The upper and middle back pain is commonly caused as a result of poor posture, overuse of muscles or injury. Let’s talk about Chronic Upper and Middle Back Pain Treatment.
The upper and middle back pain is not so common like the lower back pain. This is because the bones in the upper and middle back do not move or twist as much as the bones at the lower back.
It is also because the upper and middle back doesn’t carry much of the body’s weight as much as the lower back.
The upper and middle backbones connect with the rib cage to help protect vital organs such as the heart, lungs, and liver.
The upper and middle back is the area between the base of the neck and the bottom of the ribcage. It is made up of 12 bones called the thoracic vertebrae which begin from the base of the neck down to the bottom of the ribcage. The pain can be felt anywhere between these bones.
Causes of Upper and Middle Back Pain
There are several causes of upper and middle back pain. The pain could be a minor or chronic pain depending on the cause. The causes of upper and middle back pain include:
Sitting at a desk for a long time with a poor posture pushes pressure of the body on the spine, neck, disks, and ligaments which lead to pain. It also weakens the muscles and other soft tissues which leads to pain. Leaning on a particular side more often for a long time such as long hours of driving, sitting on a particular position, looking at a particular direction for a long time could lead to upper and middle back pain.
Lifting of objects for long hours could put pressure on the muscles, cause ligament strains which leads to pain. Repetitive activities of the same motion for long hours leads to overuse of the muscles which causes pain.
Improper lifting technique
Lifting heavy objects without properly aligning the spine could cause irregular strain and stress on the upper and middle back. Lifting objects that are very heavy and moving towards the right or left can lead to pains of the upper and lower back.
Accident or injury
A traumatic injury caused as a result of a car accident, slipping, falling or from an exercise can cause severe pain to the upper and middle back. Injuries could lead to fracture of the vertebrae, nerve damage, spinal bones, etc, could lead to severe upper and middle back pain.
Herniated discs are most common at the lower back, however, it could also occur at the middle and upper back. The small amount of pressure on the spine could lead to pain in the upper and middle back.
Various types of arthritis such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid could affect the thoracic spine which leads to pain at the upper and middle back.
When a herniated disk slip very far it could compress the nearby nerve which causes a pinched nerve. A pinched nerve could lead to different conditions and also pains at the upper and middle back.
Spinal infection such as epidural abscess could lead to pain at the upper and middle back.
Myofascial occur when a muscle is contracted over time. It mostly happens when an individual engages in repetitive activity over time.
Factors that increase having upper and middle back pain
When you are overweight, more strain is exerted on the upper and middle back will increase the chances of sustaining pain.
The more an individual grows older, the chances of developing upper and middle back pain increases.
Smoking leads to several diseases which include back pain. It increases cough which causes strain to the upper and middle back.
Underlying health conditions
Individuals with different health conditions such as arthritis and other health conditions are more at risk of developing back pains.
Diagnosis of Upper and Middle Back Pain
Diagnosing upper and middle back pain could be through physical examination or medical test.
Your doctor can diagnose the pain by examining your spine, pelvis, head, arms, legs, and abdomen. All these will help your doctor to know the areas that are affected. Your doctor will also ask about your health, your daily activities, the kind of work you do and other symptoms for proper diagnosis.
There different medical tests that can be done to diagnose the cause of upper and middle back pain. Imaging and neurological tests are done to diagnose the cause of the pain. Tests such as X-rays, MRI scan, CT scan, and ultrasound can be used for diagnosis.
Treatment of Upper and Middle Back Pain
There are different ways to treat upper and middle back pain. Moderate pain can be self-treated while severe pain may require medical attention. Treatment includes:
Stretching and exercising
Stretching and exercises that require flexibility can help to reduce or eliminate back pain. Exercises such as walking, cycling, swimming, jogging can help improve your body structure and increase muscular strength. It also improves blood flow, reduces muscle spasm and tension, and enhances soft tissue mobility. Stretching and yoga help to increase flexibility, keep your spine properly aligned with your body, and help relieve upper and middle back pains.
Apply ice or heat
Ice or heat can be used to reduce pain, swelling, and stiffness of the back.
Over-the-counter pain medications help to reduce or stop back pain. Medicines such as Tylenol, ibuprofen, aspirin, Motrin can be used to reduce pains and swelling in the upper and middle back.
Physical therapy such as spinal manipulation and massage can help reduce tension and strain in the muscle and also help to improve blood circulation.
Practice good posture
Poor posture is one of the most common causes of upper and middle back pain. Always keep a good posture that doesn’t exert pressure on your upper and middle back. Keep your shoulders rolled back when sitting, alternate positions at intervals and don’t look at a particular direction for too long.
Acupuncture can also be used to treat upper and middle back pain.
- Steroid Injections
- Chiropractic care