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5 Ways to Relieve Upper Spine Pain

Poor posture is one often to blame for upper spine pain. Habits like sitting too much in the car, working at a computer with your shoulders rounded forward and staring down at your mobile device can all cause the spinal muscles to decondition over time.

Treatment for this kind of back condition can range from simple home remedies to hands-on physical therapy.

Treatment for Upper Spine Pain

Traditional home remedies for controlling of pain, include::

  1. Taking over-the-counter pain medications. Acetaminophen (Tylenol, for example) can help provide pain relief. NSAIDS, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Advil, Aleve, Motrin) may help to reduce pain, as well as swelling. Contact your Primary Care Physician (PCP) as directed by the medication manufacturer in the event of prolonged use of the medication or if you experience any adverse side effects.
  2. Use of a heating pad or ice pack?  Heat is regularly used to reduce pain and stiffness in the upper spine, while ice application is to reduce pain and swelling.  Which to use? Scientific studies have demonstrated the use of ice can significantly decrease the need for pain medication, even after 48 hours.  

However, solving mild upper back pain often boils down to simple lifestyle habits you can begin developing today!

  1. Resting is the first thought when experiencing ongoing back pain but moving is a key component to recovery from a back injury.  Movement is recommended to help speed the recovery and decrease the possibility of reinjury. Types of general exercises that may be used include walking, swimming, and gentle stretching.  Low intensity exercises can help improve blood flow, reduced stress, increased confidence to perform daily activities, and feel more comfortable. It’s important to control one’s return to activities.  Properly identifying current abilities is needed to start exercising at the appropriate functional level. “Reasonable attainable goals” is term to use when setting out to exercise.
  2. Practicing good posture. Poor posture puts an enormous amount of stress on your back and can lead to severe pain in your spine or upper back. For example, when standing, keep your weight balanced evenly on both feet with your back straight. Work at a computer? When sitting at a desk, keep your shoulders rolled back and make sure your monitor is at eye level, so you don’t have to lean forward to see it. Stay aware of the position of your neck when you’re using your mobile device as well.  “Keep your chin tucked in” is an objective that will help correct poor postural habits.
  3. Reducing stress. Have you ever noticed how your shoulder muscles tend to tense up when you’re stressed? As with most injuries, stress can make pain feel worse. Learn ways to reduce your stress, such as deep breathing, meditation or stretching and bring some much-needed chill into your life.  Here the term “reasonable attainable goals” comes to play once again. Know your limits of the tasks for which you set out to do.

Relieve Upper Spine Pain with Physical Therapy in New Jersey

If these at-home therapies don’t help, or your cervical spine pain worsens over time, it’s advised to seek treatment from a physical therapist. In many cases, patients with mild to moderate upper spine pain are often treated with heat or ice therapy, stretching, exercise and hands-on physical therapy treatments, such as manual therapy techniques to reduce muscular tension and improve blood flow.

You deserve a pain-free life. If you or a loved one lives in New Jersey and suffers from upper spine pain, we have 51 convenient locations offering individualized treatment plans. Every one of our Twin Boro offices has skilled physical therapists who are ready to help you live pain-free again. Give us a call at1-732-444-3578 to schedule your appointment.

Twin Boro Physical Therapy: Voted Readers’ Choice Best of New Jersey

Voted Readers’ Choice Best of New Jersey, Twin Boro has provided NJ residents with high quality physical therapy and rehab for over 39 years! It’s our award-winning approach, proven results and reputation that sets us apart. By incorporating the One2Four program into each patient’s program, the latest and most reliable scientific research and techniques are incorporated into effective evidence-based practice. We deliver only the highest standard of care with the unique One2Four approach.

It’s no surprise that Twin Boro Physical Therapy has also been voted the best physical therapy practice in New Jersey by the readers of mycentraljersey.com.

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