Upper Back Pain
Upper pain in the back can happen anywhere between the base of the neck and the bottom of the rib cage. Upper pain in the back might be triggered by injuries or fractures, poor posture, disk problems, or other problems, such as arthritis. People with mild to moderate upper back pain can typically manage their symptoms at home.
What is upper back pain?
Upper neck and back pain (and middle neck and back pain) happens anywhere from the base of your neck to the bottom of your chest. Your upper and middle back is called the thoracic spinal column. Your thoracic spinal column has 12 little bones called vertebrae. Your vertebrae form your backbone.
Each of the vertebrae on your thoracic spine is connected to a set of ribs. Your ribs twist around your body to a long, flat bone down the center of your chest called the sternum. This forms your rib cage.
Your upper back also has disks that separate each vertebra. These disks absorb shock as you move. There are also numerous muscles and ligaments in your upper back that hold your spine together. Upper neck and back pain might be caused by various medical issues or injuries to the bones, disks, muscles, and ligaments in your upper back.
Upper neck and back pain is not as typical as neck pain or low back pain. This is because the bones in the upper location of your back don't move or flex as much as the bones in your neck and lower back. The bones in your upper back work with the ribs to keep the back stable. They collaborate to help secure crucial organs in your body including your heart and lungs.
What are the possible reasons for upper back pain?
Upper pain in the back might be brought on by various medical conditions and injuries. Conditions that might trigger upper pain in the back consist of:
- Pressures and sprains: Back strains and sprains are the most common reason for upper neck and back pain. You can hurt muscles, tendons, or ligaments by lifting something too heavy or not lifting securely.
- Poor posture: Many people with upper neck and back pain discover it hard to stand up straight. You may stand "jagged" or bent, with your upper body off to the side rather than aligned with your spinal column.
- Disk issues: Disks can slip or "bulge" from their position in the spine and press on a nerve. They can likewise tear (herniated disks).
- Fractures: The bones in the spine can break during a mishap, like an auto accident or a fall.
- Arthritis: Osteoarthritis is the most typical type of arthritis that causes upper pain in the back.
What does upper pain in the back seem like?
People describe the sensation of upper pain in the back in many different ways. Some people explain upper back pain as a sensation like:
- A burning or acute pain.
- A throbbing, throbbing discomfort.
- Muscle tightness or tightness.
- A radiating discomfort along a nerve.
- Tingling, feeling numb or weak point.
CARE AND TREATMENT
How is upper neck and back pain detected?
Your healthcare provider will ask you about concerns about your medical history, activity level, and signs. They will also ask you about concerns about your pain. These concerns may include:
- When did the discomfort begin?
- Where does the discomfort harm the most?
- Does anything you do make the discomfort feel much better?
- Does anything you do make the pain feel even worse?
Your healthcare provider might do a physical examination. They might have you lift or flex your legs to see how moving impacts your discomfort. Your doctor might check your muscle strength and reflexes.
Depending on what your healthcare provider discovers, they may purchase extra tests. These tests may include:
- Spine X-ray: Uses radiation to produce pictures of the bones in your spinal column.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan: Uses a magnet and radio waves to develop photos of your bones, muscles, tendons, and other soft tissues in your spinal column.
- Calculated tomography (CT) scan: Uses X-rays and a computer to develop 3D images of the bones and soft tissues in the spinal column.
- Electromyography (EMG): Tests the nerves and muscles in your spine and checks for nerve damage (neuropathy), which can cause tingling or feeling numb in your legs.
- Blood test: Can identify hereditary markers for some conditions that trigger pain in the back.
How is upper back pain handled or dealt with?
Your treatment will depend upon the causes and symptoms of your discomfort. Individuals with mild to moderate upper back pain can usually handle their symptoms at home. You can try handling your symptoms with:
- Non-prescription discomfort medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol ®) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- Heating pad to reduce pain and tightness.
- Ice pack to decrease discomfort and swelling.
- Medical massage.
- Getting lots of rest.
What else can I do at home to prevent or lower upper pain in the back?
There are numerous methods you can prevent or reduce upper pain in the back in the house. Additional methods consist of:
- Workout: Exercise can stretch and strengthen your upper back muscles.
- Great posture: Stand and sit high. Do not drop or slouch.
- Minimize tension: Try deep breathing, relaxation exercises, or meditation.
When should I call my healthcare provider if I have upper neck and back pain?
Upper pain in the back typically improves by itself. Call your doctor if:
- Your upper back pain doesn't enhance after a week.
- You develop any tingling or numbness in your legs or buttocks.
- You have severe discomfort or muscle convulsions.
- You develop brand-new symptoms such as fever, weight loss, or bowel or bladder problems.
These might signify a more severe condition.