Ah, back pain— there’s nothing quite like it! From those tender knots to the constant, dull aches to those oh-so-lovely (not) shooting pains, there’s nothing worse than dealing with a spasming back that won’t give you any relief.
Now, one thing that we’ve noticed about back pain, in general, is that there is a whole lot more information out there on the lower back, but not an awful lot on the upper. Personally speaking, we find ourselves bargaining with our partner to rub our shoulders and neck a heck of a lot more often than our lumbar region. Sound familiar?
If so, let’s take a look at some of the most obvious contributing factors to the ache— and while we’re at it, let’s delve into how you can remedy them, too! Here are 7 upper back pain causes you can easily fix…
Your posture at the office
Spend a bulk of your work time slumped over your desk, typing away at the computer? Same here, and man, is it killer on the neck and shoulders, even after you head home for the day!
How to fix it: Make sure that your computer screen is placed at eye level, or, if you are really committed, talk your boss into investing in a standing desk for you!
Your super heavy bag
Everyone knows that a purse or backpack filled with a heavy wallet, a laptop, half of your makeup collection, a water bottle, your lunch, and a hodge-podge of items that have been stuck at the bottom for MONTHS is not great on the spine. In fact, if you end up habitually carrying the bag on one shoulder, the weight could cause irreversible damage to the spine. Yikes!
How to fix it: Perform a thorough cleaning of that bag at least once a week. If you can’t leave behind the heavy stuff, invest in an ergonomic backpack with waist-straps or wheels to lighten your load.
Your over-stressed psyche
Believe it or not, stressing out can have a serious impact on the way you move, stand, and sit. If you’re particularly overwhelmed, you might slouch your shoulders or make a habit of looking down, both of which can add stress to the upper back.
How to fix it: Find ways to take care of both your mental and physical health. The most obvious pick? Yoga!
Your smoking habit
At the point in history, smoking is an act that is getting harder and harder to defend! If you happen to be in the minority that is still sucking down those nicotine sticks, you might be contributing to muscle degeneration, which could lead to upper back pain, amongst other things.
How to fix it: Do anything you can to quit that deadly habit! Join a support group, see a doctor for medication, visit a hypnotist— anything to regain your health!
Your exercise routine
Sure, exercise may be good for you, but if you experience back pain after your workouts, it could be a sign that you are over-exerting yourself.
How to fix it: Ensure that you are using proper form and weight levels, especially when lifting overhead. If you’re not sure, seek the advice of a certified personal trainer.
One of the first obvious signs that osteoporosis sufferers encounter is upper back pain and weakness. Women, especially, begin noticing this around menopause, but it can happen as early as 35 in some cases.
How to fix it: Schedule a visit with your doctor. You will most likely be prescribed supplements, medication, or a physical therapy routine, depending on the severity of your case.
Your acid reflux
Let’s face it— acid reflux is pretty terrible, but what makes it even worse for some sufferers is the sharp upper back pain that comes along with the burn. Talk about a double whammy!
How to fix it: Again, see your doctor for a treatment plan. In some cases, acid reflux, or GERD as it is also known, is mistaken for something more serious, so it’s important that you get a solid diagnosis before you self-treat.
Do you suffer from upper back pain? If so, have you been able to pin down a reason? How do you relieve your upper back pain?