The upper back, also known as thoracic back is the upper portion of the spine. Upper back pain can cause uneasiness between the neck and the lumbar spine and if not taken care of, it can turn to intense pain.
Causes of upper back pain are as follows:
- Poor posture – which can weaken the muscles and strain joint ligaments
- Overuse of muscles – tired muscles and joints can cause a pull in the spine alignment
- Osteoporosis, ruptured spinal disk, spinal injury
- Heart disease – such as Myocardial Infarction
The common areas affected by upper back pain are the trapezius, large triangular-shaped muscles and shoulder blades. Symptoms may include constant pain at the local area or sometimes the ribs may also become involve extending the pain around to the front. Some may also feel radiating pain to the arms due to the nerve supply from your upper back to your arms.
Treatments for upper back pain
Treatments for upper back pain include:
- Physiotherapy – concentrates on treating the muscles
- Physical Therapy – active and passive
- Chiropractors – adjusting of joints both in the spine and ribs
- Massage therapy
- Ice and heat therapy
- Medications – such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Simple exercise may be sufficient
If you think that your upper back pain does not require serious intervention, then you can try this simple exercises which you can do on your own. This may help relieve pain and discomfort.
- Pectoralis Stretch – you have to stand at the door’s entrance while holding the frame. Then start leaning forward. This will help tighten your chest muscles. Do it at least three times with a duration of 15 seconds for each set.
- Arm Slides – stand against the wall with your back facing the wall. Stretch your arms on the wall while your palms are facing outward. Raise your hands up and down repeatedly to stretch the muscles on your upper back and arms.
- Scapular Squeezes – Bend your elbows while keeping your palms facing outward. Then hold your arms up on the side of your body and move your hands backwards as far as you can. Do this for at least 20 times.