Chronic upper back pain is a less common lower cervical/upper thoracic dorsopathy syndrome suffered by some patients.
The upper back is far less likely to be the target of chronic symptoms compared to the neck or low back regions. However, ongoing pain here can be just as disabling.
Chronic back pain means that the pain is either long lasting or recurrent and some symptoms might continue for years or even decades. Patients with long-term pain have a slim chance of achieving a full recovery.
Most patients run the gauntlet of medical, alternative and complementary treatments achieving only minimal symptomatic relief from their seemingly eternal misery.
The upper thoracic region of the spine is very strong. It is less prone to back injury and degeneration than the cervical and lumbar spinal regions. Patients with chronic thoracic pain are often suffering from psychogenic symptoms or pain due to a specific injury to the region, such as a car accident or a gunshot.
Most purely physical pain syndromes in the upper back respond well to appropriate medical treatment. If the pain continues to be a problem, despite a variety of attempted therapies, there is a good chance that the actual cause has not correctly been determined.
Remember, regardless of where symptoms may occur, misdiagnosis is rampant in the back care sector. The fact that a plethora of indicated treatments will fail to resolve a “confirmed diagnosis” reinforces this idea in many cases.
Patients with persistent pain syndromes suffer physical and emotionally every day. The pain wears on their bodies, while the aggravation and concern affect their minds and spirits. The cycle of chronic pain is one of ups and downs.
Patients suffer endlessly and therefore search out treatment modalities which offer them new hope. They are promised relief and give themselves over to the new back pain treatment with high expectations. The treatment fails and they are let down hard. The pain often worsens and they slip farther into an emotional abyss.
Chronic pain is truly a condition of torture, disappointment and loneliness. It is also a primary cause of depression, drug addiction and suicide.
If you have tried many treatment options with limited or no success, there is a good chance that your back pain has been misdiagnosed. The upper back is less likely to suffer problematic degeneration than any other region of the spine.
Add to this the fact that most degenerative processes are harmless and not inherently symptomatic. Therefore the possibility for pain due to arthritis or disc pathologies is greatly reduced.
The upper back is also quite resistant to most typical injuries. Some muscular concerns are possible, but these should not create chronic pain. Of course, if a concentrated force is applied to the upper thoracic spine, trauma can be done and lasting injury may result in very rare cases.
No matter what the diagnosis turns out to be, it is crucial to remember that the body is designed to heal. If it has not done so with time and treatment, then the chance of a purely physical reason for pain existing drops significantly.
In these cases the pain may be from an upper cervical issue yet to be discovered, a disease condition or more likely, a mindbody process.