Is That A Crack In My Back? Upper and Lower Back Strains

In the previous article, we talked about disc bulges and herniations. Today, we’ll be discussing another common source of back pains: upper and lower back strains.

Where exactly is the upper and lower back?

Our upper back is also called the thoracic spine. As the name suggests, it forms the upper part of the back area, and consists of twelve spinal bones. It’s the longest part of the spine, connected with the ribs and all the way to the front chest bone or sternum.

The lower back is known as the lumbar spine, which we briefly touched on in our article “6 Tips To Improve Your Posture”! The lumbar spine consists of five vertebrae and help support and stabilise the upper body.

The upper back, or thoracic spine, is just below the cervical spine and above the lumbar spine.
The lower back, or lumbar spine, is right below the thoracic spine and commonly afflicted by back strains caused by poor posture and injuries.

Upper Back Pain Symptoms, Injuries and Treatment

Typically, upper back strains are caused by poor posture, overuse, strains and awkward contortions. These symptoms vary in severity—from tightness, aches, pain and in some cases even cause difficulty breathing due to pain.

Here are some ways to manage upper back pain:

  • Take regular breaks from your computer work
  • Stretch regularly by opening up the chest, twist the upper back or rolls the shoulders
  • Foam roll the back muscles
  • Practise different types of breathing: chest, rib, back and diaphragm

To treat upper back pain, chiropractic treatment is the way to go! Chiropractic treatment focuses on restoring spinal alignment and reducing tension.

Your chiropractor will start with a thorough examination to discover the cause of your pain. They will then customise a treatment plan for you. Your chiropractor will also go through some ergonomic advice with you, such as fixing your posture and selecting the right type of furniture for your back.

A huge part of correcting posture has to do with correcting the way you sleep! Your chiropractor will advise you accordingly.

Lower Back Strains: Muscle and Lumbar Strains

Here’s a fun fact: 60-90% of the population will experience low back pain at some point of their lives!

Although lower back strains may resolve after a few days or weeks, most of the time we see similar strains reoccur. Some people also simply take medication to dull the pain, failing to address the root cause. Typically, these causes include poor posture, improper lifting technique, repetitive strain and trauma or high impact injuries.

When “resolving back pain” is only about reducing pain and not restoring full function of the body biomechanics, this will result in a more serious problem and permanent injury.

However, here are two pieces of good news! Firstly, like upper back pain, lower back pain can also be managed on your own. Some tips include

  • Using ice therapy to soothe pain
  • Gentle stretching within a pain-free range of movement
  • Avoiding movement or activities that aggravate the pain, replacing them with lighter and less-demanding exercises

The second piece of good news: chiropractic treatment, which comes highly recommended, is also the most cost-saving option!

Research from the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics shows that chiropractic treatment reduces up to 85% of pharmaceutical costs. Cost comparison studies conducted in the US reveals that patients undergoing chiropractic treatment incur lower healthcare costs.

Ice packs are a great option for calming lower back pain!

Have any questions about any pains you’re experiencing in your upper and lower back? give us a call at 62084669 or drop us an email! If you can’t identify what exactly you’re feeling, our next article on types of back pains will help with that. Stay tuned!

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