Upper Back Pain Doctors

Our board certified upper back pain doctors will accurately determine the source of your upper back pain and devise an individualized treatment plan that is tailored unique health needs and pain symptoms. 

Home » Conditions » Upper Back Pain Doctors
Find a Location

Enter your address, zip-code, or city below:

Pain Quiz

Find the right treatment for you.

Upper Back Pain

Upper back pain is occasionally describe as thoracic spine pain since your thoracic spine begins at the base of your neck and down to the bottoms of your ribcage. If you are experience upper back or thoracic spine pain it may be an indicator of muscle overuse, injury, or poor posture.   

Whatever the cause may be it is important to be evaluated by an experienced back pain doctor. A pain management specialist will thoroughly evaluate your medical history and review your upper back pain history to determine the cause of your pain, the type of pain you are experiencing, and the best treatment options.

More Resources:

Back Pain Doctor reviewing a MRI on white screen

Request Appointment


Patient Testimonials


Full 1

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this office. I was helping my mom find a place for her arthritis pain, and I explained to them how bad it was. They were able to schedule me the same week! That's almost impossible at any doctor's office...and then add COVID..... I was thrilled. I took my mom, and everyone was absolutely so sweet and kind

- Donyasha B.

Dr. Rao. I can't find the words to tell you how much he has meant to me. I followed him from an old practice to his very new high tech office. They offer so many different areas of assistance to those with issues from nutrition to spinal surgery...and much more. His office is professional.

- Mom To2

Full 1

Dr. Roa is such an amazing doctor! During my first visit he never tried to rush through my appt., he genuinely listened to all my concerns and then took his time to explain to me in detail all his recommendations and how they would help me.

- Nikki Walker

In the 3 years as a patient of Dr. Rao, it is my opinion that he is a phenomenal and extraordinary doctor. He keeps up to date with the latest treatment options, will sacrifice time no matter how many are in the waiting room to listen and explain. Dr. Rao has treated multiple patients with rare illnesses, and shows more empathy than any Dr. I’ve met.

- Mom To2

Full 1

I have now been with Dr. Rao for 13 years. He is the most caring Doctor I have ever been to! Dr. Rao makes you feel very comfortable at all times. I would not want to go to any other Doctor... I go to the Hagerstown location, everyone is very nice

- Theresa R.

The entire staff from the folks at the front desk to the Nurse, to the Physicians Assistant to the scribe that records the visit for the doctor - (great idea so the Doctor can focus on the patient!!!)

- NVA F.

Full 1

Completely the best care you could want the staff is so pleasant and caring and the doctors have true heart for healing, love being a patient here would give 10 stars if I could & absolutely the most caring during my procedure with Dr B

- Cathern C.

Always friendly, courteous, and efficient service. From the ladies, who work the front desk, to the nurses and the doctors. I've always had a good experience with the Harrisonburg office in Virginia.

Krystal Shaffer

Full 1

They scheduled my appointment very quickly so that I can get to help that I needed immediately instead of like most places having to wait two to three weeks to get in I called and was able to be seen the next day

- John H.

After transitioning from a pain and spine doctor in Columbia, MD.. The intake staff member at Pain and Spine Specialist made the scheduling a breeze. They were able to get me in within a week.

Rashawn JJ

previous arrow
next arrow

Digital Guide

A comprehensive guide with everything you need to know about our providers, locations, conditions we treat, treatments we offer, and many other frequently asked questions!

Pain and Spine Specialists Digital Guide pages

We Accept All Insurances

Individualized Patient Care

Board Certified Doctors

Patients Seen Within Two Weeks

What Is Upper Back Pain

The structure of your spine is divided into regions. If you are experiencing pain in your upper back your pain is located in the upper thoracic spine region.  

Your upper back provides stability for your body, helping the rib cage protect the internal organs that lie within the chest. The upper back does not bear as much of your body weight as the lower back does but can still suffer from muscles strains and injury.  

The thoracic spine is connected to your ribs and sternum making it a stable form in your body. Because of its rigidity it makes it less prone to injury. While the upper back is generally resistant to injury it can still suffer from pain caused by the muscles and not the spine itself (usually due to poor posture). 

Pain symptoms that occur in your upper back are generally a result of muscular irritation or joint dysfunction. Muscular irritation can be caused from constant straining or tightened muscles that are unable to relax. Repetitive motions and lack of upper back strength contribute to this painful muscle irritation. 


