Upper Back and Neck Pain Issues: Causes and Treatment

Upper Back And Neck Pain Issues: Causes And Treatment

When you experience pain in the neck and upper back, these are considered common pains. Since almost all have experienced this kind of pain in their lives. Pain in the neck and upper back usually lasts for a short period. Some people experience neck and upper back pain because of their sleeping position. It could be painful for some time but this pain doesn’t last that long.

Some people, however, have severe and chronic pain in these areas. Neck and upper back pain can limit your movement and if not addressed may cause other pain such as headaches, tension headaches, and other serious problems.

In this article, we are going to talk about the causes of neck pain and upper back pain, treatments to reduce pain in this area as well as preventions.

Possible causes of neck and upper back pain

Upper back pain and neck pain may come from several different causes. Although upper back pain may not be as common as neck pain that is according to a 2014 study, it approximately affects 1 out of 5 females and 1 out of 10 males. However, due to modern times, these numbers could increase.

Upper Back And Neck Pain Issues: Causes And Treatment

Our habit of looking at screens for long periods is one of the culprits causing upper back and neck pain. Sitting all day on our computer screens, playing on our mobile phones for some time, and slumping on our couch to watch television for several hours. Other possible causes are as follows:

Poor posture

One of the causes of upper back pain and neck pain is poor posture. It puts pressure on your posterior muscles which hurts your back and neck. Incorrect posture can also cause increased stress on the cervical spine and overload on the neck and pain resulting in the upper back and neck pain.

To alleviate pain and reduce muscle tension, you have to improve your posture with strength and stretching exercises. Exercises that can improve poor posture are as follows:

  • yoga and Pilates
  • planks
  • bridges
  • back extensions


Trauma caused by an injury may also cause upper back and neck pain. Injuries that are because of an accident like a car or sports accident, slipping, falling, or tripping to name a few. This may have long-term consequences for a person’s health like a serious injury may damage nerves.

To get pain relief from the sharp pain in the upper back and neck, health specialists may order physical therapy, over-the-counter medicines, and some physical exams to see if it is serious.

Overused muscles

Incorrect heavy lifting can cause muscle tears joint problems and can cause severe shooting pain while athletes who frequently have throwing movements such as pitchers in baseball may experience muscle strain on their shoulders. Muscles in the upper back stabilize the shoulder so straining and overusing them can cause upper back and neck pain.

Upper Back And Neck Pain Issues: Causes And Treatment

Pinched nerve

A pinched nerve is an injury that happens when a nerve is stretched too far or squeezed by surrounding bone or tissue. A pinched nerve in the upper back and neck can cause pain, numbness, tingling sensations, and weakness. This may be caused by a herniated disc that slips out and compresses the nerves causing pain.

In some cases, a pinched nerve is caused by a sports injury, poor posture, or weightlifting injury.

Other causes of upper back and neck pain

  • heavy lifting trauma
  • atherosclerosis injury
  • whiplash
  • altered aging of the spine
  • overweight
  • smoking

Like many health conditions, people who smoke and are overweight can experience severe pain in their back and neck. Excess weight can add more pressure to the muscles.

Upper Back And Neck Pain Issues: Causes And Treatment

When left untreated, upper back pain and neck pain can become very serious problems. If you feel persistent pain for a long period of time, you should consult a healthcare specialist to address this pain and feel pain relief.


If a person goes to meds about their back pain, you can start by having a discussion. Expect the doctors to ask you questions about things that can directly cause a fall or an automobile crash, or a change or increase in fitness habits.

You may be asked how painful it is to be 0-10. It is also advisable that you talk about how pain can impact your daily routine. How should I prepare food before bed? Next comes your physical assessment — you’re poking and pointing part of your visit. Doctors want a sense of what happens when your upper spine hurts and the way you are moving. Expect to sit, stand, reach/bend during an exam session.

Upper Back And Neck Pain Issues: Causes And Treatment

Your doctor will ask you about your history and carry out physical exams to see how you are doing and what’s wrong. It can be done through an X-ray of the affected regions and an MRI. It offers an even greater view. The MRI also shows soft tissues like muscle, ligaments, muscle, and nerves and it measures muscle. A magnetic resonance imaging system is a way to detect a tumor or inflammatory disease that the pain is caused. Sometimes blood tests can detect arthritis, which can result in back or neck discomfort.

Treating upper back pain and neck pain

Several treatments are available for upper back and neck and back pain, and there’s no better choice for these cases. There are a variety of ways to get things done. Usually, upper back pain doesn’t pose any problem, but it can be painful or unpleasant.

Conventional treatments for upper back and neck pain include:

  • Over-the-counter medicine
  • Prescription muscle relaxants if over-the-counter medicines are ineffective
  • Hot or cold packs
  • Physical exercises such as strengthening and stretching exercises
  • TENS machine for the neck and upper back like the SmartCare Neck Massager
  • Neck collars or neck braces
  • Upper back and neck massage tools
  • Surgery, only in rare cases

In addition, if the symptoms of pain are progressively worse after sudden injury, it may be necessary to seek medical treatment immediately.

Risk factors

You can tell that you have no symptoms of lower back pain, but you are quite sure it is not a serious condition. In reality, you’re not trying new sports. Perhaps you have little time for exercising, even if you are overdoing it. You know this will increase the chances of back pain. When you exercise, your body is supporting your spine. If your body is tired, it can lead to back pain and other symptoms. The lack of fitness can lead to upper-body pains. Some are Oversize. Since your thighs support the weight of your torso, weight can be a strain on your torso.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What is the anatomy behind my upper back problem?

Lower back and/or lower back pain is rarely more frequent than lower back and neck pain. One study conducted found that a third of patients had lower back pain, whereas only about one-third had upper back pain. The upper back is above the cervical and lower back areas. The upper spine is also known as the trachea, and it is the strongest component of the spine. The upper back’s mobility can be restricted because the thoracic spine ties itself to the spine (ribcage).

How are back and neck pain managed?

In some instances, acute back pain is better with no additional medical care. Taking ibuprofen reduces pain and relieves stress levels. Surgery and exercise should be avoided for acute pain. If you suffer from severe back pain or neck or shoulder pain, rehabilitation services can help you. This program can vary in severity according to your pain or condition. The active participation of patients and their families is essential for successful rehabilitation programs.

Can I prevent neck and back pain?

There are many things that you can do to avoid upper back and neck pain. The following can help relieve the back or limb pains of aching shoulders, upper back, and neck.

  • Use telephone equipment correctly
  • Keep in the correct position while sleeping
  • Practice correct lifting techniques
  • Exercise or train frequently
  • Find a back-strengthening exercise that keeps your back strong
  • Warm up during stretches or back exercises
  • Try a balance exercise
  • Do not smoke
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduce emotional stress which causes muscle tension

What is the difference between neck pain and upper back pain?

Upper back pain usually occurs due to injuries to soft tissues such as sprains. Poor posture and a tight neck could ruin the upper back. It varies from mild dull pain or severe disabling pain. Pain in my upper back can limit mobility. It can affect our lives and our daily routines.

Neck pain occurs due to the cervical lumbar bone. Because of its location and movement, the body may leave the neck vulnerable to injuries. Pain may come in a sudden or intense form in the neck. Chronic pain lasts a month or a year. The pain may be continuous.

What are the symptoms of upper back and neck pain?

Upper Back problems are usually due to a mild burn, a swollen back, dull back pain, or muscle strain. Pain is usually limited to a single place or covers large areas. Legs numb or tingle above knees or under knees. It will aggravate a stiff pain anywhere on your spine from the neckbones up. Sharp shooting pain radiating.