Back pain is a relatively common problem among Americans. It can be a crippling problem, and can be difficult to deal with. Back pain can originate from various causes, and these causes can be different depending on if the pain is experienced in the upper back versus the lower back.
Pain in the upper back can occur from sudden injury or trauma, and it may also result from chronic, regular strain or ill posture. Upper back pain is relatively common, as it can be caused by things many people do every day, such as slumping and slouching, playing sports, or doing yard work. It can also be caused by experiencing blunt force to the back, being involved in a car accident, or lifting something too heavy. Out of all the general causes of upper back pain, most of it either comes from joint dysfunction or muscular irritation, also known as myofascial pain. The muscles of the back are large, so they are more prone to becoming irritated. Muscular irritation can be caused by overuse injuries, such as those often suffered by athletes, or a general lack of strength. Upper back pain is caused by joint dysfunction when the joints surrounding the spine and ribs do not function properly.
Much like upper back pain, lower back pain is commonly caused by overuse or acute trauma. Lower back pain is also often caused by added pressure to nerves, which results from several conditions. For instance, a herniated disc can cause nerve pressure. A disc works as a shock absorber for the vertebrae of the spin, so when discs break or bulge, they are said to be herniated. Diseases such as osteoarthritis can lead to lower back pain, and lower back pain can even be aggravated by regularly toting a heavy shoulder bag.
If you experience back pain, whether in the upper back or lower back, speak with our spine specialists to decide the best treatment options and the best preventative measures.