Posture 2

Effective Management of Upper Back Pain and Injury

Physiotherapy Insights


Upper back pain and injury, predominantly affecting the thoracic spine, are prevalent issues causing significant discomfort and impacting daily activities. This article, infused with physiotherapy insights, aims to enlighten the general public about the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for upper back pain.

managing upper back pain
Managing Upper Back Pain

Managing Upper Back Pain

Upper back pain stems from various sources, including thoracic spine conditions, joint injuries, muscle strains, nerve irritations, and systemic diseases. Recognising these causes is vital for appropriate treatment.

Common Causes of Upper Back Pain

  • Joint Injuries: Facet joint pain is a frequent issue.
  • Muscle-Related Injuries: This includes back muscle pain, side strains, whiplash, muscle cramps, and DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).
  • Bone-Related Injuries: Conditions like Scheuermann's Disease, Scoliosis, and others.
  • Disc-Related Injuries: Including bulging, slipped, or herniated discs.
  • Nerve-Related Pain: Such as thoracic outlet syndrome and pinched nerves.
  • Systemic Diseases: These include Ankylosing Spondylitis, Fibromyalgia, and arthritis types.

Posture and Upper Back Pain

Poor posture is a significant contributor to upper back pain. Understanding and correcting sitting, standing, and sleeping postures can prevent and alleviate pain.

Physiotherapy Perspective

A physiotherapist's approach to treating upper back pain involves assessing the individual's condition and tailoring a treatment plan. This may include exercises, manual therapy, and advice on posture correction.

Latest Research and Techniques

Recent advancements in physiotherapy have introduced innovative methods for treating upper back pain. These include targeted exercises, advanced manual techniques, and utilisation of posture-improving products.

What to Do?

If you experience upper back pain, it's crucial to consult a physiotherapist for a professional assessment and personalised treatment plan.


Upper back pain, though common, can be effectively managed with the right approach. Understanding its causes and seeking professional physiotherapy advice are key steps towards recovery.

For more information, explore articles at PhysioWorks.

Related Articles

Joint Injuries

Muscle-Related Injuries

Bone-Related Injuries

Disc-Related Injuries

Nerve-Related / Referred Pain

Systemic Diseases

Posture Information

Sitting Posture

Standing Posture

Sleeping Posture

Posture Products

John Miller Physiotherapist

Article by John Miller

Optimal Sitting Posture

A Comprehensive Physiotherapists Guide

Achieving optimal sitting posture is essential for spinal health and overall comfort. This guide offers key strategies to improve your sitting posture, ensuring you maintain good spinal health.

I. Choosing the Right Chair for Sitting Posture

Select a back-supportive chair: A chair with solid lumbar support and adjustable settings like height, backrest angle, and armrests is ideal for enhancing sitting posture. Tailoring these features to your body helps maintain the correct posture while sitting.

II. Aligning Spine and Engaging Core for Better Sitting Posture

Maintain a neutral spine: To improve your sitting posture, sit upright with your back against the chair's backrest. This prevents slouching and excessive leaning, evenly distributing weight and reducing spinal strain.

Core muscles engagement: Slightly activate your abdominal muscles while sitting. This step is crucial for a good sitting posture, offering spine stability and reducing back muscle stress. Read more: Core Muscles.

sitting posture
Good Sitting Posture

III. Optimising Sitting Position

Deep sitting for posture support: Make sure your buttocks are right against the back of the chair. This even weight distribution is key for a healthy sitting posture, minimising lower back stress.

Additional lumbar support: If your chair lacks adequate lumbar support, a small towel roll or a specialised cushion can help maintain the natural curve of your spine, promoting proper sitting posture. Read more: Posture Supports

IV. Proper Chair Height and Leg Position for Sitting Posture

Correct chair height adjustment: For optimal sitting posture, ensure your feet are flat on the floor with your knees at or just below hip level. This alignment reduces strain on your legs and lower back.

Avoid crossing your legs: Keeping legs uncrossed while sitting is better for circulation and posture balance. Ensure both feet are planted on the ground for a healthier sitting posture.

V. Incorporating Movement and Breaks

Regular movement is key: To maintain good sitting posture, avoid being in the same position for too long. Regularly stand, stretch, and walk to improve circulation and prevent stiffness.

VI. Ergonomic Workspace for Sitting Posture

Ergonomically adjust your workspace: For better sitting posture, align your chair, desk, and monitor. Ensure your monitor is at eye level to decrease neck strain while maintaining good posture. Read more: Ergonomic Workstation Assessments

VII. Maintaining Good Posture While Driving

Proper driving posture: Apply the same principles for sitting posture while driving. Adjust your seat for back support, ensuring your knees are level with or slightly above hips, and feet comfortably reach the pedals.

Conclusion: Heed Your Body’s Signals

Each body is unique, and responding to its cues is vital. If sitting causes discomfort or pain, consulting a healthcare professional or an ergonomics expert is recommended. By embracing these sitting posture practices, you can improve your comfort, enhance posture, and reduce musculoskeletal risks. For personalised guidance on sitting posture, consider seeking advice from a physiotherapist.

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