Have you ever wondered what causes severe back pain below neck? Well, the upper back involves your upper and middle back (thoracic spine). It can get so severe that it limits your daily routine and activities. Don’t take it lightly and don’t wait till the point where your body refuses to heal. Here, I have penned down the most essential things you should know. Even if you don’t experience pain, read through this article. Prevention is always better than cure.
Reasons for Back Pain Below Neck
Back pain is caused by regular bad habits. These bad habits, in turn, stress and strain your muscles and joints. Here lie the major reasons for back pain below the neck. Ensure you read them all and avoid doing these things.
Poor posture is, unfortunately, one of the main causes of upper back pain. Sitting continuously habituates you into developing a poor posture. Most of the working people slouch at their desk over the computer/laptop for more than 7 hours a day. This is no joke. Work is worship, hence you can’t avoid work. But you can definitely take care of your health and take breaks in between. Also, the youth of today’s generation, along with the mid-aged people, tend to bend their neck too much.
This mostly occurs when they are continuously using their phones. Further, people tend to bend a lot while washing their hands at the washbasin or an available tap. Besides this, some women do the same while washing clothes and utensils. Not realising that it can be really bad for the neck and back. Sitting with a rounded back and shoulders hunched forward puts too much stress on the back muscles.
Yes, improper lifting is the second main reason for back pain below neck. While lifting or picking up something, you should do it in a proper way in order to protect your spine. In other words, you need to use good body mechanics. Else, you will be down with tremendous pain. Besides this, it can cause injury too. Improper lifting places force on the facet joints and the discs.
Some people often bend completely to pick a fallen object from the floor. Don’t do this in a standing position. Instead, try sitting and then picking up your stuff. Or, you can squat or kneel while doing so. Similarly, while pulling out a file from the cabinet or milk from the refrigerator. Don’t bend completely.
Carrying a Heavy Backpack
Carrying a heavy backpack on a daily basis can lead to severe back pain and upper back injury. Be it, school kids, college-going students or working adults, carrying a heavy backpack is bad. It’s extremely dangerous to the spine. However, wearing the backpack only on one shoulder (using just 1 strap) is worse. It’s trendy but not at all cool for your neck and back.
Certain injuries such as a car accident can lead to upper back pain for various reasons. Firstly, during a car accident, it’s possible that a vertebra (spinal bone) is fractured. Secondly, a part of your vertebra(e) can press on a spinal nerve, resulting in unbearable pain.
Osteoporosis or Bone Weakening
Osteoporosis is a condition that affects the bones. You may not even realize that you have osteoporosis until you suffer a spinal fracture. For example vertebral compression fracture. Let’s see how dangerous osteoporosis can be. Firstly, it weakens your bones gradually which in turn makes them more likely to fracture.
Secondly, it makes your bones so weak that it is less likely to carry your weight well. You’re on the verge of developing upper back pain if you have osteoporosis in your thoracic spine. Since weak vertebrae can’t support your body’s weight, your muscles, ligaments and tendons have to work harder. This, in turn, leads to strain, muscle fatigue or sprain.
Upper Back Anatomy
The thoracic spine, the mid-back or upper back region is the most stable part of your spine. This thoracic spine is very stiff and has a limited range of motion. First and foremost, there are 12 vertebrae in the thoracic spine and are labelled T1 to T12. The number of vertebrae in your thoracic spine is more than any other spinal region.
As a matter of fact, vertebrae are the building blocks of your spine. They stack one on top of each other. Further, they get progressively larger from the cervical spine to the lumbar spine. In addition to protecting the spinal cord and internal organs. Vertebrae help your body to carry its weight efficiently.
Remedies for Upper Back Pain
Here lie some remedies to provide you relief from upper back pain. Follow these remedies and experience a sense of relief. The best and safest measures that you can take for back pain below neck.
First Ice and then Heat Therapy
An early treatment is crucial to speed healing as well as recovery. For the first few days, ice therapy followed by moist heat can help relieve symptoms. Ice products purchased from stores, ice cubes or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel. It can be applied for 20 minutes every 4 to 6 hours. You can begin the moist heat therapy after 2 to 3 days of icing. In order to prevent burns, wrap the heat source in a towel. Remove the heat before sleeping. Discard the punctured store-bought packs as the chemical gel may burn the skin.
Consider purchasing the Transforming Life Hot & Cold Pack for Pain Relief. This product not only works wonders for back pain and shoulder pain but also menstrual pain and stomach ache. Besides this, it provides relief for knee pain and lower shoulder pain too.
3 Stretches to Relieve Back Pain Below Neck
Consider trying these simple stretches and exercises. These may help relieve upper stiffness and pain. Start with less (3 sets or 5) and then gradually increase depending on your symptoms and body.
Firstly, stand against a wall. Secondly, position your arms against the wall and place your palms touching the wall. Next, place your arms against the wall, while slowly sliding them up above your head. Try to do this. If it’s not possible then you can place your arms as high as you can, till your comfortable. After you do this, gently reverse and move your arms down. Lastly, just relax and repeat the procedure. Initially, you may find it a little tedious or comfortable. But, with time you will get used to this exercise.
