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Upper Back Pain

Upper Back Pain may be treated both medically within our Upstate Neurology clinic and surgically at our Upstate Brain and Spine Center.


Upper back pain can be pain anywhere from the middle of the back to the neck. Pain can be dull or sharp and be mild to severe. Upper back pain can start suddenly or get worse over time. Back pain may be associated with other symptoms, such as difficulty moving and stiffness.

Most causes of back pain go away on their own over time.


Upper back pain is most often due to a muscle or skeletal injury or damage from:

Other sources of pain in the back include:

  • Infection in the spine
  • Tumor in the spine

Other conditions that can also cause upper back pain include:

Home Care

If you have mild upper back pain due to musculoskeletal causes, you can try to:

  • Avoid doing physical activities that cause the pain to worsen, such as lifting heavy weight and stretching.
  • It is important to stay active. Try to do your normal activities. However, be careful not to further injure yourself.
  • Try to keep a good posture.
  • If your doctor has said that it is safe to do so, take over-the-counter pain relievers as directed.
  • Apply heat or ice to the area that hurts. If you use ice, wrap the ice in a towel first. Do not place it directly on your skin.
  • Try relaxation techniques.