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Upper Back Pain

Upper Back Pain

Upper Back Pain

Upper back pain can become a barrier to you be able to do all the things you want - and generally living the life you want. It can be incredibly painful around the spine, and often causes other symptoms such as headaches and reduced mobility. It is often difficult to pinpoint a specific cause to upper back pain, so is characterised as ‘acute non-specific’ upper back pain. In contrast, a ‘specific’ upper back pain has a known cause, such as carrying something that was too heavy or whiplash from an accident.

What causes upper back pain?

This is precisely what your assessment with our Physiotherapy team uncovers. If there’s a specific cause, it may be something like:
  • Impact trauma (vehicle accident or impact from sports)
  • Lifting a particular object that was too heavy without a correct lifting technique
  • Osteoporosis
  • An infection
Most people will fall into the category of non-specific back pain. This means a variety of factors may contribute, including:
  • Poor sitting posture
  • Daily overuse (repetitively lifting heavy loads or working above your head, like when stacking shelves, for an extended time)
  • Muscle and tendon strains
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Other lifestyle factors
It’s very important to note that when we assess your lower back pain, the first priority is to exclude the serious causes of lower back pain that can have significant consequences. Once we exclude these and any other specific causes, we start musculoskeletal treatment for the non-specific causes. Don’t worry - we have very specific and proven treatments, despite the cause being labelled as ‘non-specific’.

How do you treat upper back pain?

In your rib cage area alone there are 120+ joints. Poor mechanics affect breathing which cause headaches or pain in hands. Our greatest strength here is that we assess you and give people the knowledge to help themselves and make them aware of the causes of their pain. We use exercise prescription, massage, dry needling, manipulations and a lot of education. Upper back pain has a broad spectrum of causes and one of the main things is having a diagnosis and then setting up as treatment program.

Tendinopathy, Tendonitis & Tendinosis

A tendinopathy refers to damage incurred by a tendon and the subsequent painful symptoms that follow.