What Are Some Upper Back Pain Risk Factors
Say you havent seen the doctor yet about your upper back pain, but youre pretty sure its not an acute injury. After all, you havent taken up a new sport. Maybe you barely have time to exercise, much less overdo it.
Believe it or not, that actually increases your risk of back injury. When youre physically active, the muscles in your belly and backyour corehelp support your spine. If youre sedentary, you might have weak muscles that contribute to upper back pain.
Lack of exercise is one of several factors that can increase your risk of upper back pain. Others include:
Excess weight. Since your spine supports the weight in your torso, excess weight could stress your back. Belly fat, in particular, is a problem: If you carry a lot of weight in your midsection, it can strain the soft tissues in your back. Conversely, weight loss can reduce pain though research suggests it may be even more effective as part of a holistic strategy that includes pain management strategies.
Belly fat can contribute to upper back pain, but weight loss can help relieve it.
Psychological conditions. Experts arent sure why, but you might be more likely to have back pain if you have depression and anxiety. In fact, some research suggests that people who have depression have worse back pain than people without depression.
What Are The Symptoms Of Upper And Middle Back Pain
Person affected by upper and middle back pain usually experiences these symptoms:
- Feeling dull, burning, or sharp pain
- Pain sensation can be felt at one certain point on the back or over a broad area
- It usually starts suddenly and it slowly gets worse
- In some cases, the pain is constant while sometimes it just comes and goes
- It occurs with muscle tightness and stiffness
- The pain aggravates when you do certain activities, or even move or sit in a certain way.
In some cases, affected person may feel symptoms such as:
*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.
- Weakness in arms and legs
- Numbness or tingling in arms, legs, chest or belly
- Loss of bowel or bladder control.
NOTE: If you experience these more serious symptoms along with symptoms of upper and middle back pain described above, you should see your doctor and treat the problem right away.
Middle Back Pain Treatment In Phoenix Arizona
There are a variety of effective and innovative treatment options for middle back pain. At DISC in Arizona, our first aim is to provide an accurate diagnosis. Because of the various potential causes, we use a proprietary diagnostic technique called Personalized Pain Diagnostics to find the specific pain generator.
Once we understand your unique pain journey, we work with you to develop a personalized treatment approach. As leaders in minimally invasive spine care, we always start with the least invasive option, including non-surgical treatments like:
- Stretches and exercises.
- Pain medication.
- Therapeutic pain injections.
However, if your middle back pain symptoms progress, we may recommend surgical intervention. The spinal care experts at DISC specialize in a wide range of surgical options, including minimally invasive procedures.
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Am I Likely To Get Back Pain
Several factors can increase your chances of having upper and middle back pain. Among them:
- Age.Back pain starts for most people in their 30s or 40s, and itâs more common the older you get.
- Being out of shape. The stronger the muscles in your back, shoulder, and abdomen, the lower your chance of injury.
- Weight. If you carry extra pounds, you put more strain on your back.
- Underlying conditions. Diseases such as arthritis and cancer can cause back pain.
- Smoking. Smokerâs cough can strain your back. And if you smoke, you may be slower to heal, which can make your back pain last longer.
What If I Dont Want Surgery For My Back Pain
An affected person might also additionally refuse surgical operation so long as they could recognize the selection, the impact that selection may have on them, and the act of their very own fine interest. A readily affected person has the proper to refuse any treatment, although itll shorten their existence, and select an alternative that gives the fine best of existence for them.
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Middle Back Pain Symptoms
Some of the symptoms of middle back pain include:
- A dull, sharp, or burning pain in the middle of the back
- Muscle stiffness or tightness
- Sudden middle back pain or gradual middle back pain
- Pain worsening with specific activity and movement
- Loss of bowel and/or bladder control
- Numbness in your arms, legs, chest, or abdomen
- Weakness in the arms or legs
While most cases of middle back pain can be treated at home, it is important to contact a doctor if you are experiencing any of the last three symptoms listed, or are also experiencing symptoms of a heart attack, serious illness, or injury.
Types Of Back Pain: Middle Back Pain Vs Thoracic Back Pain
When it comes to back pain, one size doesnt fit all. Not only can pain occur anywhere along the spine or in the adjoining muscles, but it can vary drastically in intensity and frequency. Because the spine is the casing that protects the most important elements of the Central Nervous System, back pain of any kind can be a warning sign of damage that should be taken seriously. Left untreated, some causes of back pain can lead to permanent spine or nerve damage.
Types of Back Pain
Back pain of any kind can be either acute or chronic. If the pain is acute, symptoms are generally sudden and temporary. In chronic cases, however, the pain returns regularly, over timesometimes unpredictablyand can make everyday activities difficult.
Back pain can occur for a variety of reasons, including the following:
- Muscle strains
- Muscle injury
- Narrowing of the spinal canal
- Vertebral fracture
- The natural processes of aging
- Degenerative disc disease
The regions of the back and spine can be separated into multiple sections: the cervical region , the thoracic region , and the lumbar region . The middle back is a somewhat generalized term that refers the area below the ribs and above the hips.
