Upper back pain is less common than neck or lower back pain, but when it does occur, it can cause extreme discomfort. When you seek treatment for upper back pain, it’s important to choose a spine doctor with experience in treating this region of the back, particularly if you need surgery. If you’re suffering from upper back pain, here is what you need to know.
Basics of the Upper Back
The upper back is also referred to as the thoracic spine. It sits between the cervical spine in your neck and the lumbar spine in your lower back. The thoracic spine is attached to the ribs, so it doesn’t move nearly as much as the rest of your spine. For this reason, it is less vulnerable to injury and degeneration than the other parts of your back.
Causes of Upper Back Pain
Upper back pain can be acute and occur as the result of a trauma, or it can be chronic and develop over time. Muscular irritation—also called myofascial pain—and joint dysfunction are the two most common causes. Muscular irritation can occur during an auto accident, as the result of a sports injury, or over time due to poor posture or repetitive motions. Joint dysfunction occurs when the joints that connect the spine to the ribs don’t work properly. Less common causes of upper back pain include degenerative disc disease and spinal stenosis.
Treatments for Upper Back Pain
Because the upper back is so close to the heart and lungs, conservative treatments are used as often as possible. These may include spinal manipulation, massage therapy, and trigger point injections. When these methods do not provide sufficient relief, spine surgery, such as thoracic lateral fusion, is recommended.
Dr. Archie C. Perry, Jr. of the Spine Institute of Nevada is experienced in thoracic surgery in Las Vegas and can provide safe treatment for your upper back pain. Don’t let spine problems interfere with your life for another day. Contact us at 702-239-3787 to schedule an appointment.