How do I Treat Upper Back Pain?

Upper back pain often has its origins in irritation to the muscles found along the upper portion of the back and spine. Factors such as posture, straining of the shoulder muscles, and trauma to the thoracic spine area can all trigger pain in the upper back. Fortunately, there are simple ways to alleviate this type of back pain quickly and easily.
One of the most common reasons for pain in the upper back region has to do with posture. While many people think of posture as only applying to the way an individual holds his or her shoulders when standing, it is not unusual for people to slump somewhat when sitting as well. People who engage in a lot of computer work are especially susceptible to upper back pain, since they often slump unconsciously toward the computer screen when working for long periods of time.
When the pain is due to slumping while working at a computer, one solution is to take a break every forty-five minutes. The break does not have to be more than a couple of minutes. During the break, move away from the desk and stretch the arms upward and outward. This helps to promote a more natural posture. Take a moment to walk around before returning to the computer desk. Your back will feel better and you are much more likely to sit up properly at least for twenty or so minutes after your break.
People sometimes experience upper back pain first thing in the morning. This is often due to sleeping at an odd angle, or perhaps using too many pillows under the head and neck. Getting rid of some pillows will help the problem long term. For immediate relief, a hot shower will often loosen the tense muscles and help alleviate the neck pain and any pain spreading out into the shoulders.
Upper back pain may also be due to muscle strain that is experienced when performing some sort of physical task that involves the shoulders and upper body. When this is the case, ice packs can often help to soothe irritated muscles and help the neck and shoulder pain to subside. If the pain persists, try alternating hot and cold compresses for a day or so. This is often enough to clear up the pain completely.
For any type of upper back pain that persists, it is important to see a doctor immediately. The problem may be more than simply muscle strain from poor posture or overworking the muscle groups in the shoulders and neck. A qualified physician can asses the situation, run the proper tests, and develop a course of treatment that will make it possible to address the origin of the pain and banish it forever.

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