Chiropractic Treatment for Upper Back Pain

Globally, allopathic is the most sought after medicine to treat most of the medical ailments. However, many times it gives temporary relief and may cause side effects. In addition, it is observed that it does not treat problems associated with musculoskeletal injuries very effectively. This affects quality of life of a person. Hence, many patients suffering from back pain, upper back pain, lower back, and neck pain etc seek help of the alternative therapies which includes massage therapy, yoga therapy, acupressure, chiropractic care and so forth.

Overview of Chiropractic Treatment

Chiropractic care is a type of an alternative medicine. The doctors who practice this form of therapy are called Chiropractors and have a degree as Doctor of Chiropractic. This branch of medicine works on philosophy different from that of the conventional medicine. The chiropractors do not prescribe any medicines or perform surgery. They treat a disease by determining its root cause such as problem with the alignment of the vertebra. They believe in treating a medical condition by minimizing pain, strengthening the body and preventing it from suffering further injury. The chiropractor uses hands on movements to treat musculoskeletal problems and corrects problems associated with the body mechanics. This is also called as the joint adjustment or manipulation. Chiropractic therapy aligns the muscles and joints to their normal position, so that they can function correctly. The health conditions such as upper back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, wrist pain, jaw pain, lower back pain, arthritis, fibromyalgia, mild to moderate asthma and headaches can be treated with chiropractic therapy.

Chiropractic Treatment for Upper Back Pain

The upper back consists of a number of spinal segments of the cervical and thoracic spine along with a number of muscles and ligaments connected to each other. It also has numerous nerves emerging from these spinal segments that supply different parts of the upper body. Upper back pain could be due to pain in the neck region, shoulders, and upper back arising from either joints or muscles. Chiropractic care has been applied to treat problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, bones and spinal discs. The chiropractors make use of a number of hands on corrections (different techniques), along with different exercises and emphasize on intake of appropriate nutrition. The upper back pain can be caused due to numerous causes and affects many joints and the interacting muscles that make up the thoracic spine. When one muscle or joint is injured it affects many others leading to pain and dysfunction that is difficult to treat.

The upper back pain is common and affects all the age groups. It is commonly seen in the form of pain or stiffness in the mid back region. Some of the reasons for the upper back pain are:

Chiropractic Treatment for Upper Back Pain

When these symptoms occur frequently in a week, then it has to be immediately treated as it can lead to neck pain. Often the spine related problems are treated by spinal adjustment done using chiropractic care. Chiropractic treatment works very well in treating upper back pain.

Chiropractic Treatment Steps to Treat the Upper Back Pain

  • Pre-treatment Steps for Upper Back Pain: Before a chiropractor starts the treatment, chiropractor will perform detailed physical examination and will record patient history.
    • Clinical examination includes recording information in terms of history of symptoms, past surgeries, list of medications taken, family medical history and diet of the patient.
    • The physical examination includes measuring reflexes, height, weight and blood pressure.
      • The patient is made of fill up the pain chart to seek answers for different questions such as the location and duration of the pain.
      • Specific details like history of any accident and things that make the pain better or worse are noted down.
    • Diagnostic tests are to be performed includes:
      • X-Ray, MRI and CT scan.
      • Nerve conduction tests.
      • Physical capacity exams to determine the functioning capacity for different functions such as lifting.

According to the results of the report, an interpretation is made by the chiropractor and he plans the treatment. If the back pain is seen to occur along with fever or flu, then it is due to infection and the chiropractor advises the patient to see a doctor. While if it occurs due to strain or sprain, then the chiropractor treats the patient.

  • Chiropractic Treatment Steps for Upper Back Pain: A chiropractic adjustment involves use of a specific force in a particular direction, which helps to make the spinal function normal. This adjustment is applied to the injured or the fixed joint, which is not moving or functioning properly. The adjustment helps to return bones to their normal position.
    • When a person suffers from the upper back problem, person is made to lie face down on a chiropractic table.
    • The chiropractor uses hands and at times a tool called activator and applies gentle pressure.
    • Chiropractor then adjusts the soft tissue in the back and loosens up the muscles and prepares the area.
    • The different areas of the back are palpated to determine the exact vertebra of the affected spine.
    • The chiropractor puts hands on either side of a vertebra, applies a gentle force and brings motion back to the joint.
    • The patient may hear the popping sound as the air escapes the joint. This happens due to joint adjustment.
    • This may take a few sessions, generally 8 to 12 sessions of therapy to regain normal position and motion in the affected joint. However, some patients do get immediate relief.


Chiropractic treatment has shown good results for treating musculoskeletal problems like upper back pain. One should follow with chiropractic treatment only after discussion with general practitioner to know if it is a correct decision.

Also Read:

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 24, 2018

Recent Posts

Related Posts