Is chiropractic care an effective upper back pain treatment? If so, what do chiropractors do that is different from other types of care for this condition?
Headaches, neck and upper back pain are the most common conditions to walk into our office seeking relief.
In our area, most (if not nearly all) of our patients sit at computers for the entire day. In addition, some will have commutes that are over an hour each way.
That’s a lot of time sitting in the same position with the head jutting forward, their arms reaching forward and their upper backs rounded. That same position is often held while eating and when holding their mobile phones.
How many hours per week do you spend hunched over? Per month? That’s a lot of time in a position that is likely to cause these symptoms.
While chiropractic care is an effective upper back pain treatment, it’s not necessarily the first treatment that patients consider when they begin to notice tightness in their upper back or “burning” between their shoulder blades.
First, they will “try to start sitting up straight.” They may even purchase a new chair to support their new goal of improved posture. Next, they’ll start to do more stretches for their upper back. Massage is usually the next option, whether it be via a professional massage or any number of self-massaging options.
Still, the symptoms return. Nothing seems to last and there is no good answer in sight. They may determine that they need to start taking over-the-counter medications or just living with their condition.
If they’re lucky, one of our patients will help spread the word about their results and will tell them about how they should consider chiropractic care to help with their upper back pain. Chiropractic works!
This pain is often caused by that bad posture, but combined with that area of the spine “locking up” or becoming fixated. Once this area stops moving as it should, the muscles tighten up around it and cause pain. Massaging and stretching the area relaxes the muscles, but the muscles will only tighten up again since the underlying structural condition has not been fixed.
Once the spine is moving again, it’s important to do specific posture exercises to help support and strengthen those muscles. “Supports” only support, they don’t fix anything. If you back muscles are weak, the only thing being supported is weak muscles. Supporting stronger muscles feels better and keeps your spine from fatiguing and then tightening as a result.
See your chiropractor for adjustments to your upper back vertebrae, but also to learn the specific actions you can do to keep the problem from returning.