Pain In Upper Right Back – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

Are you dealing with pain in your upper right back? If so, you’re not alone. This is a common problem that many people suffer from. There are a number of possible causes, and fortunately, there are also a number of effective treatments. In this article, we’ll explore the causes, symptoms, and treatments for pain in the upper right back.


Muscle Injury

Sudden spasms or muscle injury can cause pain in the upper right back. However, it can also happen due to simple overuse or due to playing sports. If you suffer from a dull ache in this region, it is most likely due to the right arm being used excessively.

There are a few home remedies that can help you get relief from this pain. You can also use inflammatory pain relievers to get relief from the pain. If the pain is severe, you may need to consult a doctor for further treatment options.

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc in the upper right back can cause mild to severe pain. Depending on the severity of your pain, treatments may range from steroid injections to surgery.

Common causes of a herniated disc in the upper right back include lifting heavy objects, sudden spine ruptures, and degenerative changes in the spinal discs. Symptoms may include mild pain in the upper back and right arm, numbness or tingling in the affected arm, and weakness in the muscles of the affected arm.

more severe cases, you may experience loss of bowel or bladder control, paralysis, and severe nerve pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.

Treatments for a herniated disc in the upper back may include spinal injections, physical therapy, and surgery. In most cases, conservative treatments like these are effective. However, if your pain is severe or does not improve with conservative treatments, you may need to consider surgery.


Osteoarthritis is the most common type of arthritis. It occurs when the protective cartilage on the ends of your bones wears down over time. This type of arthritis can occur in any joint, but it most often affects joints in your hands, knees, hips, or spine.

Osteoarthritis is usually a slow and gradual process that can start with minor pain and stiffness. These symptoms usually worsen over time and can eventually lead to joint damage and severe pain.

There are many possible causes of osteoarthritis, but the most common cause is general wear and tear on the joints from aging. Other possible causes include previous joint injuries, obesity, and repetitive stress on the joints from certain occupations or activities.

There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but there are many treatments that can help relieve pain and improve joint function. Common treatments include physical therapy, weight loss, pain relievers, and exercise. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to repair or replace damaged joints.


Osteoporosis is a condition in which bones become very weak and are more likely to break. People with osteoporosis can break a bone even without an injury. Osteoporosis is more common in women than in men and becomes more likely as people get older. But it can happen at any age, even to children.

There is no single cause of osteoporosis. But there are things that make it more likely to happen. These include being female, having a family history of the condition, taking certain medications, being small and thin, not getting enough vitamin D and calcium, smoking cigarettes, and drinking too much alcohol.

Osteoporosis can lead to serious health problems such as pain in the upper right back (often called a vertebral compression fracture), broken hips, and spinal injury. The good news is that there are things you can do to prevent or treat osteoporosis.

This includes getting enough calcium and vitamin D, doing weight-bearing exercise, not smoking cigarettes, and drinking alcohol only in moderation. If you have osteoporosis, your doctor may also recommend medication to help prevent fractures.

Spinal Fracture

When there is a fall from a considerable height or an impact trauma to the spine, a spinal fracture can occur. A cervical fracture is when there is a break in one of the vertebrae in the neck area. There are different types of spinal fractures, and possible symptoms include pain, numbness, and tingling in the arms or legs. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek immediate emergency attention.

Spinal Fracture Causes

The most common cause of a spinal fracture is a vehicular accident. However, there are other causes as well, such as:

  • A direct impact to the spine, such as in a fall
  • A sports injury
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cancer that has spread to the spine

Spinal Fracture Symptoms

Symptoms of a spinal fracture can vary depending on the location and severity of the injury. However, some common symptoms include:

  • Back pain that gets worse with movement
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
  • Weakness in the limbs
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control (if the fracture is severe)

If you experience any of these symptoms after an accident or injury, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention. A licensed health professional will be able to properly diagnose and treat your condition.

Referred Pain

Upper back pain can be caused by a variety of medical conditions. However, one of the most common causes is referred pain. Referred pain occurs when the pain is actually coming from another area of the body but is felt in the upper back. This can be caused by a variety of conditions, including pneumonia, lung cancer, and other lung issues.

