Upper Back Pain Treatment
Upper back pain treatment can vary greatly. Treatment for upper back pain
depends on a wide range of conditions that could affect your back.
Generally, without proper treatment, conditions tend to worsen which is
why seeking treatment early is vital to maintaining a healthy back.
There are several simple, conservative upper back pain treatment methods
that can be utilized early on. Icing the painful area or applying a
heating pad can help temporarily ease discomfort. There are also over the
counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or Tylenol
available to help relieve pain on a short term basis. These medications
are readily available at most drug stores. However, there are two
limitations to this type of treatment. First, negative side effects, such
as gastrointestinal bleeding, can develop from such medications depending
on the person. In addition, the effectiveness of such treatment can limit
the amount of upper back pain relief. Rest can also be an important method
of treatment. If pain is caused by a strain that resulted from intense
physical activity, itís important to avoid further injury by resting the
upper back. However, having too much rest can make the back weak and
easily fatigued, adding to the risk of developing further injury.
Upper back pain treatment can sometimes consist of muscle relaxants.
Chronic muscle spasms, often caused by another injury to the back such as
a strain, can often be relieved through the use of muscle relaxants. Like
with many medications, patients should be aware of possible side effects.
Patients could become dizzy, drowsy, or feel lightheaded as a result of
using muscle relaxants.
Physical therapy is also an increasingly popular form of upper back pain
treatment. Physical therapists can often help to restore the back to a
healthy state through various exercises and routines. Such therapy is used
to increase the strength and flexibility of the back to relieve upper back
pain, return the back to a healthy state, and to help the back stay strong
and flexible to help prevent further cases of upper back pain. Physical
therapists usually design a program of exercises that are specifically
tailored to your pain and specific condition. Those who are suffering from
chronic upper back pain are usually the most receptive to this form of
Treatment for chronic upper back pain may also include steroid injections.
Although originally used for patients suffering from sciatica, this type
of treatment is more widely used as an alternative to surgery. Pain relief
can usually be achieved through this type of upper back pain treatment,
however it does not provide long term relief. Steroid injection generally
provides relief for up to a year before pain may return. An epidural can
help significantly when it is used in addition to a rehabilitation or
physical therapy program. When an epidural is applied, steroids are
injected into the specific area that is experiencing pain. This can
relieve sensitivity from nerves in the epidural space that surrounds the
nerves, thus minimizing discomfort.
Chiropractic manipulations are also helpful for many upper back pain
sufferers. Chiropractic manipulations can help to relieve pain through
restructuring the spine and upper back. For some, this method may not
relieve pain, but for many, chiropractic medicine has been successful in
significantly reducing pain. A chiropractor may also suggest other
alternatives if treatment fails to provide considerable results.
Some upper back pain sufferers have also used acupuncture as a treatment
method. Although not widely used today, this treatment method has been
used for centuries. Utilizing thin needles, acupuncture is intended to
unblock the flow of energy within the body. Although not scientifically
proven, acupuncture has continued to be used as a form of back pain
treatment for many years.
Most often, the last form of treatment for upper back pain is surgery.
Sometimes, conservative treatments prove to be unsuccessful and surgery
may be the last option of treatment to reverse the symptoms. Additionally,
some symptoms such as loss of control over bowels or severe loss of
feelings in the lower extremities are signs that surgery may be needed
Each type of upper back pain can usually be alleviated through
conservative treatments. In less than ten percent of upper back pain
patients is surgery used as a method of treatment. Itís crucial that
treatment is sought out at the earliest sign of symptoms to help avoid
more serious pain and equally serious treatment.