Most people will experience some type of back pain at some point in their lives but for most, it lasts only a few days or weeks. It could result from moving furniture, gardening, or even turning the wrong way. Usually the pain responds to home remedies such as ice packs, rest, and over the counter pain medication. Chronic upper back pain is very different because it is pain lasting three or more months and never completely goes away. Some of the causes of chronic pain include diseases, surgeries, injuries, and syndromes but in many cases, there is no identifiable cause. Chronic upper back pain is very difficult to deal with because nobody can understand another person’s pain. Each individuals pain is interpreted and feeling generated by his or her own brain and body. People suffering from chronic upper back pain will need to find coping strategies and therapies to help them manage and live with their pain so it does not become their focus in life. For many patients, the best chronic upper back pain therapy is a combination of treatments that are specific to their situation and requirements.
The first step towards finding relief from chronic upper back pain is to talk to your doctor and have a thorough medical exam and tests to find the cause of your pain. Once your physician has discovered the cause of your chronic upper back pain, follow his or her recommended therapies to reduce your pain. Never start a homecare or exercise program without discussing it with your physician first.
Exercise is important in managing some types of chronic upper back pain since it helps keep tension to a minimum and strengthen muscles. An exercise program may consist of aerobic workouts, stretching, strength training, and flexibility. It is best to work with your doctor and a physical therapist or a professional personal trainer to help you with an exercise program specifically designed to meet your needs.
Some of the types of skills that can help you cope with chronic upper back pain are deep muscle relaxation, dissociation, and imagery. Relaxation training involves deep, slow breathing and concentration, to relieve pain and release tension from your muscles. Although it does require practice, it is a good way to release muscle tension and take the focus off your chronic upper back pain. Visual distraction and imagery involves centering on mental pictures of happy events or scenes to reduce pain. Hypnosis either by a therapist or by self-hypnosis can help reduce a patient’s pain and help them relax.
When people experience upper back pain, many believe that any type of movement or exercise will aggravate their condition making the pain worse, so they choose bed rest or a minimum amount of movement. The truth is that upper back pain exercise and movement often helps reduce pain faster because they are a natural stimuli. Bed rest and inactivity cannot provide a long-term solution for preventing or alleviating back pain the way regular, gradual, progressive upper back pain exercise can. The reason exercise helps is because it helps repair and nourish spinal structures, reduce stiffness, and keeps your back strong, flexible, and healthy.
Hot and cold treatments are effective in treating back pain, along with upper back pain exercises. Cold packs are very effective in relieving upper back pain and reducing back inflammation, especially for the first couple of days after suffering modest back pain. Apply an ice pack to the affected area for fifteen or twenty minutes, making sure the cold does not damage your skin. Leaving it on too long could cause frostbite or other problems. Repeat the ice pack treatment approximately once every hour. Heat treatments are very effective for treating muscular pains in the upper back, neck and shoulder areas but you should not use them on swollen areas. Apply a heating pad, covered hot water bottle, or microwave heat wrap to your upper back to bring relief. The blood flow increases due to the heat, which then delivers extra oxygen and nutrients to the back injury and helps speed up your recovery.
Upper back pain exercise is not the only way to help relieve pain. There are numerous methods for relieving upper back pain naturally so chances are you will find one that is just right for you. Massage therapy is an alternative to upper back pain exercise and many people find massage therapy treatment very positive and effective. Massage therapy helps improve muscle tone, blood circulation and helps prevent muscular atrophy from inactivity or illness. Many patients that choose massage therapy over upper back pain exercise find that they are experiencing more joint flexibility, reduced stress, and a sense of well being.
There are several forms of massage such as thee Swedish massage and Sports massage. A Swedish massage is very relaxing and helps lessen upper back pain by improving circulation, relieving stress and tension, and relaxing your muscles. The massage therapist uses kneading movements and long strokes to help your upper back. Sports massage therapist’s use finger pressure and deep, hard, slow strokes, which helps loosen contracted tendons and muscles. Upper back pain exercise, massage therapy or other methods could help bring you relief from pain.
Edward Mullen is a back pain specialist and free-lance writer for www.nomorechronicbackpain.com