Upper back pain can be extremely painful and frustrating, too. Since so many different reasons exist as to why you might be suffering, it’s difficult to determine the exact cause of discomfort but doing so is essential in order to effectively treat it.
Here are six possible causes of upper back pain:
1. Injury or Overuse
People who play contact sports, such as football, hockey or soccer, or who've pulled a back muscle from overuse and injured themselves, are at risk of suffering from upper, as well as middle and lower back issues. Experiencing a motor-vehicle accident may result in similar discomfort, as well, depending on the type of injuries sustained.
2. Poor Posture
Poor posture could not only cause back pain, but also neck and shoulder pain. Luckily, there are ways to address this, which can then improve your back discomfort. For example, one of the benefits of yoga is that it helps you develop better posture habits. Simply being mindful of how you’re carrying yourself is also helpful. If you have an office job, Investing in a standing desk at work could also be beneficial, since sitting all day can negatively impact your posture.
Cervical osteoarthritis may be another reason you’re dealing with back pain. As explained in a March 2017 article by back pain and neck pain relief resource, Spine-health: “Cervical facet osteoarthritis develops when your cartilage begins to degenerate, or break down. As your cartilage thins (or disappears completely), bone-on-bone friction occurs in your facet joints. This friction can create cervical bone spurs, or osteophytes.” Those affected may experience upper back and neck pain, as well as discomfort between their shoulder blades.
4. The Way You Sleep
Maintaining good posture when you're sleeping is just as important as maintaining good posture when you're awake. SpineUniverse, an online resource educating people about back pain and spinal information, shares: “When it comes to finding the best sleeping pose for your back and neck, think neutral. Positions that put your spine in a neutral, or straight, alignment put the least amount of stress on your back and neck.”
While there are several positions that would help you avoid discomfort when you wake up, SpineUniverse explains that sleeping on your back is likely your best option, unless you have sleep apnea, snore, or are pregnant.
Scoliosis refers to a deviant curvature of the spine, and can cause severe back issues. Symptoms include uneven shoulders and hips, and different rib cage heights. A person’s body may lean one way more than the other, as well. Oftentimes, scoliosis is diagnosed at a young age, as pediatricians will check to see if there are any abnormalities in a child’s spine during a checkup.
While there are some cases in which the condition is so minimal the patient will likely not experience any side effects, there are other cases in which it's severe enough that if gone untreated, the patient may feel physical discomfort on a daily basis.
6. Myofascial Pain
As discussed in one of our previous posts, myofascial pain is discomfort within a muscle and/or the fascia, which is the connective tissue around it. Associated pain and disorders include both upper and middle back pain, as well as hip and leg pain and tendonitis.
If you’re experiencing upper back pain, seeking medical attention is essential to healing. A trusted professional can create a customized recovery plan for you. This may or may not include: yoga, chiropractic care, physical therapy, trigger point therapy, 3D spinal decompression, and/or other therapies that focus on your spine.