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What To Do For Severe Upper Back Pain

Do You Need Surgery For Whiplash

How To Fix Chronic Low Back Pain || Simple Lower Back Stretches

If youre on the severe side of the scale especially if your pain persists even after youve undergone non-surgical treatment your health care provider may recommend whiplash surgery. The need for surgery depends on the severity of the injury and the parts of your spine involved. The hyperextension and hyperflexion that characterize whiplash can cause damage to important structures in the neck, and its those that need to be treated with surgery.

Trauma from whiplash can cause a herniated disc, when one or more intervertebral discs that sit between the vertebrae and act as shock absorbers are damaged. A part of the soft inner layer of the disc can punch through the hard outer layer and compress a nearby nerve root, which can cause pain, tingling, numbness or weakness. Standard treatment for a herniated disc is a microdiscectomy, a minimally invasive procedure in which the surgeon removes the portion of the disc thats compressing the nerve.

Sometimes its beneficial to reduce the movement of damaged vertebrae after whiplash, and a cervical fusion is one way to do so. Fusion surgery uses a tissue graft to encourage vertebrae to grow together, eliminating potentially painful movement. In one study, some patients who experienced stabbing neck pain with movement found relief from cervical fusion.

  • Electroacupuncture
  • Ultrasound
  • Hydrotherapy

Diagnosis Of Upper Right Back Pain

Diagnosis is made with history taking and physical examination. Recent history of fall, accidents or injuries suggest cause of pain is tissue injuries. Examination reveals the anatomical location of tissue injury.

  • White Blood Cell Count – White blood cell count is increased when cause of pain is infection. Increased level of WBC is observed when individual suffering with upper back pain on right side is also suffering with right side pneumonia, hepatitis, cholecystitis and right side pyelonephritis .
  • Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate – Increased rate of ESR is found when individual is suffering with chronic infection and anemia. Anemia is caused by cancer of liver, lung and kidney.
  • Radiological Studies- Radiological studies include detailed reading of images of X-Ray, Computerized tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging images. X-rays, bones scans and MRI are performed to find bone, muscle, ligament and soft tissue fracture, tear, diseases and cancer growth.
  • Ultrasonography- Ultrasound study of lungs, kidney, pancreas and liver helps to diagnose abnormal conditions of these organs that causes pain. Nerve Conduction Studies- Nerve conduction study shows abnormalities of spinal and intercostal nerve. If the pain is caused by abnormal spinal or intercostal nerve condition then nerve conduction study helps to diagnose disease that causes pain.
  • Overuse Muscle Strain Or Injury

    A muscle strain is a twist or tear in a muscle or tendon. Overexertion, or the repetitive movements involved with activities like shoveling snow, leaning over a computer, or playing sports can result in muscle strain.

    Sudden twisting, or heavy lifting can also cause this condition. A fall, car collision, or sudden impact of any kind can cause injury ranging from mild to severe in the back.

    Mild injuries can take the form of muscle strain, sprains, or spasms. A sprain is a stretch or tear in a ligament. A spasm is a sudden contraction in a muscle. Other symptoms include:

    • reduced range of motion in the arm or shoulder
    • increased pain with movement of the shoulder, arm, or back

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    What Are Common Upper Back Pain Treatments

    The range of treatments for upper back pain and neck and mid-back pain, too suggest there is no best option. These are some examples of different approaches that may help you.

    In most cases, upper back pain is not a cause for worry however, it can be uncomfortable, painful, and inconvenient. Furthermore, if pain develops suddenly and is severesuch as from an injury and, certainly if pain and symptoms progressively worsen you should seek medical attention.

    Simple home remedies. In general, the following home treatments may help relieve upper back pain. Ignore the hype about special products marketed on TV or social media. Stick with what science says works, at least for most people with minor musculoskeletal strain:

    • Gentle stretches
    • Over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen , naproxen , or acetaminophen
    • Ice to reduce pain and swelling
    • Heat to improve mobility and ease stiffness

    Posture exercises. If your posture is good, your spinal structures should be correctly aligned, which reduces back strain. Start with these strategies to improve the way you stand or sit.

    Injections. A trigger point injection is a direct shot of powerful pain medicine. It may solve your problem, or it may just buy you enough pain-free time to pursue other interventions to get your upper back pain in check.

    How K Health Can Help

    Chronic Lower Back Pain

    There are steps you can take to prevent and treat upper back pain. Did you know you can get affordable primary care with the K Health app? Download K to check your symptoms, explore conditions and treatments, and if needed text with a doctor in minutes. K Healths AI-powered app is HIPAA compliant and based on 20 years of clinical data.

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    What Is Upper Back Pain

    Many people experience pain between their neck and shoulder blades. This is called upper back pain. Upper back pain can be constant or occur only when doing activities. Sometimes upper back pain can be so severe that it interferes with normal life. A doctor can help diagnose and help determine what to do to relieve upper back pain.

