The ideal sleep position: On your back – The best position to avoid back pain is lying flat on your back. Even so, many people find it the hardest way to enjoy deep sleep. For optimal spine alignment, place one pillow underneath your head or neck and another underneath your knees.
What causes upper back pain sleeping?
What Causes Upper Back Pain – Upper back pain before and after sleeping can be brought on by several factors, including poor posture, overuse injuries, excess sitting and hunching if you work in an office, sports injuries, and muscle strains. Other factors like being overweight, smoking, and even heavy backpacks and purses frequently create upper back pain problems.
One often overlooked cause is sleeping position. Bill Fish, certified sleep science specialist and co-owner of Tuck Sleep, points out, “There is no question that your preferred sleeping position could result in some back pain.” According to Fish, 41 percent of people sleep in the fetal position. It’s also the most popular sleeping position and helps keep your spine aligned at night.
With the proper mattress and pillow support for your neck, shoulders, and hips, sleeping on your back will also relieve any pressure on the spine. “If you are sleeping on your stomach and notice you are suffering some back pain, there probably is a reason,” Fish says, “It knocks your spine completely out of alignment.” He points out that the upper back pain comes from your body’s weight pushing the core into the sleep surface and misaligning the spine.
- Much like when recovering from back surgery, it is important to adjust your sleeping positions to minimize discomfort overnight for your upper back pain.
- With many people using smartphones and tablets—particularly in bed as a means to wind down—more doctors and chiropractors are seeing patients with an upper back condition they refer to as “tech neck.” Certified personal trainer and owner of Bdefined Fitness, Bridgit Kin-Charlton explains how tech neck and other everyday activities can effect the cervical spine and lead to upper back pain.
“We spend the majority of our day in spinal flexion— driving, texting, scrolling, sitting at our desk, watching TV —causing the muscles of our upper back to become overstretched, and the opposing muscles in our chest to become tight.” A simple change to help stop upper back pain before and after sleep includes standing often and moving periodically.
When is upper back pain serious?
When should I worry about upper back pain between shoulder blades? Call your doctor immediately if you are experiencing severe upper back pain between the shoulder blades, as it may be signs of a serious medical condition, such as lung disease, heart disease, blood vessel disease, or gallstones.
Can’t sleep because of upper back pain?
5. Strengthen the Back With Upper Back Exercises. – Along with stretching, strengthening the upper back can also help for long-term pain relief and comfortable sleeping. You can do something as simple as push-ups or face pulls to work the upper back. Even 10 minutes a day added to your regular exercise routine can help tremendously.
What causes back pain between shoulder blades?
– It is easy to strain muscles in the upper back and cause pain between the shoulder blades. Common causes are leaning over a laptop, carrying heavy bags, or sitting in an uncomfortable seat for long periods. Most causes of upper back pain are mild. However, some more serious problems can cause pain between the shoulder blades.
What is the pressure point for upper back pain?
Use a pressure point ball or a tennis ball, and put it on the upper back or in between the shoulder blade area. Basically popping it in that area and using your body weight to give a bit of pressure into it. You’ll find a tight spot in between the shoulder blades. Just putting some pressure there, you can feel it is a bit tender. If you put pressure into the muscle and just sustain it for 30 – 60 seconds, trying to relax as you’re there, the muscle will start to let go. Then you can do a little bit of a rolling to self massage it The other nice thing you can work on is to get a little bit of rolling with some active movement. As you’re moving your arm, you feel like the muscle’s moving as you’re massaging it.
So, first a pressure point, find a couple spots around the shoulder blade and upper back, hold the pressure, and then you can do a little rolling and add some arm movement. Give that a try and see if that helps to relieve some tension. If you have more questions give us a call at 604-983-6616, or book an appointment online,
Is a massage good for upper back pain?
What are the benefits of an upper back massage? – There are wide-ranging benefits of an upper back massage. The benefits of an upper back massage include:
Decreased tension Increased healing Decreased pain Improved posture
Above: Cupping massage applied by therapist to upper back over the trapezius muscles An upper back massage helps benefit the body by relieving tension in the muscles. Tension in the muscles is when muscles stay contracted and do not relax. Muscle tension can result in pain if not treated.
An upper back massage gets deep into the muscle tissues and helps the muscle relax and therefore relieve tension. By relieving tension, pain in the upper back is significantly reduced. Increased healing is a benefit gained from having an upper back massage. During an upper back massage, blood circulation is improved and the lymphatic system is stimulated.
Improving the blood circulation increases more nutrients and oxygen being delivered around the body. The nutrients delivered around the body help make the muscles stronger and healthier. Stimulation of the lymphatic system increases the removal of toxins and waste products.
The lymphatic system also helps fight infection. Improving the lymph flow will increase the amount of white blood cells delivered to the injured area. White blood cells create cells called antibodies that fight and kill harmful bacteria and viruses. Improving circulation of blood and lymph flow therefore increases healing.
