How To Relieve Back Pain
The following tips may help reduce your back pain and speed up your recovery:
- stay as active as possible and try to continue your daily activities this is 1 of the most important things you can do, as resting for long periods is likely to make the pain worse
- try exercises and stretches for back pain other activities such as walking, swimming, yoga and pilates may also be helpful
- take anti-inflammatory painkillers, such as ibuprofen remember to check the medicine is safe for you to take and ask a pharmacist if you’re not sure
- use hot or cold compression packs for short-term relief you can buy these from a pharmacy, or a hot water bottle or a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a cloth or towel will work just as well
Although it can be difficult, it helps if you stay optimistic and recognise that your pain should get better. People who manage to stay positive despite their pain tend to recover quicker.
Back pain usually gets better on its own within a few weeks or months and you may not need to see a doctor or other healthcare professional.
But it’s a good idea to get help if:
- the pain does not start to improve within a few weeks
- the pain stops you doing your day-to-day activities
- the pain is very severe or gets worse over time
- you’re worried about the pain or struggling to cope
If you see a GP they will ask about your symptoms, examine your back and discuss possible treatments.
They may refer you to a specialist doctor or a physiotherapist for further help.
Sideline Thoracic Rotational Stretch
With this stretch, you should:
Lay on the back on the floor.
Bring the knees into the body and slowly lower them to the right side, bending the knees to a 45-degree angle. The right arm should be under the left arm.
Push the right arm upward, lifting straight up and rotating it to the right side. Don’t move the hips, and don’t get discouraged if the arm doesn’t go that far. Turn the head to the right, as well.
Hold it for up to 30 seconds.
Go back to the original position and repeat on the left side to relieve pain and help with posture.
How Is It Treated
In most cases, people with mild to moderate back pain can manage their symptoms with:
- Over-the-counterpain medicines, such as acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .
- Over-the-counter muscle relaxants, such as methocarbamol .
- Heat or ice.
- Manual therapy, such as massage, mobilization, or spinal manipulation.
But if your pain gets worse and you’re having a hard time doing your daily activities, you may need to take a prescription pain medicine. Surgery is seldom used to treat upper and middle back pain.
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Medication From The Store
There are two kinds of over-the-counter pain relievers that frequently help with back pain: nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen. Both have some side effects, and some people may not be able to take them. Talk to your doctor before taking pain relievers. And don’t expect medication alone to solve your pain problem. Studies show you’ll probably need more than one type of treatment.
Tips To Manage Back Pain
These simple stretches can help to relieve pain and prevent it from coming back. Follow these tips:
Stay mobile because movement can help relieve any stiffness. Try to stay active and do gentle exercises and yoga throughout the day.
Take over-the-counter pain meds as needed to reduce inflammation and pain.
One thing to consider is to try massages and acupuncture to deal with long-term back pain.
Improve the posture with yoga and Pilates.
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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.
Why Your Back Muscles Hurt
This may sound suspiciously like common sense, but your back muscles hurt when you pull them too far or place them under too much strain.
But contrary to common misperception, the underlying cause of this back muscle pain is not poor posture, how much you exercise or even your genetic history.
Instead, poor posture can be strong evidence of the real cause. Exercise of the wrong kind can make it worse . And the good news is you can do something about this underlying cause of back pain regardless of your genetics.
The root cause of virtually all non-trauma related back muscle pain and a major contributor to many back conditions like herniated discs are muscle imbalances.
One way to visualize muscle imbalances and how they cause back pain is to think of your car. If the wheels are out of alignment, the tires will wear unevenly, making them more susceptible to an early blowout.
Imbalanced muscles do the same thing to your back. Muscle pain results when one muscle or group of muscles overpowers an opposing set of muscles that get stretched out of shape.
And heres the kicker many of the muscles affecting your back pain arent in your back!
For example, sitting all day long leads to weak abs, glutes, and hamstrings which go unused much of the day. In the meanwhile, your hip flexors, quadriceps and lumbar muscles remain tight to keep you in an upright position.
This video explains how muscle imbalances affect your pain, and how to fix them.
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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
Carrying A Heavy Purse Or Bag
One of the big mistakes we make when carrying a bag all day long is keeping it slung over one shoulder. This uneven distribution of weight leads to poor posture, spinal misalignments, and back pain. Try to use a bag that allows for even weight distribution or avoid packing the bag with too much weight if you have to carry it on one side.
This is important for kids too. Backpacks can get really heavy. Get children backpacks that evenly distribute the weight and encourage them to wear the bag properly rather than hefting it over one shoulder.
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Sensations That Might Indicate A Medical Emergency
1. Sharp pain rather than a dull ache: This could indicate a torn muscle or ligament, or a problem with an internal organ in the back or side.2. Radiating pain: This pain “moves” or shoots to the glutes or legs, which could indicate a nerve compression condition.
3. Sudden weakness in the legs: Limb weakness can be caused by compressed nerves in the spine due to conditions like sciatica or spinal stenosis. However, sudden leg weakness could also indicate a stroke.4. Incontinence: Back pain paired with inability to control the bowels or bladder might be a sign of serious nerve compression or a spine infection, such as discitis or meningitis.5. Numbness or pins and needles in the groin or glutes: This is known as saddle anesthesia and is also a sign of a serious nerve or spine condition.
If you have leg weakness, incontinence, and numbness together, you might have cauda equina syndrome, a serious illness characterized by spinal cord nerve damage. This is a medical emergency, and patients usually need surgery immediately to decompress the nerves and reduce permanent damage.
