Upper Back Pain and The Computer Working Posture
Upper back and shoulder pain is becoming just as common as lower back pain and neck pain, largely due to poor sitting and computer working posture. Upper back pain can be the result of acute trauma, such as a car crash or sports injury. However, working at a computer is a risk factor for chronic upper back pain due to the structural changes that occur over time.
The body is a fantastic, dynamic machine constantly adapting to its environment. If you lift weights, your muscles get stronger, if you stretch, your muscles get longer. However, structural changes are not always good for the body. Working at a computer without proper posture or improper workstation layout (link) causes certain muscles of the body to get tight and certain muscles to get weak. Over time, this causes changes to blood flow, nerve flow, and to the structure of the spine itself, which can ultimately lead to pain and other symptoms in the body.
Fortunately, upper back pain can be effectively and efficiently treated with an alternative healthcare approach and without unnecessary medication. Recent research from the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that spinal manipulative therapy is far more effective than medication for upper back pain.
More often than not, upper back pain is caused by structural changes, whether it is tight muscles, stretched ligaments, or joint dysfunction. Chemical solutions (pain medications) may offer short term relief from upper back pain, but long term correction will require a structural solution.
The body was built to be in motion. Specific exercise is a major component of changing a person’s structure to achieve long term pain relief. If a person has poor posture, there are certain muscles that have become tight and certain muscles that have become weak. Stretching a weak muscle makes matters worse, as does strengthening a tight muscle. The Wellness Exam with Dr. Moyer will help identify these postural imbalances. A Personalized Fitness Plan (link) is a personalized exercise prescription developed from the Wellness Exam that will detail out the exercises needed to restore proper to your body.
There is a plethora of peer-reviewed research showing chiropractic care is more effective than medication for upper back pain. Chiropractic Care for upper back pain should be considered for two phases of care: short term and long term.
Spinal manipulation performed by a chiropractor can do many things for relief of upper back pain including reduces pressure placed on nerves, restore motion to thoracic vertebrae that have become stuck, and improve range of motion of the spine as a whole. Short term, this provides for quick pain relief in only a few visits over the course of a week or two. Long term, this prevents upper back pain from coming back. If you are interested in finding out if chiropractic can help relieve your upper back pain, schedule a free chiropractic consultation with Dr. Moyer today.
Muscle manipulation, performed by an experienced and well trained massage therapist, can also help relieve mid-back pain that is caused by tight muscles. Massage also increases circulation of needed nutrients and release of the “feel good” chemicals called endorphins. Moyer Total Wellness won Best Massage in Denver in 2012 because we only hire therapists with experience in proving therapy. Click here to schedule a massage with one of our experienced therapists.