Upper Back Pain

The upper and middle regions of the back together are referred to as the thoracic region and consist of 12 vertebrae with sponge-like discs in-between each one that helps to absorb shock. In addition, muscles and ligaments exist to help hold everything together and to provide the back with the strength it needs to keep everything stable. It also partners with the ribs to keep the heart and lungs protected. It is important to get to the bottom of why you are experiencing pain in this region and take steps to reverse it. Our chiropractor and staff at Reimer Wellness Center in Los Altos has compiled information to inform you on upper back pain and what can be done to alleviate the discomfort.

Why Middle and Upper Back Pain Happens and How it Feels

In most cases, when upper back pain happens, it is felt as a sharp, aching, or burning feeling and may be accompanied by stiffness. In more serious cases it may also be connected with weakness or tingling in the arms or legs. Some may even feel unusual in the front of their chest or midsection and may have more difficulty controlling their bladder.  Some reasons you may feel this way include,

  • Strain from Injury- this is often from overuse, such as too much heavy lifting.
  • Poor posture – Including Slouching, hunching forward, and sitting on the edge of your chair instead of resting comfortably back on it. Your shoulders back when seated, and evenly distributing weight on your feet when standing help prevent upper back pain.
  • Herniated Disc- if any of the "shock absorber" discs are damaged the protective insides won't protect like they should, causing irritation to surrounding nerves.
  • Pinched nerve- Pinched nerve- pressure on a nerve as a result of repetitive motion or holding your body in one position for too long causing nerves to be squeezed between ligaments, tendons, or bone. Pain starting in the neck may radiate into the shoulders or upper back.
  • Fractured Vertebrae- Needs to be identified by a professional in order to be properly treated and allowed to heal. If back pain is sudden after an injury, it could mean there is a fracture present.
  • Osteoarthritis-results in joint pain in various areas, including the upper back, the breakdown of cartilage can lead to bone spurs that can aggravate nerves.
  • Myofascial Pain - A chronic condition triggered when muscles contract too much. It is considered a repetitive motion injury. 

How a Chiropractor Diagnoses and Treats Upper Back Pain

When you come into Reimer Wellness Center in Los Altos, CA experiencing of upper back pain, our first task is to figure out the cause and provide the appropriate treatment to help you feel better in both the short and long term. We will perform the appropriate diagnostic testing and treatments to help you get on the right path. To make sure you stay on the right track. To learn more or schedule an appointment contact us at Reimer Wellness Center in Los Altos, CA at (650) 949-3232.


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9:00 am-12:30 pm

3:00 pm-6:00 pm


By Appt.


9:00 am-12:30 pm

3:00 pm-6:00 pm


By Appt.


9:00 am-12:30 pm

3:00 pm-6:00 pm


9:00 am-12:00 pm




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    "When I was in an accident, Dr. Mary's healing hands and her being in touch with my body and soul, helped get me back to my healthy and well body. I highly recommend Dr. Mary for all of your massage, chiropractic and wellness needs. Her office staff is lovely as well as her office environment. They are there to serve you. Two thumbs up!""
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