The upper back is composed of the thoracic spine, two scapulas, ribs and the muscles that are connected to them. Pain felt in the upper back is called thoracic pain which is the area where the thoracic spine is located and the area between the lower back and the neck are affected. Pain that is felt in the upper back can be severe or gradual in onset.
Symptoms of upper back pain
- There is difficulty in bending, twisting or turning caused by pain and deep breathing can make the pain worse.
- Pain can be felt when lifting the hand or shoulder and moving the neck.
- Pain can be felt even with just a mild touch.
In case the symptoms seem to persist or does not seem to subside for some time, it is best to consult a doctor for proper assessment of the condition.
Possible causes of upper back pain
- The ligaments and muscles that are connected to the thoracic spine are stressed or injured.
- A bad posture while sitting such as sitting without a back support for long periods of time
- Women in their postmenopausal age are susceptible to upper back pain caused by osteoporosis of the spinal bone.
- A muscle spasm caused by improper posture in sports activities such as lifting heavy weights.
- Sudden twisting, lifting or throwing of heavy objects can cause pain in the upper back.
- Other conditions such as spondylosis, pinched nerve in the cervical spine and even tuberculosis of the spine can cause upper back pain.
Treatment and home remedies for upper back pain
- Take plenty of rest if pain is caused by a muscle sprain.
- Massage gently using garlic oil the affected area. Take note that garlic has anti-inflammatory properties that helps in relaxing the spasm of muscles in the upper back.
- Make warm vegetable oil and put a few drops of garlic. Allow it to cool and apply over the affected area in the back.
- Mix ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk. The individual should drink this at least two times on a daily basis. Turmeric possesses elements that can help in minimizing the inflammation and pain.
- Apply a warm compress on the affected area. This works best with muscular spasms at the upper back.
- Physiotherapy exercises are beneficial for those who are suffering from back pain frequently.
- The individual should avoid sitting in one position for a long period of time and observer correct posture while sitting.
- The individual must stick with a regular exercise routine such as swimming. This activity can help strengthen the muscles of the upper back and prevents muscle strain.
- Self-massage techniques can help ease the tension in the neck and the shoulder area. Apply gentle pressure on both sides of the neck using both hands and when the muscles in neck starts to relax, start to increase the pressure and massage each shoulder, starting from the front going to the back.