Have you ever found yourself in pain or discomfort and needing to rest your head after a long day? You are particularly likely to have experienced upper back pain if you have spent long hours using digital devices.

Technology has undeniably improved our lives in many ways, but there are some very sore points about its pervasive presence in our lives. One of them is upper back pain.

According to the occupational medicine journal, upper back pain is mainly an occupational health issue and the number of working people suffering from upper back pain is significantly on the rise.

What are the causes of upper back pain?

An important function of the thoracic spine (the vertebrae making up the upper back region) is to maintain posture and structure when we are moving around, and to allow movement. The spine is helped in that function by several muscles. For instance, back muscles help you sit down and get up, breathe and move your head in all directions. These muscles can tire, especially with our modern stresses and ways of working.

The upper back usually hurts for four reasons:

  • Muscular irritation
  • Joint dysfunction
  • Stress and tension
  • Our daily habits, such as working long hours with our heads tilted in front of a computer or phone

Other causes include:

  • Working out without warming up
  • Poor posture
  • Lifting improperly
  • Carrying a heavy load
  • Repetitive movements
  • Contact sports

How to treat upper back pain

Solutions range from simple home remedies all the way to surgery, depending on the underlying causes. Let’s explore some of them.

Home remedies, such as gentle stretches or a heating pad can be very useful in mild cases by increasing the blood flow and oxygenation to the affected area.

Postural exercises can also be helpful if poor posture is behind your upper back pain.

You could also try visualisation, for instance imagining a cord passing through your body from the floor to the ceiling.

Physical therapy conducted by a professional also helps in stretching and strengthening the upper back and neck muscles.

Therapeutic massage has been proven to help manage upper back pain.

How can massage help upper back pain?

Studies show that upper back massage enhances tissue flexibility, increases relaxation and improves range of motion.

In our practice, we have found that in 90% of cases, massage therapy for upper back pain has been successful. The other 10% of cases, contraindications were involved, such as advanced spondylosis or bulging disk.

After 3-4 sessions clients have reported:

  • Substantial decrease in pain
  • Improved range of movement
  • Improved flexibility
  • Reduced ‘crunching’ noise while moving the neck
  • Improved sleep

In conclusion, upper back pain is mostly an occupational hazard related to our day-to day activities. It is usually a very preventable and treatable condition. It’s important for you to look seriously at your daily habits which might be contributing to the occurrence and frequency of pain. Therapeutic massage has been proven to be very effective in managing the pain, alongside these lifestyle changes.