Upper back pain is so prevalent that we tend to become apathetic towards it. More often than not, we dismiss back pain as the result of just another long day at the office or strenuous physical labor. While this may be true, it is also indicative of the damage we cause ourselves if the issue is left untreated. Apart from cases of injury caused to the back, most cases of back pain start of as a low intensity nagging pain that comes and goes. Left untreated, this may lead to a debilitating ailment.
Upper back pain is mostly caused by improper posture, smart phone usage, operating computers for long time, continuous reading and bending the neck down. Other factors like trauma, sprain, herniated discs etc. are serious problems that need a combination of medical advice and physiotherapy. This excruciating pain can really hamper your life and will make you live on pain killers. Check out the causes and treatments for upper back pain.
Upper Back Pain Causes and Treatments:
Read further to know more about the different upper back pain treatments and causes.
1. Muscular Irritation Or Myofascial Pain:
One of the primary reasons for upper back pain is muscular irritation or what is medically known as myofacial pain. This happens when the large upper back muscles develop irritation. This could probably be the direct result of sports related injury, workouts or even lack of strength.
Most often this issue can be resolved with a combined course of physical therapy and pain medication. In extreme cases patients are known to benefit from acupuncture as muscular irritation is characterized by trigger points where the pain is concentrated. Chiropractic and osteopathic therapy and massage are also beneficial. This is the Comprehensive upper back pain treatment.
2. Upper Back Pain Due To Joint Dysfunction:
Upper back pain due to joint dysfunction can occur when the joints that connect the ribs with the thoracic spine on either side are subject to trauma or injury. Treatment in such circumstances usually involves chiropractic, osteopathic, physical and acupuncture based therapy. Exercising at home with the objective of stretching the upper body may be advised by a doctor.
Aerobics and similar workouts may have positive benefits for those suffering from upper back pain due to joint dysfunction. As the pain is often severe, pain relieving medication may also be necessary. Anti inflammatory medications are generally the drugs of choice when dealing with joint dysfunction. Common medications used are ibuprofen and COX-2 inhibitors. This is also be the best upper back pain treatment.
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3. Degenerated Or Herniated Discs:
While it is uncommon for upper back pain to be caused by degenerative or herniated spinal discs, it is not completely unheard of. Degenerated discs often occur as the result of old age, even as the discs that serve as a buffer between each vertebra slowly wear away. This can lead to herniated discs, where the soft inner core of the spinal disc may actually leak out and grind against sensitive nerves. Both of these conditions can cause varying degrees of upper back pain.
For Degenerative disc disease, exercise with the help of a physiotherapist is the most common course of action. Pain relieving medications may or may not be prescribed. Lifestyle changes will probably be advised as excessive smoking, consumption of alcohol and a stagnant lifestyle may actually aggravate the issue. In some severe cases, surgery is also an option. For herniated thoracic discs, an MRI will often reveal the extent of the damage and the course of treatment is decided accordingly. This is a perfect upper back pain treatment.
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4. Osteoporosis And Osteoarthritis:
Osteoporosis occurs when the bones are weakened due to old age, menopause, anorexia, kidney disease and other factors. No symptoms are noticed until a bone is fractured or broken. Osteoporosis is known to cause compressive fractures of the back bones resulting in upper and lower back pain.
Endurance exercises and strength training is known to help in such conditions. Medications to prevent chances of further bone disintegration and pain medication is also common. Hormone treatments are also one way to treat osteoporosis in women who have developed the condition with the onset of menopause. Osteoarthritis can also cause upper back pain due to decreasing strength of joints in the upper back. Once again a combined course of medication and exercise is the preferred mode of treatment. This is a effective upper back pain treatment.
5. Compressed Nerve in Upper Back
A compressed nerve can also lead to severe pain and discomfort in the upper back. When a nerve pinch happens in the tissues, there is a tightness and immobility of muscles experienced in the upper back.
The best treatment for this condition is to perform spinal stretching exercises. By gently twisting the spine, rotating the shoulder blades and performing a back flexion stretch, the pain can be eased to an extent. However, it is important to consult a doctor and perform it under trained supervision.
By making simple lifestyle changes, one can keep upper back pain at bay. It’s important to cut down on screen time and follow proper posture while working on computers and smart phones. Prolonged usage of these gadgets can permanently damage your neck and upper back. Regular exercise, good posture, sleeping on the right mattress can help you lead a pain-free and medicine free life.
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