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Why Am I Having Upper Back Pain

How To Treat Middle Back Pain

Why do I have lower back pain?

If you have a problem with vertebrae in your spine you might need to rest for a short time , and then gradually become more active.

It may help to apply heat to the area. Voltarol non-medicated Heat Patch is designed to target back and muscle pain, providing up to 8 hours of localised pain-relieving heat. The thin, self-adhesive, odourless patch provides effective pain relief and muscle relaxation in a non-medicated, tablet-free format.

Pain-relieving medicines can help you get up and moving. To decide which medicine is best for you, it may help to learn a bit about pain, and what happens in your body in the article: Understanding the difference between acute and chronic pain.

Voltarol Back & Muscle Pain Relief 1.16% Gel is a topical medicine that relieves pain, reduces inflammation and helps speed up recovery with its triple effect action.¹ ¹¹ It brings targeted, local relief for pain and swelling .¹² ¹³ The active ingredient in Voltarol Back & Muscle Pain Relief 1.16% Gel is a NSAID called diclofenac. Diclofenac works to inhibit prostaglandins synthesis .¹ By reducing their amounts, diclofenac helps to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.¹

Ask a pharmacist or your GP if you would like advice about what would be the best treatment for you.

Once you feel more comfortable, its a good idea to see a physiotherapist to do an exercise programme to strengthen the muscles in your back and improve your posture. ¹


Muscle Deconditioning And Poor Posture

People can condition their muscles over time to be stronger or more enduring through exercises and weight training.

The reverse is also true. Humans may decondition their muscles over time by not using them correctly.

In some muscles, including back muscles, deconditioning is as easy as sitting at a desk with incorrect posture for too long. A person may do this while at work.

Slouching in a chair over a desk may cause a loss of strength in the muscles. Over time, the weakening of muscles may lead to pain in the area as they experience strains or irritation.

When a person slouches, pressure from gravity and the body itself pushes on the spine, neck, discs, and ligaments. Over time, this pressure can lead to pain and other complications.

It is possible to condition the muscles to be stronger and more durable in most cases. This process starts with correcting the posture while sitting, and taking regular breaks from the desk to move around and stretch.

Exercises may also improve strength in the back, and using a standing desk can help, too.

Conditioning the muscle requires patience, however, and anyone with chronic upper back pain from weak muscles might benefit from seeing a physical therapist to find an exercise routine for their specific needs.

Posture Brace: What Is A Posture Brace

A posture brace is a simple garment which is used to provide support and stability to the body. It acts as a guide for correct alignment of the muscles in the shoulders and neck, upper and lower back. A posture brace helps in pulling and keeping your shoulders back and compels your back to stay upright or straight. It can be used by individuals of all ages who have problems related to a bad posture or improper alignment. These braces are usually sold over-the-counter and are available for men, women and children with different levels of support for various muscle groups. Some braces are made for those individuals who suffer from weak muscles surrounding the spinal column caused due to sitting at a desk all day long. While, some braces are especially designed for those individuals whose job entails heavy lifting or walking around carrying heavy objects. Braces help by artificially strengthening the core of the body and help in keeping the spine properly aligned. This relieves pressure on the neck, shoulders, back and abdominal muscles which leads to reduced pain and discomfort. Using a posture brace also vastly reduces the chances of injury.

Articles On Other Postural Deformities:

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When Should You See A Doctor For Upper Back Pain

Sudden pain in the upper back can be a sign of a heart attack. or go to your nearest emergency room for upper back pain when:

  • The pain radiates from your chest or also involves the jaw, neck, shoulder or arm.

  • You have other symptoms, including , anxiety, , , lightheadedness, weakness, or .

  • You have sudden crushing pain or pressure in the left upper back or shoulder.

You should also seek emergency medical care for upper back pain when:

  • You have new bowel or bladder problems.

  • You have a fever or chest or .

  • You have sustained a back injury, such as a blow to the upper back or a car accident, fall, or .

Most cases of mild upper back pain will resolve with home treatment. However, there are times when seeing a doctor is the safest option to make sure nothing serious is causing the pain. See your doctor when upper back pain:

  • Interferes with your sleep, work, or daily activities

  • Is constant or severe, does not respond to rest, or is worse when you lie down

  • Persists for more than two weeks despite home management

  • Occurs with , redness and swelling on the back, or , numbness or in the arms, chest or legs

  • Radiates or spreads to the arms or legs

What About Nocturnal Intervertebral Disc Swelling

Why Am I Having Back Pain? Is It Serious?

This is one of the classic theories about why people seem to be more vulnerable to back pain in the morning.

