Upper back pains are not as common as lower back pains; they also do not have the host of causes that trigger lower back pain. But whenever they occur, they are equally painful in nature. Mainly two causes of upper back pain have been identified: muscular irritation in the myofascial region, a region comprising of neck and upper back; and joint dysfunction in this area. This could include an injury sustained by spinal discs in the upper back, but as evidence suggests, such injuries are rare, since this is the strongest and most stable portion of the spine and has no mobility at all. The thoracic region of the spinal column is referred to as the upper back.
Despite its low incidence, upper back pains have been on the rise in the recent times, a trend attributed to the frequent use of computers (and the abnormal sitting postures and strain resulting from computer use) in the workplaces. Even these complaints, however, have mostly pertained to the neck and shoulder regions rather than the thoracic region.
On account of the absence of rare pathological causes, most upper back pains can be managed by such practices as osteopathic or chiropractic manipulation, active and passive physical therapy, massage therapies, and acupuncture. Another benefit is stretching and strengthening exercises, which should be undertaken with the help of an expert physiotherapist. For quick relief, all these therapeutic modalities can be supplemented by use of safe and effective painkillers and anti-inflammatory medicines. Anti-inflammatory medicines help reduce the inflammation that results from muscular irritation and joint dysfunction.
If upper back pain persists for long, then causes such as a degenerated disc or herniated disc in the thoracic region should be investigated.