Upper back pain is not as common as lower back pain, but it can cause quite a bit of discomfort and interfere with your daily activities.

In most cases, this is a short-lasting pain caused by a sudden movement and it will go away on its own in a day or two. But if the pain is persistent and/or it gets worse as the time goes by, you should visit your doctor and see what seems to be the problem.

Our mission with this article today is to educate you a bit further, share with you some of the most common causes and symptoms associated with this type of pain, and help you get pain relief.

Causes

Upper back painAs I`ve said earlier, the most common cause of upper back pain is sudden movement in this area. These are the movements we usually aren’t even aware of (when playing basketball for example or lifting heavy things), but as our body start to cool off, the pain starts to intensify.

Other causes include:

  • An injury – a hard blow or fall from greater height
  • Fracture of one of the vertebrae
  • Muscle strain
  • Slipped disc
  • Scoliosis
  • Vigorous coughing and sneezing
  • Arthritis etc.

You can, also, experience back pain after spending a considerable amount of time watching TV or sitting at your PC in poor posture. Poor posture is one of the most common hidden dangers threatening our spine, since it creeps up almost unnoticed and lead to all sorts of back problems. If you want to fight poor posture, you can learn how to do it here: Good Posture

Symptoms

Patients commonly characterize upper back pain as dull, burning or even sudden, intense pain. In addition to pain, you might feel some stiffness and tightness in the muscles, limiting your movement and maybe forcing you to assume poor posture just to avoid the pain.

Some of the more serious symptoms might include:

  • Numbness and tingling in your upper back, chest, shoulders, belly, down the arms and legs
  • Weakness in the leg or arm muscles
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Pain when moving your shoulders or bending your neck
  • Muscle spasms

Pain Location And Characteristics

There are times when people complain about pain in certain areas and while performing certain activities.

                Pain When Breathing

If the pain is so debilitating it interferes with your breathing, you might have a serious problem with your thoracic spine and you must consult your doctor ASAP. If you want more information about this condition, read our article at – Pain When Breathing Deeply

                Right Left Or Middle Pain

Every good doctor knows that listening to patients and keeping a good track of their symptoms will make their diagnosis and treatment much easier and faster. Sometimes patients are vague about the origin and location of their pain but sometimes they can pinpoint the specific spot and complain about:

  • Left Back Pain
  • Right Back Pain and/or
  • Middle Back Pain

Pain Between Shoulder Blades

We already talked about this specific type of pain in one of our previous articles and you can check it out here: Pain Between Shoulder Blades

Exercises For Pain Relief


Before we start go over some of the exercises you can implement into your daily routine and get upper back pain relief, let me say a word or two about prevention. You hear me talking a lot about prevention and the benefits of proper posture.

I do that for one simple reason – it is very important! In addition to good posture, other preventive measures include:

  • Stretching prior physical activity
  • Proper lifting
  • Make regular breaks, if your job requires a lot of sitting

As for the treatment, if you experience sudden sharp pain, your first option is to use an ice pack and hold it over the painful area up to 30 minutes. Do this 2 or 3 times a day and if you don’t feel relief, visit your doctor. The doctor will often prescribe anti-inflammatory medication or muscle relaxants and show you some exercises you can try out.

Some of those exercises are:

  • Pectoralis stretch – stand in your doorway, reach your arms out and grab both sides of the doorway. Now slowly lean forward and feel the stretch in your chest and shoulders. Hold the stretch for 10-20 seconds and repeat up to 5 times
  • Chair extension – sit in your chair, place your arms behind your head while crossing your fingers and start to arch your back until you face the ceiling. Repeat 10-15 times
  • Shoulder blade squeeze – stand up with your arms resting on your sides, squeeze your shoulder blades and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 5-10 times
  • Arm raise – lie down on the floor, bring your arms up to a 90 degree angle and start to raise them toward the ceiling slowly. Repeat 10-15 times

References:

http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/tc/upper-and-middle-back-pain-overview

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Back-pain/Pages/Symptoms.aspx

http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/student/health/pdf/T-Z/Upper%20Back%20Pain.pdf

http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/student/health/pdf/T-Z/Upper%20Back%20Pain%20%20Exercises.pdf

Igor About Igor
Hi everyone and welcome to our website! The main reason behind it was my desire to combine my two great passions in life. The first one was medicine and my desire to help people and when i combined it with my passion for blogging HelpYourBack.org was born! I hope you enjoy your stay and ease your pain with our helpful tips!

