Is there anything worse than upper back pain?
This kind of pain persists no matter what position you’re in. Lower back pain can at least be partly relieved by just sitting down. Pain in the upper back continues even when you’re lying down, curled up in a fetal position.
Muscles and Thoracic Joints are Behind Most Upper Back Pain
Lots of muscles in the upper back support the shoulders, shoulder blade (also called the scapula), and the back of the thoracic rib cage. When these muscles are irritated, the neck and shoulders often hurt as well.
A lot of upper back pain comes from our sedentary lifestyles. Sitting all day literally de-conditions back muscles. But pain can also come from overuse, repetitive injury, sports injuries, or from motor vehicle accidents (which also occur while in a sitting position).
Joint problems in the thoracic spine is another cause for most upper back problems. The thoracic spine runs from the upper part of the back to about the middle. Two joints connect the vertebrae in the spine to the ribs. When they hurt, so does the rest of the upper back!
Unlike the lumbar and cervical spine, the thoracic spine isn’t built for strength or flexibility. It’s meant to be stable to protect the chest organs—heart, lungs, liver—so any accident or disruption to that part of the body will be painful.
Upper back pain can also come from scoliosis, a condition in which the spine curves sideways. Arthritis, which can occur literally anywhere in the body, is another cause for a lot of back pain.
Supportive Kinesiology Tape Helps Relieve Upper Back Pain
Use supportive kinesiology tape like TT TARGET TAPE® to relieve upper back pain and assist with recovery.
Most treatment for middle and upper back pain focuses on gentle muscle stretches and massage. Many people swear by chiropractic care as well, which manipulates the spine to relieve the pain.
Kinesiology tape is another tool many people find is helpful for supporting the injured area and helping it heal. Like back wraps, tape supports the injured area but contributes to healing as well by gently lifting the skin so that the body’s healing fluids can flow in and out of the injured area. (Wraps often inhibit blood flow.)
Our tape is also much lighter and more comfortable than wraps, and water-resistant to stay on for three to five days. It’s latex-free and hypoallergenic as well. Check out our TT TARGET TAPE FAQ for more information.
Obviously, you will need someone to apply the tape to your back. We strongly recommend watching our video instructions to make sure you are properly taped up!
Three Ways Sitting Ducks Can Prevent Upper Back Pain
It’s not so easy to change our jobs, but we can prevent upper back pain even when our work puts us in front of a computer for most of the day. Here are three suggestions from Spine Universe to prevent it:
- Sit up straight. Mom was right! Proper posture is much less stressful on your back. Try to sit with the middle of your arms aligned with your ankles.
- Bend your elbows at 90º angles when typing
- Don’t cradle a phone between your shoulder and chin
And for general good health, get up to stretch or walk around at least once an hour.