Three types of upper back pain that physical therapy can treat

Upper back pain is less common than lower back or neck issues, but it isn’t any less difficult for the people who experience it. The upper back generally refers to the thoracic spine, which is attached to the ribcage and is more stable than the lumbar region in the lower back and the cervical spine, which is in the neck. Because of this, injuries are less likely to develop in this region. 

If you are experiencing upper back pain and any related symptoms or mobility problems, physical therapy can be an excellent part of your treatment plan. By helping to strengthen supporting muscles and improve range of motion, physical therapy works to promote overall spine health and relieve upper back problems. There can be many causes of upper back pain, and to help you better understand the causes, we’re sharing three types that are more commonly encountered.   

We’re here to help — and welcome you to reach out with any questions you have as you explore the following information. 

Here are common causes of upper back pain that physical therapists encounter

Upper back pain causes can include: 

  1. Myofascial pain — This can be caused by inflammation of sensitive areas of the muscles in the upper back. Physical therapists can help with myofascial release, which is also known as trigger point therapy. 
  2. Traumatic injury — Anything that puts a large amount of force on the upper back, such as an automobile accident, can cause pain due to fractures and/or nerve compression. 
  3. Overuse or sports-related injuries — Any repetitive motion or high-impact activity can strain or tear the muscles and connective tissue in the back. 

Although less common, spine conditions such as bone spurs, herniated discs, bulging discs and joint inflammation can also develop in the upper back. 

Treating upper back pain with physical therapy

At Back in Motion Physical Therapy, our highly skilled clinicians can treat upper back pain with a combination of manual therapy, therapeutic exercise and other methods designed to stabilize the body, improve range of motion and take pressure off of spinal nerves. Even in relatively immobile areas like the upper back, a therapist can still provide effective treatments that promote long-term relief. 

To learn more about our wide range of treatment options and schedule your initial appointment, contact us today.