Back pain can be infuriating. No posture seems to be comfortable anymore as the painful sensation persists whether you are sitting upright or laying down. Treating back pain properly is necessary in order to avoid serious health implications in the future – especially because your back is where the spinal cord is situated, and you cannot afford any damage on the most important part of your body.
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Upper back pain can be described as a feeling of discomfort around your shoulder area or right below your neck. It is often categorized as the area between the end of the neck and the bottom of your ribcage. This entire area includes 12 extremely important bones – none of which should suffer any serious damage.
The Symptoms of Upper Back Pain
Upper back pain is easy to identify – simply because you are likely to experience some burning, aching, pulling, or tingling sensations in one of the 12 bones in your upper back. The point at which the pain sensation is the most heightened is usually described as the main location of strain or injury – and that is the part that you should focus on during treatment.
Treating Upper Back Pain
Upper back pain is typically caused due to poor posture, intense exercises, weightlifting in the wrong position, or pressure caused due to an injury. Lucky for you, upper back pain can be treated at home using a few remedies and integrating lifestyle changes that help your muscles heal properly.
Apart from resting for a few days in case you have suffered from an injury or strain, you can also use basic treatment methods such as applying an ice pack on your upper back to relieve the inflammation or swelling. Pain relieving medicines such as acetaminophens or ibuprofen are often prescribed to people who suffer from back pain.
In case none of these basic treatments work, here are a few more simple ways to heal your upper back pain at home:
1. Gentle Exercise and Stretching
While many people believe that resting or sleeping on your back all day may help relieve the upper back pain, that is not actually true. Resting your upper back excessively can result in far more serious back problems and slow your healing process significantly.
Instead, it is important to engage in gentle exercises and stretching if you are only experiencing mild upper back pain. Activities such as going on a walk or doing Pilates can contribute significantly towards treating your upper back pain. Doing basic stretching exercises such as raising your arms towards the air or touching your toes can help heal your upper back pain better as well.
Once your pain becomes slightly better, you can even engage in water exercises in the swimming pool or practice yoga. Each of these exercises help build strength in your muscles and can make you feel rejuvenated after experiencing upper back pain. Exercising is also known to be a great stress reliever – especially since having upper back pain can be an anxiety-inducing experience for most people.
2. Staying Hydrated
Water is especially important for our bodies, and even more so when we are healing. If you are looking to treat your upper back pain quickly and effectively, remember to monitor your water intake and consume the recommended eight glasses of water per day.
3. Sleeping Properly
Do you sleep in an uncomfortable position that may be the cause of your upper back pain? Most people tend to ignore the fact that the way they sleep has a huge impact on how their body feels in the morning. If you are suffering from upper back pain, you should keep a check on your sleeping positions and ensure that you are sleeping upright.
Some high pillows cause your neck to be more elevated than the rest of your body and that causes strain on the upper back area. To avoid upper back pain, you should only have pillows that seem comfortable for your own body. Since each body is different, some people sleep better with soft pillows while others prefer hard pillows. Modern technology has also allowed for the development of memory foam pillows that allow you to remain consistent with your sleeping position every night.
3. Proper Medication
In case over the counter pain killers do not seem to work anymore, it is important to consult a doctor for your upper back pain who may prescribe some stronger medication. Most doctors will recommend that you take these strong pain killers for a limited period of time in order to avoid medicine dependence for your upper back pain. Typically, stronger medication is only used as assistance during the healing process of your upper back pain as you engage in other treatment methods as well.
4. Back Massager
A massager can be an extremely useful accessory to keep at home. A back massager will help you relax the muscle tissues in your upper back and relieve the tension or strain that is causing the pain. Back massagers typically use a combination of vibrations and infrared heating to provide the same therapeutic healing benefits as a typical back massage. Since it may be difficult for people to continuously take massage appointments during their busy day, having a back massager at home can be extremely helpful while treating upper back pain.
Causes and Prevention of Upper Back Pain
Once you have treated your upper back pain, you probably never want to experience the same discomfort again. In order to avoid having upper back pain again, you must understand the different causes of the problem and how you can prevent it from happening. The most common causes of upper back pain include:
1. Poor Posture
Like all other muscle-related problems in the body, poor posture is one of the leading causes of upper back pain. If you find yourself constantly bending downwards to look at a monitor screen while you work or have your head slouched as you read a book, you are likely to experience upper back pain frequently. In order to avoid this circumstance, you should consider investing in an ergonomic workstation that allows you to have your monitor screen at eye level – thus eliminating the need for you to slouch downwards as you work.
2. Extreme Weightlifting
If you are interested in weight training, it is necessary for you to understand the right postures for it first. Picking up heavy weights in the wrong positions can lead to extreme upper back pain since you are constantly damaging the muscle tissue in your spine. Having a trainer at your gym teach you the proper ways of weightlifting can be helpful to avoid the instance of experiencing back pain in the future.
3. Muscle Overuse
Are you constantly overworking yourself and your body without actually paying attention? That may be the main cause of your upper back pain. Muscle overuse means that you are causing extreme strain and pressure on your muscle tissue without allowing sufficient time to rest and rejuvenate the cells in your body. In case you often engage in extreme exercises, have a repetitive motion routine, or have a job that involves picking up heavy objects over your head, it is important to give your body rest days to avoid experiencing chronic upper back pain.
The Final Word
Since upper back pain can cause extreme discomfort for people, the easiest way to treat it at home is by using a back massager. Remember to not overwork your muscles or continuously remain in a poor posture if you want to avoid suffering from upper back pain in the future.