Upper Back Pain
Upper back pain may be result from an injury or strain to the discs, spinal joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, or fascial connections through this region. The upper and middle back has many structures influencing it, including the muscles and joints associated with the neck, rib cage, lower back, and shoulders. However, the posture the body holds can also be a result of changes to biomechanics originating from the hips, knees and feet. Pain can also be related to the mechanics of breathing as the ribcage is connected to the thoracic spine.
Causes and symptoms of upper back pain can include: pain travelling from the back to the chest, pain taking deep breaths, sharp or dull sensation around or between the shoulder blades, pain leaning forward or backwards to put shoes on or reach high shelves, pain raising the arms over head, pain during pushing or pulling movements or sports, pain when sitting for long periods, stiffness in the upper back, or upper back pain paired with neck pain or lower back pain.
Most causes of upper back pain are not serious; however, it can also be caused by referral from areas such as the heart, lungs, or stomach. Your safety is our priority, it is therefore important that a thorough case history be taken to aid in an accurate diagnosis, and any onward referrals made where appropriate.
Treatment of Upper Back Pain: Once the root cause of the problem has been located, your osteopath will begin working on the appropriate areas. The ideal shape of the spine is a thin ‘S’ where a small arch in the lower back is balanced by a small rounding of the upper back. If the lower back has an excessive arch then the upper back will have an excessive rounding, thus causing the head to fall forwards. Correcting the position of the lower back and neck will relieve much of the tension into the upper back, as well as improving your posture helping you to stand up straighter.
Treatment usually involves release of tension in the muscles of the upper back, rib cage, shoulders, and lower part of the neck. This may involve deep massage techniques, soft tissue work, as well as techniques to improve the movement and function of the spine and ribs such as osteopathic mobilisation and sometimes spinal manipulation.
Treatment plans for upper and mid back pain depend entirely on what is found during the consultation and follow up sessions. Corrective and rehabilitative exercises will be provided specific to each individual person, to help relieve their upper back pain and prevent it reoccurring.