Upper Back Pain

Upper back pain part 1

Ever have pain in the upper back, near your shoulder blades, in your lower neck or traps (sometimes patients call this their shoulders), your neck or have headaches?  If you have then read this newsletter and blog – if not read it anyways you or someone you know may need it.  I’ll keep it short and sweet.

Every week for the next 5-6 weeks our newsletter Quick Tip Tuesday will have a short tip on upper back pain. I will be posting these on our blog each week too so you will continue to have access to it. Each week we will have a bit of a different focus and one or two quick things you can do to help yourself with upper back pain.  Then each month or so a new topic will start and we will do the whole thing over again!  So please feel free to share this newsletter and the blog posts with friends and family who you think it could help!

Pain relief for upper back pain

This week we will focus on pain relief for upper back pain.  I will tell you that a lot of upper back pain that I treat is caused by the ribs.   So, a lot of my patients have never thought of their ribs except the ones that sort of stick out near the upper part of their belly.  But the ribs form a cage around the lungs and heart. The ribs are supposed to move up and down very slightly like a bucket handle with every breath but sometimes they stop moving correctly.  But why?   Life, lifting, sitting, ergonomics, injury, the list is endless and there is rarely one reason this happens. The truth is that problems are cumulative and getting adjusted regularly really helps avoid things like this kind of upper back pain.

picture of rib cage - often upper back pain happens right between the shoulder blades

Too late and you already have pain?

Don’t fret, if you have pain already, I am going to give you a quick tip to help yourself right now if this rib problem is the issue.  Of course, you should come in and get checked out to be sure this is the issue so please book an appointment so we can make sure you are doing all the right things to heal. In the meantime, try the towel trick or using a ball like a lacrosse ball on that spot between the spine and the shoulder blade and lay on it with your arms outstretched in a T formation for about 5 minutes.  This should help ease the pain for a time.  Also please ice it for about 10 minutes. Please see the youtube videos below that I created for these two tips!

Towel trick exercise

For a link to the towel trick exercise for upper back pain click here

lacrosse ball trick

for a link to the lacrosse ball trick for upper back pain click here

While this is not going to fix all of your upper back pain it will be a pain decreasing measure you can take right now at home until you can come in to see me.  A few adjustments may be needed to get that rib moving again, calm down the inflammation and let the muscles relax. We’ve got this!

Next week once you are out of acute upper back pain we will talk a bit more abour things you can do to help stretch those muscles!