Upper back muscle pain

The upper back is referred to as the cervical spine. Cervical musculoskeletal pain can severely degrade the quality of a person’s life. The intensity of cervical pain may range from a mild, constant ache to debilitating pain, leaving you feeling weak and unable to live your everyday life.

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.

Muscle stimulation

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 a herniated disc, bone spurs or any other spinal condition or degeneration.

The spinal degeneration process occurs with aging, which makes it impossible to prevent certain spine conditions that result in nerve compression and pain.

Conservative treatment

If you are experiencing upper back pain symptoms such as throbbing, tingling or muscle spasms, your physician may attempt to manage your symptoms using conservative or nonsurgical 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 hot tub therapy may be helpful.
  • Targeted exercise — Depending on your type of muscle pain, your physician may recommend specific upper back pain 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.
  • Cortisone injections — Your physician may offer cortisone shots at the location of your muscle pain if it becomes more severe or debilitating.

Progressive treatment

If you are still struggling with upper back muscle pain after several months of conservative treatment, you may be recommended for spine surgery.

At Laser Spine Institute, our minimally invasive spine surgery has helped more than 60,000 people find relief from chronic neck and back pain. Our procedures are performed in one of our outpatient surgery centers, reducing the risk of infection and allowing our patients to return to their homes or hotels within hours after surgery.

Because of the minimally invasive nature of our procedures, our minimally invasive spine surgery is safer and more effective than traditional open neck and back surgery.

Contact Laser Spine Institute today to find out if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive procedures. Let us help you take the next step toward reclaiming your life from chronic pain.