Upper Back PainChartered Physiotherapy in Blackpool, St. Annes, Lytham, Poulton, Cleveleys and Fleetwood
Four out of five people will experience back pain at some point in their lives. One of the most common causes of disability in the UK, it can range from discomfort that lasts momentarily to a long-lasting condition with debilitating chronic pain and loss of movement. Upper and middle back pain can be located anywhere from the base of your neck to the bottom of your rib cage (the thoracic spine). Pain in this area is less common than lower back pain because the bones higher up mainly work to support the rib cage and don’t move as much. If a nerve in this upper area become trapped, irritated or injured, you may also experience pain in the places where the nerve travels, such as the arms, legs, chest and stomach.
What causes upper back pain?
As there’s a complex network of bones, discs and ligaments in this part of the back, there are many reasons why you might experience pain there. Overuse and muscle strains from lifting or sports are some of the most common upper back injuries – as well as problems caused by poor posture. Pressure on the spinal nerves from issues such as a herniated disc, a fracture of one of the vertebrae and osteoarthritis from the breakdown of cartilage that cushions the smaller joints in the spine can all cause radiating pain. Then there’s myofascial pain that affects the connective tissue of a muscle or group of muscles. Occasionally back pain can be a symptom of other problems, such as gallbladder disease or infections.
How do you treat upper back pain?
Physiotherapists are the back pain experts and will create a tailored treatment plan based on your symptoms and recovery aims. Upper back pain is often treated using manual physiotherapy, manipulating the area to gradually restore your range of motion and muscle power. Your physiotherapist may also suggest a programme of acupuncture, specific exercises to strengthen or stretch out the local muscles, massage, and trigger point treatments. Our experienced team can also identify other potential problems and can refer you to your GP or a specialist. Many people experience back, neck and shoulder pain from poor posture at work. We offer workspace assessments, helping to keep you well supported and comfortable even through long periods of sitting at your desk. Just ask us for more information.