ATLAS Health Tips
June 19, 2023

Left Upper Back Pain: Causes, Relief & Prevention


Upper left back pain can be a debilitating and frustrating condition. Back pain is one of the most common reasons for visiting the doctor and the most common type of pain[1]. Fortunately, there are ways that you can relieve the discomfort as well as several methods to prevent it from occurring in the first place. This blog discusses the causes, three ways to manage the pain and what you can do to prevent it from happening again.

What Causes Left Upper Back Pain?

Left upper back pain can have many causes, the most common being musculoskeletal. This type of pain is often caused by overuse, such as heavy lifting or repetitive motions. Muscle strain and tension can also cause pain in this area. Poor posture and sitting for long periods of time can also cause left upper back pain. In rarer cases, left upper back pain can be caused by a pinched nerve, slipped disc, or other medical conditions. It is important to seek medical advice if the pain is severe, persists, or is accompanied by other symptoms[2].

3 Ways You Can Relieve Upper Left Back Pain

There are several ways to relieve your upper left back pain. Here are three of the most effective ways to relieve back pain:

1. Heat & Cold Therapy 

Heat and cold therapy can be an easy home remedy for upper left back pain. Applying heat, such as a heating pad, can help relax tense muscles and reduce inflammation. Cold therapy, such as an ice pack, can also help reduce inflammation and can help reduce pain. It’s important to use either heat or cold therapy for no more than 20 minutes at a time and to use a cloth between your skin and the heat or cold source.

2. Anti-Inflammatory Medication 

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, can help alleviate upper left back pain. It’s important to follow the instructions on the label and to only take the recommended dose.

3. Visit Your Chiropractor

If your upper left back pain is chronic or does not subside from the above mentioned methods of care, it may be time to visit your chiropractor. A chiropractor can help identify the source of your back pain and create a care plan to help reduce your pain and improve your mobility.

By following these three simple steps, you can effectively reduce your upper left back pain and get back to living your life. However, if your pain persists or worsens, it’s important to seek medical advice from your doctor.

3 Methods to Prevent Upper Left Back Pain

Here are three of the most effective ways to keep your back healthy and free from pain: 

1. Maintain Good Posture

Good posture is essential for preventing upper left back pain. When standing or sitting, keep your shoulders back and your spine in a neutral position. Avoid slouching and hunching over when sitting for long periods of time. 

2. Exercise Regularly

A regular exercise routine will help strengthen your back muscles and improve your overall posture. This can help prevent upper left back pain from occurring in the future. Make sure to focus on low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, or biking. 

3. Incorporate Stretching into Your Routine 

Stretching can help keep your back muscles flexible and prevent them from becoming tight and painful. Make sure to stretch your back, shoulders, and neck regularly to help keep these areas healthy and pain-free. 

By following these tips, you can help prevent upper left back pain from occurring. Remember to listen to your body and take breaks when needed.

Final Thoughts: The Importance of Looking After Your Back

Taking the time to look after your back is essential for staying healthy and avoiding injury. Not only is it important to practice good posture and stretching, but also to get regular check-ups with a chiropractor. At ATLAS, we assess your back and suggest exercises that can help strengthen and protect it. Visiting your chiropractor will help to ensure that you remain healthy and can enjoy a life free of back pain.

ATLAS Chiropractic is dedicated to maximising your overall health. Find out how we can help by clicking the link below.


  1. Cleveland Clinic (2022). ‘Back Pain’. Available at: <> [Accessed 30 November 2022].
  2. Medical News Today (2020). ‘What causes upper left back pain?’. Available at: <> [Accessed 30 November 2022].
  3. Healthline (2022). ‘What’s Causing the Pain in My Upper Back on the Left Side?’. Available at: <> [Accessed 30 November].

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