Successful upper back pain treatment is the goal of every patient who suffers from thoracic issues which deteriorate the quality of their lives. While there are a seemingly endless variety of therapy options available for upper back pain sufferers, the chance of finding a true and lasting cure are statistically rather bleak.
This is the unfortunate reality endured by back ache patients with almost any type of symptomatic expression which endures for longer than one year.
However, there are methods of increasing your chances for achieving permanent relief and these will be detailed in this very article, along with many of the most commonly treated conditions and applied therapy options.
Here are the usual diagnosed conditions affecting the thoracic spine, along with the corresponding treatments most often utilized:
Disc abnormalities are far less common in the upper back. Disc degeneration is seldom seen to any problematic degree and herniations, when they occur, usually reside at the upper or lower end of the thoracic region and are typically minor. Almost all are treated conservatively, although discectomy, or other surgery, may be used in extreme instances.
Spinal osteoarthritis is also not typical in the thoracic area, since the region is not nearly as mobile as the other vertebral zones. Arthritis is always treated conservatively, with mostly symptomatic modalities, except when very rare nerve or spinal cord compression exists due to central or foraminal stenosis.
Scoliosis in the thoracic spine can be a minor issue or a serious health threat, depending on the specifics of the actual curvature. Bracing is used when appropriate, but surgery may need to be performed in adult patients when there is risk for spinal instability or internal organ damage.
Thoracic kyphosis is very common in the elderly, but is rarely actively treated. In the worst cases, drastic spinal fusion may be required, but these represent only the tiniest number of cases.
Thoracic outlet syndrome is a muscular nerve impingement condition in the upper back, not involving the actual spinal structures. This condition is almost always resolved using physical and pharmaceutical therapy.
For detailed information about any of these conditions or treatments, be sure to learn more by reading its corresponding resource section on this website.
Upper back pain is the type of dorsalgia expression which least often results in back surgery. This is fantastic, since surgery has proven itself to be an overused and disappointing modality for most patients.
Unfortunately, the conservative practices often used to treat upper back ache are rarely very effectual. Many patients find that they try virtually everything to cure their pain, but somehow, nothing seems to work. This is par for the course in the dorsopathy care sector.
I routinely receive letters from patients who have been suffering for years, despite trying to resolve their complaints using a great number of seemingly appropriate treatment options.
If you are one of the many who have journeyed from physical therapy and pharmaceutical drug treatment to chiropractic, massage, exercise therapy and probably many more, then take heart. You are certainly not alone. Your only mistake is definitely not a lack of enthusiasm or desire to find an effective treatment.
No, the usual reason for a patient to fail in curing their back pain is that they embrace a mistaken diagnostic theory and never think to question it, despite many, many failed treatments.
This is why I always tell patients with chronic upper back symptoms that if a number of therapies fail time and time again, it is not likely that there is anything wrong with the choice of doctor or treatment. Instead, the obvious mistake usually lies in the diagnosis. Correct this error and you will be back on the path to a cure.
Many of you reading this article will say:
Hey, I saw the MRI. I see the (insert diagnosis here). It is really there.
Sure it is. No one is saying that it is not. In fact, quite the opposite.
Spinal abnormalities are so common; they should be called normalities. Everyone has issues in their spine which are routinely misidentified as painful in some patients, when they exist in a far larger patient demographic without causing pain. In many cases, some conditions, like disc desiccation, are universal.
Therefore, yes, the abnormality is there, but it may not be the source of pain. It may be a contributor, or it may be completely innocent, but treatment towards resolving the diagnosis has obviously been fruitless.
Find out why this is the case and you will be most of the way home towards finding effectual upper back pain treatment.