Upper Back Pain
Upper Back Pain usually occurs in the back side of the chest & the upper abdominal area. Although it is not a very common problem, it can cause significant problems to the people experiencing it. The most common causes of upper back pain are muscular irritation & joint pain.
The upper back & neck area is one of the most complex areas of our body due to the multiplicity of muscles & bone joints. The presence of these muscles & joints enables the upper back area to have the mobility & movements that it has. Pain in this region causes a great deal of discomfort to the people suffering from it. The upper back area includes the shoulder blades & the place where the rib cage connect to the thoracic spine (chest region). The thoracic spine is made up of 12 vertebrae in the middle of the spine which are attached to the ribs.
Causes of Upper Back Pain:
1. Muscular irritation:
Muscular irritation is a major cause of upper back pain. Large muscles attach the shoulder girdle to the shoulder blade (scapula). These muscles are quite susceptible to suffering from various forms of muscle irritation which can be quite discomforting for the patients. These irritational muscle pains are known as myofascial pain.
Muscular irritation may happen due to various reasons. It may happen from any injury the muscles suffer or from any infection. Normally, the muscular irritation happens because of lack of strength in the muscle or because of overuse of muscles. Muscle strain, cramps & pulls, accidental injuries may also result in muscular irritation in the upper back area.
2. Dysfunctional joints:
Two joints connect the ribs with the vertebrae in the thoracic spine. Any sort of problem in these joints would cause the upper back area to pain considerably.
3. Overexertion of Upper Back Muscles:
Certain activities put a lot of pressure on the muscles of the upper back e.g. gardening, landscaping, raking leaves, shoveling etc.
4. Large Breasts:
Many women suffer from pain in the upper back due to the weight of their breasts. Some of them develop red sores where the bra straps lay. In these cases bras with wide shoulder straps should be wore by patients.
5. Poor Posture:
Poor postures of sitting & lying cause the muscles in the upper back region to become tight & weak. It causes a burning pain in the upper back region.
6. Thoracic disc disease
May also cause upper back pain. But, these causes of upper back pain are quite rare.
7. Other Reasons
for upper back pain may include osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, shingles, fibromyalgia & rotator cuff injury.
Upper back pain may occur along with other diseases or infections. Some of the symptoms of upper back pain include;
● Neck pain,
● Shoulder pain.
● Back stiffness in the morning.
● Redness or swelling in the back.
In some other cases upper back pain may be indicative of a more serious health condition, such as heart attack. In these situations the patient suffering from upper back pain should immediately be hospitalized. Some of those life threatening symptoms of upper back pain may include;
● Chest pain.
● Breathing difficulty.
● Abdominal pain.
● Jaw pain.
● Nausea etc.