    Upper back pain is the discomfort experienced between the neck and shoulder blades. If you have upper back pain, you may have symptoms that come on gradually or all at once. This could include:

    • Sharp, stabbing sensation

    Upper back pain may be caused by several different things like:

    Upper back pain can affect anyone.

    You Feel Pain In The Side Too

    Anyone whos had a kidney stone knows theyre quite agonizingand they may cause upper back pain, says Dr. Ghannad. Its unlikely that this is the only symptom youll notice though. You may also feel severe pain in your side and back below your ribs, the Mayo Clinic notes. Discomfort while peeing or red- or brown-hued urine may be other clues. The best advice? If pain is severe and persistent, its a good idea to be evaluated by a physician, says Ghannad.

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    Lung Diseases That Can Cause Upper Right Back Pain

  • Pleuritis
  • Pleural Effusion
  • Lung Cancer

    Respiratory conditions or lung infections on right side can cause chest pain and upper right back pain. Lung infection or cancer associated with cough, difficulty in breathing and sometimes fever.

  • Pleuritis- Pleura is a thin membrane covers lungs and the chest wall. The pleura that covers lung is known as visceral pleura and one covers chest wall is known as parietal pleura. Infection or inflammation of pleura is known as pleuritis. Pleuritis of right sided pleura causes symptoms of right upper back pain.
  • Pneumonia6 Lung infection is known as pneumonia. Right lung pneumonia causes right side chest pain, cough and fever.
  • Pleural Effusion- Pleural effusion is collection of fluid between parietal and visceral pleura. Such condition is observed when individual is suffering with inflammation of pleura or heart failure. Right sided pleural effusion causes right upper back pain and short of breath.
  • Lung Cancer- Right lung cancer causes pain over right upper back.
  • What Are Some Upper Back Pain Risk Factors

    Spectacular YouTube Video on Severe Chronic Low Back Pain Patient

    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.

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    Can I Prevent Neck And Back Pain

    The following may help to prevent back and neck pain:

    • Practice correct lifting techniques. Don’t lift heavy items. When you do lift something, bend your legs, keep your back straight, and then slowly lift your body and the object.
    • Wear a seat belt in motor vehicles in case of a collision.
    • Use telephones, computers, and other equipment correctly.
    • Maintain correct posture while sitting, standing, and sleeping.
    • Exercise regularly. Learn back-strengthening exercises to keep your back and belly muscles strong. Warm up with stretching exercises before doing exercises.
    • Do exercises that improve your balance.
    • Don’t smoke.
    • Stay at a healthy weight.
    • Reduce emotional stress that may cause muscle tension.
    • Get enough vitamin D and calcium in your diet.

    Possible Complications And Side Effects

    Knowing what treatment can help relieve upper back pain and understand how that treatment might affect your body is essential. Here are some potential side effects to be aware of:

    • The same exercises dont work for everyone. Make sure to consult your doctor before beginning a new workout to help relieve upper back pain.
    • Injection-based treatments may not always work and may cause swelling, bruising, and pain.
    • Having surgery comes with serious risks like blood loss, nerve damage, or infection. Also, surgery doesnt guarantee that the pain in your upper back will go away.

    Other medications may have different side effects. Consult your health care provider about possible complications of any medications you might take to relieve upper back pain.

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    How Can You Get A Whiplash Diagnosis

    The most important thing you can do, if you think theres a chance you have whiplash, see a doctor for a proper whiplash diagnosis. If youre in a lot of pain and your regular doctors offices arent open, go to an urgent care facility. Dont wait see a medical professional immediately.

    Its important to have a physical examination and relevant imaging studies of the cervical spine to rule out a fracture or other associated conditions, Dr. Tyndall says.

    When getting checked out for a neck injury, youll start with a physical exam. Expect your doctor to touch and move your head, neck, and arms. You will be asked to move and perform simple tasks so that your doctor can explore:

    • Range of motion in your neck and shoulders
    • Degree of motion that causes pain or an increase in pain
    • Tenderness in your neck, shoulders or back
    • Reflexes, strength and sensation in your limbs

    Chances are youll also get imaging studies, which enable doctors to look inside your neck. You may get one or more of the following:

    When Should I Worry About Upper Back Pain

    chronic low back pain

    Much of the time, upper back pain is not serious, but in some cases, it may be a sign of a medical issue that needs to be addressed.

