Upper Back Pain

Upper Back Pain Treatment in CT & NY

Upper back pain is not as common as low back pain or neck pain because this part of the back does not flex or move as much as the bones in the lower back. However, there are many causes of upper back pain, such as muscle strain, poor posture, herniated disc and osteoarthritis.

Symptoms of Upper Back Pain

Upper back pain can feel like one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Sharp pain
  • General discomfort
  • Stiffness
  • Radiating pain that travels along a nerve
  • Tingling, numbness or weakness

Causes of Upper Back Pain

Upper back pain can occur due to a variety of reasons, including:

Poor Posture

Poor posture, such as sitting with a rounded back and shoulders hunched forward, can put stress on the back muscles and cause upper back pain. Poor posture can also cause structural changes in the back and neck, which can also contribute to upper back pain.


Repeating the same movements for long periods of time could cause muscle strains, ligament sprains and inflammation in the upper back.

Disc Injury

Spinal discs are rubbery pads between the vertebrae that act as shock absorbers in the spine. The spinal discs are also prone to injury, and the risk increases with age. A herniated disc is the most common type of disc injury that occurs when the cartilage surrounding the disc pushes against the spinal cord. Degeneration and injury are the two most common causes of a herniated disc.

Degenerative Problems

As one ages, the normal structure and function of the spine degenerates. Common degenerative problems include intervertebral disc degeneration, spondylosis, and arthritis or other inflammatory diseases in the spine.

Treatment for Upper Back Pain

Similar to low back pain, most upper back pain can be treated with physical therapy and self-care methods. Physical therapy will restore muscle strength and function through exercise, which will alleviate tension and pressure in the upper back. Massage therapy and acupuncture are also methods that can alleviate upper back pain.

At Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation of NY & CT, we offer a variety of personalized treatments to help you find relief. To learn more about which treatment is right for you, schedule an appointment today!