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Specialist Upper Back Pain Treatment In Surbiton

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Upper back refers to pain that manifests in the area between your neck and the space between your shoulder blades also known as the upper thoracic region. It can arise from issues such as repetitive muscle strain, poor posture, overuse, or underlying spinal conditions.

This type of pain may present as a sharp, burning sensation or a dull ache and can be exacerbated by certain movements or prolonged inactivity. When experiencing pain in this region, looking inward at lifestyle factors, such as time spent at a desk or physical activity levels, is often essential to pinpoint the cause effectively.

This area is closely related to the neck or cervical region not just because postural issues will pull at the musculature attaching to the back of the shoulders, but also, because the nerve supply from the neck also controls most of the muscles in this region.

Its worth noting, that a trapped nerve in the neck may only be felt as a knot or burning pain in the upper back.

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Poor shoulder function including muscle imbalances or muscle weakness can contribute to painful restrictions developing in the upper back region. Especially important is the muscle function controlling the shoulder blade, dysfunction here is known as Scapula Dyskinesia. This can be due to chronically tight muscles impairing the mobility of the shoulder blade or chronically weakened muscles that lead to a phenomenon known as a ‘winged scapula’.

Clinically, this weakness in the shoulder blade stabilising muscles is most often caused by an irritation to the long thoracic nerves, which begin in the neck and travel through the upper back and chest supplying both muscle and organ function alike.


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Is Chiropractic Good for Upper Back Pain?

Chiropractic is the world’s leading therapeutic profession for back pain of any kind with decades of research as evidence. This includes treatment for the area between your shoulder blades and below the neck known as the upper back.

The gold standard care is spinal manipulation, which all qualified chiropractors get years of training and experience to perform correctly before qualification.

However, standard chiropractic manipulation isn’t for everyone, some prefer a more gentle approach such as IAA available at The DISC Chiropractors, Surbiton.

Complications such as age, brittle bones or previous fractures in this area might make this a more appropriate approach.

It should also be pointed out that chiropractic care isn’t just limited to hands-on mobilisation or manipulation, but include understanding and correcting the influences of issues such as muscle imbalance, neck posture, forwardly rolled shoulders or scapula dyskinesia  (dysfunction of the shoulder blade).

what are the Diffeerent types of upper back pain?

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Diffuse Joint Pain

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Burning Muscular Pain

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Sharp Nerve Pains


Pain located between the shoulder blades can indicate several issues, including muscle strain, overuse injuries, or spinal conditions like a herniated disc. However, this pain is most often related to posture, especially in individuals who spend long hours in front of a computer.

A postural forward head position, where the chin pokes too far forward imbalances the natural forces in the neck, requiring the large trapezius muscles that extend to the shoulders and downward to the mid back to be over engaged, resulting in chronic muscle tension and pain.

Prolonged sitting at desks, reading, studying and even using mobile phones and tablets are all big contributors to forward head carriage or ‘text neck’ to give it a cute adopted name is a growing issue with children becoming exposed to screen time often very early in their development years.

Whilst pain might not necessarily become problematic until adulthood, the roots of postural issues are often found years prior.
Upper back pain can also be a symptom of psychological stress, manifesting physically in the upper back. Therapeutic approaches such as physiotherapy, targeted exercises, and ergonomic adjustments are often recommended to alleviate this type of pain.

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    Forward head posture (FHP) has been estimated in about 66% of the patient population.
    In general, these abnormal postures are associated with the development and persistence of many disorders, including cervicogenic headache and migraine, myofascial pain syndrome, abnormal shoulder blade movement, and temporomandibular joint disorder

    Diab & Moustafa – Journal of Clinical Rehabilitation 2011

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    “When back pain suddenly shows up, we are tempted to blame it on the last minor stressor that affected it, such as a soft bed in a hotel.
    This is like blaming your bankruptcy on the last latte you bought before your account finally went into the red.”

    – Todd Hargrove – Author



    Upper Back Joint Pain:

    Jarring of the facet joint or o osteoarthritis affecting the joints in the spine would typically present as a deep, aching pain along with stiffness in the upper back. It’s akin to the feeling of stiffness after being in one position for too long, but more persistent. Likely to feature more on one side.

    Upper Back Rib Pain:

    Each spinal segment in the thoracic region also has rib articulations. Jamming these joints can lead to some intense pain, as local muscles spasm to protect. Pain here is often sharp and may worsen with deep breathing or movement.

    Upper Back Muscle  Pain:

    Commonly caused by muscle strain, overuse, or tension, especially during periods of poor posture or stress. This is characterized by a constant ache or soreness in the muscles, similar to what you might feel after an intense workout, which reduces significantly on rest.

    Upper Back Nerve Pain:

    The pain is typically sharp, shooting, and may radiate to other areas like the arms. However, not all nerve function is sensory. Sometimes a nerve in the neck can get pinched affecting muscle function the upper back muscles often being misunderstood as a muscular tension issue.

    Upper Back Disc Pain:

    Herniated or bulging discs are not super common in the upper back but still possible. The pain can be quite intense and specific, often described as a deep, severe ache that can be exacerbated by certain movements and reduces on rest but doesn’t go away.


    What are the best treatments for upper back pain?

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    Mechanical Care

    (Combination of Chiropractic &  Instrument-Assisted Adjusting)

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    Spinal Decompression Therapy
    (Traction for the nerves in the neck affecting the upper back)

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    Laser Therapy

    (Targeted Hi-Intensity light therapy, promotes advanced healing rates)


    The first step in treating any condition is to find the underlying cause, often the Upper Back Pain experienced by a patient is the last “domino” to fall in a cascade of reactions. A thorough examination at our Clinic in Surbiton will help not only identify exactly what is generating the Upper Back Pain but also aim to understand its root cause.

    Once a diagnosis is determined, Upper Back Pain Treatment options that aim to address the issue can be explored. Pain relief, corrective measures, and preventative strategies can be implemented to ensure the problem does not return in the future.

    The first steps towards gaining Upper Back Pain Relief often come by mobilising the soft tissues and joints in the area with special attention the additional rib articulations in this region. This is achieved by using a combination of manual mobilising Chiropractic Techniques with our unique blend of Instrument-Assisted Adjusting tools, which can be used to gently initiate movement and blood flow in stubborn or inflamed tissue, especially when stronger techniques may have been contraindicated.


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    Spinal Decompression Therapy, one of the powerhouse clinic treatments can’t be used directly to traction the upper back due to the presence of the ribs. However, often the root of upper back pain stems from a nerve irritation in the neck, which can be addressed using cervical decompression.

    When conditions struggle to heal, Laser Therapy is an extremely safe and effective method of advancing recovery rates. Its warm photon light energy stimulates mitochondrial activity to enhance recovery in every cell of the body. Laser Therapy is especially useful in cases of inflammation, such as arthritic and repetitive strain conditions.

    A major part of how our treatment protocols work is to ensure whilst the mid back pain is coming under control, we are filling the patient with the knowledge of how to keep and maintain their results using corrective measures and rehabilitation tools to enhance their outcomes.

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    To discover how we can assist with your Upper Back Pain Treatment, don’t hesitate to click the icon below and book a comprehensive consultation for a detailed evaluation of your situation.
    Alternatively, why not organise a free chat with one of our expert clinicians? We’re always eager to talk about everything DISC-related and look forward to helping you!