Back Pain

Take Charge of Upper Back Pain

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The upper back, known as the thoracic spine, is the area between the neck and lower back. Stiffness, muscle spasms, and pain are common symptoms. Individuals also complain of pain presenting when breathing deeply, various types of body movements, or when the area is touched.

  • Poor posture
  • Deconditioning
  • Bending
  • Twisting
  • Sitting for a long time
  • Hard coughing
  • Hard sneezing
  • Carrying an overstuffed backpack

All can lead to upper back pain. Scoliosis, an abnormal curvature of the thoracic spine, sometimes causes upper back pain.

Rhomboid Muscle Strain/Spasm

Muscle strain is one cause of upper back pain. These muscles help form the upper back and attach to three spinous processes. The spinous processes are small bones on the back. The rhomboid helps move the shoulder blades. Rhomboid muscle strain and spasms cause pain, especially between the shoulder blades. Individuals compare the muscle spasms and discomfort to knots.

Upper Back Pain Treatment

If possible, getting early treatment can speed healing and recovery.

Ice therapy is recommended for the first few days, followed by heat therapy.

  • Ice packs
  • Ice cubes in a bag
  • A bag of frozen peas

Wrapped in a towel can be applied for 20 minutes every 4-6 hours. Heat treatment can start after two to three days of ice treatment. The heat source should be wrapped in a towel and removed before sleep.

Upper Back Stretching

Under a doctor’s guidance, these stretches and exercises can help relieve stiffness and pain. Beginning with three short sets of five and gradually increasing as the symptoms allow. Take it slow and easy.

Arm Slide

Stand against a wall:

  • Position arms against a wall
  • Palms face the wall
  • Keep arms against the wall
  • Slowly slide them up above the head, or as high as comfortably possible
  • Reverse and move arms down
  • Relax and repeat

Shoulder Squeeze

  • Sit or stand with arms at the sides.
  • Squeeze and hold the shoulder blades together for 5 seconds
  • Release
  • Relax
  • Repeat

Upper Back Stretch

  • Sit in a chair
  • Cross both arms behind the head
  • Bend forward gently
  • Slowly arch backward
  • Release
  • Repeat

Lingering Symptoms

A doctor/healthcare provider should look at upper back pain resulting from the injury. If home therapy fails to relieve symptoms, call a doctor. They may recommend:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Trigger point injections can break the muscle irritability pattern and spasms.
  • Chiropractic treatment
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage

All can help relax muscles, relieve pain and increase mobility.


Reduce Pain with Custom Foot Orthotics

 

Kent S. Greenawalt, President and CEO of Foot Levelers discusses how custom foot orthotics can help reduce back pain, low back pain, and sciatica.

In a recent research study published by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM), researchers demonstrated that Foot Levelers custom foot orthotics help considerably reduce back pain and several associated health issues. The research study also demonstrated that Foot Levelers’ custom foot orthotics and chiropractic care help tremendously reduce low back pain and sciatica. Foot Levelers’ custom foot orthotics and chiropractic care helped improve the patient’s overall health and wellness. Dr. Alex Jimenez is a chiropractor in El Paso, TX. can help provide these benefits through chiropractic care and Foot Levelers custom foot orthotics, among other treatments.


NCBI Resources

Pain in the upper and/or mid-back is not as common as lower back or neck pain. The upper back is called the thoracic spinal column, the most secure part of the spine. The reach of movement in the upper back is limited because of the backbone’s attachments to the ribs (rib cage). Upper back pain is generally caused by soft tissue injuries, like sprains or strains, muscle tension caused by bad posture, or looking downward for long time spans (e.g., texting or mobile phone use).

Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Take Charge of Upper Back Pain" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, acupuncture, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.

Blessings

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*

Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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