Treatment options for upper back muscle pain

The upper back is referred to as the cervical spine. Cervical musculoskeletal pain can severely damage the quality of a person’s life. The intensity of upper back muscle pain may range from a mild or constant ache to debilitating pain, leaving you feeling weak and unable to carry out your daily activities, such as taking care of your family or maintaining your house.

For many individuals, muscle pain is the result of a minor injury and will heal with time. However, muscle pain can also be caused by nerve compression that may lead to throbbing, tingling or muscle spasms, which will require targeted treatment to heal. Read on to learn about the various approaches that can help to alleviate your upper back muscle pain.

Muscle stimulation for the upper back

Nerve compression occurs when one of the nerves in the body becomes inflamed or pinched. As a result of this compression, pain may radiate along a nerve’s path, occurring in any of the muscles groups that the nerve is stimulating. In the spinal column, nerve roots branch off the spinal cord and run through narrow canals between the vertebrae before traveling into the body.

Symptoms may arise if these nerves become irritated by degenerative conditions, including a herniated or bulging disc, bone spurs and facet cysts. The spinal degeneration process occurs with aging, which makes it impossible to prevent certain spine conditions that result in nerve compression and pain. However, there are certain treatment options available that can help relieve your symptoms.

Conservative treatments for upper back muscle pain

If you are experiencing upper back muscle pain symptoms such as throbbing, tingling or muscle spasms, your doctor may attempt to manage your symptoms using conservative treatments. These methods may include:

  • Anti-inflammatory medication. Over-the-counter pain medications may be able to provide sufficient relief, but stronger medication may be prescribed if necessary.
  • Heat. Applying heat to an injury facilitates your blood flow and expedites the healing process. Heat packs, blankets and hydrotherapy may be helpful.
  • Targeted exercise. Based on your type of upper back muscle pain, your doctor may recommend specific exercises to strengthen your muscles, increase flexibility and prevent further damage.
  • Rest. While you don’t want to become inactive, limited rest may be able to help you overcome muscle pain and keep your symptoms from worsening.
  • Cortisone injections. Your doctor may offer cortisone shots at the location of your upper back muscle pain if it becomes more severe or debilitating.

Progressive treatments for upper back muscle pain

If you are still struggling with upper back muscle pain after several months of conservative treatment, your doctor may recommend seeing if you are a candidate for surgery. At Laser Spine Institute, our minimally invasive spine surgery has helped more than 75,000 people find relief from chronic neck and back pain. Our procedures are performed in one of our outpatient surgery centers located throughout the country, allowing our patients to be up and walking within hours of surgery.^

Because of the minimally invasive nature of our procedures, our minimally invasive spine surgery is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck and back surgery that results in no lengthy recovery.^ Our team of dedicated surgeons is able to perform outpatient procedures with a less than 1-inch incision and muscle-sparing techniques in order to alleviate symptoms associated with upper back muscle pain while resulting in less blood loss and a lower risk of complication compared to traditional open back surgery.^

Contact Laser Spine Institute today to take the next step toward reclaiming your life and ask for a no-cost MRI review* to learn if our outpatient procedures would be effective in relieving your chronic neck or back pain.