Upper Back Muscle Pain Guide And Causes

Upper Back Muscle Pain Guide
Upper Back Muscle Pain Guide

Many people suffer from upper back muscle pain every year. As a result, this pain can be frustrating and even downright agonizing. Depending on the cause of the upper back muscle pain, it may not go away without proper treatment and care. Since upper back muscle pain can be caused by numerous factors. It is important to understand. Where your upper back muscle pain is coming from to determine the best course of treatment. The following muscle guide will help you understand what may be causing your back muscle pain and how you can relieve your pain in the best way possible.

What Causes Upper Back Muscle Pain?

There are many reasons why you may be experiencing back muscle pain. The following are the most common causes behind these pain in most people.

Muscle Pain From Poor Posture

Unfortunately, most people do not exhibit good posture habits. Especially if they work at a desk or are in school and sit hunched over in their chairs for hours. Over time, this can lead to a variety of health problems, including pain in your muscles. If you have poor posture, your muscles can become stiff, tight and weak over time. This will eventually cause upper muscle back pain since your upper back muscles are put in a strained, stressed position for hours each day while you exhibit poor posture. 

Overusing Muscles May Be Causing Upper Back Muscle Pain

You may also experience upper back muscle pain due to overusing your back muscles, particularly with repetitive motions. Overusing your muscles can cause muscle irritation, tightness and even muscle strains. The most common types of overusing muscles are repetitive physical motions. Such as baseball pitchers that injure their upper back muscles by repeating the same pitching motions over and over. Other repetitive overuses can include lifting heavy objects above your head every day. Performing the same repeated action in any other labor-intensive job.

Disc Herniation

Herniated discs typically occur in the lower back rather than the upper back. But they can sometimes occur in the upper portion of the back as well. In this case, it can cause upper back muscle pain. Herniated discs can occur for a variety of reasons, such as injury, genetic predisposition, and more.


Injuries can also cause damage to your upper back and back muscles. Car accidents, improperly lifting objects, exercising too strenuously, work accidents, and slipping and falling are some of the most common ways that people injure their upper back muscles. In some cases, the injury is immediately painful and noticeable; in other cases, the injury may lie dormant for a day or two before the pain in the upper back and upper back muscles occurs.

Pinched Nerves

Pinched nerves are typically caused by herniated discs which slip so far out of place that they compress nerves in your back. When this occurs, you can experience pain in your upper back muscles as well as your middle or lower back muscles. Pinched nerves can also cause symptoms such as weakness in legs or problems with urination control.

Myofascial Pain

Myofascial pain refers to a specific type of muscle pain caused by problems related to the connective tissue called the fascia, which is located in the pain. This chronic pain can be caused by overuse and injury and can even last for years, in which case it is called chronic myofascial pain.


In rare cases, your upper back pain may be caused by an infection in the spine. If you experience fevers, unusual swelling or any signs of an infection, head to your physician right away as these can be serious and even fatal if left unchecked. 

How to Relieve Upper Back Muscle Pain?

Upper back muscle pain can be difficult to endure, especially if you experience it regularly throughout the day. Upper back muscle pain can make it difficult to go about your everyday life, such as performing your work tasks, running errands, and enjoying physical activity. Thankfully, you don’t have to live with upper back muscle pain. There are many ways that you can help relieve your upper back muscle pain to significant degrees or potentially even eliminate it. The following are the most common ways that you can relieve your upper back muscle pain guide.

Benefits of Ice Packs

Ice packs can help if your muscles feel inflamed or swollen due to injury, overuse or strains. They also can also help numb the area above your muscles, which will help soothe the pain for a while. You should wear ice packs for only about 20-30 minutes at a time, as you don’t want to injure your skin with the ice; make sure you have at least a thin layer between your skin and the ice pack as well. 

Heat Packs

Heat packs are another option for reducing pain and inflammation. Like ice packs, make sure you only keep them on for about 20-30 minutes at a time, and always have something in between the heat pack and your skin. 

Over the Counter Pain Relievers

Over the counter pain relievers, such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen, can help reduce inflammation and pain in your upper back muscles. Make sure you follow the instructions on the label.

Personal Massagers

Personal massagers, such as neck and back massagers can help relieve sore muscles, loosen up tight muscles, and overall reduce the amount of pain you are experiencing in your upper back. These can be used multiple times a day and are easy to access compared to getting a massage at a therapist’s office.

Physical Therapy

Depending on the nature of your upper back pain, you may need physical therapy to improve the conditions causing the pain and to help you relieve the pain and stiffness in your muscles.

Final Thoughts

Upper back muscle pain is something that many people experience. Thankfully, you don’t need to suffer from upper back muscle pain; if you are experiencing pain in your upper back muscles, consider the above treatments to help you relieve the pain in your upper back. 


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