Stiff Upper Back

How a Stiff Upper Back Can Spiral into More Issues and What to Do About It?

Is the work-from-home situation turning you into a couch potato due to lack of physical activity? This could be one reason behind the sturdiness of your thoracic spine leading to an unrecognized disrupted posture. 

The neck and the lower back are usually more prone to injuries and common pain as compared to the upper back which over time can turn into something serious. As unusual as the pain to the upper back is, it is also not easy to distinguish the upper back pain from the neck strains. This is why, by the time you realize the pain, it’s a red flag. 

The upper back is the region that lies below the cervical spine (neck) and above the lumbar spine (low back). The upper back is called the thoracic spine, and it is the most stable part of the spine. The range of motions in the upper back is limited because of the thoracic spine’s attachment to the ribs (rib cage). 

Some of the Upper Back Pain Symptoms are: 

The pain in the upper back region does not solely remain in one spot. There occurs: 

If your upper back pain is related to the bones, nerves, or discs of your thoracic spine, your symptoms may also include:

  • Pain in the lower back
  • Pain down the legs
  • Incontinence (bowel and/or bladder leakage) 
  • Numbness or weakness in your legs

Burning Sensation in the Upper Back Region: 

When the upper back pain becomes serious enough to limit your movement, there is a sharp pain and burning sensation localized to one spot along with pain in the neck, shoulder and elsewhere. This is due to the below mentioned two reasons. 

  1. Muscular irritation.

The shoulder girdle is the area where more than 1 bones attach. It is here that a large muscle attaches on our shoulder blade and the back of the rib cage. These large upper back muscles are prone to developing strains or tightness that can be painful and difficult to alleviate. Muscular irritation in the upper back is typically due to either de-conditioning (lack of strength) or overuse injuries (such as repetitive motions).

  1. Joint dysfunction. 

It is either from a sudden injury or a natural degeneration due to ageing, joints in the upper back can dysfunction and cause pain. 

However, you could yourself examine the stage of your pain. There are 3 stages to the pain: 

  1. Stage One: 

It is the pain in the centre of your back though aiming in the upper middle part. There is mild pain and on stretching a little you feel relaxed. 

  1. Stage Two: 

Now, the pain has elevated and you will feel it when you move quickly or even sneeze. If you are not sure if the pain associated with it is regarding the same issue, you can test so by taking a deep breath. 

  1. Stage Three: 

By this point, you are going to feel the pain so intense just as if it were a burning sensation by doing the simplest of the tasks or even by doing nothing! 

Exercises to Relieve Upper Back Pain:

To relieve upper back pain, try these simple home remedies: 

  • Gentle stretches
  • Ice to reduce pain and swelling
  • Heat to improve mobility and ease stiffness 

Exercises to improve posture and pain:

  • Imagery. 

Imagine there’s a cord passing through your body from ceiling to floor. Now imagine someone pulling that cord upward, slightly lifting your chest and ribcage.

  • Chin tuck.

Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Your shoulders should be relaxed and down. Now pull your chin in toward your neck. Count to five, then relax. Repeat 10 times.

  • Shoulder blade squeeze.

Put your hands on your thighs and keep your shoulders down, roughly at chin level. Slowly squeeze your shoulder blades together. Count to five, then relax. Repeat three or four times.

  • Upper back stretch.

Raise your right arm to shoulder level, directly in front of you. Bend your arm at the elbow and grasp that elbow with your left hand. Now gently pull it across your chest and hold for it 20 seconds. Repeat three times on each side. 

How Serious is an Upper Back Pain? 

Most cases of the upper back are not due to a serious underlying cause, but in some cases, it may be caused by an infection or from the compression of the spinal nerves further leading to spinal instability. With serious upper back pain, comes serious underlying symptoms. These may include, radiating pain or pins-and-needles tingling in the chest or abdomen, fever or chills, reduced coordination, problems walking, or severe headache. 

This brings us to conclude that DO NOT unsee or neglect any pain in the back as with time, the condition may get serious which might as well not be related to muscles or bones. 

Get an analysis as to what is causing you back pain and get a permanent solution to it at PysioExperts, Kanata. 

For any questions regarding Upper Back Pain, Call Us at 613-672-6000 or drop us an email: Book an appointment today with one of our experts and get the solution to all of your problems!  Follow Us Facebook | Twitter |Instagram

What are the principles of paediatric physiotherapy?

What is Paediatric physiotherapy?

Most people don’t have a concrete idea about what physiotherapy can do for babies and growing kids. Children are different composition when it comes to built, movement, or thought process. The fact that there might be cases when kids are not able to keep up with various things up to the expectations. The real reason might be some of the gross motor problems including deterrent neurological conditions. In such cases, a physiotherapist could help in child development, particularly concerning developmental disorders.

The principles of Paediatric physiotherapy

In cases of babies or growing kids, movement is such an important concept. Children need to have flexible movement to experience the greater benefit. The body movement is essential for learning and growing.

When a child malfunctions for some reason. As such, paediatric physiotherapists correct that with assessment, identification, and diagnosis of the issue.

However, there are certain principles for the treatment procedure to rectify child development and movement difficulties.

The first phase starts with a comprehensive assessment, by the physiotherapist, after observing your child’s mobility. The experts conduct the assessment under the vigilance of parents or guardians. Gradually, based on the diagnosis from the comprehensive assessment, an individualized treatment plan is set up for rectifying the developmental disorders or gross motor problems.

Paediatric physiotherapy treatment includes a combination of hands-on techniques and exercises that are meant to increase range of motion, strength, coordination, balance.

Paediatric Therapy for Developmental Delays

There might be an issue with the navigation of the environment, which ultimately leads to developmental disorders. In cases as such, the physiotherapist guide the juveniles to achieve their developmental milestones and work to develop exercises.

As an attempt to improve the developmental disorders, the therapists help activate the nerves that work together to create a movement, thereyby helping in motor learning. Besides, the vestibular system, proprioceptive centers, olfactory systems are some of the areas that play main role in bringing down developmental disorders.

Paediatric Therapy for neurological conditions

When the kids suffer from a congenital disorder, it may cause some neurological defecit.

A physiotherapist can create a suitable physical development environment and help children improve neurological conditions.  As a result, it helps children reach milestones as soon as possible.

To improve the neurological condition, a physiotherapists might use a combination of various types of exercises that impact certain parts of the body. Some of the attempts to improve the neurological conditions are making the babies achieve balance while doing weight shifting, or maintain a posture during the movements.

Paediatric Therapy for Gross motor problems

Gross motor problems are conditions when a child can’t do a few movements he is supposed to do at that age. The movement variation includes rolling, crawling, walking, or doing other gross motor activities.

Technically, a gross motor problem arises due to the malfunctioning of the arms, legs, and torso. Some of the gross motor problems are not being able to climb the stairs without help at the age of four. Further, this includes rolling over from back to stomach and sitting without help at six months. In cases as such, you need to take your child to all checkups. This pediatrician could ensure your child is growing normally.

What are the benefits of Paediatric Therapy?

Specialist paediatric neurological physiotherapy treatment will help:

  • Make movements easier to achieve
  • Train normal patterns of movement
  • Improve ability with everyday activities
  • Improve muscle strength
  • Lift range of movement
  • Improve gross or fine motor skills
  • Corrects  posture
  • Maintain balance
  • Increase confidence with tasks


A specialist neurological physiotherapist best provides pediatric rehabilitation in improving the developmental disorders of the child. We make sure physiotherapy is both enjoyable and effective so that your child will reach their maximum physical potential to take on everyday tasks. Get in touch for detail discussion.