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Upper back pain

The skeletal structure of the upper back is called thoracic cage. This thoracic cage is made of twelve vertebrae and their ribs, which are linked to the breastbone. Many organs in the body are located in the thoracic cage, which protects them. The upper back is generally a very stable region. The neck and the lower back tend to move more than upper back and they also tend to be more flexible. However, upper back can be affected by certain conditions and disorders that lead to the occurrence of pain in this area.

Causes of upper back pain

In the majority of cases, upper back pain occurs as a result of a strain or sprain of the muscles in this area. When the muscle is stretched excessively, thus causing the tear in the muscle tissues, it is called a muscle strain. On the other side, a sprain is a result of the injury that the ligaments in the upper back suffer.Apart from muscle strain and sprain, herniated or ruptured disc also causes pain in the upper back. A disc of cartilage is placed between each vertebra in order to protect the vertebrae during movement and also to provide stability of the spine. When these discs are torn or worn over time, they become hard. When a disc begins to bulge out of its normal place, it is called herniated disc. This herniated disc can damage the tissues and nerves in the surrounding area causing pain.Arthritis and osteoporosis are also causes for the occurrence of pain in the upper back. In those who suffer from arthritis, the joints are inflamed, while on the other side, osteoporosis is the condition featured by a loss of bone density and by the degeneration of the tissues of the bones. While type I osteoporosis affects postmenopausal women, type II osteoporosis affects elderly men and women.It is also considered that spinal stenosis causes pain in the upper back. The nerves and tissue in the spinal column are pinched in those people who suffer from this condition.Upper back pain is also caused by fibromyalgia, which is characterized by the aches and stiffness in muscles throughout the body. When fibromyalgia causes inflammation of the connective tissues in the upper back, severe pain occurs in this region.Back spasms or some sudden abnormal contractions in the upper back might also induce pain in the upper back.

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