We’ve all been there, dealing with some type and severity of back pain that we wish would just go away. Upper back pain can make even the smallest of daily tasks difficult to do. Think of your spine, say, as a tree trunk. It keeps the rest of your body standing upright and tall, connecting various parts of your skeleton to one another. It also carries the weight of your upper body. Quite an important job, don’t you think? While it shares some of the weight with nearby muscles, keeping your upper back pain-free is important for a healthy and pleasant lifestyle.
Upper Back Pain Symptoms
The pain usually speaks for itself, but typically will feel like soreness, stiffness, tightness, tenderness or even lead to a headache. These are common symptoms of a musculoskeletal strain – although it could also be related to a spinal injury. When your upper back pain is related to your bones, nerves or discs, your symptoms may also include:
- Pain down your legs
- Low back pain
- Numbness or weakness in your lower extremities
Risk Factors For Back Pain
Some people don’t realize that certain risk factors can make you more susceptible to experiencing upper back pain. If you suspect that there was no specific incident or injury, your pain could be caused by something else, such as:
- Lack of exercise – When you’re physically active, the muscles in your back and core help support your spine. If you tend to be less active, those muscles may be weaker. Lack of exercise is one factor that can increase risk of upper back pain.
- Being overweight – Your spine supports the weight of your torso. Being overweight could put stress on your spine, particularly if you carry extra weight in your midsection.
- Psychological conditions – More needs to be researched on the exact reasons why, but depression and anxiety may make you more likely to experience pain.
- Smoking – It reduces blood flow to the spine, preventing the area from getting nutrients, leading to spinal degeneration.
Common Causes of Upper Back Pain
Most people have an incident playing a sport, or doing something around the house where they injured a muscle. The most common reason we see for upper back pain is a musculoskeletal back sprain, although a spinal cord injury is another possible cause.
Common causes of upper back pain include, but are not limited to:
- Poor posture or looking down for too long on a phone – text neck!
- Whiplash or a neck injury similar to it
- Improper technique for lifting something or carrying too much weight
- Repetitive movements
- Wearing a heavy backpack
Non-operative Back Pain Treatments
So, you have upper back pain – now what?
The range of treatments for upper back pain – and neck and mid-back pain, too – suggest there is no best option. In addition to chiropractic care, some non-surgical treatment options include:
- Over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Aleve), or acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Ice to reduce pain and swelling
- Heat to improve mobility and ease stiffness
- Work on posture and posture exercises
- Stand up and move more
Chiropractic and Pain Management Services in Chandler, AZ
At our chiropractic office in Chandler, we will diagnose and treat your individual situation. Give us a call to schedule your chiropractic visit soon! We have treated enough people with upper back pain to be able to assure you that you are not alone – and we can work on getting you feeling and moving better, pain free.