Shoulder Blade Squeeze
Another good exercise for upper back pain is the shoulder blade squeeze. To begin, sit or stand with your arms by your sides. Sitting or standing totally depends on you. It’s your choice. See which makes you more comfortable. Next, squeeze and hold your shoulder blades together. Do this for a minimum of 5 seconds. Lastly, release the squeeze. Relax for a while and repeat the exercise.
Upper Back Stretch
To perform an upper back stretch, first and foremost you need to sit on a chair. Next, cross both your arms behind your head. Bend gently forward after doing this. Then, slowly arch backward. Relax for a while after this and repeat the process.
Try a Handheld Massager
A handheld massager is a great choice for upper back pain as well as lower back pain. One of the best and most recommended handheld massagers is the Dr Physio (USA) electric body massager. If you’re finding it difficult to get out of your bed or while sitting on a chair. Then a handheld massager is a must. It will relieve you from that discomfort and achy back. A handheld massager at home is a replacement for a professional spa or therapist. You won’t find the need to visit one if you purchase a handheld massager. Moreover, they are portable and lightweight. You can carry it along while travelling. Additionally, you can use it on yourself without anyone’s assistance. Its powerful vibration works on the toughest knots and muscle strains providing you instant relief.
Preventing Back Pain Below Neck
Yes, preventing back pain below neck (upper back pain) is definitely possible. Just a little care towards your health and body is required. Besides this, you need to follow a few dos and dont’s. Here lie the best and safest ways for preventing back pain below neck. Consider these few easy steps and say bye to back pain below neck.
Correct your Posture
First and foremost, correct your sitting posture. This is the most important thing that you need to practice. If you don’t do this then preventing back pain below neck will be impossible. Proper alignment of the spine is very crucial. Hence, sit straight always, no matter what. Don’t slouch or hunch over the desk. Maintain a good posture even if you sit, working continuously for 8 to 9 hours a day.
Take breaks in between, try standing for some time or take a small walk. Not just while sitting, but we often fail to maintain a good posture while standing or moving. Always stand straight. Walk confidently. Avoid heavy backpacks as this causes you to develop a hunch back. Sit straight even while riding a bike.
Exercise and Stretch Regularly
However busy your schedule is, make sure you exercise and stretch regularly. It’s essential for your entire well being and not just to relieve back pain below neck. Perform cardio workouts and exercises that get your heart rate elevated to an appropriate level. Cardiovascular exercises such as swimming, bicycling and walking improve flexibility. Else it needs to poor posture and upper and lower back pain. Also, do strength training. You will feel more active and energized and lose weight too. Your muscles need movement and stretching. Also, your bones need exposure to Vitamin D.
Maintain a Healthy Weight
Maintain a good, healthy weight. Weight indirectly affects the muscles and tendons. Excess weight or being obese can put more stress on your back. Your weight can strain your back so badly that you won’t even realise the adverse effects it can have. Hence, eat healthy foods and avoid junk and deep-fried foods. Losing weight doesn’t mean you turn size zero. Your ideal body weight depends upon your gender, age, and height. Hence, attain and maintain a healthy weight. Eat well, eat healthy foods. Your body needs the essential nutrients to function well. Also, you need to consume foods rich in calcium to avoid osteoporosis.
Check Your Sleeping Posture
Ensure you keep a check on your sitting posture and also while standing. But what about the next most important thing. It is your sleeping posture which you can’t afford to take for granted. Watch out your sleeping posture. Ensure you sleep in a position that helps you maintain the curve in your lower back. Try lying on your back with a pillow under your knees. Or, you can lie on your side with your knees slightly bent. These positions will prevent poor alignment of the neck and upper back. Avoid the foetal position – sleeping on your side with your knees drawn up to your chest.
Reduce or Stop Smoking
SAY NO TO SMOKING. Smoking reduces calcium absorption and prevents new bone growth. Hence, it leaves smokers with an increased risk for osteoporosis. Thus, resulting in the back pain below neck as well as lower back pain. Nicotine restricts the blood flow to the disks. This not only cushions your vertebrae but also increases the rate of degeneration. The loss of cushioning causes back pain.
Besides this, your bones turn out to become brittle and fragile. Also, if you fracture your bones due to a fall or an accident, smoking makes it worse. It makes the healing process very slow. In addition to this, coughing due to smoking leads to back pain. Chain smokers tend to cough a lot. This leads to excess strain on their upper back.
Say Bye To Achy Muscles
Negligence is the main cause for back pain below neck. Follow the guidelines penned down in this article. I have researched thoroughly in finding out the maximum and best ways for you. Follow the remedies for upper back pain. Stretch yourself, exercise every day, eat healthy foods. There’s nothing more important than your health. Your health says everything about you.
Purchase a handheld massager to treat back pain below neck. Maintain a good posture. Keep your weight under control. Also, if you’re suffering from lower back pain then read best back massager for lower back pain in India. Further, for treating neck and shoulder pain, read the best neck and shoulder massager machine in India.