Upper back pain is described as pain and stiffness that is felt in the back, more precisely between the back of the neck or the nape of the neck to the waist. The back pain that is felt can sometimes be severe enough to limit the sufferer’s activities.
Complaints of upper back pain are often accompanied by pain and tension in other parts of the body, such as the neck , shoulders, arms, and shoulder blades . Not infrequently sufferers also feel tension headaches and chest pain when taking a deep breath.
Pain in the upper back can come from the spinal cord, spine, back and neck muscles, to the ligaments or connective tissue that connects the muscles in the back and spine.
Various Causes of Upper Back Pain
There are many things that can cause a person to experience upper back pain, including:
- Sitting too long
Upper back pain can be caused by incorrect posture when sitting, especially when sitting for long periods of time. This complaint is often experienced by people who sit all day at work, look down for too long while playing gadgets , or travel long distances by vehicle.
This position can compress the nerves in the back and make the back muscles stiff, thus potentially causing upper back pain. Upper back pain due to poor sitting position can sometimes be felt to radiate to the arms and head.
- Lack of exercise
Lack of exercise or infrequent movement over time can make the body’s muscles weak, so they are not able to support the body properly. As a result, the body will easily feel back pain, both upper and lower back pain.
- A backpack that is too heavy
Too often carry a backpack or a heavy backpack will affect the shape of the spine. Over time, this habit can trigger back pain. Therefore, avoid carrying a bag with a load that is too heavy on your back.
The maximum load for a backpack that is safe to carry is not more than 20% of your body weight. For example, if you weigh 75 kg, then the maximum weight of a backpack that is safe to carry is 15 kg.
- The habit of wearing shoes that do not fit
Not only high heels , any shoes if the bottom is worn or the arch shape is not right with the structure of the foot, it can cause back pain.
In addition to pain, these shoes can also change your gait and interfere with your foot’s ability to support your body.
- The quality of the mattress is not good
Often sleeping on a mattress that is of poor quality or whose surface tends to change easily can cause back pain. This is because the mattress cannot hold the spinal structure properly.
In addition to back pain, sleeping on a poor quality mattress can also make the body feel sore, tired, and stiff.
Injury to the skin, muscles, bones, and nerves of the upper back can cause upper back pain. These injuries can be caused by accidents, frequent strenuous exercise with repetitive movements, or incorrect posture when performing certain movements, for example when lifting an object on the floor.
This condition is also known as tendinitis . Tendonitis is a condition when the connective tissue that serves to connect muscles and bones (tendons) in the body becomes inflamed. This condition can be caused by injury or repetitive movements of the back, such as frequent twisting of the body to the left and right.
Tendonitis that causes upper back pain is also more at risk in people who are obese and rarely exercise.
- Broken collarbone
This condition can be caused by injuries from falling with outstretched arms and triggering upper back pain. Generally, this kind of injury is experienced when falling from a vehicle, such as a bicycle.
In addition to the above factors, upper back pain can also be caused by certain diseases, such as a pinched nerve or herniated nucleus pulposus (HNP) , scoliosis , osteoporosis, and osteoarthritis. In certain cases, upper back pain can even be caused by a tumor pressing on the nerves and spine.
How to Overcome and Prevent Upper Back Pain
To reduce complaints of upper back pain, there are several ways you can do, namely:
- Cold compresses on the back or neck to relieve pain.
- Take painkillers, such as paracetamol .
- Much rest. Try not to use too many pillows while sleeping and avoid bending over or lifting heavy objects.
- Wearing a special corset that can improve the position and posture of the spine.
- Maintain ideal body weight. This can be achieved by exercising regularly and following a healthy diet.
- Undergo physiotherapy .
- Spinal surgery. This step may be necessary if other methods don’t work for your upper back pain.
So that upper back pain does not recur in the future, then you can do the following things:
Regular exercise, especially good for back health, such as yoga , hatha yoga , pilates, swimming, walking, and cycling. Avoid sports that make the body bend a lot.
Improve your posture while sitting in the office and try to stand up and take a short walk every 2 hours.
Avoid the habit of often wearing high heels or shoes that are worn.
Improve your posture when sitting in the office or driving a car. Try to keep your back and shoulders straight and parallel.
Mild upper back pain can usually be relieved by getting more rest, taking pain medication, or physiotherapy.
However, you are advised to consult a Back pain Doctor Texarkana if the upper back pain is felt after an injury, often recurs, gets worse, or if it is accompanied by other symptoms, such as severe headache, chest pain, dizziness, neck pain and stiffness, fever, and tingling, death. feeling, or weakness on one side of the body.
Upper back pain accompanied by the above symptoms may be caused by something more serious, so it is necessary to get proper examination and treatment from a doctor.