Seeking a Chiropractor for Upper Back Pain?
Chiropractic treatment is a good choice for upper back pain.
The upper back known as the “thoracic” area of the spine, is strategically placed on top of the lower back or lumbar spine and pelvis and supports the neck or cervical spine. The thoracic spine has a key function of creating a space, the thorax that holds your lungs and heart.
The thoracic spine has 12 spinal bones or vertebrae that are linked together by intervertebral discs and interlocking facet joints. Special bones called ribs attach at the rear of the thoracic spine and wrap around to unite as cartilage in front of the chest at your breastbone or sternum. Because the rib cage is attached to this area of the spine, mobility is less here than in the neck or low back. The shape of the thoracic spine is an outward curve called a ‘kyphosis.”
Because of where the thoracic region is situated, it is prone to problems caused by postural strain. Sitting at a computer with head bent forward or down stresses the upper part of the thoracic area. Sitting with torso turned slightly to type for long periods strains the upper and middle back. Standing with a slumped posture puts stress on the back creating discomfort. A common postural problem with females are heavy breasts. Larger breasted women have increased stress on the upper and middle back causing pain.
Accidents and injuries are common in the thoracic spine region. Because it is a relatively stiff part of the spine, if a sudden jarring or twisting occurs, the muscles and joints can be injured. An unexpected cause of thoracic injury that can cause middle or upper back pain is coughing. Prolonged coughing from the flu or asthma causes incredible peaks of energy to be transmitted into the muscles and joints causing strain.
A problem common in the upper back is scoliosis. An abnormal sideways curve of the spine is most common in this area and affects many people, women more than men. It can be caused by a misshaped vertebrae or due to a leg length inequality that causes the spine to adapt and grow sideways. In many, it is “idiopathic” meaning there is no known cause.
Upper Back Pain Symptoms
- Aching, burning pain in upper or middle back
- Pain behind the shoulder blade
- Spasms or tingling sensation
- Pain on breathing either in back or chest
- Pain in chest or ribs
- Chronic hiccups or heartburn
- Upper back pain on head movement
Doctors of Chiropractic specialize in examining the spine, understanding it’s function and restoring function when it has been lost. No other type of doctor is as well versed at finding malfunction in the bones and ribs of the spine as a chiropractor. Chiropractic treatment locates the root cause of the problem, often a misalignment and corrects it through manual chiropractic adjustments and other therapies to relieve inflammation, spasm and pain. Exercises are often given as well as postural and work-space advice to prevent continued strain.
Chiropractic Upper Back Pain Relief Treatment
After the cause of your pain is found through physical examination and possibly x-rays, a treatment plan will be designed for your specific problem. Treatments can range from a few visits to a few months depending on the cause of your pain, how long its been there, what your lifestyle is like and the severity. The most common treatments include:
These are precise movements to unlock stuck joints and restore movement. There are many ways to adjust a spine and your chiropractor will decide on a method that is best for your spine type. You may be lying face down and pressure applied to your back or your doctor may lower you onto a block or hand as you lie back face up. No matter the procedure it is usually not painful and is done in seconds. Most likely you will hear a pop, crack or click as gas is released from the joint as it moves similar to opening a soda bottle. You may be adjusted in just one area, or your doctor may feel it is necessary to adjust multiple areas. Your ribs, sternum or collar bones may also be adjusted if needed.
Physiotherapy Modalities for Upper Back Pain
In addition to spinal adjustments, your chiropractor may also provide therapies that help you relax, calm down muscle spasms and relieve inflammation from the joints. Treatments such as moist heat, electrical stimulation, Cold laser and muscle tissue work can all be very effective at speeding the recovery process.
Exercises are Important for Upper Back Pain Relief
In general the average person has poor forward rounded shoulders that stresses the back. For this, your doctor will want to prescribe exercises that strengthen your upper and middle back to relive pressure. Chest stretches will also be helpful to release tension to allow the back muscles to pull your spine back and correct your posture.
Ergonomics and Upper Back Pain
We spend a long time at our desks at school or work. We may also spend many hours leaning forward working on things or we may spend numerous hours driving a car or truck. All of these activities can stress the spine so each must be assessed for proper body positioning known as Ergonomics—making objects in our environment work better with us. Items like chair selection and adjustment, desk and computer height, seat positioning in vehicles, etc are important to minimize postural strain.
Chiropractic for Upper Back Pain can help relieve your painful condition and get you back to enjoying your life. It can also prevent your condition from deteriorating and causing more and more pain robbing you of your health and productivity.