Upper Back Pain is a degenerative back pain condition that affects the upper spine. Retrolisthesis happens when the vertebrae shift out of place, dropping on top of the vertebrae below it. Retrolisthesis is a chronic pain condition that is caused by other existing diseases such as arthritis. Symptoms of Retrolisthesis include: *chronic back pain * stiffness * numbness * neck pain * tenderness Diagnostics of Retrolisthesis: *side x-rays of the spine Common treatments of Retrolisthesis include: * non-prescription drugs to reduce the swelling * physical therapy * chiropractic care * surgery.
Although upper back pain is not a very common spinal disorder, it can cause significant discomfort and pain when it does occur. The most common causes of upper back pain are muscular irritation (myofascial pain) and joint dysfunction.
There can be an injury to a disc in the upper back (such as a thoracic herniated disc or degenerated disc) that causes upper back pain, but such injuries are very rare.
Because this section of the spinal column has a great deal of stability and only limited movement, there is generally little risk of injury or degeneration over time in the upper back.
What is upper and middle back pain?
Upper and middle back pain can occur anywhere from the base of your neck to the bottom of your rib cage.
Your ribs attach to a long, flat bone in the center of the chest called the sternum and attach to and wrap around your back. If a nerve in this area is pinched, irritated, or injured, you may also feel pain in other places where the nerve travels, such as your arms, legs, chest, and belly.
The upper and middle back (called the thoracic spine) has:
- 12 vertebrae – These bones attach to your rib cage. They make up the longest part of your back.
- Discs that separate each vertebra and absorb shock as you move.
- Muscles and ligaments that hold the spine together.
See a picture of the spine
Upper and middle back pain is not as common as low back pain or neck pain, because the bones in this area of the back don’t flex or move as much as the bones in your lower back or neck. Instead, they work with the ribs to keep the back stable and help protect vital organs, such as the heart and lungs.
What causes upper and middle back pain?
- Overuse, muscle strain, or injury to the muscles, ligaments, and discs that support your spine.
- Poor posture.
- Pressure on the spinal nerves spinal nerves from certain problems, such as a herniated disc.
- A fracture of one of the vertebrae.
- Osteoarthritis caused by the breakdown of cartilage that cushions the small facet joints in the spine.
- Myofascial pain that affects the connective tissue of a muscle or group of muscles.