Upper Back Pain

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 Upper Back Pain Management and Pain Between Shoulder Blades


upper back painAre you suffering from a dull, sharp, or burning pain anywhere from your neck down to the rib cage? It is possible that you may be suffering from upper back pain or pain between shoulder blades if the pain is concentrated around the neck region or from mid back pain if the pain originates around your rib cage. Other symptoms that come with either mid or upper back pain include;
– Back muscles stiffness
– Weakness in arms and legs
– Tingling sensation on the arms, legs and around the chest
– Loss of bladder and bowel control in extreme cases


The level of pain you are experiencing will to a large degree depend on the underlying problem causing the pain. While some people may just experience a dull pain that is just uncomfortable and can be rectified by making little changes in their lifestyles others may suffer from chronic pain that may even render them immobile. Some of the common causes of back pain include;
– Back muscle spasm caused by different physical activities
– Poor posture
– Herniated disc
– Fractured vertebrae
– Osteoarthritis


If you have any of the above mention symptoms or you suspect that any of the causes of back pain could be the reason behind your back pain, your first course of action should be visiting a physician for proper diagnosis. A physician will consider the factors that are known to result into upper and mid back pain in order to make a proper diagnosis and suggest or offer appropriate treatment. Other factors that may be considered include;
– Your general state of health
– Your health history
– Your daily physical activities both at work and at home


The physician will then conduct a thorough physical exam. You may also have to have an x-ray or MRI done especially if the physician thinks that a hernia close to disc, a broken bone, or any other back-related condition could be causing the pain. The physician will then advise you on the appropriate treatment you should seek to reduce the pain and probably eliminate it for good. Below are some of the available treatment methods where mid and lower back pains are concerned.


Over the counter medicine
These are often administered to take care of the back pain and any inflammation in the short term. Pain relieving medicines such as Tylenol ad anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin or aspirin are used. Where the pain is too much and these drugs are not effective in managing the pain, stronger prescription drugs are used for advanced pain management.
Ice – Ice works to reduce pain and reduce muscle stiffness.
Heat – Heat works just like ice to reduce pain and relax any stiff muscles.


While medication, ice and heat work to relieve the pain, the underlying problem also has to be dealt with for comprehensive treatment. This therefore means that upper and mid back treatment doesn’t always come in the form of a pill in a bottle or something as simple as some hot water bottle and some ice. There are other treatment methods that are specifically formulated to treat or manage the problem. These treatment options include;


Physical Therapy is used to improve the strength and flexibility of back muscles and also to create balance where an unbalance is resulting to pain. In physical therapy various supportive devices are used at some stage in the recovery journey. Some of these devices include;

1. Back braces
There are different back braces designed to help in supporting the upper and mid back during treatment. Where years of bad posture result to back pain, a posture brace comes in handy to support the right posture especially in the early stages where you are less aware of the desired posture.
Braces may be used where there are broken or dislocated bones. The braces provide the support required to maintain the back in the right posture while allowing the affected time to heal.

2. Back tapes
Taping is also done especially where you only need back support for a short duration. If you back problems are associated to prolonged pressure on your back due to bad posture you will most likely require to use back tapes after you are weaned off braces. The tape acts as a reminder whenever you forget and revert back to the bad posture.

3. TENS units
TENS units or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation units in full are low voltage battery operated devices that are used to treat back pain. A TENS device is normally connected to two electrodes that may be connected to a belt. These electrodes are used to transfer current from the TENS device directly to the skin where the current stimulate the nerves and eliminate pain.


TENS units make a lot of sense if you are looking for an effective solution that will relieve pain without causing any harmful side effects to the body. These units may be used together with other treatment methods especially where the problem causing the pain also needs to be addressed. In instances where the underlying problem is not treatable, TENS units work to relieve pain whenever needed and the fact that they cannot lead to addiction and other side effects makes them favorable where long-term back conditions are concerned.

4. Exercise
Exercise is important not just in the treatment of back pains but for your general well-being as well. The secret is to find the right balance so that exercise does not lead to muscle spasm. You also need to maintain the right posture during exercise, take appropriate breaks, and avoid pushing yourself too much as this can result to injuries that may cause upper pack pains and mid back pains.
Exercise helps in strengthening the body muscles and improving elasticity. Exercise is therefore effective in taking care of back pains at the present while reducing the likely hood of the same occurring in the future.
5. Massage
Massaging tender and tense muscles is one sure way of reducing muscle pain. A muscle relaxing cream can be used during the massage to further help in managing back pain especially where the back muscles are affected.


Based on the above treatments, it is clear there are many upper and mid back treatment options available at your disposal. It is therefore up to you to try a solution that works for you and where possible one that will provide a lasting solution to your problem with little if any side effects.



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