Over 80% of Americans will at some point in their lives experience back pain. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), about 20% of those cases will become chronic pain cases.
Typically categorized as upper, middle, and lower back — low back pain is the most prevalent of these categories; however, mid-back and upper back pain are also becoming more common.
Lifestyle changes in recent times due to pandemic and technology has caused people to be more frequent with phone use, computer use, screen time, and becoming more sedentary. These lifestyle factors are commonly also be associated with neck pain. As a whole, here are some other aspects to consider in terms of “warning signs” and symptoms prior and during early episode developments:
- You may feel tension in their upper shoulders down between their shoulder blades
- You may feel stiffness in your upper back/thoracic spine
- You may feel pinpoint pain in the “bra-line” level in the center of your back especially with movement
- You may feel more pain when you try to perform good posture in all these areas
How to gauge your pain experience.
- Try to first decrease the tension by practicing deep breathing: lay on your back and try focus your breath down into your ribs, belly and low back, expanding on the inhales and relaxing on the exhales
- Try to not tense through your neck and chest with breathing
- If this helped relax the tension, great! A trained PT can give you more breath-based exercises to help more
- If you feel you could not relax your neck, chest and upper back, no problem, you just may require more one-on-one training
- Try chair mobility exercises such as extending your upper back over a short back rest of a chair with your hands supporting your head or doing a gentle seated twist to each side
- If this bothers your back or you feel you cannot move a normal amount that’s OK and PT can give you modifications and other mobility exercises to work on
- If you liked these exercise or feel you need more guidance to help relieve your back pain do not hesitate to connect with us or give one of our clinics a call regarding our free injury screenings!