7 Common Causes of Upper Back Pain

7 Common Causes of Upper Back Pain

Upper back pain can be caused by a variety of things. Some of the more common causes are related to pregnancy, aging, stress, repetitive motions or tasks, and improper posture. Here are seven of the most common reasons for upper back pain:

Pregnancy

When pregnant, your muscles relax and expand and this often causes a spasm that can result in pain in the upper back. The uterus also increases the amount of blood going into the back and this can cause irritation and inflammation. Pregnancy can cause lower back pain as well–generally, it can be a fairly painful experience all around, but a good chiropractor like our team in Georgia can help get you back on the road to a pain-free pregnancy.

Age

Age is another of the common causes of upper back pain. The muscle tissues in the lumbar region become weaker as we age and this can cause strain injuries to the spine. This usually happens in the lumbar area, which is the lower part of the back that curves forward towards the chest.

The position of the neck changes as we age as well, especially with an overbite or underbite. Overbite is a condition where the lower jaw is actually bigger than the upper jaw. Underbite occurs when the lower jaw is smaller than the upper jaw. Both can cause pain in the upper back. Lumbar treatment as well as jaw manipulation can help relieve the causes and lingering effects of this type of pain.

Stress

Stress can affect the neck area, the spine and even the shoulders. These areas of the body are very important as they are where the largest muscles systems are located. If we are stressed, our heart beats faster, which causes pressure on the neck and shoulders. It can cause strain and injury to the muscle tissue and ligaments. A good massage of the muscles to relieve stress tension in the neck and spine can be just what the doctor ordered.

Posture

Posture is another of the causes of upper and lower back pain. It can be caused from a life of poor posture and bad habits. For example, if we sit incorrectly, we will put excessive weight on our back or have a weak spine. Having physical therapy that will teach you the proper way to walk and sit can do wonders to break the cycle of back pain.

By exercising regularly you build muscle and retrain your body to act in a stronger way, but the opposite is true of poor posture. Instead of conditioning we refer to this as deconditioning, which comes from not using muscles properly over long periods of time.

Reconditioning the muscles takes time, but it can be done and anyone with chronic upper back pain should seek out chiropractic therapy to strengthen their upper back muscles to use them properly.

Straining and Bending

Other reasons that a person may have pain in the neck area include over straining of the neck area such as with lifting heavy weights or doing tasks that require a lot of bending over. Other problems with the neck area are also related to aging. As we get older, the nerve endings in the neck weaken and can be affected by many things, such as diseases and aging.

Overworking your muscles can lead to these strains in our upper backs. Repetitive tasks often cause undue stress on certain muscle groups, which can lead to chronic pain. Treatment of the overused muscle is often best done with hot and cold packs which promote blood flow to the area. A physical therapist or our Georgia-based chiropractors can offer exercises and treatments for these types of injuries.

Slipped or Herniated Discs

Some of the most common causes of upper back pain include a slipped disc or herniated disc, osteoporosis, strained or pinched nerves, arthritis, tumors, an infection, an injury to the spine or spinal cord, herniated discs, spondylolisthesis, or spinal stenosis (that is a condition in which a vertebra slips through its normal range of motion.) In addition, the muscles that control the arm and hand movements can also cause pain in the upper back.

Traumatic Injury

This can be anything from a slip and fall to a car accident to a work-related accident to any number of other things. Sometimes the injury appears immediately, hurting right away. In other cases the injury may take longer to appear. These injuries can be severe and need to be treated as soon as possible. Some which involve fractured vertebrae and injured nerves can cause lasting pain which may not ever go away on its own–but the symptoms can be treated through proper therapy.

Whatever the reason for your back pain, you should talk with your doctor or chiropractor about your condition. He or she can prescribe medication and other treatments to ease your discomfort and help alleviate the pain. so that you can get on with your life.

If you are having pain in the neck area, then your treatment options include medication, exercise, therapy, massage and chiropractic treatment. and physical therapy. When trying to determine the right course of action for treating lower back pain, it’s best to take it one step at a time. Consult with your doctor for advice and recommendations.

It may take several weeks to several months for your pain to subside. If you are suffering from chronic pain, it may take several months before you can resume full activity again. 

In the meantime, it’s important that you avoid lifting anything heavy and stay away from activities that may potentially cause you to stress your back or cause further damage to it. Avoid lifting of heavy objects, such as bicycles, wheelbarrows, or anything else that requires extreme weight.

If you have a degenerative condition that affects the nervous system in your back such as osteoporosis, you may be advised to wear a brace or support while lifting anything. For more severe cases, you may be advised to wear a splint while standing or sitting, since this can also increase the amount of pressure on the spine.

Our specialized team of chiropractors in Georgia, from Morrow to Jonesboro to Stockbridge, are prepared to help you deal with your chronic upper back pain.

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