    See a doctor if the upper back pain is:

    • Sharp, rather than dull: Could be a sign of a torn muscle or ligament, or a problem with an internal organ in the back or side
    • Radiating to the buttocks or legs: may be a sign of nerve compression or damage
    • Associated with deep inhalations: could be a sign of an infection or blood clot in lung
    • Associated with pain in the chest or upper abdomen: could be a sign of problem with the aorta or gallbladder

    Also see a doctor if you have upper back pain accompanied by any of the following symptoms or any of the following underlying conditions:

  • May be a sign of infection
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Can be a sign of a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or sciatica
  • If left untreated, prolonged nerve irritation and damage can lead to permanent impairment
  • If numbness or tingling occurs in the groin or glutes, its called saddle anesthesia and is a sign of a serious nerve or spine condition
  • Sudden weakness in the legs
  • May be caused by compressed nerves
  • Sudden leg weakness could also indicate a stroke
  • Loss of bowel or bladder function
  • Can be a sign of a rare and serious condition called cauda equina syndrome, in which the nerve roots in the lower end of the spinal cord have become compresses and paralyzed
  • Cauda equina syndrome is a medical emergency that requires immediate attention
  • Foot drop
  • Pain at night
  • Prolonged pain
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    When Upper Back Symptoms Need Medical Attention

    If upper back pain is accompanied by any of the following, it should be checked by a doctor immediately:

    • Problems with balance or walking
    • Difficulty with bladder or bowel control
    • Pins-and-needles tingling, weakness, and/or numbness anywhere in the upper back or below, such as in the chest, stomach, buttock, or down the legs
    • Trouble breathing

    Now Say Goodbye To Back Pain When You Cough

    That nagging back pain when you cough, whether it be upper or lower back is often caused by a muscle strain. These muscle strains can come about for a number of reasons: repetitive, awkward movements, poor posture, inactivity, and even the action of coughing.Take care of your back and practice good posture and body mechanics every day to get rid of and prevent further pain and distress.

    Meet the AuthorShannon is a nurse practitioner with an array of clinical experience. She is particularly passionate about health promotion and disease prevention. When she’s not nurse practitioner-ing or writing, she enjoys reading, cooking, and yoga. You can check out her blog at .

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    Lower Abdominal Pain That Spreads To The Back

    For pain in the lower abdomen that spreads tothe back, there are several possible causes, including irritable bowelsyndrome. The other causes include:


    Cystitis is a common and treatable infection of thekidneys, bladder, or urethra. It is often characterised by inflammation in the bladder.Those who suffer from cystitis tend to feel more tired than usual, pass urinemore often, and experience burning or stinging during urination.

    Cystitis can also cause:

    • A dull ache in the lower abdomen around or just below the bikini line
    • Pain that worsens when leaning forward
    • Pain that spreads to the lower back and sometimes to one side of your back
    • A feeling of sickness and loss of appetite

    Darkerurine, often accompanied by a stronger odour

    Ovarian Cysts

    • Ovarian cysts are a common cause of abdominal and backpain on the right side, and abdominal pain on the lower left side in women betweenthe ages of 13 and 53. The pain of ovarian cyst typically: Starts on one side of the lower abdomen and spreads to the hip on that side, and to the lower back and upper thigh Continues but occasionally increases in severity Occurs a few days after menstruation, and for two weeks thereafter Lasts for a few hours but can become very bad within daysLeadto vomiting and abdominal bloating and severe pain if the ovary is twisted

    Menstrual Pain

    Menstrual pain is followed a few days later with avaginal bleed. The pain tends to get better after the bleeding has gone onfor a few days.

    How Can You Care For Yourself At Home

    Severe Lower Back Pain Gone In 1 Adjustment What Are You Waiting For? Advanced Chiropractic Relief

    There are several things you can do at home to help reduce your pain. For example:

      • Rest. If your back hurts a lot, take a break. But try not to let too much time pass before you get moving again. Instead, return to your activities slowly.
      • Use over-the-counter pain medicines, such as acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . These can reduce pain and swelling. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
      • Use over-the-counter muscle relaxants, such as methocarbamol . These can relax muscles and may reduce pain, but they may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or lightheadedness.
      • Use a heating pad or ice pack. Heat can reduce pain and stiffness. Ice can help reduce pain and swelling.
      • Exercise. Exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles in your back, shoulders, and stomach can help improve your posture, decrease your chance of injury, and reduce pain.
      • Practice good posture. Be sure to stand or sit tall. Don’t slump or slouch.
      • Learn ways to reduce stress. You might try deep breathing and relaxation exercises or meditation.

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    How Much Heavier Is The Human Head When Tilted Forward

    To find out, Kenneth K. Hansraj, MD, Chief of Spine Surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, created a computer model of the cervical spine. In an article published in Surgical Technology International, he reported that this model showed that the strain on your neck rises as the forward angle of your head increases.

    • At 15 degrees of forward tilt may equate to a head weighing 27 pounds.
    • At 30 degrees forward, the strain on the neck equals a 40 pound head.
    • The greater the angle, the greater the strain: 45 degrees forward equals 49 pounds of strain, and 60 degrees forward equals 60 pounds.

    Now consider the fact that the average person is holding his or her head forward to look at a phone or read a tablet for 2 to 4 hours a day, according to Dr. Hansraj. Teenagers spend even more time each day looking down at their devices, he added. As you tilt your head, you also move your shoulders forward into a rounded position, which is another aspect of poor posture. All this excess strain creates extra wear and tear on the structures of the neck, upper spine and back, and contributes to/can lead to spinal degeneration that may require surgery.


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