Treating upper back pain

Upper back pain commonly comes with age, injury or genetics. Despite the origin, most back pain will fade over time. However, upper back pain could be the result of a more serious condition, and you should consult a doctor to determine if you need treatment. A treatment regimen for this condition usually begins with the conservative methods described below after receiving an examination by your doctor as well as a series of questions, physical observation and possible imaging tests, like an X-ray, MRI or CT scan. After this examination, your doctor should be able to diagnose your pain.

Upper back pain conservative treatment options

With an accurate diagnosis, a conservative plan for upper back pain treatment is usually successful. Some forms of conservative treatment require low maintenance, such as rest and pain medication, while others require a much greater commitment. Here are examples of initial conservative treatments that should always be discussed with your doctor:

  • Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine such as ibuprofen
  • Prescription pain medication
  • Physical therapy, with a trained and licensed therapist
  • Upper back pain exercises to increase the strength of the muscles associated with the neck and upper back
  • A series of epidural steroid injections to reduce inflammation in the area affected by pain
  • Behavior modification to limit the activity that causes the pain
  • Homeopathic remedies and chiropractic manipulation

Treating chronic upper back pain through surgery

When chronic upper back pain symptoms persist after several weeks or months of conservative upper back pain treatment, your doctor may suggest surgery. Even though it might seem like an absolute necessity when your life is disrupted by unbearable pain, traditional open spine surgery should only be used as a last resort.

Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive spine surgery performed on an outpatient basis to treat degenerative spine conditions. Our minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures offer a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery, as well as a shorter recovery period and a lower risk of complication.^ Contact us to learn more about the advantages of our muscle-sparing procedures.

Since 2005, our minimally invasive spine surgery has helped thousands of patients find lasting relief from their chronic neck or back pain, setting us apart as the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery. If you’re ready to see if you’re a candidate for our procedures, reach out to us to learn more about our upper back pain treatments and for your free MRI review.*