Upper Back Pain and Physical Therapy
A painful upper back can be indicative of several issues, such as a pinched nerve or herniated disc. It could also be due to muscle overuse, poor posture, trauma or serious health conditions like arthritis.
When you experience upper back pain, over-the-counter medications and using a heating pad or ice pack to reduce swelling and relieve the discomfort may help. However, it’s best to steer clear of over-the-counter pain medication if the discomfort is severe or disrupting your daily activities; seek medical advice instead for diagnosis and proper treatment of your condition.
Your doctor will perform a physical examination and review your medical history to identify the source of your back pain. If it’s indicative of something more serious, they may order an X-ray or MRI to pinpoint its origin. They may also order blood tests to check for kidney infections or cancer in order to rule out these possibilities.
Physical therapists offer several solutions to relieve back pain. Some of the most popular include manual therapy (soft tissue massage), joint mobilization, stretches and exercises. A physical therapist will also assess your overall strength and mobility level and suggest exercises designed specifically to strengthen muscles in your upper back region.
According to the severity of your back pain, you may require several sessions before feeling better. A therapist can also ensure you know the warning signs for when the discomfort could return.
The therapist will then suggest a treatment plan for you to follow at home or in the office, which may include stretching and strengthening exercises, manual therapy, as well as an individually tailored exercise program designed to increase flexibility and muscle tone.
A physical therapist can also help you assess your work habits and find ways to adjust them so that you don’t overstress muscles or put too much strain on your spine. For instance, they might suggest using a standing desk or setting an alarm so you get up and stretch every 15 minutes.
Your therapist can offer advice on how to adjust your sitting position to keep your body healthy, which in turn could prevent future back pain. This could involve abstaining from certain habits such as hunching over the computer or using a mobile phone in an awkward way.
Physical therapists possess years of expertise when it comes to dealing with back and neck pain, so they can offer expert advice about the next steps for you. Additionally, they may suggest specific exercises designed to strengthen your back and loosen up tight muscles.
Chronic myofascial pain can be caused by overuse, sprain or injury, herniated disc, osteoarthritis or spinal epidural abscess. This discomfort occurs when fascia (grouping of fibers) become thick and hard after an injury or overuse. It’s very common for this discomfort to persist even after rest or rehabilitation.