Upper Back Pain Doctors

Our experienced upper back pain doctors will accurately determine the source of your pain and devise an individualized treatment plan to help improve your functionality and mobility.  

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A guide to 

Upper Back Pain

Pain in your upper back is usually an indicator of muscle overuse, injury, or the result of poor posture. Upper back pain is occasionally referred to as thoracic spine pain. Your thoracic spine begins at the base of your neck to the bottoms of your ribcage.  

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.  

If you are suffering from upper back pain it is important to be evaluated by an experienced pain specialist. A pain management specialist will thoroughly evaluate your medical history and review your upper back pain history. 

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.  

Common 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 

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 Treatment

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, 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. 

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(301) 703-8767



(724) 603-3560


(540) 433-1905

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

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Upper Back Pain Specialists

Our Providers

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 for your upper back pain symptoms.     

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.

Our providers collaboratively work with their patients to ensure that their needs are being met in a safe and effective way. The medical staff are skilled and experienced in treating upper back pain and will be able to accurately determine the source of your pain and rule out any underlying health conditions. With a thorough evaluation, our doctors will devise an individualized treatment plan to help return your mobility and functionality.  

I Love the way they all listen to you no matter what it's about. I Love how they make sure your feeling fine & how they find other ways to help you. They are a wonderful team & I am so glad I found them.

Rubin Bungard

Dr Rao is MY Absolute Favorite Doctor! Love him! His staff at Mt Airy and in Frederick, Maryland are the best of the best. Caring, kind and very friendly. I would recommend anyone to seek out Dr Rao and his staff in a heartbeat.

Randee Fischer

I LOVE this place. Dr B. and Dr Rao saved my life. In 2014, I could only walk about 15ft and had to use a wheelchair. It happened so quickly to me. I had extreme pain in my back, and legs. My other pain management wouldn't help at all.

Kathleen Tibbs

We Treat a Variety of Conditions

In addition to treating chronic back pain, Pain and Spine Specialists offers other innovative and progressive treatments for other pain conditions. Pain and Spine Specialists provide their skilled knowledge and experience for treating neck pain, leg pain, and other pain causing disorders. Our highly qualified doctors efficiently manage your pain symptoms to help return your mobility and functionality.  

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

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

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