Many people experience pain in the mid-back and around the shoulder blades. For some, it is an intermittent pulling. For others, it is a constant nagging ache. There are those who get an intensely sharp, stabbing pain which can be nearly incapacitating. Everyone suffering these symptoms would enjoy pain relief. Fortunately, during my 35 years as a chiropractor, I have found there is hope and an approach for the resolution of their pain.
This article will discuss how mid-back pain and factors involving the neck are related. It will explain the specific cause of this condition and how it can be corrected. It will also introduce recent scientific research discussing this topic.
It is very common for patients initially coming to my chiropractic office to say they are experiencing extreme pain in the shoulder blade areas. It may be difficult for them to realize that a related, but less symptomatic neck injury, is hiding in the shadows. This can be explained by understanding how our bodies respond to injury.
When a part of our body is injured there is a natural response for that area to be protected. We all know that swelling of a sprained finger or ankle joint causes loss of normal joint movement. That is because the swelling, like a cast surrounding the joint, limits movement so we don’t hurt it any further. Other areas, when injured, create a protective mechanism by causing muscle spasm. Although we don’t like muscle spasms, they limit movement of the area so that we don’t cause further injury.
When the neck is injured the muscles will go into reactive spasm. However, since these muscles are small, they typically don’t create much protective spasm. In contrast, the muscles of the upper back and upper shoulders are large and powerful. When they react protectively, they will create a mechanism of spasm that inhibits harmful movement of the entire neck and upper back. Correspondingly, the significant spasm of these large muscles creates severe pain.
That is why extreme mid back pain and neck problems are commonly related.
A scientific study in the Annals of Rehabilitative Medicine, February 2020 details research where the examination of 78 individuals revealed an association between chronic neck pain and abnormal mid-back curvature, reduced thoracic mobility, and impaired respiratory strength.
Chiropractic management of mid back pain relief focuses on the entire person. Relief of mid back pain should involve uncovering the source of the complaint in other spinal regions like the neck. Chiropractic adjustments to correct misalignments and improper movement of the spinal joints of the neck and mid-back can cause a reduction of irritated and pinched nerves. This allows muscle spasms to relent and a corresponding enjoyment of pain relief results.
To gain middle back pain relief chiropractors focus on examination and treatment of the entire person. This is vitally important in obtaining satisfactory patient outcomes.
By James Schofield