Thoracic Back Pain
Middle Back Pain
There are a number of elements that can increase a persons risk of developing middle back pain, including the following:
Treatment of Back Pain
Weill Cornell Medicine: Comprehensive Spine
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Supported Backbend With Bolster
A passive backbend requires very little effort, making it a great stretch to do at the end of a stressful day. Youll need a rolled-up towel or bolster for this stretch.
- Place the bolster on the floor and lie on it so that it supports your shoulder blades as they lay across it.
- Raise your arms over your head.
- Breathe deeply and relax.
- Remain in this position, allowing gravity to do its work and not trying to actively stretch for five minutes or more.
Variation: Turn the bolster so that it lies vertically under your spine or add another bolster.
What Is Middle Back Pain
If you have back pain, it can be difficult to identify which part of your back it originates from. You might think you have upper back pain if its at the top of your back, but this is actually defined as middle back pain. Middle back pain is when the pain is above the bottom of your ribs between your shoulder blades and below your neck.² The pain may be a dull, constant ache or a sudden, sharp pain that makes it difficult to move around.³
You might find that the pain may ease, or get worse, when you move into different positions.
So whats happening with your back? This can vary but its usually because of one of these reasons:
Upper back pain is when the problem is in your neck, although it can spread into your shoulder, top of your back, head and even your arms. It can make your neck feel stiff and the muscles in the surrounding area can spasm. The pain might be aggravated by certain movements, your posture and activities, and be relieved by others.
There are treatments for both upper and middle back pain.
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Middle Back Pain Treatment
Treatment for middle back pain is based on How bad your symptoms are. How much your symptoms prevent you from doing your daily tasks. How well other treatments, such as home back pain treatment, have worked.
In most cases, people with mild to moderate middle back pain can manage their symptoms with:
Vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty. These procedures relieve pain from compression fractures of the spine caused by osteoporosis, tumors, or other conditions. In vertebroplasty, bone cement is injected into the crushed area to stabilize the broken bones. In kyphoplasty, a balloon device is inserted into the broken vertebra and inflated to restore the backbones to a more normal height and shape. Bone cement is then added to keep them in place. These procedures are not done very often because most fractures heal on their own. Herniated disc removal. It removes the portion of the disc that is herniated and pushing into the spinal canal. In most cases, herniated discs that occur in the upper and middle back are small and dont need surgery. But you may need surgery for a large herniated disc that presses on the spinal cord. Spinal decompression for stenosis. It widens the spinal canal that has narrowed, and it relieves pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. This procedure is not done very often because spinal stenosis in the middle back is rare.
What Is Middle Back Pain A Symptom Of Covid 19
Although physicians are still learning about the effects of COVID-19, back pain alone isnt usually a symptom of COVID-19. However, if you have general muscle aches, headache, fever, chills, cough or shortness of breath along with back pain, it is possible that you could be dealing with a COVID-19 infection.
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Herniated Disk In The Upper Back
The backbone, or spine, is made up of 26 bones called vertebrae. In between the bones are soft disks filled with a jelly-like substance. These disks cushion the vertebrae and keep them in place. Although people talk about a slipped disk, nothing actually slips out of place. The outer shell of the disk ruptures, and the jelly-like substance bulges out. It may be pressing on a nerve, which is what causes the pain.A slipped disk is more likely to happen due to strain on the back, such as during heavy lifting, and older individuals are at higher risk.
Top Symptoms: upper back pain, neck pain, arm weakness, back pain that gets worse when sitting, upper spine pain
Symptoms that always occur with herniated disk in the upper back: upper back pain
Urgency: Primary care doctor
Middle Back Pain Stretches And Exercises To Relieve Pain
Lower back pain is a common complaint across the globe and its one of the leading causes of disability. What gets less attention but is arguably harder to treat than lower back pain is middle back pain. Middle back pain can be a complex condition, with many patients never finding out the root cause of it. The middle back is a complex part of the spine: its job protecting the vital organs is crucial, but its also susceptible to stubborn pain. If you suffer from middle back pain, here are some stretches and exercises that can help. As always, talk to your doctor to ensure these exercises will be helpful for your unique case.
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Middle Back Pain From A Herniated Disc
A herniated disc developers when a disc protrusion ruptures or herniates through the delicate wall of the intervertebral disc. As a result, the viscous material from the interior of the disc can spill into the spinal canal, thereby producing intense middle back pain from impinging on sensitive nerves on one side of the body. In most cases, disc herniation originates from gradual, age-related wear and tear referred to as disc degeneration. Signs and symptoms of herniated discs depend on the location in the spine and if the disc is pressing on a nerve. The most common symptoms a patient will experience include pain in the buttocks, thigh, and calf, numbness or tingling from the affected nerves, and muscle weakness affecting stability and the ability to lift or hold items.
