More Advanced Options From Back Pain Specialists
If pain becomes chronic and persistent, dont wait too long to see a back pain specialist. Back pain does not have to destroy your quality of life, notes pain management specialist Ellen Rosenquist, MD.
Combining a wide array of procedures including the conservative therapies above in a comprehensive pain management plan can reduce pain and improve functionality.
Drs. Rosenquist and Mayer agree that more invasive treatments can make rehabilitation easier:
Different Types Of Therapy
There are more types of therapy out there when interested in how to fix upper back pain between shoulder blades. Therapy can be handy anytime, but it is more efficient when the pain is triggered by an injury or exhaustion at work.
Massage therapy implies relying on a professional. An expert will focus on the area between the blades. Consistency is key because you want the muscular tissues to be fully relaxed. You can also find various devices to try out at home no need to pay for someone else to do it.
On another hand, an issue caused by a severe injury might be even more problematic. The same rule applies to compressed nerves. Stick to occupational or physical therapy at this point, you cannot get it done at home, so you will need a professional.
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How To Get Fix Your Upper Back Pain
Now that you know the probable problem area that is causing your upper back pain, you can pursue self-treatment or treatment for this problem.
Having done this work puts you way ahead of anyone who is blindly foam-rolling or massaging the pain just because thats where you feel it. The body deserves more respect than that.
If youre going to self-treat through foam-rolling, lacrosse-balling or youre going to get adjusted, try acupuncture, or get a massage, you have 2 months to significantly relieve your problem.
Heres a video of some decent strengthening and stretching exercises:
Or if your biased towards yoga, here you go:
If your pain isnt better in 2 months of consistent work at least 3-5 days/week , then youll need to find an adhesion specialist to fix your pain.
Adhesion is the most common cause of all musculoskeletal pain that almost no one talks about and is very easily removed by an expert. It acts like glue that causes your muscles to become tight and weak.
I live in New Jersey and fly/drive to Boston or Chicago at least once/month and pay $400 for my own treatments because I want the best care for my body. Unfortunately, if you want to get out of pain, it means doing what you have to do to achieve your desired result .
Below are two images of what effective treatment looks like for upper back pain coming from a neck AND upper back problem.
This patient was 80% better with his upper back and shoulder pain after treating and removing all adhesion from his neck.
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Confirm The Problem Area For Your Upper Back Pain
If the human body and the pain signals it sends were simple, thered be less people suffering.
Confirming the problem area for your upper back pain helps you increase the probability of pain relief in the future.
Kind of like shooting.
There are 5 bushes in front of you. If you know theres a duck in a bush 1 , shooting a shotgun into bush 1 will end up with high probability, hitting the duck.
But if you arent sure which bush the duck is in, shooting into bush 1 gives you a 20% chance of success.
Fortunately for our game, as long as you have 5 bullets, you can eventually hit the duck.
The stakes when it comes to your upper back pain that isnt going away are way higher. Were talking about your health, here. Go after the wrong bush, and now youre 20 visits into a chiropractic or physical therapy treatment plan with 0% relief. Or youve gotten 2 cortisone shots with no effect. Or youre now 70 years old, with progressively worsening upper back pain that is now much harder to fix.
Lets find the bush that has your duck in it.
DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP OF FINDING THE RIGHT BUSH.
With my crystal ball, I already know that any of you who have had pain for less than 2 months have already stopped reading to try to find a simpler answer for your upper back pain on a less lengthy blog or on youtube. Thats fine.
Any of you who are still reading, its because your pain has lasted more than 2 months, even if it does come and go, or because your pain is nearly unbearable.
How Can You Get An Upper Back Pain Diagnosis
When you go to a doctor for your upper or mid back pain, youll start with a conversation. Expect the doctor to ask you about any events that may be directly responsible: A fall, a car accident, or any changes or increases to your fitness routine.
You might be asked to rank your pain on a scale of 0-10. You should also be prepared to talk about how your pain does, or does not, interfere with the activities of your daily life. Can you cook dinner, get dressed, take a shower?
