Did you know that 84 percent of Americans may suffer from back pain in their life? Dealing with chronic back pain can impact your productivity and energy. If you want to understand lower and upper back pain, we can help.
This guide will explain the main differences between lower vs. upper back pain. Understanding the difference between the two will help you determine the proper treatment.
Ready to learn more? Keep reading.
What Will Cause Lower Back Pain?
People often associate lower back pain with spinal stiffness or painful muscle spasms. They might also deal with sore hip or shoulder flexibility.
Some have spinal column problems. A spinal column is a single unit of neurological and musculoskeletal tissue. Problems in the spinal column will lead to dysfunction or symptoms in other regions.
Spinal stenosis is when the canal where the spinal cord travels begins to narrow. This occurs due to old age or people who overuse it. Some people struggle with osteoarthritis, where the vertebral joints become inflamed.
Have you heard of degenerative disc disease? Your spinal discs, over time, will progressively degrade. You will deal with joint pain and stiffness.
A bulging or herniated disc will become caused by a disc injury. The outer disc layer might have become torn, and now there’s leakage of the inner fluid, which is herniation.
Sometimes, a protrusion of the disc from the typical alignment causes issues. This will compress nearby spinal nerve roots.
Ligament sprains and muscle strains can often cause chronic lower back pain. Chronic stress will lead to damaged muscle fibers or ligaments. People end up suffering from pain and inflammation.
Lower back pain is super common. Americans might even deal with one episode of back pain in their life. Prior history of back pain can also increase the risk of future issues.
What Is Upper Back Pain?
Mid and upper back pain can travel along the thoracic vertebrae. This is where the vertebrae sit along your ribcage. The vertebrae will move less than the vertebrae in your lower back.
Yet, there’s still a chance of overuse or injury.
Causes of Upper Back Pain
Some causes of upper back pain include sports injuries, poor posture, and car accidents. If you overuse the muscles, you could have muscle strain or injured ligaments and discs.
Are you a manual labor worker? If you do a lot of hard physical labor, you could be more at risk. People who garden, lift weights, or perform heavy lifting for work might deal with upper back pain.
The injury could worsen if you aren’t careful. The damage often occurs because of a strain or sprain of the muscles in the back.
Poor posture is a cause of upper back pain. Today, many Americans spend hours in front of their computer working. They don’t maintain proper posture and instead end up hunching.
Signs of poor posture include rounding or slouching your shoulders while you work. You might begin to feel stiffness in your upper back or neck area.
Car accidents cause neck pain and upper back issues. If you suffer from whiplash, you might strain your upper back or neck.
Some people will deal with cracks or tiny fractures in their vertebrae, which is the culprit of pain. Causes of slight fractures include traumatic injuries, overuse, or joint deterioration.
You should talk to your doctor if you’re still dealing with pain.
Preventing Back Pain
You can prevent back pain from worsening by completing low-impact aerobic exercises. You don’t want to do exercise that will jolt or strain your back.
Instead, focus on building endurance and strength in your back. This way, your muscles will end up functioning better.
You can also complete back and abdominal muscle exercises. These exercises will build strength in your core and condition your muscles.
Try to maintain a healthy weight, so you don’t strain your back muscles. If you’re overweight, begin eating healthier and exercising.
Do you work an office job? Try to maintain excellent posture during the day. Invest in a chair that has solid lower back support, a swivel base, and armrests.
Put either a rolled towel or a pillow near the small of your back. This will maintain the natural curve there. You should keep your hips and knees level and change your position every 30 minutes.
How Do You Treat Back Pain?
If you’re suffering from back pain, you could pursue many treatment options. Some of the treatment options are natural and non-invasive.
You could look into chiropractic sessions. Chiropractors help patients with low back pain by making minor adjustments. The adjustments will help realign any spinal joints. Also, you won’t have to get medicated treatment.
There’s also non-invasive decompression therapy. You can lower the pressure on discs and injured nerves.
Look into physiotherapy and physical therapy. Some people will pursue massage therapy. Massage therapy will help improve blood flow and healing.
Understanding the Difference Between Lower vs. Upper Back Pain
We hope this guide on lower vs. upper back pain was helpful. You should identify where the pain’s located and seek the proper treatment. Work with a doctor who can help you find the appropriate treatment.
Make sure you pursue preventive measures as well. Try to complete gentle stretches throughout the day and maintain a good posture.
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