Upper back pain is usually caused by an injury to the area, but it also can occur as a result of bad posture, poor body mechanics when lifting and degenerative disc disease. Finding relief for discomfort can be achieved by employing a few different strategies, which range from at-home remedies to more intensive options like minimally invasive spine surgery.
The first step to take when trying to alleviate upper back pain is to rest the area. Lying down on a firm mattress with comfortable head support is important. Individuals should not rest for longer than two days because lack of activity can result in muscle weakness. Mild discomfort may also be resolved after taking over-the-counter pain medications for two to four days.
Hot and cold applications can also be soothing to sore muscles. At the onset of pain, ice packs should be applied for about 10 minutes every hour for the first 24 hours. After the first day, moist heat applications, hot showers, or store bought heat wraps can help relieve discomfort. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen sodium and aspirin may be helpful along with acetaminophen.
Getting a professional massage has been shown to do wonders for some people who are living with upper back pain, and the treatment should only be done if an individual is certain that no serious injuries are present. A massage not only works by releasing tense, painful muscles but also improves circulation to the area that helps speed the healing of sprained or strained areas. Acupuncture is another treatment option that has been shown to help alleviate pain for certain individuals.
More serious pain may require prescription narcotic pain pills and muscle relaxants. If the pain is severe, worsens or does not resolve within a few days, medical help should be sought. Serious injuries including bulging or herniated discs, fractures and torn ligaments will require a physician’s care, and sometimes, surgery becomes necessary.
If you are interested in learning more about spine surgery in Beverly Hills, call (310) 828-7757 and request an in-person consultation with Dr. Hyun Bae of The Spine Institute Center for Spinal Restoration. Dr. Bae’s conservative approach to spinal care will ensure a proper diagnosis and that you are presented with all of your treatment options.