Upper back pain is also known as thoracic back pain it can occur anywhere from the lower neck to the bottom of your rib cage. It is much less common than lower back pain or neck pain because these vertebrae are less mobile than those in your neck and lower back but it can cause significant discomfort.
Is Exercise Completely Prevent Upper Back Pain?
About half of teenagers experience upper back pain, which is most commonly caused by tight or weak muscles that put extra strain on the spine or due to an injury or by poor postures. But do you know how to reduce or prevent this? Read on to find more about it.
What causes upper back pain?
There are many causes for upper back pain but most of the time the reason is muscle irritation due to a twisting motion, overuse, poor posture, or an injury. Osteoarthritis is another cause of upper back pain that is the facet joints arthritis irritates the sensory nerves around the facet joints of the thoracic spine causing typically acute episodes of pain. Abnormal curvatures of the spine such as Scoliosis or Kyphosis also cause upper back pain.
What are the symptoms of upper back pain?
Symptoms of upper back pain may include:
- Pain in the upper back
- Muscle spasms
- Pain when you take a deep breath
- Pain when you touch or move your back
- Pain when you move your shoulder or bend your neck forward
How is it diagnosed?
Your health care provider will take your history, review your symptoms, and will examine your back. Your provider may also order an MRI or X-ray in order to find a broken bone or a herniated disc that can cause pain.
Treatment for upper back pain?
Check out these treating methods of upper back pain and try with the guidance of your health care provider.
- The early stages of upper back pain with muscle spasms can be treated with ice packs for 20 to 30 minutes every 4 hours for the first 3 days. You may use a frozen gel pack, crushed ice, or an ice bag.
- After 3 days you can use moist heat which will help to loosen up the muscles that are stiff.
- Your health care provider may prescribe anti-inflammatory medicine, muscle relaxants, or other medicines for pain relief. Remember adults aged over 65 years should not take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicine for more than 7 days.
- Massage to the inflamed muscles will help and also your provider will recommend exercises to help your back.
How to prevent upper back pain?
There is no quick or easy fix for upper back pain but there are things you can do on your own to prevent back pain. Let’s check out:
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle by being active for at least 30 minutes a day
- Be sure that you have warmed up and have done proper stretching exercises before engaging in your activities
- Do not twist when you are lifting heavy objects
- Take a break and rest for some time if your back hurts a lot
- If you are at a desk for a long period of time take frequent breaks to stretch your back.
- Make sure you have fully recovered from your upper back pain before you return to your strenuous activity and have the same range of motion before you had the pain or injury.
- Stretching and exercising regularly will strengthen your muscles and reduce pain
See your health care provider if :
- Upper back pain is caused by a serious injury like direct trauma
- Back pain longer than one month
- Numbness that falls to resolve
Exercise is an essential source for proper recovery from upper back pain. Here are some healthy upper back exercises that will strengthen your upper back muscles as well as the muscles of the neck and back.
Try these exercises for your upper back. Start each exercise slowly and ease off the exercise if there is pain.
- Lower neck and upper back stretch
- Mid-back stretches
- Shoulder rolls
- Wall pushups
- Resisted shoulder blade squeeze
- Resisted rows
Your doctor or therapist will tell you when you can start these exercises and which one will work the better for you.
Apart from all these keeping a positive attitude, reducing stress, and getting full night sleep are key to prevent your back pain.