Upper Back Pain Causes
The first step in determining upper back pain causes is to understand the
different structures and conditions that may be affecting the back. Upper
back pain causes can vary significantly which is why understanding the
various and symptoms and components of upper back pain can help to
determine how the back was injured. This understanding will also result in
valuable insight when considering treatment options.
A common upper back pain cause may be a strain or sprain. With a muscle
strain, the muscles in the back become stretched excessively, resulting in
tears that develop in the muscle tissue. A sprain yields similar symptoms,
however instead of muscles getting injured, this injury occurs when the
ligaments in the upper back become injured. Due to the similar symptoms of
sprains and strains, it if often difficult to determine specifically which
condition is causing back pain. Fortunately, each condition usually
requires similar treatment. These two conditions often account for the
most common causes of upper back pain.
Another cause of upper back pain is a ruptured or herniated disc. Between
each vertebra is a disc of cartilage. These discs help to cushion and
absorb shock during movement. They also help to add stability of the upper
back. Wear and tear over time can cause these discs to harden and lose
their elasticity. A herniated disc occurs when the disc begins to bulge
out from the spinal column. As a result, sensitive tissue and nerves in
the spinal column can become impaired when pressure from the disc is
placed on them. When pressure is placed on the spinal column, weakness can
occur throughout the back and lower extremities as well as serious pain
and tingling sensations (paresthesias).
Upper back pain can also be caused by arthritis. Most commonly, arthritis
affects the knees and other joints throughout the body, but it can also be
a cause of upper back pain. Arthritis is any inflammation of the joints.
The most common form of this disease is osteoarthritis. Sometimes symptoms
of this condition can develop early on between the ages of 30 and 40, but
most often it affects elderly people. The wearing down of cartilage around
the joints can cause aching pain, swelling, morning stiffness, and
reduction of fluid movement.
Osteoporosis is another cause of upper back pain. This condition is
characterized by a loss of density and degeneration of bone tissue. The
loss of bone density can lead to serious effects and in particular
adversely affect structural stability. Type I osteoporosis usually
develops in postmenopausal women. Type II osteoporosis is more common and
develops in both men and women, but more commonly in the elderly. As
people age, calcium and phosphate often get absorbed back into the body,
thereby lowering the bone density. Having hormone deficiencies are also a
common trait that would lead to osteoporosis. Upper back pain, as well as
neck pain and fractures, are symptoms of this condition. The most
significant risk factors for osteoporosis are age, family history of
osteoporosis, and having menopause. Preventing this disease requires
taking vitamins and having a balanced diet. Itís also a good idea of avoid
alcohol and smoking and to exercise regularly in order to maintain density
in the bones.
Like herniated discs, spinal stenosis is another upper back pain cause
that can result with the pinching of nerves and tissue in the spinal
column. Normally, this condition develops among people over the age of 50.
Aging bones in the upper back can often lose volume with depleting
moisture over time. Inflammation around the joints develops as the space
decreases. Nerves can also easily become pinched which can lead to severe
pain and other discomfort.
Upper back pain can also be caused by fibromyalgia, which is more common
than people may think. Muscles aches and stiffness are common traits of
this condition. This condition can cause the inflammation of the upper
backís connective tissue, resulting in severe and chronic pain.
A generally less serious cause of upper back pain is back spasms. Spasms
are characterized by spontaneous, abnormal contractions of the muscles in
the upper back. Sometimes, these contractions may be a response to another
type of injury, particularly in response to muscle strains.
There are many upper back pain causes. Mentioned above are a select few
conditions that are among the most common reasons for back pain. When
experiencing back pain, it is important to identify and treat it before it
progresses and develops into a more severe condition.