Upper back pain, or pain between the shoulder blades, can be chronic (long-lasting) or acute (short-lived) and range from mild to severe. While back pain is relatively common, upper back pain is less common than lower back pain.
Upper back pain can progress slowly over time or come on suddenly. The pain can be dull, achy, cramping, sharp, or stabbing. In some cases of severe upper back pain, mobility is limited.
If you are experiencing the symptoms of upper back pain in Northern California, our orthopedic specialists at Dignity Health North State can help you find relief through our advanced treatments and personal care. Find a Doctor at one of our convenient North State locations today.
Upper Back Pain Causes
Sprain or strain is the most common cause of upper back pain. This kind of pain usually resolves within a few days, and is often caused by sudden awkward movements of the body during strenuous activities.
Other causes of upper back pain involve a spine condition or injury and include:
- Spinal arthritis
- Spinal stenosis, or narrowing of the spinal canal
- Degenerated, ruptured, or herniated discs.
- Osteoporosis, or thinning bones
Other serious medical conditions, such as a heart attack, can cause pain that radiates to the upper back. Seek immediate medical attention, or call 911, if you have upper back pain with shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, chest pain, or jaw pain.
Upper Back Pain Treatment at Dignity Health North State
Our orthopedic team will design your personalized treatment plan based on the cause of your upper back pain, as well as your medical history and risk factors. At Dignity Health North State, it’s our goal to not only alleviate your pain but to treat the underlying cause.
Minor cases of upper back pain can resolve on their own within a few weeks. However, you can ease your recovery with massage, over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicines, stretching, and hot and cold therapy.
For persistent or severe upper back pain, your doctor may prescribe stronger pain relievers, a back brace, or physical therapy. Surgery is typically a final option.
When you visit one of our specialists to find upper back pain relief in Northern California, we will explain your options and help find a solution that works for your unique needs. Make an appointment near you today.
Dignity Health North State provides comprehensive treatment for upper back pain in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.