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Low back pain is one of the most common health complaints.  What most people are coming to realize is that upper back muscle pain may be the fastest growing complaint today. Why? Today’s society has become much more sedentary and technology- oriented.  This means that we are no longer in the habit of being physically active throughout the day.  The way we communicate, enjoy entertainment, work, and basically life is through the use of technology and computers. What does that have to do with our health? It all relates to our posture.  How we position our bodies while we are engaged in our activities or work and pleasure can and will determine our overall posture and appearance, not to mention the type and intensity of pain experienced.

I see people every week who come into my office who say, “Can you do anything for this pain between my shoulder blades?”  The answer is “Sure, but the most effective way to get rid of pain and stay out of pain is to correct your posture.”  The next set of questions I hear are, “well, how can I do that?  Isn’t that difficult to do?  And, can’t you correct it for me?” The truth is that chiropractors will help resolve the joint issues that results from bad posture and are an excellent resource for identifying the underlying cause, but the problem is long-term improper posture.  Most people don’t even know that issues until their upper back is examined.   What most people don’t realize is that the body has a balance between the muscles of the neck, the shoulder, and the upper back.  The most common upper back muscle that is involved in upper back problems is the levator scapulae.  This muscle originates at the shoulder blade (scapula) and inserts into the upper cervical vertebra and base of skull.  As such, it can also be the source of headaches.

So, what can be done to resolve these issues?  Correct your posture!  How?  Begin by being aware of how you sit and stand during long periods of time.  Having a physical examination is essential to identifying exactly where weaknesses may be- left or right, lower of upper right quadrant pain, etc .  Performing the proper upper back pain exercises is central to improvement and strengthening weak muscles and stretching shortened muscle is key to recovery.  These exercises are simple and can make a huge difference in the decrease or elimination of back pain.  General physical activity is a great source for postural improvement and in some cases may be more effective in improving posture.  This is due to the use of entire muscles groups.

In summary- if you have upper back pain get it checked out.  The solution may be as simple as receiving chiropractic adjustments, lightly modifying your standing or seated posture, and becoming more active. Sometimes we just don’t realize how much better we can feel until we try