Upper back pain usually occurs due to some muscular irritation or joint dysfunction
causing significant spinal discomfort in the upper back area of the body. Upper back pain can also occur due to some injury or poor posture or positions that the body remains for a maximum amount of time in a day.
Upper back is the most complex area of the spine because of the number of joints in the region and the way they operate. Placing strain on this structure can pull muscles or irritate them which will affect the day to day life significantly. In our normal routine there is little motion of the upper back area that is why conditions like herniated disc, spinal stenosis and degenerative disc diseases are extremely rare causes of upper back pain.
The two common causes of upper back pain are muscular irritation and joint dysfunction.
Muscular irritation or myofascial pain normally occurs due to lack of strength (de-conditioning) or repetitive motions (overuse injuries). Putting strain on muscles in this area, sports injuries and accidents can result in muscular irritation that causes upper back pain. Muscle irritation can be treated with various types of manual treatments including:
- Exercise or Physical Therapy
- Chiropractic manipulation
- Massage Therapy
- Trigger point injections
The upper back area is related to the shoulder muscles, that is why much of the treatment programs will include stretching and strengthening exercises. Pain relievers can also be used in certain conditions of upper back pain if the muscular irritation has developed some form of inflammation.
The upper back pain can also occur because of the malfunctioning of the two joints that connect with each side of the spine. The only way to get these joints into a proper functioning condition is by mobilizing the joints to reduce discomfort. The treatment of upper back pain caused by joint dysfunction will include the manipulation by osteopathic physician, chiropractor or physical therapist. Exercises and movements that stretch the spine and shoulders will help in maintaining the upper back pain relief.
Joint dysfunction might also require oral medications to reduce any inflammation in the upper back area. Some cases might also require epidural steroid injections to control upper back pain but usually it is not recommended.
Physicians generally recommend appropriate postures for avoiding the upper back pain. Putting strain on muscles, joints and ligaments can rupture the spinal disk causing osteoporosis that weakens the bones. People with heart diseases are also prone to upper back pain and need to consult specialists to avoid complexities.
Upper back pain can be treated more easily than lower back pain. The treatments are usually focused on removing the pain and the cause. Detecting spinal imbalances correctly at an earlier stage can help in controlling the intensity of upper back pain in a significant manner. Individuals should exercise regularly in order to avoid such cases to occur. Those with jobs or work that keeps them in a certain posture for a long time should take breaks to stretch their back.
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