We have already explained to you the condition of lower back pain; the causes, symptoms, treatments and even home remedies. What about upper back pain? When you experience pain from the base of your neck to the bottom of the rib cage, then you are most likely to be dealing with upper back pain(UBP). It is not a very common disorder, but it causes extreme pain and discomfort when occurred. This is because the thoracic spine is usually more relaxed and does not move as much as the spine in the lower back. This condition can also be referred as middle back pain or the thoracic spine. But worry not, I have just the solutions to relieve upper back pain. Before learning the treatments and remedies, let me first explain to you the causes and symptoms of upper back pain.
Ways to Relieve Upper Back Pain
Symptoms: The condition can be considered as chronic when it lasts for more than 3 months. The pain may occur only under certain circumstances, such as lifting the grocery bags or working at your desk for a really long time. The symptoms are as following ( from the base of your neck, to the bottom of the rib cage) :
- Dull, throbbing pain
- Burning pain
- Muscle tightness or stiffness
- Weakness at your back
- Loss of ladder control ( for chronic upper back pain)
- Muscle fatigue
- Painac when bending your body
Causes: Now that you have learned the symptoms, it is also vital for you to know the factors that usually trigger UBP. Inflammation of the thoracic spine, nerves, muscles and ligaments in the upper back will cause the pain. Conditions that lead to this inflammation are:
- Muscle strain/ spasm
- Overuse or injury to the muscles, ligaments and disks that support the spine
- Poor posture
- Fracture of the vertebrae
- Herniated disc
- Spinal degeneration
- Spondylitis (infection of the spinal joints)
- Cancer or gallbladder disease (rare cases)
Home Remedies to Relieve Upper Back Pain
If you are ever wondering on how to treat upper back pain, we have a few home remedies, and also treatments that will help you ease the pain. There are many ways to treat:
Be sure to ask your doctor about the stretches for upper back pain that would suit your condition. The program should be eight session, over a period of two weeks. The classes may include exercises for upper back and neck pain. It is really helpful, and normally helps improve the pain gradually. Make sure not to strain though.
2. Hot and cold treatment
Applying heat to the pained area – such as hot bath, or placing a hot water bottle on your back may help ease the pain. At the same time, cold such as ice packs are also proven to relieve your lower back pain. However, remember to wrap the frozen pack with a wet cloth before applying to the affected area as it may trigger a cold burn. Another way is to alternate between hot and cold using ice packs and hot water pad.
Many find Paracetamol and Ibuprofen effective in treating backache. Other than that, Codeine (a stronger painkiller) can also be taken to reduce the pain in addition to Paracetamol. But do bear in mind that painkillers can trigger side effects and may not be suitable for your body. Hence, always talk to your doctor to know the best medications for you.
4. Sleeping position
You may also change your sleeping position to reduce the strain on your back, which eventually will ease the pain. If you sleep on your side, it is advisable for you to draw your legs up to your chest level, and place a pillow between your legs. If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under your knees to reduce the strain on your lower back.
Medical Treatments to Relieve Upper Backache
You must always bear in mind that what worked on someone else, does not necessarily have to work on you too. Hence, treatments may vary depending on the severity of your symptoms, your medical condition and also how well did the other treatments work.
Acupuncture is used to treat a wide range of disorders and diseases. It is an ancient Chinese treatment where very fine needles are inserted at different points of your body. It is proven to ease the pain within a period of 12 weeks.
2. Nerve root blocks
This is a method where steroid is injected into your back, right on the affected point. This injection will bring immediate relief to your pain, especially if it is associated with leg pain.
3. Facet joint injections
This involves the injection of steroid into your facet joints. Those are the joints that connect one vertebrate to another so that your spine is kept aligned. This is not so effective and may produce severe side effects too.
Surgery is usually recommended when other treatment options have failed, and if your backache is very severe to an extent where you are unable to sleep or carry out your daily activities.
Surgeries may include :
- Kyphoplasty or verteborplasty: Injection of bone cement into a broken vertebrae to stabilize the structure of the bone.
- Herniated disc removal: Removal of a portion of the herniated disc that pushes into the spinal cord.
- Spinal decompression for stenosis: Widening of the narrowed spinal canal and relieves the pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.
Back And Neck Stretches to Relieve UBP
Here is a video of yoga stretches that works miracle on relieving your pain. it is advisable to do it at least thrice in a week.
These are all the home and medical treatments that are effective to relieve upper back pain. Remember to also include lots of fruits and vegetables in your everyday diet. Not only that, getting plenty of calcium and Vitamin D will be very helpful in preventing conditions that may trigger UBP. You may also take up yoga lessons that will not only heal, but also keep it away. If there are any other solutions or additional information about upper back pain treatment that you know, do share them.