Many of us may occasionally experience discomfort in the region of the upper back. Well, it comprises 12 vertebrae with attached ribs that are connected to the breastbone. The thoracic cage of this skeletal area commonly refers to mediastinum and it safeguards the major organs in the body. This area comprises the thoracic cage, muscles and tissues between them.
This upper back area typically experiences very little movement. It is intended to maintain flexibility and offer protection for major organs like liver and heart. Other areas such as lower back and neck have greater flexibility than the upper back region.
There are numerous conditions which can effect the back. Upper back pain is less likely to occur than neck pain or lower back pain. However, there are issues relating to the thoracic region that can lead to discomfort, soreness and pain.
The upper region of the back has two primary functions. The first is to use a protective barrier to safeguard the major organs and second is to spread the weight of the body between lower extremities and the head. Even though it is not moved as much it has to be flexible to assist in distributing body weight.
What causes upper back pain?
There seem to be two key groups of discomfort emanating from this region. They are soft tissue irritation and joint dysfunction.
Soft tissue irritation is a common cause of soreness in the upper back region. The soft tissues preserve spinal column flexibility and hold the vertebrae together. Injuries, traumas or over exertion of the area can result in pain.
As it relates to joint dysfunction, this typically involves the state of a bone in vertebrae and its soft tissue. The spine consists of a lot of small bones and tissues in the middle of these bones. When these joints malfunction, discomfort can take place.
Over exerting the muscles does not only apply to strenuous workouts as it regards upper back pain but, for example, sitting at a computer desk for extended periods of time can also cause a great deal of discomfort in that region. If the muscles experience tension, they become stiff and sort of fatigued.
Some typical treatments of upper back pain include massage therapy, chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy and exercises. Good therapeutic deep tissue massage can be administered by a massage a therapist and not a massage chair. Spinal adjustments can be utilized to assist in straightening and aligning the spine. Physical therapy incorporates massage and stretching exercises to help the body start the natural healing process. Exercises comprise lots of stretching to enhance flexibility.