Lower back pain seems to be the most thought of condition that chiropractors treat but upper back pain can be just as prevalent. With more people spending time hunched over their computers not only for work but at home as well, we are seeing this problem increase. This bad posture as well as acute traumas to the neck can cause upper back pain. Thankfully, chiropractic care can be helpful in treating this type of pain.
Upper back pain can also be called thoracic back pain. It can occur immediately as the result of injury or sometimes worsen over a matter of days or weeks. Sometimes you will notice stiffness and a little aching at first across your shoulders and in between your shoulder blades. If left alone, the pain may get get worse as time goes on. Many times this is associated with neck pain and stiffness as well. This is because the areas are very closely related and connected in a bio-mechanical sense, meaning how the move and function. This type of pain can make daily activities difficult and may also interfere with sleep. Many patients will tell us that they feel like the area just needs to be stretched constantly.
Upper back pain may be caused by a subluxation and can have several origins such as bad posture, trauma, and even stress. It can also be related to some types of arthritis, disc injuries or rib joint dysfunction (most people are familiar with having a “rib out of place” due to the painful breathing, coughing, etc.). Emotional and physical stress both can contribute to this type of problem as well. In children, the weight of a backpack, especially if not worn correctly, can cause these types of problems.
With the thoracic part of the spine designed primarily to create stability in the trunk, it is important tho keep this area healthy. If problems are left untreated, the pain will most likely continue and the posture will continue to deteriorate. This can lead to a hyperkyphosis (when the thoracic spine is curved too much, as seen when someone looks like they are hunched over) of the thoracic spine. There have been a couple of studies that have researched hyperkyphotic posture and mortality. One study in particular clearly states in its conclusion that “Older men and women with hyperkyphotic posture have higher mortality rates”. It’s important not to ignore upper back pain.
While anti-inflammatory medications or other pain relievers may be used to help relieve pain in the upper back, they do not address the underlying cause of the pain, which could lead to it becoming chronic. We, as chiropractors, can treat the cause in a safe, comfortable way with specific chiropractic adjustments. Call or visit your chiropractor in Tulsa to find our if we can help.
Dr. Jason Schluter is a Chiropractor in Tulsa, OK at Schluter Chiropractic.
Schluter Chiropractic is conveniently located off Memorial Drive in Tulsa, Oklahoma and provides quality chiropractic care to Tulsa and the surrounding areas.
To schedule an appointment, call (918) 664-3571 or visit www.DrSchluter.com.