomfort for a few days; then it goes away soon after. However, others have it so bad that their upper back pain hinders them from performing at work or home.
Upper back pain may stem from various structures and tissues in the back and can be due to many reasons. We have made a list of the ten most common causes of upper back pain to help sufferers better understand their condition. Also, to introduce them to effective care that can lessen their pain.
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People often injure their upper back from lifting heavy objects incorrectly, excessive workout, having work-related accidents or car accidents, and even through simple slip and fall. After an injury, the pain may appear right away or may not show until later.
Injuries are serious matters. Some severe injuries require physical therapy for cure. When you have neck or head injury, it is best to have an upper cervical chiropractor examine your spine to make sure the top bones in your neck are still in alignment. Misalignment of these bones can impact your spine’s overall health, resulting in long-term back pain and other symptoms.
Using improper posture can take a toll on your upper back over time. When you always slouch, pressure from gravity and your body presses on your spine, muscles, ligaments, and discs. This pressure can result in irritation and strains in the area, later leading to complications and pain.
It’s never too late to reverse bad posture. You can start by correcting your posture while sitting in front of your desk at work. Always take regular breaks to stretch and move around. Also, exercise to improve the strength of your back.
Improper bending, twisting, or lifting are behind many cases of upper back pain. These easily strain or tighten the back muscles, causing extreme pain. Another mistake that can cause daily wear and stress on your back is wearing a heavy bag on one shoulder. When the weight of your bag is unevenly distributed across your body, it hurts your posture and spinal alignment.
Lift with your knees, not with your back to avoid upper back pain. Also, do not use only one shoulder when wearing your bag. Carry your stuff in a backpack instead of a shoulder bag to evenly distribute the weight of your belongings.
Intervertebral discs rest in between each vertebra in the spine, which act as shock absorbers. The discs have a jelly-like middle and fibrous outer ring. These give the spine cushion and height, permitting proper spinal movement.
Due to injury or wear and tear, the material of the inner disc can poke out of the side of the disc and hurt the surrounding nerves and the spinal cord. The herniation or bulge can cause extreme upper back pain.
You may have heard that people “shrink” when they age. This adage has something to do with the discs in the spine. The discs in your spine can deteriorate over time if they don’t have enough nutrition or proper movement. They can dehydrate, causing their weakness and susceptibility to injury. As a result, the discs lose integrity and reduce their height and ability to cushion, which leads to pain.
A problem in the muscles is not the only reason for upper back pain. Sometimes it can stem in the joints or bones too. Osteoarthritis is the breaking down of the cartilage that protects and cushions the bones. Aging is a big factor in this; that’s why it is more common in older adults.
Osteoarthritis may eventually cause the cartilage sandwiched between the bones to completely wear down, leading to the rubbing together of the bones. This can stress the nerves of the spine, resulting in numbness or tingling of the arms and legs. See a doctor if you believe you may have osteoarthritis.
Scoliosis is the abnormal curvature of the spine from side to side that can build an unnatural C or S shape. It can bring long-term issues as it gets worse, affecting gait, posture, and pain levels of the body. Back pain due to scoliosis does not improve with home treatments. It is essential to catch scoliosis at its early stage, so you have more treatment options.
Osteoporosis is a degenerative condition wherein the bones reduce its density and quality. The pain centers on the affected area of the spine. It often begins in the upper back and then makes their way down. The vertebrae of the bones often crack as osteoporosis develops. This causes worse posture, faster degeneration, and more severe pain.
This is the excessive outward curvature of the spine leading to the abnormal rounding of the upper back. Kyphosis makes a person have a “hunchback.” It results in stiffness and upper back pain and can change a person’s gait. It can lead to problems within the upper spine, such as osteoporosis or upper cervical misalignments.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease that brings pain throughout the body and fatigue. There are two fibromyalgia trigger points at the upper back. They are right where the shoulder blades link to the muscles of the upper back. For this reason, fibromyalgia patients may complain of upper back pain.
At the very top of the neck lies a vertebra called the atlas. The atlas supports the weight of the head on top of it and enables the head to move freely in any direction. When the atlas misaligns, it can bring problems for the back.
When atlas fails to carry the weight of the head properly, it causes damages that can result in muscle strain, spasm, increased pressure on discs, nerves, and joints. Upper back pain is the inevitable outcome.
Upper cervical chiropractic is a gentle and proven method of resolving the underlying cause of many cases of back pain. It employs precise procedures to identify and correct upper cervical misalignments naturally.
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.