upper back pain

If you have been working from home for a long time, you might notice a drawing pain from the upper part of your spine that runs down from the neck and shoulder blades. It usually appears due to poor posture, but may also be due to a recent injury, or muscle strain. If you have been experiencing it for a while now, this article will tell you everything you need to know about the condition, including the best way to treat it.


What Is Upper Back Pain? 

Upper back pain is the physical discomfort often felt in the area between the neck base up until the bottom of the ribcage. People often describe the feeling as if there is a tugging or burning sensation in the affected area. For some people, the pain extends to the chest and arms. 

People experience upper back pain less than lower back pain. Although you may think the condition is rare, a study suggests that one in every ten men and one in every five women suffer from the condition. 


Leading Causes of Upper Back Pain

There are many causes of upper back pain, but the most common is due to bad posture, particularly when sitting down, and muscle strain from repetitive movements. 

For many people, exercise is about training their muscles to be stronger and more resilient. Your posture at work can also be thought of as training due to the repetitive stress you place on your posture throughout your day. When a person slouches on their desk for too long, an imbalance in your postural muscles occurs, creating pain, poor posture, and tension. The act of slouching pushes the body and adds pressure to the spine, neck, discs, and ligaments. Eventually, these muscles may weaken and lead to strain. 

While posture is by far the most common cause of upper back pain, it is not the only way to damage the upper back. Incorrect weight lifting, slipping and falling, car accidents, and other similar situations are other common causes. 


How to Know If You Have Upper Back Pain

You know that you have upper back pain if you experience the following symptoms:

  • There is continuous pain felt in the area. 
  • Specific movements, such as retracting your shoulders, rotating a certain direction, or even deep breathing, can be painful.
  • You feel a bit stiff while sitting down.
  • You cannot find a comfortable position while sitting down.

These are some signs, but it is still best to undergo a diagnosis via physical examination to confirm if the pain you feel is from upper back issues. 


How Physiotherapy Can Help

Physiotherapy is the recommended treatment to improve the condition of a person with upper back issues. It is a science-based treatment that guides a patient to physical health and wellness after injury, helping people with injuries or long-term medical conditions.

In these sessions, the physiotherapist uses active exercise-based modalities, as well as passive hands-on therapies, to help reduce the patient’s pain and the muscles’ stiffness until they can get back to their daily activities. Expect your physiotherapists to teach you exercises to stabilise your spine and strengthen your upper back muscles as well as complete manual therapy techniques such as massage, vertebral mobilisation, and passive stretching. They will also make assessments to determine how you can improve your work posture and recommend the best way to be comfortable while sitting. 



Physiotherapy is an excellent approach to conditions like upper back pain. The treatment does not merely rely on pain relief. Instead, they focus on observing the symptoms, teaching easy exercises, and recommending lifestyle adjustments to improve their patients’ condition. 

Are you looking for affordable physiotherapy in Bondi? Invigor Health offers quality treatment and tools to make you feel fit, active, and pain-free for a long time. We also provide online physiotherapy consultation in Sydney so you can figure out the best treatment for your situation without the need to meet in person. Contact us today.


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