% Of People Will Experience Back Pain At Some Time But There Are Ways To Find Relief
As people enter middle age, they are more likely to experience bouts of low back pain. In fact, according to the Harvard Special Health Report Men’s Health: Fifty and Forward, back pain affects about four in five Americans at some point in their lives and equally strikes men and women.
Age is often the culprit. Over time, the bones and joints in your lower back begin to change. Your discs tend to wear out and sometimes become fragmented. These structural alterations sometimes cause pain.
Another cause of low back pain, although it occurs less often, is a herniated disc. Sometimes, a disc pushes outside the space between the bones and compresses a nerve at the point where it branches off the spinal cord. When the sciatic nerve that leads into the buttocks and leg is affected, the pain is called sciatica.
Yet, most cases of low back pain stem from strain or sprain due to simple overuse, unaccustomed activity, excessive lifting, or an accident. In most cases the best move is to wait and see if the pain resolves on its own. If the pain does not improve after three to four days, then it’s time to see a doctor.
However, depending on the source of your back pain and its severity, you might try a few home remedies for low back pain to help ease the pain until your back returns to normal. Here are several options to consider:
Complementary therapies. Several types of complementary therapy may be helpful for relief from low back pain. These include:
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Causes And Diagnosis Of A Pulled Back Muscle
Trauma, stress, and tension may all cause strains and sprains. Some of the most common causes include:
- Falling, especially if you hit the ground hard or fall in an awkward position.
- Repetitive movements that stress and irritate the back muscles.
- Unsafe lifting, lifting while twisting, or lifting a very heavy object. Parents sometimes injure their backs throwing or playing with children.
- Excess weight that puts excess strain on back muscles. People who are overweight, people who suddenly gain weight, and pregnant women are more vulnerable to pulled muscles.
- A sedentary lifestyle. This may weaken the back, increasing the risk of injuries.
- Poor posture when sitting or bad form when doing athletic activities.
A medical professional may suspect a strain or sprain based on symptoms and your medical history. If another injury, such as a broken bone or herniated disc, is possible, the provider may do other tests, such as an x-ray or MRI scan.3
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Let Njss Treat Your Middle Back Pain
The solution to a patients middle back pain depends on the source of the pain, as well as the injury a patient sustained. The first step on the road to recovery involves consulting with a board-certified doctor for effective treatment approaches. Depending on the severity of the middle back pain, a patients spine doctor may recommend physical activity restrictions, lifestyle changes, medication, and physical therapy. For more intense middle back pain, a board-certified spine expert may suggest surgical inversion after exhausting all non-invasive methods.
I am pain free, walking and well on my way to recovery thanks to the help of New Jersey Spine Specialists Robert K
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General Back Pain Tips
The American Chiropractic Association provided the following tips, which can help prevent generalized back pain:
- Consume a healthy diet and lose weight if you need to.
- Remain active and avoid prolonged inactivity.
- Warm up or stretch prior to activity.
- Maintain posture at all times.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
- Sleep on a mattress that will minimize the curvature of the spine.
- Lift with the knees, while keeping the object close to the body.
- If you smoke quit! Smoking results in a reduction in blood flow, which can reduce oxygen levels and deplete nutrients in the spinal tissues.
Iii Apply A Cold Pack
For the first 48-72 hours, carefully apply a cold pack to the area to reduce any inflammation present. Protect the skin from any risk of ice burn with a thin towel before applying the pack. Apply for 20 minutes and use every 1-2 hours as needed.
Caution:Not everyone benefits from a cold pack. If you find applying cold only numbs your pain while you are still stiff, then either reduce the length of time you apply it, or avoid cold treatment. Some people are more likely to feel even stiffer with cold treatment. The goal is to relax the muscle, not shock it.
I recommend that you go with what works for you. Personally, I prefer heat instead, but everyone has their own preferences.
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Treatment For Mild To Moderate Pain
In most cases, people with mild to moderate upper and middle back pain can manage their symptoms with:
- Over-the-counterpain medicines, such as acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , to reduce pain. But if these don’t get rid of your pain, you may need a prescription pain medicine that is stronger.
- Over-the-counter muscle relaxants, such as methocarbamol . These can relax muscles and may reduce pain.
- Heat or ice to reduce pain and stiffness.
- Exercise to stretch and strengthen the muscles of your back, shoulders, and stomach.
- Physiotherapy to help increase your flexibility, strength, and balance. Your physiotherapist may teach you an exercise program so you can do it at home.
- Massage to help reduce muscle tension and pain for a short time and to improve blood flow.
- Spinal manipulation to help relieve pain and improve function. It can range from massage and slow pressing to a quick thrust.
- Acupuncture. It involves putting tiny needles into your skin at certain points on the body to promote healing and pain relief.
- Capsaicin cream may help relieve pain.footnote 1 Capsaicin is a substance contained in cayenne peppers. Capsaicin cream is applied directly to the skin over the painful area. Do not apply topical products that contain capsaicin to areas of broken skin.