Upper and Middle Back Pain
Upper and Middle Back Pain is a debilitating condition for many reasons. It is one area of the spine that is hard to reach and very hard to stretch. Yet it is a site of upper back pain and back pain in general that is becoming common.
Read on to discover why your pain occurs, the solutions you need to ease pain and the only vital step in removing pain long term.
Middle back pain is common with diaphragm and rib problems. Upper back pain occurs due to numerous factors - physical and emotional. Your posture, energy levels and even lower back pain influences the middle and upper back.
When you get both middle and upper back pain, your problem is not necessarily more severe. It usually is a result of the spine being out of balance in numerous areas.
What causes upper and middle back pain?
The causes of upper back pain are basically identical to the causes of both upper and middle back pain. There are three main issues that allow upper and middle back pain to occur at once.
Lower Back Pain - this does not mean you need to have lower back pain at present. However if your lower back or pelvis is distorted, then the upper back becomes involved. As with walking your leg moves forward while your opposite arm moves forward. Your lower back and upper back work together. When there is pain in either location, the two areas are involved and can aggravate each other.
Poor Posture - this is usually due to prolonged postures. Most commonly sitting, but standing for long periods also places stress on the upper and middle back. As you are more likely to be involved in a sitting occupation today, upper and middle back pain is on the rise. Sitting postures creates a leaning forward and hence increasing the curves in the upper and middle back. The leaning occurs as you concentrate on computer screens, write or type emails or letters and other work chores.
The Diaphragm - being a muscle you can not rest (try not breathing for a few minutes), also being a large muscle that is used in many activities. It is a common cause of upper and middle back pain. The diaphragm is a large tent of muscle that attaches around the base of the rib cage. If it tightens, even minor tightness, it restricts the rib cage movement. This then creates muscle tension throughout the upper and middle back.
Although these are the three more common causes, others exist also. The muscles in the upper and middle back are often over-used when lifting, carrying, bending and twisting. The upper and middle back is affected by stress levels increasing. The rib cage can tighten with coughs and colds, which then leads into upper and middle back pain. This area is now a common site of back pain.
The solutions to your upper and middle back pain
Being an area that is hard to reach and even harder to stretch, upper back pain creates difficulties. The larger muscles in the area can be eased in tension with stretches.
The smaller muscles and joints in the area are more difficult to target. The diaphragm which is also a common cause is a muscle that is difficult to treat conventionally. Postural changes are simple enough, but require prolonged periods of time to make any significant changes. So is there an easy answer?
Firstly to change the diaphragm, you need to use both breathing techniques and reflexes to both relax the muscle and strengthen it. Strengthening does not mean increasing tension, but preventing the muscle from tiring too quickly.
The smaller muscles are relaxed by two processes: as the diaphragm relaxes, so will these smaller muscles; the second approach is to use techniques to make the joints move freely. This is the ideal approach.
The third factor is your posture. To change your posture while you sit or to improve it in general takes time. Not a lot of time, but time all the same. To change it you need to be aware of your posture. You need to schedule regular breaks in the day for a few minutes to change your posture.
You also need to use techniques that strengthen your posture. Most poor posture is a factor of tiredness. Your posture is worse at the end of the day as you tire and then slouch - this is why upper and middle back pain is worse usually at the end of the day.
To improve your posture you need to have the joints and muscles functioning correctly, to be aware of your posture and to use activities to ease the tension, and finally you need to increase your strength so muscles do not tire so easily. This does not mean spending hours at a gym, but improving the nerve and blood supply to the muscles and joints.
The first step in changing your posture and upper back pain
The first step is not actually stretching or strengthening muscles. The first step is actually finding what the true causes of your pain are.
This is not sitting too long, or sitting in poor posture, it is not how to lift, bend or twist. The causes are the distortion patterns that occur in your spine that allow your body to tire and then create pain.
These distortion patterns create the imbalances which lead to your upper and middle back pain, they can twist your lower spine and distort your upper back at the same time.
Unless you detect these causes, you will only ever get temporary relief. The first and only vital step is finding the cause.
What is the best approach to ease your upper back pain?
To get long lasting results you must both remove the symptoms and the cause. First you must identify which spinal imbalances are present, then attack the symptomatic processes. This can be achieved by using many techniques from ice/heat, Acupressure and anti-inflammatory measures. Then you must perform corrective techniques that target the spinal imbalances.
The principles of Spinal Balancing address the both the pain and the root cause of the condition that is responsible for your upper back pain. Through self assessments, your individual spinal imbalances can be identified, and a targeted corrective program can be developed for your specific needs.
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