Upper back pain 

Upper back pain is any pain or discomfort that stretches from the middle of your back, up through and across your shoulders. It can occur anywhere from the base of your neck to the bottom of your rib cage. The pain can be mild or severe, constant or you may only notice it with activity. The upper and middle back pain can also range from aching and stiffness to a sharp or burning sensation. 

Upper back pain

What are the causes ?

The upper back pain also called thoracic spine pain has common causes like :

  • Poor posture: This is when you sit behind a computer for much of the day or look downward for long periods of time using cell phone or tablet use.
  • Injuries : injuries to the muscles, ligaments, and other parts of your body, such as rotator cuff tears, spine fractures can  lead to pain between your shoulder blades. 
  • Improper lifting : You stretch or tear the upper back muscles when you lift or carry too heavy loads. 

Spine conditions that causes chronic back pain

  • Herniated disc 
  • Degenerative disc diseases 
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Spinal disorders like scoliosis or kyphosis
  • Spinal fracture
  • Spinal infection
  • Spinal tumor
  • Heary attacks or injuries to the lungs 

Lifestyles habits that can cause upper back pain include: 

  • Poor ergonomic set-ups at work
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Lack of exercise
  • Weak abdominal muscles

What are the symptoms ?

Upper back pain can start slowly and develop over time, or come on very quickly and have common symptoms like :

  • Muscle spasms or headaches
  • A dull, burning, or sharp pain.
  • Muscle tightness or stiffness.
  • Weakness in your arms or legs.
  • Numbness or tingling in your arms, legs, chest, or belly.

Treatments for Upper Back Pain

  • Daily exercise 
  • Exercise and stretches
  • Preventing upper and middle back pain through exercise
  • Painkillers
  • Use a heating pad or ice pack
  • Practicing good posture
  • Learn ways to reduce stress
  • Manual and physical therapy
  • Rest
  • Massage
  • Surgery if your pain gets worse. 


Preventing upper back pain is easier than curing it. These are some tips to keep your spine healthy:

  • Practice good posture as often as possible
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise and eat a balanced, healthy diet
  • Use proper technique when lifting
  • Avoid smoking
  • Take frequent and regular breaks from sitting or lying down to stretch and move different muscle groups.
  • Have regular massages to help work out the tension of the muscles.
  • Work with a physical therapist to strengthen weak muscles and keep pressure off the joints.
  • Avoid wearing heavy backpacks or purses.

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