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Upper Back Pain

Severe Back Pain Treatment & Cause

Our Chicago, IL chiropractors know the upper back or thoracic spine is a very common area for pain.  To understand why this is so common some general anatomy may shed some light.  This is one of the areas of the spine that when viewed from the side goes from concave to convex.   In addition, these twelve vertebrae have rib attachments.  Nine of these ribs, in turn, connect to the breastbone in the front to make up the thoracic cavity.  The bottom three ribs do not attach in the front but protect vital organs and allow for more mobility.  Thoracic meaning pertaining to the chest, explains how involved this area can cause a variety of musculoskeletal complaints if not aligned and working properly.  The more common causes of pain in other areas of the spine such as disc herniations, disc bulges, spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease are less common in the thoracic region.  However the fact that this region makes up over two-thirds of your bodies joints, joint dysfunction is very common in the thoracic spine.  

Causes of upper back pain can range from accident or injury or more commonly poor posture. In fact, over recent years poor posture has become increasingly common. We are even seeing posture reserved for nursing home patients in younger people as early as 30. We have creatively now called this lack of good posture "text" neck.


Upper Back Pain & Joint Dysfunction

Chiropractors treat thoracic joint dysfunction with chiropractic adjustments. The term joint dysfunction simply refers to the lack of Range of motion in any plane. Part of what makes the doctors at Advanced Spine & Sports Care so skilled, is the ability to use digital imaging to set a road map of where and what is not functioning correctly. Our goal is to treat pain; that is what brings most patients into our offices. Although we strive to prevent and educate patients on their condition to get the best results.

There are a variety of chiropractic adjustment techniques that can be used to adjust a dysfunctional joint in this and any other region of the spine. These same techniques can really be applied to any joint in the body. Some adjustment techniques use the hands and use precise thrusting in a specific direction. Our doctors may also use a softer directional adjusting tool to accommodate the specific needs of each patient.

Disc Related Injury

Since most disc bulges and/or herniations naturally regress in a few months, chiropractors will attempt to reduce the pain and pressure caused by the disc injury. More importantly however, is the prevention of the joint dysfunction which often causes the disc involvement to begin with. Chiropractic treatment of a thoracic disc injury may include one or a combination of the following:

  • Spinal manipulation
  • Intersegmental traction
  • Corrective exercises to strengthen around proper joint alignment
  • Physical modalities (heat, ice, electrical stimulation, ultra sound)
  • Non Surgical Spinal Decompression using DRX 9000

Our providers often use proteolytic enzymes and other supplements to speed the healing. The use of anti inflammatory diet has proven effective in pain relief and prevention.