The upper back, also known as the thoracic spine, supports the ribs, sternum, vital organs and the vertebrae below. Though it is fairly uncommon, upper back pain can cause serious discomfort. Because spinal cord nerves connect to all areas of the body, an upper back injury can lead to pain that radiates throughout the peripheral nervous system.
What causes upper back pain?
Upper back pain has various causes, ranging from seemingly innocuous irritations to chronic spinal conditions. Thus, upper back pain affects a wide range of people. In fact, 50 percent of all working Americans have back pain symptoms throughout the year, likely due to improper positioning while working at a desk. Other issues that can cause upper back pain include muscular and/or joint irritation, poor posture, stress, degenerative disc disease and chiropractic subluxations (i.e., abnormal separation between vertebrae).
How can I treat my upper back pain?
Upper back pain can be treated with a variety of methods, including prescription and over-the-counter medications and steroid injections. Other solutions such as stress reduction, weight loss and exercise regimens can be highly effective alternatives to medication. Additionally, chiropractic care can provide relief to those suffering from upper back pain. Chiropractors use spinal adjustment, which involves spinal manipulation with their hands or other devices, to treat back pain. They also help patients prevent future injury by teaching them strengthening exercises for the back and core and encouraging healthy lifestyle decisions. Some offices provide advanced forms of chiropractic care, such as structural correction and central nervous system enhancement. After consistent care with a chiropractor, patients are likely to have reduced pain, discomfort and inflammation; improved range of motion and flexibility; and increased muscle tone and strength.