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Back Pain

Upper Back and Neck Pain

Upper back and neck pain can limit your ability to move and may spread or worsen. Visit Natural Care Chiropractic for the best possible care and treatment.

The Upper Back

The region below the cervical spine and above the low back is known as the upper back or the lumbar spine. The thoracic spine is the most stable section of the spine, and it is located in the upper back. Because of the spine's attachments to the ribs, the upper back's range of motion is restricted. 


The upper back keeps you on your feet, it joins the various elements of your skeleton and bears the brunt of your upper body's weight, sharing some of the physical strain with the spine and the surrounding muscles. The muscles in the upper back help to stabilize the spine and shoulders, to avoid strain and injuries.   


Discomfort in the upper back and mid back is less prevalent than pain in the lower back. Neck and upper back pain can limit your ability to move, and if you do nothing about the pain, it can spread, worsen and further limit mobility. This is usually because the muscles in the immediate pain area are tensed. This expansion restricts movement and can transform the clenched muscles under the shoulder blades into painful shoulder tensions and headaches. 


Causes and Symptoms

Upper back pain affects people differently because there are many causes of upper back and mid back pain, and understanding why they are occurring is the first step toward finding relief. 


Pain in the upper back occurs at the base of the neck or at the lower end of the thorax. It is not as common as back or neck pain because the bones in the lower back and neck do not bend and move as freely. Neck pain and upper back pain usually show up all of a sudden, and the healing process for this pain can take a very long time. If, after a few months, you're still experiencing pain along with restricted movement, you need to see a doctor at your earliest. 

Most neck and back pain is caused by a combination of factors, including injuries, poor posture, subluxation, stress, and in some cases, intervertebral disc problems. Here are the common causes and symptoms:


Muscle Pain and Strains

Muscle pain in the upper back and neck area can be caused by anything. The most common causes of stiff neck and back pain are muscle strains and sprains of soft tissue. If you use a computer or smartphone on the way to work or sit for a long time, you are likely to have stiffness in the upper back and neck or chronic shoulder or neck pain. Even little things like reading in bed or gnashing your teeth can strain the neck muscles. Chronic pain in the upper back and neck can become a very serious problem, and the effects of neck and back pain can be even more severe in people who smoke or are overweight. However, general pain in the back or neck area is very common and can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and other symptoms. 


Bad posture can also put a strain on the multifactorial muscles of the neck, shoulders, and shoulder blades. These strains increase the tension in the muscles, which in turn can cause pain. Neck problems can also lead to headaches, temporomandibular joint disorders, muscle spasms in the shoulders and upper back, restricted movement, and chronic neck and upper back tension. 


Disk Degeneration

If your back pain is caused by a herniated disc, pressure on the spinal nerves can cause a number of problems, including weakness, numbness, and severe gunshot pain that wanders down the back and legs. The degeneration of the intervertebral discs that separate vertebrae in the neck and upper back can irritate nerves in the entire spine and cause unbearable pain at the smallest motion. The inner core of the Intervertebral disc in the neck is pressed against sensitive nerve roots in the entire spine and can cause pain in the neck and upper back and radiate nerve pain into the arms and fingertips. 


Cervical spondylosis, also known as cervical disk degeneration, occurs when the disks between the vertebrae in the neck wear out. As a result of the increased friction between the vertebrae, discomfort and stiffness in the neck might occur. Because these disks wear down. Over time, cervical spondylosis becomes increasingly common as people get older.


The disk may potentially expand out, putting pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots. This degenerative process could worsen, resulting in a herniated disk fragment in the cervical spine. This can entirely compress nerve tissue, resulting in severe neck pain that can spread to the shoulder and down one or both arms.



Pain in the upper back can also be caused by soft tissue injuries or muscle tension, which can cause poor posture. Even if your neck is flexible enough to support the weight of your head, it is still susceptible to injuries or conditions that can cause pain or restricted movement.     


Neck injuries are mainly caused by muscular or ligament damage. Injury to the neck might result in a broken neck in more serious circumstances. When one or more vertebrae become shattered, this occurs. A fractured neck can result in excruciating pain that can spread to other parts of the spine. It also raises the chance of future spinal cord injury as well as neurological function loss, including paralysis. As with many health conditions, the effects of neck and back pain in people who smoke or who are overweight can be more severe. In some cases, severe pain can be accompanied by fever, numbness, tingling in the arms, or even a spinal infection. It is important to monitor pain as it can be an indication of a serious underlying problem.


Pinched Nerve

A pinched nerve causes cervical radiculopathy. This happens when a nerve root in the neck of the spinal cord becomes inflamed or squeezed. Radiating pain radiates from the neck to the shoulder and upper extremity as a result of this. Muscle weakness, numbness, and a tingling sensation in the arms and hands are additional possible side effects. Cervical radiculopathy can be caused by a variety of disorders, including arthritis and traumas resulting in a herniated cervical disk.


Spinal Stenosis

The narrowing of the spinal canal, which exerts pressure on nerve roots, is known as spinal stenosis. Typically, this constriction happens in the neck or lower back. Pain in the neck, back, or legs might be a symptom of spinal stenosis. The pain is frequently worsened by movement, however posing the neck in a specific way might sometimes alleviate the agony.


Bacterial meningitis 

An infection of the meninges can cause pain in the upper back or neck. The inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord is known as meningitis. This inflammation can be caused by an infection, such as one caused by bacteria or a virus. Bacterial meningitis is a dangerous condition that can be fatal. If symptoms appear, seek medical help right away.



Upper back and neck pain can be simple to treat. There are a few steps you can take to get quick relief if general pain occurs in the back or neck area and ways you can try to prevent it.


Home remedies

The key to recovery from acute neck pain is to limit your activities and take over-the-counter medications, as most back pain is associated with muscle strains. Contrary to popular belief, studies of acute back pain show that few days of restraint and appropriate over-the-counter medications are all that many people need to relax and release tense muscles.    



Treating neck and back pain can be as simple as daily exercises and stretching to reduce stiffness and strengthen muscles in the region. Certain exercises can strengthen the abdominal muscles and relieve pain. Your doctor may offer or demonstrate specific exercises to strengthen these muscles such as stretching or bending. If you have neck pain, you may also need to adjust to your daily habits of sitting, standing, and sleeping and learn how to lift and bend properly.


Heat or Cold Therapy

Apply a cold ice pack to your neck for up to 20 minutes to reduce discomfort and inflammation. You can also alternate cold and heat therapy and use heat to relieve muscle tension and pain. Take a warm shower or place a heating pad on your neck if you're having trouble sleeping. 


Chiropractic Treatments

A chiropractor can assist with a variety of ailments. If you have chronic back or neck pain, you can try several remedies, treatments, or chiropractic care before looking for surgical options. The spine is the focus of chiropractic adjustments and this covers the cervical spine which is also known as the neck. All of the cracking you hear is the result of highly precise stresses being delivered to your joints. 


Acupuncture is a type of alternative medicine that is frequently used to manage pain. Acupuncture for neck discomfort involves the insertion of small needles into various parts of your body.  Make sure your acupuncturist is certified and uses sterile needles before you go to your session. 


See a Chiropractor

Make an appointment and see a chiropractor at Natural Care Chiropractic today if home remedies don't relieve your neck pain. Remember that after two to three weeks of at-home treatment, most people notice a reduction in neck pain. Although most causes of cervicalgia aren't a cause for concern, some dangerous illnesses, such as meningitis, may be the source of your discomfort.

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