Causes and symptoms of upper back pain
Inflammation and irritation in the upper back takes place for a number of different reasons. For some people it is as simple as poor posture, for others it can be trauma due to an accident or sports injury. There are also medical conditions including herniated disc, arthritis, spinal degeneration, spinal stenosis, spondylitis, kidney stones or bone cancer that can lead to upper back pain. In most cases, upper back pain is associated with muscle irritation from poor posture or joint problems, which are not reasons to panic.
So back pain is back pain, right? Well, not exactly. Not all symptoms of upper back pain are focused on the backside of the chest and upper abdominal area. There are other signs associated with back pain. Upper back pain with difficulty breathing may be a sign of heart attack, while upper back pain with a fever could be a sign of an infection.
Remedies for Back Pain
Hot and Cold Therapy: Many people seek immediate relief from severe back pain, by placing a hot water bag on the area. This normally gets rid of the pain within a short while. It has been seen that applying an ice pack on the back can also bring about the same results. In many instances applying hot and cold treatments go a long way in relieving pain. A hot bath can be a nice way to heat the upper back. You can also try placing a hot water bottle on the back to ease the pain. Cold packs are also good, but wrap the pack with a wet cloth before applying so you don’t cause a cold burn. Some people find that alternating between hot and cold is helpful.
Herbs: There are many herbs that have anti-inflammatory properties, which is what makes them effective upper, lower, and middle back pain remedies. Pureed capsicum, applied topically, can also be very effective in relieving back pain as it contains capsaicin which helps to numb the affected area.
Exercises: There are many back pain exercises like low impact aerobic exercises that can help to ease and prevent back pain. Apart from stretches for back pain, most doctors also advise people to walk or swim regularly.
- If it is as simple as a muscle strain, it’s easy. Do your shoulder blades a favour and take a rest.
- Maintain proper posture and biomechanics.
- Massage provides comfort.
- At night, sleep in a comfortable position with your head and shoulders aligned so you won’t have to wake up in the morning having a sore shoulder blade. Use pillows.
- Perform scapular retraction exercises. Position your arms at shoulder level and imagine that someone is standing right in front of you. Wrap our arms around that imaginary person and hold for 8-10 seconds.
- Getting an adequate amount of rest, sleep and exercise each day.
- Relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing to relieve stress.
Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt, made up of magnesium sulfate, can help reduce shoulder pain. It helps improve blood circulation and relax stressed shoulder muscles. It also helps relieve stress from the entire body.
- Fill your bathtub with warm or tolerably hot water. If you don’t have a bath tub, no problem, you can still have Salt Water Bath.
- Add 2 cups of Epsom salt and stir thoroughly.
- Soak in this water with your shoulder submerged for 20 to 25 minutes. If no bath tub, then pour Salt inside a towel, dip it in hot water, and make some one else give you fomentation.
- Do this up to 3 times a week.
Turmeric is a good remedy to relieve pain in your shoulder. The curcumin in turmeric contains antioxidant as well as anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce pain and swelling.
- Make a paste by mixing 2 tablespoons of turmeric powder and 1 or more tablespoons of coconut oil. Rub this paste over the sore muscles and let it dry. Rinse it off with warm water. Repeat twice daily until the pain is gone.
- Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder to 1 cup of milk and boil it. Sweeten with honey and drink it twice daily to promote healing.
Ginger contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce pain and inflammation of any kind, including shoulder pain. In addition, it improves blood circulation that promotes quick healing.
- Drink 2 to 3 cups of ginger tea daily. To make the tea, simmer 1 tablespoon of thinly sliced ginger in 1½ to 2 cups of water for 10 minutes. Strain, add honey and drink it.
Alfalfa is another herbal remedy that can relieve pain and swelling. It ensures smooth blood flow throughout the body, in turn reducing inflammation and swelling.
- Drink 1 or 2 cups of warm alfalfa tea for a few days to treat shoulder pain. To make the tea, add 1 teaspoon of dried alfalfa leaves to a cup of hot water. Steep for 5 minutes, strain and drink it.