Then comes the physical exam: the poking and prodding part of your visit. The doctor wants to see how your upper back pain affects your movement. Expect to sit, stand, reach, and bend in the exam room. After that, youre likely to get an X ray.
If symptoms persist or you have red flags such as a progressive weakness or bowel or bladder control problems, you may get more advanced testing, Dr. Knight says. He explains that MRI would be the likely choice.
Heres a look at several types of advanced testing for upper back pain.
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Thoughts On How Sitting Causes Pain In Your Upper Back
Heres a handy tip. Pretend there is a spotlight on your breastbone. Try to keep it pointed slightly upward. And tucking a lift behind your waist is helpful, too. A hand towel makes a good waist support. Just fold it to the size that fits you best. A towel is easy to change sizes if it starts to bother you. A towel also makes a great waist support for car seats.
The most often you catch yourself and correct your posture, the sooner your body will start to remember where its supposed to be. And take lots of stretch breaks. Get your arms up and back and out of the usual position. Create a good stretch for the front of your arms and body.
Thanks for writing!
How often should I stretch? I used a computer for about 4 hours a day when I was getting my MBA. However, I got up and I didnt stay sitting for 4 hours straight. Now, I do that where I volunteer since I answer the phones. Im sitting for 4-6 hours a day and Ive only been doing this for a week now and my upper back hurts! So, should I get up and stretch one time each hour? My head always seems to roll foward since I like to see what Im reading on the computer. Would a larger zoom level help, or is this head rolling forward very common that even people with perfect vision do it too?
What Are The Recommended Treatments Or Drugs For Upper Back Pain
If the upper back pain is the result of a muscular strain, here are some home care remedies that can be done by the affected person. Cold compress application is performed on the affected area, either with the use of cold ice pack or any packet of frozen vegetables like frozen peas.
Over-the-counter pain relief medications may be used such pain relieving gel with an active ingredient of painkiller like ibuprofen is applied. Others use herbal type of gels to ease any pain or discomfort such as Arnica gel.
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Ways To Turn Good Posture Into Less Back Pain
Most of us get back pain at some point in our lives. It may be due to a sports-related injury, an accident, or a congenital condition such as scoliosis. But most of the time, upper or lower back pain develops during the course of day-to-day life. Repetitive activities at work or home, such as sitting at a computer or lifting and carrying, may produce tension and muscle tightness that result in a backache. One solution to preventing back pain is to improve posture.
In addition to improving your posture, general physical fitness and a healthy weight are important are important, too. But the surprisingly simple act of paying attention to improving your posture can go a long way.
Anatomy Of The Upper Back
Anatomically a lot of shoulder muscles anchor to the upper back.
Its a vast area when you consider it encompasses the Thoracic Spine and rib cage.
Muscles like the Trapezius, Rhomboids, Serratus Anterior, Levator Scapulae, and Latissumus Dorsi all connect to the shoulder and shoulder blade via the thoracic spine.
Interestingly, we often forget muscles like the Pectoralis Major and Pectoralis Minor also attach to the upper back – from the front. They also have a strong influence on normal shoulder function.
So its important to understand that the function of the upper back and shoulder is heavily linked.
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Application Of Pain Relief Cream
There are a wide variety of over-the-counter pain relief medications you can use to treat upper back and neck pain after sleeping. Pain relief creams that contain capsaicin are known to be quite efficient in treating night pain caused by osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, and rotator cuff tendinitis. Creams that contain menthol can also temporarily numb the pain and stiffness caused by sleeping in the wrong sleep position. However, using too much menthol cream may also cause you to be more sensitive to pain at night, so moderate use is advised.
Things You Can Do To Ease Back Pain
Any of these conditions can cause inflammation or pressure on nerves or pain. When this happens, Cleveland Clinic back pain specialists recommend:
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What Causes The Upper Back Pain Problem
There are different reasons why upper back pain occurs and here are some of the common causes:
- Incorrect posture while sitting or doing any work activity like spending long hours in front of the computer.
- Joint disruption or muscular injury.
- Lifestyle preference such as living a sedentary lifestyle where the person doesnât have any interest to do some activity and likes to sit most of the time at home. People who arenât engaged in any exercise regimen.