There are several symptoms that can indicate that your back pain is due to referred pain. These include pain that gets worse when you take a deep breath, pain that gets worse when you cough or sneeze, and pain that is worse on one side of your body. If you have any of these symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor so they can make a proper diagnosis and come up with a treatment plan.


Stress is often the main contributing factor to pain in the upper right back. This can be due to muscle tightness from poor posture, emotional stress, or physical stress. When the body is under stress, it goes into fight or flight mode.

This causes a release of adrenaline and cortisol, which can lead to muscle tension, rapid heart rate, and shallow breathing. Over time, this can lead to pain and stiffness in the upper back and neck.

There are several treatments that can help reduce stress and pain in the upper right back. These include massage, acupuncture, and relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation. Exercise is also beneficial as it helps to release endorphins, which are natural painkillers. If the pain is due to muscle tension, stretching and strengthening exercises may also be recommended.

Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is a chronic pain disorder that affects the connective tissue in your muscles. It can be caused by muscle spasms, trigger points, or both. MPS is often treated with physical therapy, massages, and muscle relaxers. You may also need to incorporate massages and light exercise into your home treatment plan.

Symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome can include tender spots in your muscles, muscle group spasms, and fatigue. The pain may be dull or sharp. It may also feel like a deep ache or a burning sensation. The pain may get worse with weather changes, stress, anxiety, and lack of sleep.

If you have myofascial pain syndrome, you may need to see a physical therapist. They will likely recommend massages and gentle stretching exercises. You may also need to take muscle relaxers or pain blockers.

Upper Right Back Pain Treatment

Acute back pain usually lasts for a few days or weeks and often goes away on its own. But sometimes it becomes chronic, lasting for months or even years. If you have chronic back pain, you may need to try several treatments to find one that helps relieve your pain.

Common treatments for chronic back pain include:

  • Whirlpool bath: This can help soothe muscles and loosen knots.
  • Hot water bottle: Use this on the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.
  • Ice packs: Apply these to the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. You can also alternate between heat and cold therapy.
  • Massage: This can help relax muscles and relieve pain.
  • Exercise: Gentle exercise can help stretch and strengthen muscles. However, be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
  • Pain medications: Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may help relieve the pain. Your doctor may also prescribe stronger medications if OTC medications do not work. These include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as diclofenac or celecoxib, muscle relaxants such as cyclobenzaprine, and narcotic pain relievers such as codeine or oxycodone. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions when taking these medications.
  • Heat: This can help soothe muscles and reduce stiffness. Try applying a heating pad to the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. You can also take a hot bath or shower.
  • Bed rest: If your doctor advises it, you may need to take a few days off from work or other activities to rest your back. However, bed rest should be limited to 1 or 2 days because it can actually make the pain worse after a while.

Other treatments for chronic back pain include acupuncture, Tai Chi, and yoga. These treatments have not been proven effective in scientific studies, but many people find them helpful in managing their pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

The most likely causes of upper back pain are:

  1. Muscle strain
  2. Joint dysfunction
  3. Nerve compression
  4. Degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis

Upper back pain is pain that is felt in the upper back. It can be caused by a number of things, including muscle strain, arthritis, or a herniated disc.

There are many ways to relieve upper back pain, including:

  • Taking over-the-counter pain medication
  • Applying heat or ice to the affected area
  • Performing stretches and exercises designed to strengthen and stretch the back muscles
  • Wearing a supportive brace or another device
  • Receiving massage therapy
  • Undergoing chiropractic treatment
  • Using inversion therapy

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We hope this guide has been helpful in understanding some of the possible causes, symptoms, and treatments for pain in the upper right back. Remember that back pain can have a wide range of underlying conditions, some of which may be more serious than others. If your pain persists for more than a week or two, or if it worsens over time, be sure to see a doctor or other healthcare provider for an evaluation to rule out any serious underlying conditions.


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