The upper back, or known as the thoracic spine, is designed for stability to anchor the rib cage and protect internal organs in the chest. Compared to the cervical spine (neck) and lumbar spine (lower back), the upper back is immune to injury and pain. When pain occurs in the upper back, it is typically due to long-term poor posture or from an injury.

If the upper back becomes painful, it is because of either one of the following two reasons:

Muscular Irritation

Muscular irritation in the upper back is due to lack of strength, and the muscles are prone to developing strains or tightness that can be quite painful and difficult to relieve.

Joint Dysfunction

Either because of a sudden injury or related to aging, the joints in the upper back can be dysfunctional and cause pain. 

Other Common Causes of Upper Back Pain

  • Poor posture
  • Improper lifting method
  • Overuse
  • Accident or collision

Common Symptoms of Upper Back Pain 

  • Sharp pain
  • General discomfort
  • Stiffness
  • Radiating pain
  • Tingling, numbness, or weakness

If the upper back pain becomes intense, it can affect daily activities, such as lifting moderately heavy objects and even comfortably sit or rest. Sometimes, upper back pain could feel worse in the morning or evening but feel better after rest.

When Upper Back Symptoms Need Medical Treatment?

If the upper back is in pain and accompanied by any of the following, it should be checked by a professional doctor right away:

  • Problem with balancing or walking
  • Difficulty with bladder or bowel control
  • Tingling, weakness, or numbness in the upper back or below
  • Trouble breathing
  • Fever
  • Severe head pains

Upper Back Pain Treatments

  • Rest and activity modification
  • Ice and heat therapy
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Massage

Many people find that a massage can ease upper back pain effectively. It can help loosen tight muscles and get more blood flowing to the affected area. For the best result, seek out a reliable and certified massage therapist in your area that you can trust. 

If in search of such here in Los Angeles, Massage Rx is the name! Our licensed and professional massage therapists will make spinal adjustments by using hand thrusts and other maneuvers. Our upper back pain manual therapy will help loosen stiffness or misaligned joints and reduce the pain. 

See our video here for more information about our upper back pain therapy procedure:

So, for your upper back pain therapy needs or other manual physical therapy treatments, such as lymphatic drainage massage, Massage Rx is the best choice! We also offer in-home physical therapy in most of our services. To know more, give us a call today!