Physical Stress
February 13, 2023

The Different Locations of Discogenic Back Pain & What They Mean

Dr. Ben Dyer
by
Dr. Ben Dyer
Doctor examining woman's back for location of pain

Back pain can be caused by various factors, from everyday activities to more serious underlying medical conditions. It is important to identify the cause of your back pain to care for it properly. Common causes of back pain include poor posture, physical stress, lifting heavy objects, and degenerative conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis. Other causes, such as infection, injury, or disease, can also be responsible for back pain. Identifying the source of your back pain can help you determine the best course of treatment.

Does the Location of Your Back Pain Matter?

One of the first questions a doctor may ask is where the back pain is located. The location of your back pain can significantly indicate the cause. For example, lower back pain can be caused by a herniated disc, sciatica, or a spinal injury. Pain in the middle of the back could be due to a muscle strain, arthritis, or a rib injury. Pain in the upper back could be due to a pinched nerve, gallbladder disease, or a heart attack. Knowing the location of your back pain can be the key to finding an effective treatment for the issue.

Causes of Upper, Middle & Lower Back Pain

Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is usually located near the waist or the lumbar region. This is a common problem that a variety of factors can cause. The most common causes of lower back pain are:

  1. Poor posture: This puts extra strain on the lower back muscles, leading to pain and discomfort.
  2. Lifting heavy objects: The weight strain puts too much pressure on the lower back muscles.
  3. Lack of exercise: This leads to weak muscles in the lower back, making it more susceptible to pain and injury.
  4. Muscle strain: Occurs when muscles in the lower back are overworked or overstretched, resulting in pain and discomfort.
  5. Underlying medical condition: Pain in the lower back is often associated with herniated discs, sciatica, or a spinal injury.

Middle Back Pain

Middle back pain is located in the middle of the spine and is commonly caused by:

  1. Muscle strain due to overuse or injury: Lifting heavy objects or repetitive motions leads to pain in the middle back. 
  2. Poor ergonomics when performing physical activities: Working in awkward postures or being in the same posture for long periods strains the muscles and leads to tension and soreness in the middle back.
  3. Underlying medical conditions: Arthritis, muscle strain, or a rib injury are medical conditions associated with middle back pain

Upper Back Pain

This is typically located in the thoracic spine, between the neck and lower back. Pain in the upper back is often caused by:

  1. Poor Posture: This leads to muscle imbalances that cause the muscles in the upper back to become overworked and painful.
  2. Underlying medical conditions: A pinched nerve, heart attack, fibromyalgia, gallbladder problems, liver disease and osteoarthritis are commonly associated with upper back pain.
  3. Joint Dysfunction: This can occur when the joints in the upper back become misaligned and cause pain.

Chiropractic Care For Upper, Middle & Lower Back Pain

Chiropractic care is an excellent option for those suffering from upper, middle and lower back pain. Chiropractors use a combination of manual adjustments, therapeutic exercises, and lifestyle advice to help improve the range of motion and reduce pain in the spine and surrounding muscles. Chiropractic adjustments can help restore proper joint function, improve posture, reduce muscle tension, helping reduce pain. In addition, chiropractors can advise on lifestyle changes to help reduce the likelihood of future episodes of back pain. If you are suffering from upper, middle or lower back pain, then chiropractic care may be the answer to help you find relief.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the location of your back pain can be a useful indicator of the cause of your pain and what care option may be most effective. Fortunately, chiropractic care can relieve all types of back pain, no matter where it is located. By understanding the different locations of back pain and its causes, you can work with your chiropractor to find the right treatment for your specific needs.

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

References

1. American Chiropractic Association. (2021). Back Pain. Retrieved April 10, 2021, from https://aca.org/patients/conditions/back-pain 

2. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2021). Low Back Pain Fact Sheet. Retrieved April 10, 2021, from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet 

3. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. (2021). Back Pain. Retrieved April 10, 2021, from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/back-pain 

4. American Physical Therapy Association. (2021). Low Back Pain. Retrieved April 10, 2021, from https://www.apta.org/patient-care/conditions/low-back-pain

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