Upper Back Pain

Rib Pain.jpg


The upper (or middle) part of the back is different to the neck and the lower back. The main point of difference are the connctions of the ribs onto the vertebrae. Some people are often surprised that these joints can cause pain, however they frequently are as they can tighten to the point of pain, or can get strained. 


If you are suspicious that your upper back pain is being caused by your costovertebral joints (rib joints). Some things to look for are;

- Pinching sensation felt under the shoulder blade

- Pulling sensation in the upper back with upper body movement

- Restricted back movement with twisting or extending backwards

- Generalised ache over the upper back

- Pain with deep breathes, sneezing or coughing

Costovertebral joint sprain.jpg


The main causes of this type of pain are caused when they are placed under uneven weight distribution for extended periods of time. Movements that predispose this to happening include;

- Excessive bending forwards, back, side to sidethrough the middle part of the back.

- Poor posture for extended periods of time at work or while at home. 

- Manual labour for long periods of time that involve performing tasks with the hands outstretched in front of the body

- Repetitive sneezing and coughing


Costovertebral joint (rib joint) stiffness and sprains respond extremely quickly to physiotherapy interventions. People often tough this type of problem out, however with mobilisation of the affected spinal segments combined with soft tissue release of the overlying musculature, people often recover within a week or two. A home exercise stretching program is also implemented so progress can continue to be made away from the clinic. 

If you think you are having this type of problem, don't wait, just get it fixed as soon as possible.