An upper back massage helps decrease pain. Pain in the shoulders can occur for many reasons such as; muscle tightness, tension, stress or injury. An upper back massage helps relax all muscles that are tight or tense as a result of injury, overuse or poor posture.
Pain is created as receptors located within the body identify problems that are occurring. Once identified, the receptors send a message to the brain telling it that there is pain. Once the message is received, the brain then sends out signals to the nerves in the body which cause pain. An upper back massage aims to interfere with the message sent to the brain so that the nerves do not get a signal to create pain.
Interfering with the message sent to the brain therefore reduces pain. An upper back massage also increases muscle temperature. Increasing muscle temperature improves tissue elasticity and flexibility around a joint. Increasing elasticity and flexibility reduces muscle tightness and tension and therefore decreases pain.
An upper back massage also improves the circulation of blood. Increasing the blood circulation provides the body with more oxygen and healthy nutrients. Increasing oxygen levels provides the muscles with more energy. An increase in energy reduces pain caused by fatigue. Improved posture is a benefit gained through an upper back massage.
When muscles in the upper back area become tight and tense, they often cause the posture to change as the muscles become constantly contracted. If posture is not correct, muscles can become tighter and create more pain. An upper back massage helps relax the muscles in the upper back so that posture can be returned to normal without any feeling of pain or discomfort therefore improving overall posture. Above: Soft tissue massage of trapezius muscle
What illness causes upper back pain?
Symptoms You may experience upper back pain as localized tightness, throbbing, aching or sharp pain in the thoracic area of your back or in your neck. It can also be experienced as radiating pain in your arms, numbness, tingling or weakness in your arms, headache, or pain in your jaw or occipital area.
- Because the ribs are attached to the thoracic spine, you may also feel pain when taking a deep breath.
- Causes The common causes of upper back pain stem from inflammation and micro-tears in the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the upper back or from arthritis, herniated disks, vertebral stenosis, or misalignments in the thoracic or cervical spine.
Repetitive motions and stressful postures, over time, may lead to the development of or aggravation of soft tissue damage or degenerative changes in the spinal column. Tips for Controlling Upper Back Pain The following may decrease cumulative trauma and may reduce the amount of your upper back pain:
Maintain proper posture. Use magnification, such as loupes, and adequate lighting to bring your field of vision closer and decrease the extent to which your neck is held forward and flexed down. Position the patient’s head at a level that gives you access to the oral cavity while being able to hold your shoulders in a relaxed, neutral position (rather than a hunched up position) and you are able to hold your elbows at about a ninety degree or less flexion. When possible, use chair arms to support your upper arm or forearm when doing fine, precision work with your hands. Wear properly fitting gloves. Keep equipment in good working order. Improperly maintained equipment can cause you to use unnecessary pressure and extra time when performing certain procedures. Position equipment within easy reach and visibility to reduce repeated twisting of your neck or torso. Take a break in between or during long or difficult cases. When possible, set up your schedule to rotate long, difficult cases with short, easier cases.
Seek Medical Consultation Seek medical consultation for upper back pain, especially in the following instances:
After recent significant trauma, such as a fall, a motor vehicle accident or other such accidents. When sleep is disrupted or pain is worse at night. With a history of prolonged steroid use. With a history of osteoporosis. With a recent history of infection or a temperature over 100 degrees F. Numbness or tingling in arms. Severe, sudden headache. Dizziness.
Other Resources Ergonomic Stretches for Back, Neck and Shoulders Ergonomics Tips for Upper Back Pain American College of Sports Medicine acsm.org American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons aaos.org American Physical Therapy Association apta.org
What causes upper back pain between shoulder blades and chest?
Frequently Asked Questions –
When should you worry about upper back pain between shoulder blades? Upper back pain between the shoulder blades can be a symptom of a heart attack, stroke, or another serious cardiac event. If you experience pain between your shoulder blades accompanied by chest pain, lightheadedness, or shortness of breath seek immediate medical attention. Can pain between shoulder blades indicate a lung problem? Yes, debilitating pain between the shoulder blades can indicate a pulmonary embolism. This occurs when a blood clot in the leg travels to the lungs. Other symptoms can include shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating, clammy skin, fever, and swelling in the legs and feet. How do you relieve mild back pain between shoulder blades? Musculoskeletal pain can be relieved with a combination of ice or heat, over-the-counter pain relievers, and prescription medications. Stretching exercises or chiropractic manipulations can also help. If the pain is chronic, talk to your healthcare provider about getting a referral to physical therapy. A physical therapist can address the root causes and teach you exercises to help relieve the pain.
What does severe upper back pain mean?
Pain in the upper back is usually the result of poor posture, muscle overuse, or injury. Treatment may include home remedies, such as rest and gentle exercises, or possibly seeing a physical therapist. The upper back is the area between the base of the neck and the bottom of the ribcage.