Thoracic Upper Back & Spine Pain Braces

Upper back pain is something almost everyone will experience in their lifetime. Upper back pain comes in a variety of different forms, including pain in between your shoulder blades, shoulders, and neck. Because upper back pain can be a variety of different things, it’s often tough to diagnose and treat. Continue reading to learn about the most common kinds of upper back pain and their potential treatment options.

What is My Upper Back Pain?

There are many treatment options for upper back pain, use this chart to determine the recovery process you need

Simple Neck Muscle Strain or Sprain

Cervical Osteoarthritis

Poor Posture - Upper Right and Left Back

Frozen Shoulder or Adhesive Capsulitis

Simple neck strain or sprain is the most common neck injury. These injuries are usually caused by overuse or overextension of the cervical spine. They are most often triggered by sports injury, poor posture, repetitive motion, or whiplash.

Cervical osteoarthritis is a degenerative form of joint arthritis most often associated with aging. It primarily affects the facet joints, intervertebral discs, and ligaments in the spine.

Poor posture is extremely common and creates many upper and lower back pains for individuals. This is especially common in individuals who work sedentary jobs and consistently hold bad posture. People who rely heavily on one side (right or left handed) may have targeted side pain.

Frozen shoulder decreases joint motion and stiffens the shoulders. Frozen shoulder is most common with adults ages 40 - 60. There are a variety of different reasons why a person may be experiencing frozen shoulder, including hormonal imbalances, diabetes, or a weakened immune system.

Neck Sprain Symptoms:

Cervical Osteoarthritis Symptoms:

Poor Posture Symptoms:

Frozen Shoulder Symptoms:

  • Pain specifically targeted in the back of the neck area
  • Pain that worsens with movement of the neck
  • Muscle spasms and pain in the upper shoulder
    • Neck stiffness and pain

    • Headache that appears to have originated from the neck area

    • Pain that radiates down to the shoulders and arms

    • Upper back aches after long hours of sitting

    • The pain starts in the neck area and then moves downward (specifically upper right and left back)

    • Decreased range of motion in the shoulder

    • Shoulder stiffness

    Neck Sprain Treatment

    Cervical Osteoarthritis Treatment:

    Poor Posture Treatment:

    Frozen Shoulder Treatment:

    Depending on the severity of your injury, treatment may vary. If you are looking for a stabilizer or posture corrector, consider wearing a posture correcting brace. Check out the wide selection of posture braces we have at BraceAbility. For a bigger support option, a more intense brace will provide more protection to your neck, like this cervical orthosis.

    Primary treatments include wearing a brace, physical therapy, weight loss, and anti-inflammatory medication. At BraceAbility we offer a few heavy duty braces for cervical osteoarthritis.

    Thankfully, poor posture is treatable. We recommend wearing some type of posture correcting brace. Beyond this performing exercises and stretches to assist in correcting bad posture will help relieve pain and provide better results. At BraceAbility we have even created a 21-day posture challenge to speed up the process of acquiring good posture. Learn more about the posture challenge.

    Frozen shoulder can be left untreated but has the potential to last up to three years. Treatment methods are usually conservative including, physical therapy, ice and heat treatment, and medication. BraceAbility offers a fantastic ice and heat treatment wrap for frozen shoulder.

     

    Your spine is made up of 24 individual bones that are stacked on top of one another. To identify whether or not the pain you’re feeling is thoracic back or spine pain it’s important to understand the anatomy of your spine.

    The Anatomy of Your Spine

    The spine is important because it provides the main form of support for your body. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to stand upright, bend, or twist. Each of the three sections of the spine serves different purposes for our bodies.

    Cervical spine: The cervical spine supports the weight of the head. This area has the greatest range of motion because of a few specialized vertebrae.

    >Thoracic spine: The thoracic spine holds the rib cage and protects the heart and lungs. This acts as the bodies stabilizer and has a limited range of motion.

    Lumbar spine: The lumbar spine bears the weight of the body. This area absorbs the stress of lifting and carrying heavy objects.

    What is the Pain I’m Feeling in my Thoracic Back?

