If you’ve suffered from upper back pain, then you know what an obstacle it can be in your life, as it makes it harder to perform your normal activities of daily living. So many things you used to enjoy are now put on the back burner because of the discomfort you feel. And some days your upper back pain can be so debilitating, you feel like you can’t do anything but stay in bed. You avoid your life and your family altogether, just hoping to get some pain relief.
There are many causes of upper back pain. Some of them are less serious and can be treated conservatively. Stretching exercises, physical therapy, and over-the-counter medications can be effective treatments for upper back pain. And in other cases, conservative treatments are not enough, especially if your back pain is chronic or getting worse. We Germans, however, tend to suffer silently, going about our daily activities almost as though the pain will go away on its own. Unfortunately, upper back pain is not something that will just go away. It’s your body telling you that something is wrong, and you need to seek help.
Pain from injuries due to accidents or playing sports can range from mild to severe. In more mild cases, physical therapy that includes stretching and other progressive exercises can be very beneficial. Pain can be relieved over time as you work with your physical therapist who designs a regimen specifically for your needs and problem areas.
In other cases, chiropractic can be effective for the treatment of some upper back conditions. Chiropractors manually manipulate the back to bring the spine into proper alignment. This treatment, if done properly, can be effective in alleviating certain types and levels of upper back pain. It is vital that you find a highly skilled chiropractor to treat your back pain, as this type of treatment requires that your chiropractor literally move your bones with a hands-on approach. If done improperly, it can cause more back problems.
Sometimes conservative treatments are not enough to give relief. If you’ve tried exercises and physical therapy, medications, and other treatments, and you find that you are still in pain, there is good news. For upper back pain sufferers who cannot get relief with conservative treatments, spinal fusion can be very effective in relieving pain, allowing them to get back to living their lives.
Spinal fusion, or ‘spondylodesis,’ is a technique that surgically joins, or fuses, two or more vertebrae that are moving abnormally. This abnormal movement within the spine is what is causing your pain. As mentioned above, some upper back problems, including degenerative disc disease and disc herniation, can be effectively treated with more conservative measures. In more chronic cases, though, spinal fusion is a very effective treatment for these. In fact, spinal fusion is often the preferred treatment for some diseases of the spine such as scoliosis, spinal stenosis, kyphosis, and vertebral fracture.
In cases where the spine is not properly aligned, spinal fusion is effective because it reduces abnormal movement within the spine that causes upper back pain. Scoliosis and kyphosis (otherwise known as ‘Scheuermann’s disease’) are conditions of the back that cause abnormal curvature. Scoliosis comes from a Greek word that literally means ‘bending.’ This condition causes the spine to curve into an ‘S’ or a ‘?’. It can cause pain and even breathing problems. Kyphosis is an over-curvature of the spine, causing a hump-like appearance. Spinal fusion can be an effective treatment for both of these conditions because the surgery fuses the abnormal vertebrae, keeping the spine from bending improperly. A spinal surgeon will work to correct the deformity by 50 percent or more, which can greatly alleviate your upper back pain and help to align your spine more to its correct position.
In cases of spinal stenosis, which is a narrowing of the spine, spinal fusion is often performed at the same time as a surgical procedure that removes a portion of the bone known as ‘laminectomy.’ These procedures can relieve pain because the spine is now more stable, reducing the abnormal movement that is causing the pain.
You don’t have to suffer from upper back pain. There are many very effective treatments for your pain, ranging from the more conservative such as physical therapy, to medications, to surgery. Many surgeries can be minimally invasive procedures that will have you back to living and enjoying life. Upper back pain does not have to limit your life. Germany has a number of licensed, highly qualified spinal surgeons and orthopedic surgeons who can help you get back to enjoying every moment free from upper back pain.