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What causes pain in your upper back?

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Quick Answer

Upper back pain can be caused by osteoarthritis, a fracture in the vertebrae, a herniated disc and an odd-shaped spine, notes WebMD. Additionally, myofascial pain, muscle strain and degenerative disc disease cause pain in the upper back. Other events, such as heavy lifting, generally cause temporary back pain.

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What causes pain in your upper back?
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Full Answer

Osteoarthritis happens when the cartilage around the small joints in the spine become corroded, claims WebMD. This causes the back bones to rub together, leading to harm and pain. Osteoarthritis occurs due to ordinary use of the cartilage over time.

When tremendous force, such as a car accident or a physical fight, is placed on the back, a fractured vertebrae can occur. There are three types of spinal fractures: flexion fracture pattern, extension fracture pattern and rotation fracture pattern, explains the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Knowing what type of fracture is involved influences treatment.

Myofascial pain is an ongoing pain that impacts the connective tissue of a muscle or group of muscles, states WebMD. This manifests as pain that occurs when a trigger point has been touched, with weakness in the affected muscle or a reduced range of motion in the affected area.

Scoliosis and kyphosis cause disfigurement of the spine, leading to upper back pain, explains WebMD. Scoliosis causes a curvature or twist of the spine, while kyphosis leads to a hump in the upper back. Both problems can lead to difficulty breathing.

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