5 Common Causes of Upper Back Pain
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5 Common Causes of Upper Back Pain

Do you find it difficult to sleep or concentrate because of pain between your shoulder blades? Do you feel pinching and aching in your upper back when carrying grocery bags or other household objects? If so, you know the adverse effects of upper back pain.

Pain in the upper back can be extremely aggravating and even debilitating. If you’ve been trying to pinpoint the cause and find a solution to your upper back pain, here are ten common causes and ways to treat the pain.

1. Poor Posture

Poor posture is one of the most common causes of upper back pain. Slouching or hunching over, especially if you spend long periods of the day seated, can put pressure on the spine, cause tightness between the shoulder blades, and even begin to wear away at the discs.

What to do:

If you find yourself hunching over or slouching when you sit, set reminders to adjust your posture throughout the day. An alarm on your phone can alert you to adjust your position until great posture becomes a habit. Make sure to sit up straight with your shoulders and neck relaxed.

If you are working at a desk, it can also help to switch out your chair with a seat that has more lumbar support. Lowering or removing the armrests on your office chair will help you keep your arms in a neutral position and your shoulders relaxed.

2. Lack of Exercise

Back pain is often brought on by a lack of exercise. This is primarily because the spine requires strong muscles and ligaments for support. Plus, sedentary lifestyles can lead to poor posture, as explained above.

What to do:

To further avoid the complications of poor posture, make sure to take breaks throughout the work day. Use this time to walk around and stretch. This will not only help alleviate back pain, but should also help improve your concentration and productivity. Additionally, make sure to get regular exercise, including strengthening exercises and plenty of stretching or yoga.

3. Improper Exercise

While lack of exercise can be bad for the back, exercising with improper form can be just as harmful. Using poor form can lead to muscle strain, pull or a more serious injury. It can also cause you to underwork certain muscle groups while overworking others.

What you can do:

If you are learning a new exercise, make sure to take it slow until you understand and feel comfortable doing the movements. Using a mirror can help you keep an eye on whether you are exercising correctly. It always helps to workout under the supervision of a trainer or fitness instructor, who can help guide you through challenging new routines.

4. Kyphosis

Kyphosis is a spinal disorder causing forward curvature of the spine. It is similar to scoliosis, which involves the sideways curvature of the spine. Kyphosis can be congenital or it can develop as a result of problems like osteoporosis, arthritis, or the improper healing of a spinal fracture.

How it is treated:

Treatments for kyphosis range from pain relieving medication, to physical therapy, to surgery. Minimally invasive treatments like AccuCision® can strengthen the spine while correcting the spine’s shape and reducing pain.

5. Pinched Nerve

If you have a pinched nerve, you may experience sharp or burning pain, numbness, or tingling in the affected areas. You may also feel muscle weakness or twitching in the surrounding areas. A pinched nerve in the back can be caused by a larger spinal issue such as a herniated disc.

How it is treated:

There are many ways pinched nerves can be treated, both surgical and non. Non-surgical treatments include peripheral nerve stimulation, a non-invasive procedure that uses electrotherapy to reduce to pain and inflammation. If a herniated disc is the cause of pain, a microendoscopic discectomy may be performed to remove the herniated portion of a spinal disc.

Conclusion

While these are some of common causes of upper back pain, there are many reasons why you may be experiencing pain in the upper back. Additional causes range from lifestyle factors like sleeping on a bad mattress to severe conditions like a spinal infection. If you are experiencing severe or chronic back pain, visit your doctor to find out the best treatment option for your pain.

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