Upper back pain is less common than lower back pain is because the upper spine is less flexible and does not move as much as the lower spine does. Even so, upper back pain can still be excruciating for those who suffer from it. Some common causes of upper back pain include:
- Trauma such as a car accident
- Poor posture
- Herniated or ruptured discs
- Spondylitis, which is arthritis of the spine
- Pulled muscles or tendons
- Dislocated shoulder
- Inflammation of the spinal joints
Upper back pain can sometimes indicate a life-threatening condition when it is experienced along with certain other symptoms. For example, Medicine Net reports that upper back pain could indicate a heart attack when it is experienced in conjunction with heartburn, arm pain, profuse sweating, shortness of breath or a squeezing sensation in the chest. Sharp pains in the upper back or sides, along with a burning sensation while urinating, could indicate the presence of kidney stones.
Anytime upper back pain comes on suddenly, you should speak with a medical professional. It can be helpful to document any other symptoms you may be experiencing in order to rule out the possibility of a more life-threatening condition.