Chronic upper back pain
- What Are the Symptoms of Back Pain?
- Back Pain Symptoms
- Chronic Back Pain
- Chronic Back Pain Symptoms
- Severe Chronic Back Pain
- Chronic Upper Back Pain
- Upper Back Pain Symptoms
- Upper Back Pain Types
- Chronic Middle Back Pain
- Chronic Low Back Pain
- Lower Back Pain Symptoms
- Acute Back Pain
- Acute & Chronic Back Pain
- What Should I Do If I Think I Have Back Pain?
- Back Pain Treatment
- Keyhole Spine Surgery Options at Laser Spine Institute
- Is Spinal Fusion Surgery Your Only Option?
- Chronic Back Pain Treatment
- Chronic Back Pain Management
- Back Pain Acupuncture
- Injections for Back Pain
- Back Pain Physical Therapy
- Back Pain Exercises
- Back Pain Surgery
- Upper Back Pain Treatment
- Upper Back Pain Exercises
- Lower Back Pain Treatment
- Lower Back Pain Causes and Treatments
- Acupuncture Low Back Pain
- Low Back Pain Chiropractic
- Low Back Pain Physical Therapy
- Lower Back Pain Exercises
- Low Back Pain Stretches
- Yoga Low Back Pain
- Alternative Treatments
- Risk Factors
Chronic upper back pain affects millions of people worldwide and makes the simplest daily activities — reading a newspaper, sitting at a computer or even nodding — triggers for neck pain. Symptoms can also include tingling, numbness, radicular pain, weakness and loss of mobility in the upper body and extremities. The term chronic means the symptoms have been experienced for three months or longer.
The upper back refers to the cervical region of the spine, which includes vertebrae numbered C1 to C7. These vertebrae are important for several reasons. In addition to supporting the head and allowing for movement, the vertebrae also protect the spinal cord. These two roles can work against each other, however, as pressure from weight and movement can lead to spine conditions that cause painful nerve compression. Nerve compression can manifest as pain and other symptoms that begin in the neck and radiate down into the shoulders, arms and hands.
What causes chronic upper back pain?
Specific spine conditions that cause chronic upper back pain include the following:
- A bulging disc — a spinal disc weakens and extends beyond its normal perimeter in the spinal column
- A herniated disc — a disc ruptures and leaks disc material into the spinal canal
- Bone spurs — extra growths of smooth bone that cause neural pressure
- Degenerative disc disease — a weakening of discs due to aging
- Foraminal cervical stenosis — a narrowing of the nerve root passageways in the upper spine
Upon diagnosing a spine condition as the cause of upper back pain, your doctor will typically recommend a course of conservative treatments. Options will usually include anti-inflammatory medication, mild chiropractic work, gentle stretching of the neck and upper back region or steroid injections. If your symptoms persist and progress into chronic back pain, you might consider surgery. However, many traditional open back surgery options involve long recovery periods and a risk of complication.
Laser Spine Institute
However, there are alternatives to traditional open neck or back surgery. Since 2005 Laser Spine Institute has helped more than 60,000 patients find lasting relief from back pain. Contact us for more information about our minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery that can address the source of your pain while offering a shorter recovery period^ than traditional open back surgery.
Reach out to our dedicated team of Spine Care Consultants today for a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.