Know Everything about Upper Back Pain – Right from Causes to When you should Visit a Doctor!

Know Everything about Upper Back Pain

Back pain is excruciating, and it takes away all your fun from life. Neither can you sleep properly, nor can you stand for a long duration.

Back pain can be a trouble for your entire life. It is one of the most common reasons individuals miss work, and it is a foremost cause of disability worldwide. Thus, it becomes very essential to get rid of it as early as possible.

Back pain can be of different types; for example, upper back pain, lower back pain, and middle back pain. All the 3 types have different causes, risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment.

In this blog, we will converse in detail all the upper back pain causes, symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment.

Let’s get started!

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What is Upper Back Pain?

The upper back is also known as the thoracic spine. It is designed for steadiness to anchor the rib cage and guard vital internal organs within the chest.

The upper back is more resilient to pain as compared to the lower back and neck.

What are the Causes of Upper Back Pain?

If one has upper back pain, it is in most cases due to long-term poor posture or a wound that overpowers the thoracic spine’s robustness.

Upper back pain also develops without any cause that your doctor will be able to identify with an imaging study or test. Common conditions linked to upper back pain are:

  • Arthritis:Osteoarthritis mostly affects the lower back. In few cases, arthritis in the spine can lead to a contraction of the space around the spinal cord. It is a condition known as spinal stenosis.
  • Muscle or ligament strain:Lifting heavy weight repeatedly or a sudden jerk can strain back muscles and spinal ligaments. If you have a poor physical condition, continuous strain on your back can cause aching muscle spasms.
  • Osteoporosis:Your spine’s vertebrae can give you painful fractures if your bones turn out to be porous and brittle.
  • Swollen or ruptured disks:The function of a disk is to act as a cushion between the bones in your spine. The soft material within a disk can swell or rupture, as well as press on a nerve. You can even have a bulging or ruptured disk without having any back pain. When you have spine X- rays for some reason, you may incidentally find disk disease.
  • Sciatica:It is a sharp – shooting pain that travels through the buttock and down the back of the leg, which is caused by a herniated disk pressing on the nerve.
  • Kidney Problems:Even kidney problems or kidney stones can cause back pain.
  • Spine Cancer:Cancer or tumor on your spine may also press against a nerve and cause back pain.
  • Sleep Disorders:As compared to others, persons who are having sleep disorders are more likely to have back pain.
  • Other Infections:Bladder or Pelvic inflammatory disease may also be a reason for your back pain.
  • Shingles:Any infection that can affect your nerves may initiate back pain. This mostly depends on which nerves are affected.

What are the Symptoms of Upper Back Pain?

Upper back pain can vary from a burning/shooting/stabbing sensation to muscle aching. Along with it, the pain may radiate down your legs or up towards your neck. It can get worse with lifting, bending, standing, twisting, or even walking.

If you have hurt your upper back during the course of a warrior activity, you can experience:

  • Tightness
  • Headache Pain
  • Tenderness to touch
  • Stiffness

But, if your upper back pain is associated with nerves, bones, or disc of your thoracic spine, you will have different symptoms, which may include:

  • Pain down the legs
  • Numbness in legs
  • Pain in the lower back
  • Incontinence

For any mild upper back pain that you can evidently link with an activity, you do not need to rush for a doctor’s visit.

When to Visit your Doctor?

If your back pain does not steadily improve with self-care or home treatment, typically within a few weeks, in that case, you need to see your doctor. See your doctor if your back pain:

  • Is severe
  • Accompanied by unexplained loss of weight
  • It doesn’t improve with time
  • Causes weakness
  • Spreads down one or both legs

In few cases, upper back pain can be a signal of a severe medical problem. Immediately seek help from your doctor if,

  • Trails a fall, blow to your back, or any other injury
  • Causes new bowel or bladder problems
  • Accompanied by high fever

What are the Risk Factors associated with Upper Back Pain?

Suppose you have not visited your doctor yet for your upper back pain as you are very sure it is not an acute injury because you think that neither have you played a new sport or did exercise.

Whether you believe it or not, but doing so actually increases your chances of having back pain. When you exercise regularly, all your muscles in your back and belly help support your spine.

It is not just about age; anyone can get back pain, even teens or children. Below are the factors that put you at greater risk of having upper back pain:

  • Disease:Some kinds of arthritis and cancer can lead to back pain.
  • Age:Back pain is most common when you get older, starting around age 30 or 40.
  • Smoking:Smokers have a greater risk of back pain. This may happen because smoking prompts more coughing, which leads to herniated disks. It also decreases blood flow to the spine and surges the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Lack of exercise:Weak, idle muscles in your abdomen and back might lead to back pain.
  • Psychological condition:People likely to have depression or anxiety appear to have a greater risk of upper back pain.
  • Excess Weight:Having excess body weight lays extra stress on your back.
  • Improper lifting:If you use your back instead of your legs can lead to back pain.

How Can We Prevent Upper Back Pain?

By taming your physical condition, learning and practicing proper body mechanics, you can avoid back pain.

In order to keep your back healthy and strong, you need to:

  • Quit Smoking:If you are a smoker, you will have to say good-bye to your pack of cigarettes.
  • Exercise:Doing exercise regularly can help you with having low chances of back pain. Swimming and walking are good options. Consistent low-impact aerobics activities — those that donot stress your back — can upsurge strength and durability in your back and let your muscles function better.
  • Stand-Sit-Lift Smart:Have a neutral pelvic position while you stand. Choose a seat with proper back support. Change your posts every half hour when you are sitting for a longer duration. When you lift anything heavy, use your leg strength.

In short, back pain is a common illness, and the older you get, the more probable you are to experience it.

Do You Know?

According to Healthline, most of the Americans will deal with back pain at some point in their lives. For a slight percentage, back pain may become chronic.

With proper care, back pain can be treated. Very rarely will one need to see a doctor? And there is good news too! People who have back pain already and want to avoid such episodes can take preventive steps. Yoga, daily stretches, and strength training can help make your back and core muscles sturdier and more robust.

That’s all for today!

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