If Upper Back Pain Is Your Constant Companion, Look to These Common Causes

Close up of man suffering from pain in upper back

If you are experiencing back pain, you may feel all alone, but the truth is that back pain afflicts roughly one in ten adults around the world at some point in their lives. As individual and personal as your pain is, it is also probable that you and the rest of the world’s back pain sufferers share the same common cause of your discomfort.

Today we’ll take a look at upper back pain, which occurs in the area of your body that extends from the bottom of your ribcage up to the base of your neck. This type of back pain is known as thoracic, and is less common than lower back pain (lumbar) or pain that occurs in the neck (cervical).

Most people who feel pain in this area report that it is restricted to a single spot on their back, and describe what they’re feeling as a burning sensation.

There are three or four things that lead to the majority of pain that people experience in that area.  They are:

  • Muscle overuse
  • Poor posture
  • Some kind of injury

Each of these different causes requires a different type of treatment.

Muscle Overuse

If your thoracic spine problems are a result of overusing the muscles in your core, you will likely be able to help yourself and eliminate your pain by working on your conditioning on a more gradual basis and making sure that you are using proper form when doing so.

All too often people begin an exercise regimen that strains the muscles without the proper supervision or instruction, and once these wrong movements are exacerbated by too much frequency or too much stress, they can lead to significant pain.

Poor Posture

Do you pay attention to your posture? If you don’t and you’re suffering back pain, perhaps it’s time for you to start.

If you have somebody who you spend a lot of time with, they can definitely help. Ask them to photograph you when you’re working, sitting and watching television, texting on your phone, and even walking.

Are your shoulders back and head held high, or are you slouching and hunching over? If it’s the latter, you’re not only contributing to a lack of core strength in the muscles of your spine, but you’re also adding stress to your muscles, ligaments and discs.

Standing up straight alleviates a good deal of stress and helps strengthen your core muscles at the same time.


Car accidents, sports injuries, slips, falls, and even the aches and pains following weekends of gardening or housework can all lead to back pain. If the pain is a muscular strain, it will generally heal over time, but if the injury is severe and leads to damaged vertebrae, the pain can be relentless.

If you are suffering from pain in the upper back and it has not responded to rest or over-the-counter medications, it may be time for you to seek help. Contact us today to speak with us and learn how we can help.

Other Insights

Are you in pain?

Most patients experiencing pain can be seen by Dr. Callewart or his physician assistant within 24 hours in Dallas, Forney, Rockwall and Addison, Texas.