Between every pair of vertebrae is a bit of padding, the infamous disc. They probably swell up a wee bit overnight. There are two studies that suggest this2930 . A 2016 paper speculates that disc swelling is why astronauts probably suffer from more disc herniations than they should.31 Weightlessness is undoubtedly like resting your spine, but its another long-term effect, so Im not sure how relevant the astronaut angle is its just a fun angle on the topic.

I saved this idea for last because its too speculative to be really satisfying.

Discs may swell, but that doesnt mean swelling discs hurt. Mild swelling is hardly a concern in itself, and most people dont wake up in pain, so its unlikely that swelling alone is a problem. Swollen discs may hurt more in the morning if theres already something wrong with them, such as annular tears,32 but such discs might well be uncomfortable regardless. Mildly herniated discs might swell and effectively be more herniated in the morning but many herniations are painless, so thats hardly a smoking gun.

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Is There Such A Thing As Poor Posture When Sleeping

Yes, but I believe its rare for it to be bad enough to matter much. As discussed already, most awkward postures during sleep involve relatively minor postural stresses being a little twisted this-a-way or that-a-way that we tolerate for too long because were unconscious. Such postural stresses arent a bad habit in any meaningful sense. But it is also possible to be so habitually careless with sleeping position that it does constitute poor posture. If you know that a particular sleeping position is uncomfortable for you, but you keep sleeping like that, thats a poor sleeping posture.

Or is it a bad habit if you cant stop it? If its something you do habitually but unconsciously? This is a philosophical puzzle for the reader to work out.

Habitual sleeping position is clearly a factor in some back pain. Just about the only study ever done on this topic showed a small improvement in a few back pain patients who were instructed regarding the recommended way to sleep which basically meant a more neutral position.24 The benefit was real but small. I think conscious sleep positioning is only a minor factor in low back pain, and tough to fix. Usually we dont even suspect a problem with our sleep posture until its too late! For most people, trying to work on sleeping position probably does not offer particularly good bang for buck.

Hope For Those Suffering From Upper Middle Back Pain

If you are among the millions who suffer from back pain, then you will be happy to know that upper cervical chiropractic care can help more than just those with scoliosis. This specialty in the chiropractic field focuses on the adjustment of the C1 and C2, the top two bones in the spine that are located at the base of the skull. Misalignments in this area can have far-reaching effects on the body and can particularly affect the rest of the spine since the bones and soft tissue have a built-in tendency to shift to keep the head level.

Upper cervical chiropractors take precise measurements of the C1 and C2 using modern diagnostic imaging techniques. This allows us to provide gentle adjustments that are tailored to each patients needs. If you have experienced general chiropractic, but not upper cervical, you are in for a surprise. Our adjustments are low-force and require little to no pressure. Some practitioners even use an adjusting instrument instead of their hands.

The results, however, speak for themselves. And unlike painkillers which come along with side effects and provide little long-term benefit, upper cervical chiropractic care is safe and effective on a long-term basis because it gets to the root of many back problems. To learn more, contact a practitioner in your local area to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

to schedule a consultation today.

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What Can Cause Upper Back Pain

Upper back pain, also called thoracic spine pain, usually has a musculoskeletal origin and is related to poor posture or overuse injuries.

Causes of upper back pain may include:

  • Overworked muscles
  • Damage to the vertebral discs
  • Wear and tear of cushioning between the vertebrae
  • Degenerative bone disease

Where Can I Get More Information

Why does my lower back hurt? | Reasons for lower back pain

For more information on neurological disorders or research programs funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, contact the Institute’s Brain Resources and Information Network at:

Office of Communications and Public LiaisonNational Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeNational Institutes of HealthBethesda, MD 20892

NINDS health-related material is provided for information purposes only and does not necessarily represent endorsement by or an official position of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke or any other Federal agency. Advice on the treatment or care of an individual patient should be obtained through consultation with a physician who has examined that patient or is familiar with that patient’s medical history.

All NINDS-prepared information is in the public domain and may be freely copied. Credit to the NINDS or the NIH is appreciated.

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Exercises To Improve Your Posture

Stay in shape by keeping your entire musculoskeletal system modified to support your posture. For this the following exercise are helpful:

  • Lie on your back with your feet on the floor and flex your legs to about 90 degrees at the knee.
  • Pull your belly-button in towards your spine and hold it at the end for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat eight times daily.
  • Always keep a proper posture even if it is tiring and other muscles, like the back or butt, are not being used.
  • Breathe normally when doing this exercise, because you are trying to train your core to maintain this position when doing daily normal activities.

The following exercises can be done with or without hand weights:

Exercise 1:

  • Keep your head upright and shoulders squared so that the ears are in alignment over the shoulders.
  • Lift both the arms straight out, palms up and alongside your ears.
  • Bend the forearms in and backwards, towards the shoulders while trying to touch your shoulder blades with your fingertips.
  • Repeat 10 times with both arms.
  • Do alternate ten reps for each arm individually.

