Almost everyone experiences some form of back pain at some point. It might have been due to your poor posture. It could be because of your work, or maybe because of the weight you have been carrying for a long time. Upper back pain is a much less common form of back pain. It does not affect as much people and as often compared to lower back pain. But nonetheless, upper back pain can be a hindrance to the things you need to do. So here’s how to relieve upper back pain.
What is Upper back pain?
Upper back is the upper region of your back. This region includes your shoulder blades and the part where the rib cage connects to the thoracic spine or chest region of the spine. The upper back is the entire area from below the neck to the area just above the lower back. This region is also referred to as the thoracic spine or the middle back.
Upper back pain is any pain or discomfort in your upper back. It may not occur as often or as common as lower back pain because this region of the back does not move as much as the lower part of the spine and the neck. Upper back pain may be caused by doing a particular activity for a prolonged period of time, such as working in front of the computer and lifting your bags. Most upper back pains are due to joint problems and muscle irritation and are usually not a cause for much concern. But if upper back pain accompanied by other symptoms, it may be due to a much more serious disease (i.e. back pain with chest pain may be a sign of heart attack).
Relieving upper back pain
There are various ways to relieve upper back pain. Some depend on the specific point where the pain is felt. Some also depend on the cause of the pain. Below are some common ways to relieve upper back pain:
• Ice and Heat Therapy. One of the most common ways to treat body aches is with the use of hot and/or cold compress. Simply apply ice or cold compress on the area where the pain is felt for the first few days. You may use ice cubes or a bag of frozen peas and wrap them in a towel. Apply this for 20 minutes every 4 to 6 hours. Apply hot compress after 2 to 3 days of using cold compress. Wrap a heat source in a towel and apply it on the painful area. Be careful when using cold and hot packs and make sure that the pack are not punctured or damaged in any way as the chemicals may be harmful.
• Massage Therapy. Since most upper back pain cases are due to muscular irritation, massaging the painful and stiff areas is a good way to relieve the pain.
• Chiropractic or Osteopathic Manipulation. Some cases of upper back pain are because of misaligned joints. Chiropractors will adjust the joints in your spine and ribs, easing the pain.
• Acupuncture. Acupuncture is one of the ancient medical practices. This has long been believed to relieve pain among many other health benefits.
• Stretch and Exercise. Gently stretch and exercise the painful areas. Exercising and stretching can relieve it of stiffness and pain. Keep in mind do it gently and gradually. Do not do any rigid form of exercise or stretching right away. Follow these regimens:
o Arm slides. Stand against a wall and place your arms closely against the wall. Your palms should be facing the wall. Slowly slide your arms up the wall as high as they can comfortably go without lifting them off the wall. Then slide them back down to your sides and then repeat.
o Upper back stretch. Sit comfortably on a chair. Cross both arms behind your head and gently bend forward. Then slowly bend backward. Release and then repeat.
o Shoulder blade squeeze. Sit or stand straight with your arms at the side of your body. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and keep it for 5 seconds. Release and repeat.
Upper back pain can be easily relieved by one or a combination of the above treatments. But if the pain persists or is accompanied by other symptoms, it is best to consult your doctor.