Related reading: Get help for back, neck, and leg pain caused by spinal stenosis
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.
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Exercises For Upper And Middle Back Pain
Pain in the upper and/or middle back can be quite limiting and interfere with daily activities. To help alleviate this pain, consider stretching and strengthening the muscles that support your thoracic spine . Here are 5 common exercises to try.
See Early Treatments for Upper Back Pain
Having A Great And Healthy Back Is Every Peoples Dream But What Can You Do To Keep It Healthy And Lowering The Risk Of Getting Muscle Spasms
Pain in the middle back is generally all uneasy sensation you feel in the area of the flanks such as the lower ribs on the back. These pains in the middle back are sometimes preventing us to do daily activities, and more patients come from different age, jobs, and their health background.
Usually, the cause is found by the quick or even lack of movement and comparatively long sitting at the desk are responsible for the back pain. In some cases, it is based on a simple spine deformation, which can arise, by a wrong posture when doing sport or exercise.
However, permanent pain in the middle back can also occur due to a misalignment or degeneration of the spine itself. But other organs dysfunctionalities can also be the cause of pain in the middle of your back.
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Lower Back Pain: What Could It Be
Do you have lower back pain? You are not alone. Anyone can experience lower back pain at any time, even if you dont have a prior injury or any of the risk factors. It is not always serious and can often get better on its own. But in some cases pain is your bodys way of telling you that something isnt right.
Learn more about lower back pain and what causes it from rehabilitation physician Akhil Chhatre, M.D., who specializes in back pain in the Johns Hopkins Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Simple Exercises For Upper And Middle Back Pain
Back pain can really put a damper on your day-to-day routine. Find out some common causes for upper and middle back pain and simple exercises that can help!
There are many causes of upper and middle back pain, and most of them are related to overuse or strain. Poor posture, overdoing it in the yard or lifting something too heavy for you can all put strain on your upper and middle back, causing injury and pain. For mild to moderate pain, these exercises can help give you some relief.
As always, talk to a doctor if your pain is severe or doesnt seem to be going away. If you have a serious injury, you may need to rest and recover before working on stretching and strengthening, and a physical therapist can be a big help. There are also rare cases where upper and middle back pain can signal something more serious, like gallbladder disease or even cancer, so definitely talk to a doctor if youre in pain for more than a couple of weeks.
Even with muscle strain, back pain can impact different people differently. Dont think of this list of exercises as a hard-and-fast routine. Instead, try these out, and cherry-pick the ones that work best for you. And if something hurts, back off or stop the exercise. You dont want to make your pain worse!
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Causes Of Middle Back Pain
What are some of the most common causes of middle back pain and when should you be concerned? Read on to learn more about why you may be experiencing discomfort in the middle of your back.
Poor posture: One of the most common causes of middle back pain is poor posture, especially if you sit at a desk for long periods of time. Hunched posture can cause tightness in the muscles of the middle of your back, so if you have a desk job, it is important to be mindful of how you are sitting. Try to sit up straight and stretch your shoulders often to keep the muscles in your back loose.
Muscle strain: Whether your job involves heavy lifting or you practice weight-lifting in the gym, ensuring you do so using correct form is crucial to preventing middle back pain. The pain experienced in the middle back associated with lifting improperly is due to muscle strain that can make your job or fitness routine extremely difficult and painful. Be sure to use the proper lifting technique to prevent thisbend at the knees and use your legs to help lift the weight, and carry the heavy mass close to your body to reduce the risk of painful muscle strain.
Vertebral fractures: More common in elderly persons, these fractures often occur in those with the bone-weakening disease osteoporosis. Prevent vertebral fractures by eating a calcium rich diet and taking the appropriate medications to help strengthen your bones.
Why Do I Feel Pain When I Cough
Some causes of chest and back pain get worse while coughing. This can happen with:
In some cases, you may feel pain when you swallow.
Causes of chest and back pain that can cause pain while swallowing include pericarditis and aortic aneurysm, if the aneurysm is pressing on the esophagus.
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Strains What Is Best To Help Pain In The Middle Of Back
The muscle mass, along with ligaments in the back, can tear or prolong as a result of excess activity. Signs include ache as well as rigidity in the lower back, along with muscle spasms. Relax and likewise physical therapy are solutions for these indicators.
If the disc proceeds the sciatic nerve, Sciatic nerve pain can accompany a herniated disc. The sciatic nerve attaches the spine to the legs. Consequently, sciatica can produce distress in the legs in addition to feet. This suffering normally appears like burning, or pins as well as also needles.
What Is Upper And Middle Back Pain
Upper and middle back pain can occur anywhere from the base of your neck to the bottom of your rib cage.
Your ribs attach to a long, flat bone in the centre of the chest called the sternum and attach to and wrap around your back. If a nerve in this area is pinched, irritated, or injured, you may also feel pain in other places where the nerve travels, such as your arms, legs, chest, and belly.
The upper and middle back has:
- 12 vertebrae. These bones attach to your rib cage. They make up the longest part of your back.
- Discs that separate each vertebra and absorb shock as you move.
- Muscles and ligaments that hold the spine together.
See a picture of the spine.
Upper and middle back pain is not as common as low back pain or neck pain, because the bones in this area of the back don’t flex or move as much as the bones in your lower back or neck. Instead, they work with the ribs to keep the back stable and help protect vital organs, such as the heart and lungs.
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