Exercise 2:

Muscle Strains In The Upper Back

The upper back has several muscles, including those that are connected to the shoulder blades, ribs, and shoulders. These can all be affected by muscle spasms.

However, muscle spasms in the upper back often involve the rhomboid muscles. These connect the inner edges of the shoulder blades to the spine. They are involved in many upper body movements and help support your posture.

If the rhomboid muscles are strained, you may notice tightness or pain when you breathe or move your shoulders. Rhomboid muscle pain is often felt in the middle of the upper back but may extend to one or both sides.

Rhomboid spasms can happen during:

  • Activities that involve reaching overhead, such as putting objects on a high shelf or serving a tennis ball
  • Rowing
  • Carrying a heavy backpack, especially if it is on one shoulder
  • Poor posture, such as while sitting at a computer or desk for a long time

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When To See A Specialist For Lower Back Pain

If you’re experiencing lower back pain that’s not responding to rest and self-care, it’s time to consider seeing a spine specialist.

“A spine specialist will likely perform a physical exam as well as one or more imaging scans to diagnose the root cause of your lower back pain. Depending on your diagnosis, he or she will then design a treatment plan aimed at alleviating your pain and preventing it from disrupting the everyday activities you enjoy,” says Dr. Palmer.

Medical Conditions That Cause Back Pain

Pin on back pain causes

Conditions that can cause back pain include:

  • a slipped disc this can cause back pain and numbness, tingling and weakness in other parts of the body
  • sciatica this can cause pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in the lower back, buttocks, legs and feet
  • ankylosing spondylitis this causes pain and stiffness that’s usually worse in the morning and improves with movement
  • spondylolisthesis this can cause lower back pain and stiffness, as well as numbness and a tingling sensation

These conditions are treated differently to non-specific back pain.

Very rarely, back pain can be a sign of a serious problem such as:

  • a broken bone in the spine
  • an infection
  • cauda equina syndrome
  • some types of cancer, such as multiple myeloma

If you see a GP with back pain, they’ll look for signs of these.

Page last reviewed: 14 January 2020 Next review due: 14 January 2023

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Mattress And Pillow Changes And Upgrades

Mattresses are touted as both cause and cure of morning back pain. As a cause, they allegedly constitute a significant source of postural stress basically, the idea is that you have poor sleeping posture because of a mattress. This is all a more specific version of the topic of posture, but it is the most significant and popular version.

I have no doubt that there are mattress that are bad enough to cause trouble. What I doubt is that there are mattresses that basically seem fine, and yet still cause this serious chronic symptom. In other words, if the problem is the mattress, its probably obvious that the mattress is uncomfortable and if the mattress isnt obviously uncomfortable, its probably not causing significant morning back pain. I doubt theres a large ambiguous sweet spot between those, where large numbers of people are being plagued enough for it to be a problem, but not enough that its obvious why.

The world is stuffed with claims about better mattresses and pillows, and you can even find the extreme opinion that we should get rid of them entirely and sleep on the ground, naturally paleo sleeping!25 But even the tamest of these claims are wishful thinking.

Upper Middle Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common ailments in the world, and long-term back issues can lead to disability. What are some of the most common causes of back pain including upper middle back pain and how can you find relief? Consider the following list of the top seven causes of middle and upper back pain.

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Preventing Upper Back Pain

While back pain is common, its possible to lower your risk of getting upper back pain. Here are some tips:

  • Practice good posture. Sit and stand up straight. When you sit, position your hips and knees at 90 degrees.
  • Exercise.Cardio and resistance training will strengthen your back muscles and lower your risk of injury.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight can place stress on the back.
  • Quit or avoid smoking. This will help you quickly heal after a back injury. Quitting is often difficult, but a doctor can help you develop a smoking cessation plan right for you.

Can Stress Cause Upper Back Pain

Why am I suffering from lower back pain?

In short, yesemotional stress can cause upper back pain. In times of stress, the body responds with fight or flight behavior the nervous system kicks into overdrive in order to protect vital organs. Feeling stress in the body can result in reduced blood flow to soft tissues , meaning less oxygen can pass through the area. As a result, those under stress are likely to experience muscle spasms, tension and, pain in the back.

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Symptoms Of Upper Back Pain

Symptoms can vary from person to person and depend on whats causing the pain. The pain can be mild or more severe. You might have sharp pain in one particular spot or a general achiness that comes and goes. Back pain that doesnt have a clear or known cause is called non-specific back pain.

If your back pain is significantly affecting your daily activities or stopping you from getting a good nights sleep, see your physiotherapist or GP.


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