Upper Back Pain

Upper Back Pain

 Upper Back Pain | Denver Chiropractor

Upper Back Pain,

although not as common as lower back pain, plagues people every day. I’ll touch on a few of the common sources of upper and middle back pain.

Colorado chiropractors, given the huge number of recreational runners and outdoor enthusiasts; see upper back pain as a result of faulty biomechanics in a majority of the cases. Downtown Denver chiropractors may see more postural related upper back pain due to the frequency of office workers and repetitive stress or cumulative trauma injuries. Some of the best chiropractors, like Dr. Eben Davis, make a huge impact on treating these types of office related injuries naturally and drug and surgery free

When a person ‘runs too tight’ they strain muscles in and around the upper back around the trapezius and rhomboid muscles.  Back and neck pain can settle in underneath the ‘traps’ in the ribs, and the heads of ribs.  This is where they articulate with the spine. There are joints here. These can become misaligned or subluxated. If an articulation is altered in anyway, this is called a subluxation.

Upper Back Pain May Be Rib Pain

Besides sports injuries or poor posture, sometimes innocent things like coughing, twisting or sneezing can cause a rib to ‘come out.’ When they do it can feel like an ice pick on the inside of your shoulder blade.

I see it a lot.

To fix a subluxation, an adjustment can help a condition like this immensely- sometimes immediately.

Upper Back Pain Causes

Upper back pain has other sources too.  Spinal fractures, rib fractures, degenerative discs, trigger points, muscle spasms, referred pain from a lung disorder, and pinched nerves all can cause pain in your upper back.  These conditions are a little trickier to fix.

If you just slept wrong last night then it’s likely a rib isn’t articulating properly.  The symptoms you’d likely feel here are a sharp pain that may or may or may not radiate.  There might be some dull achy tendencies to upper back pain as well, but the most agonizing part of this is that you’re unable to turn your head or breathe properly.  Again, since the rib assists in all of these motions…that’s why it’ll re-create pain each time it’s called upon to move. This is when most people realize how important your rib cage is.

For temporary relief, magnesium sulfate can be used in a bath, frequently called Epsom salt. (Yes, your mother was right) Magnesium is a muscle relaxant.  It can also be taken orally; the taste isn’t all that great.  The relaxing effects can even be felt in the bowel.  Careful not to overdose orally, as this might induce very loose stools or diarrhea.

For other home exercises or proactive ways to prevent upper back pain you can also refer to a yoga practitioner, local chiropractor, physical therapist, or massage therapist.  Get help as soon as you can.  The longer a condition ‘wallows’ in pain, the harder it is to treat and recover from it.  The bottom line is this…most upper back pain can be resolved and managed, as long as your practitioner is addressing the cause.

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Ron Spallone
Dr. Ron Spallone, DC is the chiropractic clinic director. His passion is the driving force behind Denver Chiropractor dot com. He's been a Colorado chiropractor for over 15 years.


  1. J. Cruz
    07 April 11, 8:10pm

    Proper stretching just after you get out of bed sets the proper articulation of the ribs and spine. As well as mobilization exercise. But proper positioning during sleep is still the best remedy for upper back pain.

  2. A. Humpe
    07 April 11, 8:25pm

    And also heat application helps in soothing the pain. It increases the circulation and blocks the pain. It will also promote fast healing and repair to tissues.

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