Upper Back Pain



Similar to Neck Pain and Headaches, the way we use our bodies has large impacts on how our bodies function. The upper and middle back has many structures influencing it; these are predominantly to muscles and joints associated with the neck, rib cage, lower back, and shoulders.

However, the posture the body holds can also be a result of changes to biomechanics originating from the hips, knees and feet.

Upper back pain can also be caused by refferal from areas such as the heart, lungs, or stomach. It is therefore essential that a thorough case history be taken to aid in an accurate diagnosis, and any onward referrals made where appropriate.


Pain taking deep breaths

Pain coming round from the back to the chest

Sharp or dull sensation around or between the shoulder blades

Pain leaning forward or backward i.e. putting on shoes or painting a ceiling

Pain raising the arms over head

Pushing or pulling movements whether doors or sport/weighted exercises

Pain when sitting in a chair for long periods

Stiffness in the upper back, especially in the morning

Upper back pain paired with neck pain

Upper back pain paired with lower back pain



As mentioned above, once the root cause of the problem has been located, your osteopath will begin working on the appropriate areas. The ideal shape of the spine is a thin ā€˜Sā€™ where a small arch in the lower back is balanced by a small rounding of the upper back. If the lower back has an excessive arch then the upper back will have an excessive rounding, thus causing the head to fall forwards. Therefore, correcting the position of the lower back and neck will relieve much of the tension into the upper back.

Treatment involves release of tension in the front, back and sides of the neck, shoulders, chest, rib cage and lower back. This may involve deep massage techniques, soft tissue work, techniques to improve the movement and function of the spine and ribs such as harmonic mobilisation, osteopathic mobilisation and also spinal manipulation.


Treatment plans for upper and mid back pain depend entirely on what is found during the consultation and follow up sessions. This is why, as Osteopaths, we will design a treatment plan which is as accurate and efficient for each patient as possible. Corrective and rehabilitative exercises will then be provided specific to each individual.