Although it may not be as common, the pain suffered from upper back pain can be very significant, and is often caused by muscle irritation and joint abnormality; rarely there may be damage to a disc in the upper back.
One factor to note is that the purpose of the upper back is stability, and protection of organs in the chest area, and unlike the lower back and neck regions, where mobility is constant, the chances of injuries are lessened.
Common causes of upper back pain include:
- Poor posture when sitting wrong for long periods of time
- Bending down and lifting heavy objects
- Disease in spinal discs
- A rupture spinal disc
- Whiplash from a car seatbelt
- Strain on the back
- Heavy breasts (particularly during pregnancy)
- Injury to that area of the back
Symptoms associated with upper back pain include a pain in the area, dull, sharp or burning, and the muscles feeling stiff and tight. This pain may come and go from time to time, and may vary in degree of pain.
Immediate action should be taken by consulting you doctor if the pain causes numbness, tingling or weakness in your arms, legs, belly or chest, or if find yourself suffering a loss of control of your bowel or bladder.
Treatments vary depending on the severity of the injury, although in most cases people can help themselves through easy treatments at home. These include:
- Stretching and exercising the muscles in the back, neck and shoulders
- Getting a massage from a specialist in order to relax the muscles in the back, and increase blood flow in the area
- Hot and cold treatment, where there is alternation in the application of both hot and cold packs to the affected area
- Use of over the counter pain medicine, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirins, and paracetamol, such as Tylenol.
- Acupuncture, applied by a specialist.