Without seeing you and getting additional information, pinpointing the exact cause would be difficult.
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However, one common cause of pain in the sternum and corresponding area of the back is costochondritis, an inflammation in the cartilage that connects the ribs to the sternum. Costochondritis may be caused by activities such as heavy lifting and intense exercise or by infections and the inflammation may result in localized, sharp pain or discomfort where the rib and sternum meet. Deep breathing, coughing, sneezing and other movements may aggravate the condition by moving the ribs and pulling the cartilage between the ribs and breastbone.
If your chest pain seems to be tied to physical exertion, ease up on your fitness efforts and give your body a chance to heal. Talk with your doctor about an appropriate exercise regimen for the future and safe lifting techniques to prevent reinjuring yourself. Other potential causes of upper back and chest pain could include muscle strain, poor posture, a pinched nerve, a fracture, osteoarthritis or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Without seeing you in person, I cannot say what specific treatments might help relieve your pain. I suggest you follow up with your family physician or an orthopaedic surgeon about your continued pain. I would be happy to offer a second opinion if needed.
If you experience back pain in your upper back and neck area it is most likely caused by poor posture. But no worries, we identified the muscles that are tight on most of the population and listed specific upper back stretches below to help you release them, lessen your back pain and increase your mobility.
The following stretches will target theses muscles: Upper trapezius Levator scapulae Rhomboids Deltoids Latissimus Dorsi. How to do it:.
Targeted muscle: Stretches Upper Trapezius Because of bad posture the upper traps get really tight. So this is a great stretch to combat that hunchback posture we all fighting these days. How to do it: — Begin in either a sitting or standing position and gently tilt your head to the left — Grasp over the top of your head with your left hand to apply a mild force towards the left.
Targeted muscle: Stretches Latissimus Dorsi The lats is the biggest muscle of the back and is involved in many daily activities, as well as sports, so it gets very tight in most people.
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How to do it: — Begin in standing position grabbing your right hand with left hand to start with. Targeted muscle: Stretches Levator Scapulae. Because of rounded shoulders and forward head position This is one of most effective upper back stretches because the Levator scapulae muscle in particular gets very tight from our cell phone texting and prolonged desk work.
How to do it: — Begin in a seated position and grasp the bottom of your chair with your right hand. How to do it: — Begin standing with your back straight.
What are the most likely causes of upper back pain?
Bend both of arms to about 90 degree angle as you lower them to your stomach area and then squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for 2 breaths. Targeted muscle: Stretches Latissimus dorsi This stretch releases the back muscles such as Latissimus dorsi — which is usually tight from everyday activities. How to do it: — Begin by positioning yourself on the floor on your hands and knees with your knees slightly wider than your hips.
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Targeted muscle: Releases Upper Trapezius This is great way to loosen up the upper trapezius muscle that gets really tight from hunchback position — which is usually caused from poor posture. How to do it: — Lie on your back, with your hands placed behind your head, and a foam roller placed under your upper-back. Related: Fix Pain between shoulder blades How to get rid of neck pain forward head posture exercises Causes of poor posture.