Pain in the back of the neck and upper back has been steadily growing in UK for the past few years. The pain can be temporary or chronic depending of the cause of the problem. With the inputs of a spine surgeon in the UK, Mr Jwalant S Mehta, we are going to discuss both and provide you treatment options for neck and back pain. Read on:
Causes of Neck and Upper Back Pain
Given their function is associated with one another upper back and neck regions commonly suffer the brunt due to a variety of reasons, most common ones include:
Poor posture & Muscle deconditioning:
Straight head with an open chest and ears directly in line with the shoulders is an ideal posture that equally distributes the pressure on the neck. However, due to the persistent use of screens, both mobile and laptop in our daily life, we often get used to forward head posture that puts extra stress on the cervical spine. This pressure triggers hunched upper back, muscle overload and hyperextension which over time results in stiffness and pain in the neck and upper back.
Even in cases when an individual has an ideal posture, due to lack of exercise and conditioning the muscles may lose their strength and flexibility. This deconditioning triggers in poor posture and slouching in the chair, pushing the cervical spine, ligaments and muscles out of alignment. Over time this poor posture results develop irritation, causes stiffness and sows the seeds of the neck and upper back pain.
Hernia, spinal infection & pinched nerve:
Disc herniation does happen in the upper back too and even a tiny pressure caused by such herniation can result in intense pain. When the hernia intensifies it can go on to pinch the surrounding nerve further aggravating the weakness, numbness and pain in the back, says spine surgeon in UK ,Mr. Jwalant S Mehta. In rare cases, even spinal infection can also result in upper back pain.
Overuse and Trauma:
While deconditioning can render weak muscles, overuse does cause problems in recovering and give out the same effect too. Overuse of back muscles may cause muscle strain, tightness and irritation causing neck and upper back pain. Physical therapy is recommended for the treatment of upper back and neck pain caused by the overuse of back muscles. Similarly, trauma injury due to incorrect lifting, slipping and falling or accident may also result in upper back and neck pain.
Osteoarthritis & Scoliosis:
Muscle strain and weakness need not be the cause of neck and upper back pain. Even osteoarthritis where cartilage vanishes and causes bones to rub on each other also may result in neck and upper back pain. Similarly, neck and upper back pain is also a complication of scoliosis. While osteoarthritis is commonly caused in elder adults, scoliosis can happen to both adults and children.
Treatment for Neck and Upper Back Pain
The upper back and neck pain can be treated effectively based on the problems triggering them. In case of poor posture, overuse, muscle deconditioning, an orthopaedic surgeon may suggest posture correction, rest, medication and physiotherapy based on the intensity of the pain. However, in the case of osteoarthritis, spinal infection and scoliosis, the patient will need to consult an expert back specialist or neck specialist in UK as soon as possible.