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What Is Upper Back Pain

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Upper Back Pain Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments in Lakewood

Upper back pain is felt between the bottom of your neck and the top of your lumbar spine. The upper back and neck is a very complex part of the body. When injuries occur in or around this section of the spine, it can lead to pain in your upper back.

Lower back pain can impede your ability to walk and move around. Upper back pain, however, can impair the ability to carry out simple daily activities, including everything from brushing your teeth to riding a bicycle.

Upper back pain is less common than lower back pain. In fact, lower back pain is the most common cause of missed work in the United States. The reason is simple: the upper back does not move as much as the lower back.

The Structure of the Upper Back

To understand upper back pain, you need to understand the structure of the upper back. The upper back consists of the torso, arms, and back. The “torso” portion of your spine is known as the thoracic spine. This part of your spine consists of twelve vertebrae, with the upper line vertebrae connected to corresponding ribs on both sides. These vertebrae and ribs connect to your breastbone to form your thoracic cage, which is the critical structure that protects the heart and other critical internal organs.

The lower three vertebrae of the torso do not join together at the front. However, they still offer some protection to the vital organs while allowing slightly more movement in your spine. When viewed from the side, this part of the spine can appear slightly concave.

Ultimately, the structure of the upper back is relatively stable compared to other parts of the spine. This stability leads to limited motion, which means a reduced risk of injuries.

What Causes Upper Back Pain?

The vast majority of upper back pain is linked to two causes: muscular irritation or joint dysfunction.

Muscular Irritation: Muscular irritation can lead to upper back pain. The most common source of muscular irritation occurs in the large muscles that attach your shoulder girdle to your scapula (your shoulder blade). These large upper back muscles are prone to strains or tightnessjavascript:;. These muscles can become irritated due to lack of conditioning (i.e. lack of strength) in the region. Others experience muscular irritation due to overuse – like repetitive motions using the muscles in your upper back.

Joint Dysfunction: Joint dysfunction can occur as a natural process of aging. Or, it can occur due to sudden injury or degeneration. Joint dysfunction leads to upper back pain when the joints in the thoracic spine become dysfunctional and painful. Common issues include tearing of the facet joint’s cartilage or capsule.

Both causes of upper back pain listed above can lead to similar symptoms. You’ll typically feel a sharp, burning pain localized to one spot in your upper back. Or, you’ll feel a general achiness across your upper back, with “hotspots” flaring up periodically. Upper back pain can appear gradually or suddenly – like if you experienced a sudden injury.

If you’re suffering from upper back pain, then treatment is available. Chiropractors specialize in treating upper back pain. Taking a holistic approach to whole body care, chiropractors will implement treatment that tackles the root cause of your upper back pain. Schedule a free consultation with Dr. Jumper and the team at Renew Chiropractic today by calling 720-493-5885.

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Conveniently located near the Belmar Shopping Center at Wadsworth and Alameda.

Please call: 720-493-5885. We are located at 8015 W. Alameda Ave #270, Lakewood, CO 80226.




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