Causes of Upper Back Pain

Joint dysfunction can occur from natural degeneration (such as age or health conditions) or a sudden injury.  

Other examples of joint disfunction:

  • Pinched nerves
  • Gallbladder issues (gallstones can cause pain between your shoulder blades)
  • Fractured vertebrae
  • Herniated discs 

Symptoms of Upper Back Pain

It can be frustrating to experience upper back pain. Your functionality is limited and you cannot seem to find relief from your symptoms. Movement begins to feel impossible.   

Symptoms of upper back pain include: 

  • Sharp pain
  • Stiffness
  • An achy/throbbing discomfort felt in upper back
  • Radiating pain

Upper back pain symptoms may start slowly and gradually before worsening. Sometimes pain in the upper back can have a sudden onset, or may even be delayed. Each patient is different, and their individual pain history may determine their pain experience.    

Upper back pain caused by other factors: 

Outside of injury or disc degeneration upper back pain can also be caused by other varying factors. These factors can include:    

  • Lack of exercise — If you do not engage in regular physical activity to build the strength of your back muscles you can risk injury.
  • Overweight — If you carry a large amount of extra weight, you put additional strain on your back and its corresponding muscles.
  • Underlying health conditions —  If you are suffering from cancer or arthritis, you may have added pain symptoms.

It is critical for individuals to condition their muscles to be stronger and durable with regular exercise and a healthy diet. Taking regular breaks to stand and walk while sitting at work can help relieve the strain from prolonged slouching.  

Regular stretching can also help your muscles from becoming tensed and knotted. For some patients suffering from chronic upper back pain can also regularly work with a physical therapist to keep pressure off their joints.  


Upper Back Pain Treatments

There are many different ways to treat your upper back pain. Your pain management specialist may recommend some simple home remedies, specific exercises, medications, and injections.  

  • Home Remedies — These may range from over-the-counter medication (like acetaminophen or ibuprofen), ice to reduce swelling, and heat to improve stiffness.
  • ExercisesPhysical activity that encourages stretching the muscles around your spinal structure, reducing strain on your upper back. Many people incorporate yoga into their daily routine. 
  • Medications —  Prescriptions from your physician such as NSAID’s or muscle relaxants can help relieve upper back muscle pain. If the pain is severe enough your physician may prescribe opioid medication
  • Injections —  Trigger point injections are a successful treatment method for the strained muscles in your upper back. A TPI delivers medication directly to the knotted muscle allowing it to relax and provide immediate relief.  

In addition to treating upper back pain, Pain and Spine Specialists is able to successfully treat your middle back pain and lower back pain. We offer innovative and progressive treatments to manage your pain symptoms 

If you would like more information about how we can treat your upper back pain or our back pain doctors, please call Pain and Spine Specialists and speak to our dedicated team to improve the quality of your life. You can call (301) 703-8767 (Maryland Locations), (724) 603-3560 (Pennsylvania Locations), or (540) 433-1905 (Virginia Locations) and schedule an appointment today. 

About Us

We believe that a comprehensive treatment plans for chronic pain provides the greatest opportunity for long-term back pain relief.

Back Pain Services

Get In Touch

We are dedicated to providing the highest quality of patient care and services and truly have each individual’s comfort in mind.

Upper Back Pain Specialists

The skilled and progressive doctors at Pain and Spine Specialists are able to diagnose the upper back pain you are experiencing and its severity. Our medical professionals have experience with treating complex back pain conditions safely and effectively. PASS provides patients with access to progressive pain management treatments for superior treatment of your upper back pain symptoms.

Our Providers

At Pain and Spine Specialists, our team of physicians and nurse practitioners are committed to giving you the most effective treatment when treating your pain. We believe that all patients should have access to quality care, and that is why you can find us conveniently located throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Helpful Resources

Our Providers

At Pain and Spine Specialists, our team of physicians and nurse practitioners are committed to giving you the most effective treatment when treating your pain. We believe that all patients should have access to quality care, and that is why you can find us conveniently located throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Contact Us

Please select an option below

At Pain and Spine Specialists we are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to our patients.We provide tailored services with each individuals comfort in mind. Select an option below:

Please note: We accept Workers Compensation Insurance and Personal Injury Patients 

Please note: We accept Workers Compensation Insurance and Personal Injury Patients 


Patient Forms