Upper back pain usually starts with an irritation that affects the muscles along the upper section of one’s spine and back. There are many factors that can trigger upper back pain, such as but not limited to posture, trauma to the thoracic spine, and straining of one’s shoulder muscles. Thankfully, there are a variety of methods to remedy this kind of pain quickly and without much effort at all.
Understand that poor posture is a very common reason for experiencing pain in the upper back. There is a common misconception that posture simply applies to the way someone maintains his or her shoulder position when standing, however posture still applies when one is sitting down. In today’s society, many people find themselves sitting down for several hours daily, and what’s worse is that they tend to do so while incredibly slumped over. Over time, the muscles in the upper back begin to get really tight, and ultimately upper back pain will emerge.
Rectifying Poor Posture
In order to treat slumped posture, a simple solution is to simply get up and stretch every 45 minutes to an hour. Take a short break where you can stand up and move around for a bit – this process does not need to be very long or tiring. One such stretch you can do is to stretch your arms upwards and outwards. Another is to simply pinch your shoulder blades together while keeping your shoulders in a downwards and back position. This should bring you into a stance in which you are in a regular, upright posture; the posture which you should be maintaining all the time. Taking a break to do these exercises will make your back feel much better, and should allow you to remain seated with decent posture for at least twenty or so minutes even after the break ends.
Awkward Sleeping Position
Many individuals will experience pain in their upper back immediately upon waking up. The cause for this is most likely sleeping at an unusual angle or position. This may also happen if one piles up too many pillows under their head and neck, elevating their head and neck to an unusual height that strains the muscles. For this, try taking a hot shower to loosen any tight muscles and reduce shoulder and neck pain. Performing some light stretches or massage can also help loosen any tight muscles and provide relaxation.
When performing a physically demanding task that pushes the body beyond its limits, muscle strains can occur, and sometimes they happen to one’s upper back muscles. Should this be the case, applying ice immediately to the irritated muscles can help to soothe them and reduce pain. For more stubborn muscle strains, try alternating between hot and cold compresses for 24 hours or so. At this point, the pain should be gone, or be well on its way to fully subsiding.
Any upper back pain that is serious, i.e. the pain is intense and will not subside, do not try to perform anymore home remedies and see a doctor immediately. It is possible that the issue is more than just poor posture or a muscle strain that affects one’s neck and shoulders. Let a qualified physician observe the symptoms, perform any tests, and plan a progressive treatment that will fully address the problem at different stages and allow for a smooth recovery.
Photo Credit: Todd Cremeans