Upper back pain refers to the pain felt between the bottom of the neck and above the lumbar spine. Though upper back pain is less common than lower back pain it is highly disturbing as it can cause a parallel pain in the chest area too. The causes of upper back pain can be varied. Muscular irritation of the area due to poor postures and over activity. Injury caused due to strains, back spasms, a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, osteoporosis or arthritis can trigger off an upper back pain. The afore mentioned causes are more likely for an upper back pain and is seen mostly in women who have to do a lot of physical activity at home and tend to slouch more than men.
Most often, my back pain owes to my sleeping position or my poor posture at work. For example, if you use a heavy pillow while sleeping your spine may be disproportionately aligned causing a bad stretch of your back muscles.
Taking proper sleeping postures is the only remedy to correct this.
- Watch your weight. Eat less fats and take more nutritious and vegetarian foods.
- Do not use corsets unless otherwise recommended by your doctor.
- Use a mattress that supports your back and eases your natural curves while sleeping. A firm mattress is advisable.
- While sleeping on your side put a pillow under your head and keep a firm one in between your legs. This will ease the pressure on your back and support the natural lines.
- Try not to use a pillow under your head if you sleep on your stomach. But place one under your tummy for support. If you can’t do without one under your head use a very flat one.
- Enjoy sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees.
- As you get up in the morning, do some stretching exercises before you get in to your activities.
- The basic idea of keeping a pillow is to keep the neck in alignment with the rest of the body. So replace your pillow when it loses its firmness.
- Ask your doctor about orthopaedic pillows for neck pain.
Do some stretching and strengthening exercises for upper back pain. If you search, you will be able to find thousands of websites on how to stretch and ease your muscles at the back. You can try this simple exercise anytime at home. Stretch your muscles by standing in a door way and placing your hands on the door frame. As you lean forward you can feel the muscles in your chest stretch and tighten. Hold it and release. Slouching is another cause of muscle strain in the back and neck. A slouching posture would give less room for the passage of air, provide less oxygen to the lungs and with the head tilted forward enormous stress is put on the neck. You look and are strained by this posture. You cannot rectify your slouches diffident posture overnight. Only exercise can ease your slouch and relax you.
How to get relief from upper back pain?
- Try heat therapy for pain relief.
- Learn a good method of massage for your aching back.
- Consult your doctor if you have no idea about the cause of the pain.
- Ask your health care provider about chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation and acupuncture if you have long standing and acute pain.