Home > Upper Back Pain Causes

Upper Back Pain Causes


What Causes Upper Back Pain?

Upper Back pain is not as common as lower back pain, but can still be very painful and disabling. The cause of upper back pain may be strain, poor posture over time, or sudden injury. Upper back pain can cause irritation and discomfort, and changing of positions will likely help to ease the pain.

Skip to upper back pain treatments
To learn about common upper back conditions click here

Upper Back Pain Causes: Improper Sitting

severe upper back pain causes

  • Slouching in desk chair for extended periods of time
  • No back or lumbar support
  • Rounded shoulder posture
  • Sitting at desk too long throughout the day without taking breaks to extend back

Sleep Related Causes of Upper Back Pain

  • Mattress not supportive, or firm enough
  • Mattress has not been changed in over 10 years
  • Sleeping on stomach can cause Upper Back pain

Movement Related Upper Back Pain Causes

  • Hyperextension when reaching
  • Not enough time spent focusing on mobility exercises for the upper back (thoracic spine region)
  • Lack of time spent on exercises that strengthen the rhomboid muscles (a critical back muscle) that stabilize the shoulder blade(the scapula)

Click to learn how to treat upper back pain