Upper Back

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Upper Back

Postural Dysfunction

Our bodies typically have a normal position for how we hold ourselves and how everything is aligned. Proper posture is key to the body functioning at all levels of the body. When we have a dysfunction, things start o break down. Most common cause of the dysfunction is strength and endurance through the upper back. When that starts to be limited, the shoulders fall forwards, which brings the head forward and down. This can put a lot of stress on the mid back and the neck and bring on shoulder issues and headaches. Other causes from muscle strength, is everyday positioning. If you sit at a computer or desk all day, you need to make sure that the area you are sitting at is the most ergonomically correct so you can be fully supported. To try and correct posture is a lot of work on your endurance muscles through your back as well as a lot of correct positioning.

Scapular Pain

The shoulder blades are a very important structures that connect your neck to your shoulder, and shoulder to your back. If there is a dysfunction through the shoulder blades, it can throw off a lot of your shoulder and upper body function, cause neck and mid back pain, and prevent you from normally functioning. The key to working any type of scapular pain, is not just looking at the scapula, but all the surrounding joints, muscles, and tissue, including the opposite side even if it is not painful. Scapula pain can be a very big symptom of a over head throwers shoulder problem. Large traumas to the body, like a car accident can cause scapula pain due to the force put on the body that causes whiplash. The shoulder blades have a specific pattern of movements when the arm is in motion, and even when it is not. Restoring that normal motion and making it symmetrical to the opposite side is key. Strengthening of not just the muscles that connect to the scapula, but around the rest of the area as well is also very important to making sure it continues to move and stabilize the right way to allow for normal pain free function.

Thoracic strain/sprain

The mid back, or thoracic region, is just like any other area of the body. There are muscles and ligaments that start and end in the area as well as start or end in other areas of the body. A thoracic sprain can be caused by an unwanted movement or force through the mid back, like trying to catch a falling object, or even simpler as bending an twisting to pick something heavy up off the floor. If a muscle is strained, or over stretched, it will react by tightening up and restrict movement through that area. The ligaments that hold the vertebrae together through the area can also be stressed making the area more unstable, or loose. Because your mid back has such an important role on shoulder function, neck mobility and function and upper body posture, strength through the area is key once the painful symptoms have been calmed down.

Rib fracture/dislocation

You have 12 ribs, and they each attach to either side of each thoracic vertebrae. The joints that attach the ones together can be dislocated with a traumatic force to your chest, your side, or your back. By having an issue with your rib, it can be difficult and painful to take a deep breath or even just a regular breath depending on the severity. The ribs are small bones, and if hit with enough force, they can fracture. Taking a hit in an athletic event, car accident, or a fall can all cause a fracture. The treatment for a fracture is rest and reducing inflammation. Physical therapy can be warranted to help with any surround muscle imbalances with combination of stretching and strengthening to keep you moving as best as possible while the fractures are healing.

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