- Lifting of heavy objects alone and without any support or lifting device.
- Exposure to higher levels of stress in work or environment.
Pillow Use For Stomach Sleepers
Stomach sleeping, also known as prone sleeping, is a very problematic sleep posture. Stomach sleepers put too much pressure and unnecessary tension on their rotator cuff tendons, facet joints, stomach, neck, spinal cord, and back muscles. Medical professionals advise patients to avoid it altogether. The sleeping posture also requires the neck to be rotated to one side for breathing purposes, further increasing your risks of getting a stiff neck.
Pillows do not do a good job of support with this position. However, you can try putting a flat pillow under your stomach to increase the length of your lower back curve. This further relaxes the muscles and rotator cuff tendons. You can try propping your head with a pillow to retain your bodys natural alignment during your sleep.
Correct positioning is essential to ease back pain. Although pillows may be effective, they often fall out of place during sleep. The best way to eliminate, or at least curb, upper back pain is to ensure a good nights sleep. That is best achieved by using an adjustable bed frame that can put the spine in a neutral position that does not strain the vertebrae, muscles, or joints. A good mattress is also essential. It should cushion the bodys joints. The best way to avoid upper back pain after sleeping is by ensuring you get a good restorative sleep every night.
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Planking To Build A Strong Defense Against Rowing Machine Back Pain
Building a strong core is your best defense against rowing machine back pain. If you have a weak core, youre prone to overcompensate in your lower spine to complete a stroke on the rowing machine. This will also lead to lower back pain.
The classic plank is the most recommended move by rowing pros like Neil Totton, an instructor at CityRow in NYC. Its versatile and fits a wide variety of ages, kids to seniors.
This core stabilization exercise is great to ensure that your back is fit for rowing. It builds muscle while not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. Day by day, it strengthens your core and ensures more support and stability for your entire back, especially in the areas of your upper back.
- Improves your posture
How to do planks:
As get more comfortable with the move, you can hold your plank for as long as possible without compromising your form or breath. As you progress, you can also try the variations of planks, like elbow plank, side plank, single-leg plank, and more.
Causes And Fixes Of Rowing Machine Back Pain
Lets take a step back and find out the major causes of rowing machine back pain and how to easily fix it. Thus, we can row safely and pain-free to reap the rich benefits of rowing.
When it comes to the rowing machine back pain, overtraining, wrong rowing technique, and improper rowing machine setting are the major risk factors.
Neck Releases And Mobility
While sitting tall, rotate your head as far to the right and then as far to the left as you comfortably can. Hold each for 20-60 seconds while breathing normally. Tilt your head to the right as you pretend to lift your left ear to the ceiling, and then repeat to the left as you lift your right ear to the ceiling. Hold each for 20-60 seconds while breathing normally. Since youre probably sitting in an office chair, run the base of your head from one side to the other as though you were sliding along the top of your chair. Keep your body still and move only your head and neck. No tilting your head!
What Can I Do About Acute Back Or Neck Pain
The key to recovering from acute back or neck pain is restricting your activity and taking over the counter medications, because most back pain is related to muscle strain. In most cases, acute back pain will go away on its own over a period of days. Here are some tips that will help you recover:
1. Take it easy If you think you’ve hurt your back, ease up on the pressure you’re putting on your back. Many people actually have little choice in the mattertheir back pain will force them to drop to their knees or “freeze” in a bent-over position. Others will be able to function somewhat normally, but with uncomfortable pain. Contrary to popular belief, studies on acute back pain actually show that a few days of restricting your activity, and taking the appropriate over-the-counter medication, is all that many people really need to allow the strained muscles to relax and unbind. However, it is important to talk with your health care provider before taking any medication, especially if you are taking other medications or have a chronic medical condition.
2. Ice, then heat Remember this rule: “Ice first for 48 hours, then heat.” Ice and heat can alleviate local pain that comes from muscle and ligament strain. Ice slows swelling and inflammation and acts as a local anesthetic, but after 48 hours, it loses its effect. Using heat afterwards increases blood flow to the deep tissues and relaxes muscle spasms.