    Since the spine is so vital to the human body, any type of strain, injury, or illness can cause major issues. There are a variety of different symptoms that allude to issues with your thoracic spine or back. For example, if you’re experiencing pain that feels like it is shooting through your spine, it may be stemming from the thoracic region. Because this region of the spine includes the spinal column, spinal cords, discs, nerves, tendons, and more, any inflammation or irritation of these parts creates discomfort. Many people begin to feel pain in the thoracic back region after things like:

    • Automobile accidents
    • Sports injuries
    • Poor posture - check out our posture brace for preventative treatment.
    • Improper lifting techniques

    Experiences like these may turn into related medical thoracic spine conditions or you may be experiencing them from things such as old age and genetics. These include:

    • Kyphosis
    • Osteoporosis
    • Osteoarthritis
    • Thoracic spinal stenosis
    • Herniated Disc
    • Scoliosis

    Are There Treatment Options for Thoracic Related Medical Conditions?

    Osteoporosis of the spine: Osteoporosis is a condition in which your bones become weak and brittle. It can be the first step in a lot of other thoracic issues, including kyphosis. People over 35 who lack exercise and calcium are at the greatest risk for weakened bones. A symptom of osteoporosis is easily fractured bones. Thankfully, any kind of TLSO brace provides great treatment for osteoporosis of the spine. As seen above, at BraceAbility we carry a variety of TLSO braces for treatment, like this thoracic spine brace. It is vital that you address issues with osteoporosis of the spine before they become more severe conditions.  

    Kyphosis: Most common in older aged women, kyphosis is a severe case of osteoporosis. Kyphosis is an excessive outward curvature of the spine, causing a hunched back. The condition can be treated in a number of different ways. For example, exercises such as yoga poses and chest stretches. Along with exercises, physical therapy is a tool used to help in the treatment of kyphosis. Because kyphosis is about the curvature of your back, posture correction can assist in alleviating issues. At BraceAbility, we have streamlined a new posture brace that is easy to wear and completely adjustable. If you are looking for a more intense treatment for kyphosis, try a thoracic spine brace.

    Osteoarthritis of the spine: Osteoarthritis is a degenerative form of joint arthritis that is most often associated with aging. In the spine, it affects a person’s facet joints, intervertebral discs, and ligaments. The recovery process can be conservative and inclusive of many different elements including exercises, physical therapy, weight loss, and anti-inflammatory medication. To promote spinal alignment and pain relief, TLSO braces are a great treatment option.

    Thoracic Spinal Stenosis: Most common in elderly individuals, stenosis refers to the narrowing of the spinal canal. During Spinal Stenosis the narrowing of the spinal canal happens to a degree where the cord or nerves are compromised. Thankfully, conservative methods of treatment do a wonderful job of treating spinal stenosis. Physical therapy and medication are highly recommended for the pain relief and treatment process for your spine injury. Brace wearing is a potential option for treatment of spinal stenosis. BraceAbility offers specialized spinal stenosis braces that work well paired alongside other conservative treatment methods. If you have a severe case of spinal stenosis, consulting with your doctor is the best option. Often times steroid injections and surgery are options for treatment.

    Herniated Disc: Herniated disc is a common injury that occurs during aging. The discs in your spine lose water content as you age, making them less flexible and prone to twists and sprain. The goal of treatment for a herniated disc is to relieve pain. Because of this, the treatment process is about what works best for you as an individual. The most common methods include physical therapy, icing, heat therapy, wearing herniated disc braces, and oral steroids. More severe cases work similar to spinal stenosis as they may require surgery on your spine.

    Scoliosis: Scoliosis is the lateral turning of what is normally a straight spine. Interestingly, scoliosis is more common within in females and is usually noticeable from a young age. There are many different forms of scoliosis. If you or anyone you know may have scoliosis the best initial treatment option for you is to consult with a doctor right away. Scoliosis most often requires extensive medical care beyond conservative treatment methods.

    Click here if your upper back pain wasn't covered in this article. There are numerous other causes of upper back pain that may be the root of your problem. The most important thing to do with upper back issues is figuring out what is going on because upper back pain can be warning signs of much bigger health issues.

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