Back pain is very common and is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Back pain can present itself in different areas of the spine. Although many people suffer from lower back pain, upper back pain is another area of the back in which people experience pain. The upper and middle back areas are less prone to trouble than the lower back but it does not mean it is exempt from it.
Early Treatments for Upper Back Pain
If you suffer from upper back pain and it develops without any signs of a potential emergency, you can take steps to safely attempt to alleviate your upper back pain on your own. There are a number of self-care treatments that you can try. Sometimes a combination of these treatments is recommended to reduce the pain significantly.
Ice and/or heat therapy. Apply ice to reduce swelling within the first 48 hours of your upper back pain starting up. Heat is recommended after the first 48 hours have passed. Some chiropractors recommend that patients decide for themselves which form of hot/cold therapy suits them and their pain best. Whichever temperature is preferred, it is advised that applications last no longer than 20 minutes at a time. Also remember to check your skin regularly to ensure that no tissue damage takes place. Upper back pain treatment in Brookhaven, GA is your best bet for fast relief.
Rest, rest, rest. If your pain gets worse when you move in certain directions or while doing certain activities, take a period of rest from the motions/activities for a day or to as it may help. For example, if standing at your kitchen sink to wash dishes hurts, see if you can enlist some help for a day or to rather than just pushing through the discomfort. After you take a rest period, try to perform the activity you took a break from again. Resting too long also has its risks – such as causing your muscles to weaken, which may contribute to even more pain.
Get a massage. Massage also can be beneficial in providing relief for your upper back pain. This is true even for back pain that is temporary. A good massage can help to get more blood flowing to the area that is painful while loosening tight muscles. You can have a friend or family member perform a massage on you, you can use a foam or roller ball on yourself or see a professional masseuse, such as a massage therapist at your chiropractor’s office.
Seek help from a chiropractor. A chiropractor is trained to manipulate the spine by gently helping it into its proper position. Many causes of upper back pain are due to the vertebrae in the upper spine being out of alignment. Many chiropractic doctors include other forms of treatment in their care, including postural and exercise education as well as ergonomic training (teaching patient show to sit, stand and walk to limit their back strain). Each of these therapies have been proven to be useful in the treatment of upper back pain.
Lifestyle Changes for Upper Back Pain
Some daily lifestyle factors are associated with an increased risk for upper back pain. Consider making any of the following lifestyle changes to help reduce symptoms of or prevent the development of upper back pain.
- Practice better posture. Keep your head in a neutral position with your ears positioned directly over your shoulders to keep the least amount of stress on your upper back and neck. Consider setting up an ergonomic workstation at your place of employment. Remember to bend your knees when lifting heavy objects. Put both backpack straps over your shoulders when carrying heavy objects.
- Stay active. Exercise, such as stretching, regular cardio workouts, strength training and noncontact sports are all beneficial when it comes preventing upper back pain. If you live a more sedentary lifestyle, there is no better time than the present to begin transitioning to a more active one.
Additionally, eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, managing stress and getting 6-9 hours of sleep at night can also help to reduce the risk of developing upper back pain – and if you already have upper back pain, taking these steps can help to reduce symptoms.