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Upper Back Pain

About Upper Back Pain

When you’ve got upper back pain, it’s not only tough to concentrate on your daily tasks, but you may also worry about serious other implications. A heart attack and other life-threatening conditions sometimes show up as pain in your upper back. To get answers and upper back pain relief, visit an experienced spine doctor like Dr. Amr Hosny at the Spine & Rehab Group in NYC and northern NJ. He’s an expert physician who asks the right questions and uses the latest technology to reach an accurate diagnosis. Call today for an appointment.

How Common Is Upper Back Pain?

Upper back pain isn’t as common as lower back pain. The thoracic area of the spine, which starts below your neck and reaches the bottom of your rib cage, doesn’t move as much as your lower back. You twist and swivel from your hips and lower back, while your upper back remains pointing the same direction. It’s your lower spine that more often develops an injury like a disc herniation or a bulging disc.

Similarly, your neck has more movable parts than your mid-back. So you may suffer more neck pain than middle back pain. Your neck can suffer conditions such as cervical facet syndrome or a slipped disc.

Pain in your upper back is uncomfortable. To manage this pain, consult with an upper back doctor who knows which conditions to look for. Sometimes, back pain is due to an underlying medical condition that’s more serious than a simple muscle pull. Dr. Amr Hosny and his team at the Spine & Rehab Group in NYC and northern NJ are upper back pain specialists with years of experience diagnosing and treating your pain.

What Can Cause Upper Back Pain?

The most common reason for upper back pain stems from years of poor posture. Standing and sitting with a slump or slouch for an extended period of time puts a strain on your thoracic spine. You can also get an upper back sprain due to a sudden or awkward movement. Such a sprain can create microtears in the ligaments, tendons or muscles in that area of your back.

There are still other reasons for middle back pain and upper back pain. You may need to seek upper back pain treatment due to:

  • A sports injury
  • Overuse of the upper back muscles
  • Lifting heavy objects incorrectly
  • Carrying around a heavy back pack
  • Repetitive movements involving your upper back muscles and shoulders that can also cause shoulder injuries
  • A car accident or a recent fall
  • Fever or chills along with the pain
  • Uncontrollable and unexplained weight loss
  • A bacterial infection
  • Cancer, especially bone cancer or lung cancer
  • A weak immune system
  • Age, as upper back pain is more common in those under 20 or over 50 years old
  • Upper back pain that doesn’t go away

When Should I Consult with an Upper Back Pain Doctor?

Your thoracic spine keeps you stable and erect while protecting important organs like your heart, lungs, digestive tract and liver. While you may only feel pain on the upper left side or the upper right side of your body, it may be due to a problem with your vital organs. During a heart attack, for example, you may feel shortness of breath and chest pain along with upper right back pain. You may get upper left back pain because of a pinched nerve or a herniated disc on that side of your back.

To rule out problems with your organs and get relief from your back pain, visit a spine specialist like Dr. Hosny. After a careful exam, a medical history and some imaging tests, your thoracic spine specialist can reach an accurate diagnosis of the reason behind your back pain, eliminating from consideration conditions such as:

  • Radiculopathy. When a nerve root is compressed or compromised, it causes a sharp back pain and possibly pins and needles sensations in your arms or fingers.
  • Degenerative disc disease. When an intervertebral disc, which cushions the bones of your spine, loses its elasticity due to wear and tear over time, it can cause back and radiating pain.
  • Disc herniation. When one of your discs in your back slips out of place, the adjacent vertebrae may grind against each other when you move.
  • Osteoporosis. This disease weakens the bone density in your spine and elsewhere, which can lead to fractures.
  • Arthritis. This disease causes stiffness, swelling and intense pain as you move because it wears away the protective cartilage within your joints.

What’s the Treatment for Upper Back Pain?

The type of upper back pain relief that’s right for you depends on your diagnosis and the severity of your condition. Mild symptoms may require only pain medications and heat or ice pack applications. You can also try massaging the area and doing some light stretching exercises. If the pain persists, your spine specialist may suggest minimally invasive treatments, such as:

For your convenience, you can book an appointment in any of the eight locations of the Spine & Rehab Group. Choose from the Financial District, Greenwich Village or Midtown Manhattan in New York City or Paramus, Riverdale, Englewood Cliffs, Cranford or East Brunswick, New Jersey. Contact the best spine care practice today.

Page Updated on Aug 26, 2021 by Dr. Hosny (Interventional Spine Specialist) of The Spine & Rehab Group
Financial District, NY
65 Broadway
Suite 1605
New York, NY 10006
Greenwich Village, NY
41 Fifth Avenue 
Suite 1C 
New York, NY 10003
Midtown, NY
56 West 45th Street
11th Floor
New York, NY 10036
East Brunswick, NJ
620 Cranbury Road
East Brunswick, 
NJ 08816
Paramus, NJ
140 Route 17 North
Suite 101
Paramus, NJ 07652
Englewood Cliffs, NJ
140 Sylvan Ave
Suite 101B
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632
Riverdale, NJ
44 Route 23 North
Suite 15B
Riverdale, NJ 07457
Cranford, NJ
216 North Ave E
Cranford, NJ, 07016
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