Alleviating Upper Back Pain
Upper back pain is a common complaint among many people these days. The upper back, also referred to as the thoracic back, is the part where the ribs connect. Generally, back pain occurs when muscles or ligaments in the vertebra are injured. When pain in the area occurs, there is soreness and discomfort felt in the neck and the low back. Pain in the upper back can result from poor posture, a twisting or bending movement, an injury, or overuse. Sitting for hours on a desk can also cause upper back pain since it can cause muscles to stiffen and tighten. In some cases, a sudden vigorous cough or sneeze can result to upper back pain.
Symptoms and diagnosis
The symptoms of upper back pain often include the following: pain on the thoracic back, muscle spasms, pain when inhaling deeply, pain when the back is moved or touched, and pain when bending the neck forward or moving the shoulders. The condition may also be accompanied with fever, headache, swelling or redness of the back, fatigue, stress, and insomnia. The disorder is typically diagnosed by a medical expert who reviews the medical history of the patient, evaluates the symptoms and complaints, and performs an examination of the back.
Causes and risk factors
Upper back pain can be caused by a variety of reasons. It can be a result of poor posture, sudden injury, trauma, or muscle strain. Individuals who are at risk of developing upper back pain often have the following characteristics: family history of spine disorders or back pain, poor posture, obesity or weight problems, increasing age, stress and anxiety, smoking, and a sedentary way of living.
Treating upper back pain
A lot of upper back pain cases are treated with a focus on relieving the pain rather than addressing the underlying reason for the presence of the condition. Often, the main reason for upper back pain is spinal imbalances. For upper back pain with no underlying medical condition, easing the pain can be done in a variety of ways: applying hot or cold packs, applying a fast-acting pain relief cream that provides hours of relief such as MAXX Pain Relief Cream, sufficient rest, massage therapy from a licensed therapist, acupuncture, anti-inflammatory medications, strengthening and stretching exercises, physical therapy, and joint manipulation by a licensed professional. In some isnances, upper back pain may become too severe that it calls for a surgical procedure; however, this should always be a last option.
Preventing upper back pain
Upper back pain can be avoided by warming up and performing stretching exercises, especially before doing an activity that involves bending and lifting. When lifting heavy objects, one must bend his knees instead of bending his waist. This is to protect against injuring the spine. Also, when work involves spending hours using the computer, it is vital to take frequent breaks to stretch the back. Athletes who suffered from upper back pain must begin their routine only after their upper back has fully recovered.
As experts say, prevention is better than cure, thus, it is far more practical to conduct preventive measures. But if upper back pain is already present, a physician must first be consulted before proceeding to any form of treatment. With the right diagnosis comes the right type of treatment.