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Upper Back Pain: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment Options

Symptoms and Causes of an Upper Back Pain

upper back pain

Upper back pain refers to the presence of pain along the thoracic spine, between the shoulder blades or pain in the lower neck area. Nowadays, upper back pain is rapidly becoming common, and no one is immune. In young children and working adults, pain and discomfort are mainly due to the heavy bag packs they carry. In kids, upper back pain is often due to their bad posture while working at the desk. However, among athletes and laborers, an upper back pain presents itself when they overuse their bodies without giving it enough time to rest and recover. Degeneration is the cause when it comes to upper back pain in the elderly. Nobody is immune to this problem!

Due to the intricacy of anatomical structures on the upper back, the soft tissues (muscles, ligaments and spinal discs) are easily susceptible to injury. Several factors that attributed to the development of an upper back pain; muscle tears, damaged ligaments, nerve impingement, facet joint arthrosis (arthritis), vertebral fractures, arthritis and a slipped disc (protruded, herniated or prolapsed spinal disc).

Spinal Joint and Upper Back Pain

upper back pain

Facet joints (better known as “spinal joints” or “zygapophyseal”) are a common cause of the pain felt. In fact, published research in the Pain Physician cited facet joint (spinal joints) of the upper back (thoracic spine) as a common source of pain. Drs. Manchikanti,  Singh, Pampati, Beyer, and Damron published an article titled “Evaluation of the prevalence of facet joint pain in chronic thoracic pain” related that little attention is paid to the upper back joints of the spine. They also reported that the prevalence of pain due to a malfunction in the joints of the upper back at 48%.

Facet joint cause of an upper back pain is due to muscle and ligament weakness that lead to malpositioning of a spinal joint. Chiropractors call this posting a subluxation. Click on the highlighted blue text to understand the ill effects of spinal malpositioning known as subluxation. A separate study published in the “BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders” reported joints of the upper back as a primary source of upper back pain in 42% of the population.

We have provided a link to the abstract of the later research for your review here.  These eye-opening published articles are just the tipping point and of course the reasons why our clinical teams pay particular attention to your upper back as well as to your neck. In our centers, the care you get is through the best and most efficient research-based methods.

Slipped Disc (Slip-Disc) and Upper Back Pain

But, the joints of your upper back are not the only source of pain. Neck pain and neck issues such as a slipped disc at C5-C6 (C5-C6 slip-disc) do refer pain and discomfort to the upper and even mid back areas of your spine. Slipped disc (slip-disc) is rare in the upper back, but a slipped disc in the neck is a common source of upper back pain! In fact, slipped disc in the neck almost always refers pain to the upper back (shoulder blade area). Therefore, upper back pain and is the most common complaint of a patient who suffers from a cervical slipped disc (slip disc in the neck). Hence, it is imperative that you have your neck thoroughly evaluated by competent clinicians familiar with the spine as well as slipped disc disorders that impact the neck and upper back.

Another important thing that you need to keep in mind is that the thoracic region and the rib cage innervates and houses vital organs like the heart, lungs, diaphragm, liver, stomach, and spleen. With so much mechanical loading placed upon the structure, it goes without saying that the systemic functioning capability of these organs will also be affected.

Best Non-Surgical Treatments of Upper Back Pain

csc method

It is all too common to hear people complaining of upper back pain, stiffness or muscle tightness. However, as familiar as they may be, never take those symptoms lightly. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is not right; needing urgent attention. Heed the warning and do not neglect an upper back pain. Neglect or disregard of minor conditions often the reason why so many developed chronic and agonizing conditions. So, let our clinical teams help you feel better to live a healthy active life. Upper back pain or discomfort can affect a person’s posture, mental health and physical well-being in the long run. If you or a loved one is suffering from an upper back pain, please ensure to get their back checked. Do drop by or call any of our centers to book an appointment for your upper back pain today.

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