Upper Back Pain

Chiropractor For Upper Back Pain

Man with upper back pain

The upper back (also known as the thoracic spine) is made up of the vertebrae (T1-T12) not included in the lumbar region or neck. This upper back area is below the cervical spine (the neck) and above the lumbar spine (vertebrae L1-L5).

The upper back is the most stable part of the spine, though the range of motion is the most limited. Pain in the upper back is less likely than the neck and lumbar, and typically relates to long term issues with posture, work environment, or an actual injury to the area.

The location of the issue in your back, based on the vertebrae, directly affects where the symptoms show up in your body. For example, if a nerve at the top of your thoracic spine (T1 or T2) is irritated, you may feel something in your chest or arms, whereas a nerve issue in T9 or T10 may cause symptoms to show up in your lower back or abdomen.

There are some scary symptoms of upper back pain, such as pins-and-needles in the chest or abdomen, chills or fever, issues walking, or lack of coordination. A common cause of upper back pain is being involved in a car accident or experiencing a serious fall and these people should see a chiropractor immediately.

Did you know that you only have 14 days to see a doctor after a car accident to maintain your insurance benefits? Upper back pain, whether upper left back pain or upper right back pain, can be life altering long-term, so please call today to ensure you get the help needed if you were in an accident or suffered an injury to your upper back. 

Symptoms of Upper Back Pain

Symptoms of upper back pain would seem pretty self explanatory but in some cases a patient may experience referred pain or think that their pain is radiating from their shoulders instead of their back. It’s important to stay in tune with your body so that you can alert your doctor or chiropractor if something feels off. Symptoms of upper back pain include:

  • Dull ache in upper back
  • Sharp pain or radiating pain
  • Swollen or hot to the touch areas
  • Cramping
  • Numbness or tingling

Upper back pain may come on suddenly, come and go, or be of gradual onset. 

pen pointing to a scan of the upper spine in a patient with upper back pain

Upper Back Pain Causes

Upper back pain can be caused by many different things. That’s why it’s important to reach out to your licensed chiropractor so they can get to the root of the cause instead of just using medication which may have unwanted side effects. Some causes are:

  • Spinal cord or spinal nerve compression 
  • Repetitive motion (like those in a golf swing)
  • Muscular irritation
  • Herniated disc
  • Injury to soft tissues
  • Joint dysfunction
  • Poor posture

Some of these causes can be corrected at home (like your posture) but most need the expertise of a skilled chiropractor. You don’t want to try and adjust your spine by yourself because you could hurt muscles, ligaments, and your joints.

Upper Back Pain When Breathing

If you’ve ever experienced upper back pain while taking a deep breath, make sure to schedule a doctor visit.

In some cases, the pain may simply be due to your lungs expanding and moving your ribs, sending pain into your spine. But in rare cases, this pain can also be indicative of a blood clot in the lung, which can be serious.

While a blood clot is one of the most serious diagnoses from upper right back pain, a muscle strain, overuse, or even a twist in the wrong direction can result in serious pain.

Avoid blindly searching the internet over your upper back pain because many results will make you think you may have lung cancer, a heart attack, or some other serious illness when the reality is most likely much simpler. A brief chiropractic visit can illuminate the cause of the pain, down to which vertebrae are affecting your nerves, sending chronic pain throughout your upper back.

Chiropractic care is about total body wellness, starting with the spine.

Upper Back Pain When Lying Down

Again, before you venture down a Google search black hole on the many ailments your upper back pain must mean, remember that the most common causes of back pain and chest pain are caused by poor posture, overuse, or a direct injury to the area.

While the internet may scare you into thinking you have a spinal infection or a pinched nerve, the reality is most likely much less severe, and easily treated with chiropractic adjustments, spinal manipulation, and massage

When lying down, if upper back pain persists, call your Chiropractor in Oviedo immediately to schedule an assessment. 

How to Sleep with Upper Back Pain

Your best friend to aid in sleeping with upper back pain is also extremely simple: a pillow. If you haven’t already tried this affordable tactic, get an additional pillow immediately!

For side sleepers, place a pillow between your knees to bring your legs and spine back into alignment. If you prefer back sleeping, try placing the pillow underneath your knees, raising your legs up slightly. If you are a stomach sleeper, use the pillow closer to your ankles, allowing the spine the opportunity to align more naturally.

Regardless of your mattress, a good knee pillow can be the main difference between sleepless nights and the z’s you need to rehabilitate your upper back pain.

Upper Back Pain Relief

Pain in the upper back is no laughing matter.

A chiropractor will become your best friend after you experience chronic back pain that doesn’t seem to dissipate after sleep, stretching, or over-the-counter medicine. In many cases, the solution is chiropractic adjustments and spinal manipulation.

The simple reason is this: your vertebrae move and reshape based on your common behaviors, so if you have bad posture or sit at a desk all day, the natural curve of your spine is affected daily.

Chiropractic adjustments work to repair that damage, allowing your body to do what it does best: heal itself. Just as a cut on your finger will heal, so can your back, with the appropriate guidance. 

If you are suffering from upper back pain, call us today to talk about your options.





For some, chiropractic offers relief from pain. For others, it's about feeling and looking good. Call today and see what chiropractic can do for you!

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Oviedo Chiropractic

2871 Clayton Crossing Way Suite 1073
Oviedo, FL 32765
(407) 542-1614
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