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Upper back pain can be, well, painful. Most people experience pain in the upper back as a result of poor posture, injury or tendon damage. However, there are many other causes of upper back pain some of which can actually be quite severe. If you are experiencing pain in your back or have other health issues happening, be sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor or medical professional and get help.
Take a look at some of the possible reasons why your upper back hurts – particularly the area between your shoulders – and what your doctor might suggest you can do about it.
Muscle deconditioning is a situation where the muscles in the upper back lose their strength and can no longer hold the shoulder blades in the correct position for long periods. This process then leads to stretching of the muscle which causes pain. The solution here is to combine chiropractic care with exercise. You need to both manipulate and strengthen that area of your back to bring it back into alignment with the rest of the body.
Excessive Muscle Use
On the opposite end of the spectrum, your upper back may hurt because you’ve been using it too much. Muscle tightness, strain and irritation can occur if you load up too much weight at the gym or engage in sports, such as rowing, without giving your body sufficient time to recover. The possible solution to this problem is to put ice or heat on the area and then indulge in some “deep relaxation.” Once the muscle fibres begin to get better, you may wish to support your recovery with massage.
Some people with upper back pain may be experiencing herniated discs. Discs are essentially soft, rubber-like cushions that sit between vertebrae. When they come out of place, they can cause intense pain. Even small amounts of pressure on the disc can result in weakness in the arms and legs. The good news is that you don’t usually need surgery to deal with a herniated disc. Just taking anti-inflammatory medications and allowing the disc to recover is sufficient.
The fascia is the material that covers all the muscles in your body. It’s like a protective sheath. Unfortunately, you can damage the fascia if you train too much or you receive a back injury. When this happens, pain can remain in the muscle, even if the injury itself is back to normal. The best way to deal with this type of pain is physical therapy. Professionals can massage the area and find ways to help the fascia recover.
Spinal infections can sometimes be the cause of upper back pain. Often, these occur due to abscesses inside the body resulting from injury. In many cases, abscesses can form between the spinal cord and bones of the spine, causing extreme pain. Antibiotics are the first line of defense. However, patients with this condition may require surgery to drain the abscess.
In very rare cases, back pain is also a sign of lung cancer. If you’ve ruled out all of the other options on this list, then you may wish to explore this one further with your doctor. Those at highest risk are people with non-small cell lung cancer.
These are just some of the possible things that could be causing your upper back pain. Be sure to seek help from a medical professional to find out the root cause and treatments for it.
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