Common Causes of Upper Back Pain

October 9, 2008 by admin 

Its not uncommon for all of us to know other individuals that suffer from lower back pain issues.  But what about Upper Back Suffering ?  While you may not hear as much about it, many people have constant and chronic pain in the upper back and shoulder area, or wake up in pain, or suddenly just have jarring and debilitating aches in this area.  It’s not uncommon for upper back pain to be accompanied by a stiff neck and shoulders, and some cannot even twist their head or move it at all.  Obviously this can cause quite a few problems as we need to move our heads around to do just about anything!Why does upper back pain happen and how does it happen and really what can be done about it?

Remember that the neck muscles and the shoulder muscles are connected to the back muscles, so pain in one can cause pain in the other.  A back injury can cause not only upper back pain but a problem with the shoulders and neck as well, since they’re not being as supported as they need to be.  When the back muscles are in pain they just don’t function and part of their function is to keep those shoulder and neck muscles working properly.  So a lower back injury or malfunction can cause not just upper back pain but neck and shoulder pain as well.  All these muscles are connected so it’s possible to have pain in one area when there’s a problem in another.

Most cases of Upper Back Pain do originate in the neck and shoulders, however.  We often don’t think of how much work the neck especially is doing at all times.  The purpose of the neck is to not just connect the head to the rest of the body but to cradle and support it as well.  This is true even when you’re in bed and asleep!  The neck absorbs many shocks and other jarring movements to keep the head steady; think of how often you’re in your car and slam on the brakes or step on the gas, and your neck goes back and forth suddenly.  These types of movements can cause upper back pain because these neck injuries are harming the upper back as well.  Failing to support your head and neck can also cause upper back pain; if you’re constantly hunching over a computer keyboard or have very poor posture these will wear out the muscles of the shoulders, neck, and every other part of the back as well.  People often wake up with upper back pain because they have a very poor quality pillow that doesn’t help the neck to do its job to keep the head in place. 

Realizing all these causes of upper back pain can help you to understand how you might alleviate this pain.  It’s important to keep your posture upright and relaxed and to be careful of jarring injuries to your neck as well.


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