An individual should seek medical attention for upper-left back pain if it is extreme, persistent or causes concern, suggests HealthGrades. Pain in the upper-left back can be a minor self-resolving condition or a symptom of a serious medical issue.
The upper and middle back is made up of the shoulder blades, 12 vertebrae, discs that separate the vertebrae, and numerous nerves, muscles, tendons and ligaments, explains WebMD. Irritation or inflammation of any of these structures can cause pain, according to HealthGrades. This pain can have simple causes, such as overuse or poor posture, or more-serious causes, such as trauma or bone cancer.
Pain the upper-left back unaccompanied by other symptoms is usually benign and treatable at home. Rest, over-the-counter pain medications, hot and cold packs and exercise are ways suggested by WebMD to treat back pain at home. In addition, practicing good posture and managing stress can help resolve back pain.
Upper-left back pain accompanied by other symptoms may be a sign of a serious or life-threatening condition. These symptoms include abdominal pain, chest pain, difficulty breathing, jaw pain, sweating, nausea or vomiting, as listed by HealthGrades. These can be signs of a heart attack or other life-threatening condition requiring immediate medical attention. In any case, it is important to talk to a doctor or other health care provider about concerns regarding upper-left back pain or any other medical issue.