What Can Cause Upper Back Pain?
"Stand up straight!"

"Yes, mom..."

Did you know bad posture can cause upper back pain? Heart disease can cause upper back pain too.

In its simplest form, it's often just a sign of bad posture. We spend so much time sitting in front of computers or steering wheels that our shoulders slump forward... and our backs ache. Often, simple back pain stretching exercises for the chest and shoulder muscles will help with that, along with some (again simple) strengthening exercises.

Or, if you spent the weekend painting your ceiling, you might have pain in your upper back.

Or, if you're having a heart attack or gall bladder problems, you might have upper back pain (I don't want to scare you, but it's true and needs to be ruled out).

The things that cause upper back pain that aren't real serious include:

  • Bad posture
  • Overworked shoulder or neck muscles
  • Large breasts (for females)
  • Talking with the phone between your neck and shoulder
  • A rib head that is out of place (this usually has pain with breathing too).

Things that cause upper back pain that can be very serious are:

  • Whiplash injuries
  • Osteoporosis
  • Ruptured spinal discs or injury
  • Lung or heart problems
  • Gallbladder disease (this refers to the right shoulder mostly, but some patients have been known to mistake it for upper back pain)

With any pain that lasts longer than a few days, it's always a good idea to see your doctor. A chiropractor can help with the NON-serious causes of upper back pain, and often relief is almost immediate!

Interestingly (to me, anyway), people who come into me for carpal tunnel treatment have no idea the role that posture plays in their problem. But once we look at their X-rays and the muscles that connect the neck to their upper back, they see the relationship. We can usually get them better with non-invasive treatments only.

The upper back is the most stable part of your spine because it has the ribs attached in the back and they come around the front to meet at the sternum. This means that there's not a lot of movement in the area. The downside though is that when there is movement in that part of the spine, it can cause problems with the ribs where they meet at the back. Patients always say "it's right under my shoulder blade" or "it hurts to breathe" when that happens. It's common after the flu or a cold when you feel like you coughed up a lung.

By adjusting the spine and ribs, a chiropractor can give fast relief if that's the cause of your pain.

We provide chiropractic care and laser therapy for people who live in the following communities: the Antelope Valley, Lancaster (93534, 93535), Palmdale (93550, 93551, 93552), Acton (93510), Agua Dulce (91350), Littlerock (93543), Pearblossom (93553), Lake Los Angeles (93535), Rosamond (93560), Mojave (93501), Edwards (93523), California City (93505), Tehachapi (93561), Barstow, Lake Arrowhead, and Quartz Hill (93536)

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