Long days at work can result in different possible body aches and probably one of the most common types that almost all office workers complain is the upper back pain from sitting down for long hours. This is rather annoying and frustrating for a lot of people and it greatly affects the overall performance at work.

In situations like this, it is very important to know what exactly is upper back pain, its causes, treatments, and how to prevent it. It may be a simple problem at first but if you overlook it, it can be a big hindrance in the future. This is why a complete understanding of it will be a great benefit for the following days and this one will surely suffice every inch of

Upper Back Pain Causes

One thing that you need to know about upper back pain is its causes. It is a basic thing that everyone must be aware of not only with this kind of disease but also with other ones as well. But before that, you can venture to know the causes it is also good to be familiar with the muscles and other structures that are targeted with this kind of pain.

Upper Back Muscles

The upper back is consists of vertebrae, muscles and ligaments, and as well as discs that provide separation of the vertebra from each other and helps in the absorption of shock. All in all, these are collectively known as the thoracic spine which is the main regions where you feel intense pain whenever you have upper back pain.

Mostly, you’ll feel a painful sensation from the base of your neck that travels to your shoulders, arms, chest, and even in the legs when left untreated. It is not actually a common type of body pain compared to lower back or neck pain since the muscles on that region don’t flex or even move as much as the ones in the lower areas of the body.

Pain in Upper Back

The intense pain on the upper back is caused by a lot of factors. Upper back pain is caused by a lot of things that you might not be wary that you are actually doing. Listed below are just some of it and you might be shocked about some of it.

Poor Posture

poor posture can be a cause of your upper back pain

You might not notice it but when you sit down with your back rounded in such a way that it forms an arch while your shoulders are situated forward can put a lot of stress on the muscles of your back. This is actually one of the primary causes of upper back pain that most people oversee.

People who are focused on their work in the offices might not notice that they are actually slowly hunching their back which later on causes upper back pain. Once you get used to such body posture, it becomes a habit that you will carry on for the rest of your life.

Injuries and trauma

Accidents that involve the damage of nerves or even fracture the bones of the upper portion of your body can contribute to excruciating upper back pain. The untoward pressing of the spinal nerves due to the lack of fluids that surrounds the vertebrae can also cause pain on the upper part of your bodies. This is probably one of the reasons why your back hurts when sitting down.


Here’s another cause of upper back pain that you must look aware of. Infections just like abscesses in the spinal epidural region or the paraspinal causes pain in your upper back. This causes the compression of the vertebrae in which it rubs over the spinal nerves and causes that terrible pain you are experiencing.


Scoliosis is known to be the deformation of the spinal cord wherein instead of having a straight one, there’s an evident curving that affects posture. This, later on, causes pain on the back due to the abnormal curving of your spine which harms the spinal nerves in between your spine and the soft tissues that surround it.


Just like scoliosis, the overbending of the spin forward can also cause extreme back pain. Minimal curving is rather tolerable but with prolonged hunching of the back, it becomes problematic and detrimental.

Upper Back Pain Symptoms

Now that you have a good understanding of the causes and some facts regarding upper back pain, it is now time to know its symptoms and how can you tell that it is already a problem with your upper back.

The common symptoms of upper back pain include:

  1. Sharp pain on your back that is partnered with some kind of burning sensation.
  2. There is also tightening of the back muscles as well as stiffness in some cases.

Other than these, there are also other symptoms that might indicate the severity of your upper back pain. If you experience these then it is very much recommended to seek medical professional help because it means that your back pain is already at a serious state.

  1. There is an evident weakness in your arms and legs.
  2. You feel numbness and a tingling sensation on your chest, lower body, legs, and arms.
  3. Loss of control of your bowel and/or bladder is also a symptom of severe upper back pain.

How to Relieve Upper Back Pain

    When it comes to the treatment process of upper back pain, there are also several ways you can do to help you relieve yourself from the intolerable pain that it brings to your body. But take note that these are only applicable for mild to moderate cases.

  1. You can always rely on over-the-counter medicines that target pain. This includes acetaminophen like Tylenol and anti-inflammatory medications that don’t contain steroids like Advil, aspirin, and Aleve.
  2. If you want immediate relief, you can use either hot or cold compress over the affected region. But this only takes away the pain for just a few hours.
  3. Exercise can also help relieve the pain that you are experiencing.
  4. Therapies like massages, manipulation of the spine, and mobilization can also greatly provide that kind of relief that you need from mild and moderate upper back pain.

Remember that if these methods are not taking any effect or if you are experiencing severe pain on your upper back, it is now time to consult a physician and ask for prescribed pain medications. When worse comes to worst, surgery is usually done to properly fix this situation but it is usually referred to as the last resort if medication won’t work.

Upper Back Pain Treatment

There are also other home remedies that you can do to ease away the pain and prevent it from recurring.

  1. Take lots of rest. Your back also needs some tender, love, and care that can be provided from enough rest. If you feel that your upper back is slowly feeling a little bit strained, lean your back on a soft backrest or even lie down for a few minutes before you get back to work.
  2. Practicing good posture is probably one of the best things that you can do to prevent and ease away the pain on your upper back.
  3. Reduce the stress that you are experiencing. Just like any other diseases, stress can be a big factor that leads to several diseases. Learn to relax and enjoy life and don’t overwork yourself.

Massage for Upper Back Pain Relief

Who doesn’t love having massages? Massages have made a name for itself for helping people destress, relax, and loosen up. If you’re having upper back pain, there are also specific massages that are done to help relieve the pain that you are feeling. Listed below are the most recommended massages for helping relieve the pain from upper back pain.

  1. Swedish Massage
  2. Deep Tissue Massage
  3. Trigger Point Massage
  4. Myofascial Release Massage
  5. Craniosacral Therapy

So the next time that you feel pain on your back, try to go to a spa and ask for these massages. There is also another way of treating a painful upper back and it is through the use of high-end massage chairs and Blissful Relaxation would help you decide on which one to have.

How to Prevent Upper Back Pain from Sitting

Prevention is always better than cure. And to prevent such pain, there are a few things that you need to do.

  1. Having a proper sitting posture will greatly contribute in preventing the occurrence of upper back pain. You should and must always practice proper posture while sitting, walking, moving, or even standing. A good body posture will always lead to less muscle strain that your back experience.
  2. Exercising regularly can help you strengthen your back and prevent the occurrence of pain that might affect your performance at work or at school. Cardio exercises can also help you regulate your heart rate which also helps prevent pain from developing in your back.

Proper Sitting Posture

Here’s a quick guide for a better sitting posture. Remember that having a bad sitting posture is one of the common causes of upper back pain and correcting it through a proper sitting position can help you with this problem.

  1. Always sit with your back straight up and your shoulders and buttocks are touching the back of your chair.
  2. Evenly distribute your body’s weight to your hips.
  3. Observe a 90° angle on your knees and keep them slightly higher or above your hips. You can use a food stool for this one.
  4. Adjust your sitting position every 30 minutes to prevent your back from straining.