What Causes Upper Back Pain And How To Get Relief? Igor Back Pain
Upper back pain is not as common as lower back pain, but it can cause quite a bit of discomfort and interfere with your daily activities. In most cases, this is a short-lasting pain caused by a sudden movement and it will go away on its own in a day...
Upper back pain is not as common as <a href="http://helpyourback.org/back-pain/what-to-do-when-lower-back-pain-strikes/">lower back pain</a>, but it can cause quite a bit of discomfort and interfere with your daily activities. In most cases, this is a short-lasting pain caused by a sudden movement and it will go away on its own in a day or two. But if the pain is persistent and/or it gets worse as the time goes by, you should visit your doctor and see what seems to be the problem. Our mission with this article today is to educate you a bit further, share with you some of the most common causes and symptoms associated with this type of pain, and help you get pain relief. <h2>Causes</h2> <img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-470" alt="Upper back pain" src="http://helpyourback.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/What-Is-Upper-back-Pain.jpg" width="350" height="453" />As I`ve said earlier, the most common cause of upper back pain is sudden movement in this area. These are the movements we usually aren’t even aware of (when playing basketball for example or lifting heavy things), but as our body start to cool off, the pain starts to intensify. Other causes include: <ul> <li>An injury - a hard blow or fall from greater height</li> <li>Fracture of one of the vertebrae</li> <li>Muscle strain</li> <li><a href="http://helpyourback.org/back-pain/herniated-disc-a-comprehensive-overview/">Slipped disc</a></li> <li>Scoliosis</li> <li>Vigorous coughing and sneezing</li> <li><a href="http://helpyourback.org/health/what-is-arthritis-what-causes-it-and-how-to-treat-it/">Arthritis </a>etc.</li> </ul> You can, also, experience <a href="http://helpyourback.org/back-pain/">back pain</a> after spending a considerable amount of time watching TV or sitting at your PC in poor posture. Poor posture is one of the most common hidden dangers threatening our spine, since it creeps up almost unnoticed and lead to all sorts of back problems. If you want to fight poor posture, you can learn how to do it here: <a href="http://helpyourback.org/health/good-posture-can-change-your-life/">Good Posture</a> <h2>Symptoms</h2> Patients commonly characterize upper back pain as dull, burning or even sudden, intense pain. In addition to pain, you might feel some stiffness and tightness in the muscles, limiting your movement and maybe forcing you to assume poor posture just to avoid the pain. Some of the more serious symptoms might include: <ul> <li>Numbness and tingling in your upper back, chest, shoulders, belly, down the arms and legs</li> <li>Weakness in the leg or arm muscles</li> <li>Loss of bladder or bowel control</li> <li>Pain when moving your shoulders or bending your neck</li> <li>Muscle spasms</li> </ul> <h3>Pain Location And Characteristics</h3> There are times when people complain about pain in certain areas and while performing certain activities. <h4>                Pain When Breathing</h4> If the pain is so debilitating it interferes with your breathing, you might have a serious problem with your thoracic spine and you must consult your doctor ASAP. If you want more information about this condition, read our article at – <a href="http://helpyourback.org/back-pain/lower-and-upper-back-pain-when-breathing-deeply/">Pain When Breathing Deeply</a> <h4>                Right Left Or Middle Pain</h4> Every good doctor knows that listening to patients and keeping a good track of their symptoms will make their diagnosis and treatment much easier and faster. Sometimes patients are vague about the origin and location of their pain but sometimes they can pinpoint the specific spot and complain about: <ul> <li>Left Back Pain</li> <li>Right Back Pain and/or</li> <li>Middle Back Pain</li> </ul> <h4>Pain Between Shoulder Blades</h4> We already talked about this specific type of pain in one of our previous articles and you can check it out here: <a href="http://helpyourback.org/back-pain/is-pain-between-shoulder-blades-dangerous/">Pain Between Shoulder Blades</a> <h3>Exercises For Pain Relief</h3> <!--Ads3--> Before we start go over some of the <a href="http://helpyourback.org/back-pain/back-pain-exercises-for-lower-upper-back-and-neck/">exercises you can implement into your daily routine and get upper back pain relief</a>, let me say a word or two about prevention. You hear me talking a lot about prevention and the benefits of proper posture. I do that for one simple reason – it is very important! In addition to good posture, other preventive measures include: <ul> <li><a href="http://helpyourback.org/health/why-stretching-is-important-for-your-health/">Stretching</a> prior physical activity</li> <li>Proper lifting</li> <li>Make regular breaks, if your job requires a lot of sitting</li> </ul> As for the treatment, if you experience sudden sharp pain, your first option is to use an ice pack and hold it over the painful area up to 30 minutes. Do this 2 or 3 times a day and if you don’t feel relief, visit your doctor. The doctor will often prescribe anti-inflammatory medication or muscle relaxants and show you some exercises you can try out. Some of those exercises are: <ul> <li><b>Pectoralis stretch – </b>stand in your doorway, reach your arms out and grab both sides of the doorway. Now slowly lean forward and feel the stretch in your chest and shoulders. Hold the stretch for 10-20 seconds and repeat up to 5 times</li> <li><b>Chair extension – </b>sit in your chair, place your arms behind your head while crossing your fingers and start to arch your back until you face the ceiling. Repeat 10-15 times</li> <li><b>Shoulder blade squeeze –</b> stand up with your arms resting on your sides, squeeze your shoulder blades and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 5-10 times</li> <li><b>Arm raise –</b> lie down on the floor, bring your arms up to a 90 degree angle and start to raise them toward the ceiling slowly. Repeat 10-15 times</li> </ul> <div class="fb-like-box" data-href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/Help-Your-Back/206690312801362" data-width="500" data-show-faces="false" data-stream="false" data-header="false"></div> <b>References</b>: http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/tc/upper-and-middle-back-pain-overview http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Back-pain/Pages/Symptoms.aspx http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/student/health/pdf/T-Z/Upper%20Back%20Pain.pdf http://www.cumc.columbia.edu/student/health/pdf/T-Z/Upper%20Back%20Pain%20%20Exercises.pdf