What Can Cause Upper Back Pain?

Written By Dr. Michael Polson

On May 22, 2021

What can cause upper back pain?

Upper back pain can be caused by several things that affect the muscles and joints that are a part of the thoracic spine. It is still indecisive as to the main cause for upper back pain since there are many causes.

  1. Poor Posture

Routinely sitting for long periods with poor posture can cause major changes in the back and neck. The muscles could become in a weakened state, and not take hold of the spine in neutral alignment as easily as before. Now as the head and shoulders move and hunch forward, more so where pressure is applied and placed on the spine’s bones, discs, muscles, ligaments, and other soft tissues. If a person leans to one side more often, such as while driving or working at a computer, that could also cause an imbalance in the upper back that leads to upper back pain.


  • Improper Lifting Techniques

When lifting a heavy object without the spine being fully aligned can put some serious stress upon your spine causing upper back pain. Lifting an object above your head either front, back, left, or right as opposed to being centered can leave the upper back open to possible injury. Even lifting an object that is too heavy can cause upper back pain.

  • Overuse

Putting the upper back through more work than usual, such as by spending a day helping a friend move into a new apartment or painting a ceiling (working above the head), could cause muscle strains, ligament sprains, and inflammation in the upper back.

  • Accident or collision

Trauma from a vehicular accident (car or bike crash), a fall from height (down steps or from a ladder), or sports collision (football, hockey, etc.) can cause upper back pain by injuring spinal bones, discs, muscles, ligaments, nerves, and/or other soft tissues.


Here at Polson Family Chiropractic, we offer upper back adjustments to assist with the upper back pain. Give us a call today to schedule your first consultation.

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