HomeUpper Back PainCauses of Chest and Upper Back Pain

Causes of Chest and Upper Back Pain

Sudden chest and upper back pain can be extremely frightening because most people believe that, when this occurs, they are having a heart attack. It often begins in the back and feels like someone is sticking a sword through your chest cavity. The most common causes of chest and upper back pain are not heart related but result from poor posture while sitting or standing. When the muscles connected to your shoulder blades in your upper back become painful and stressed, it can cause chest and upper back pain. If you take a deep breath and it becomes worse when you inhale, the pain is likely posture related.

By becoming familiar with your muscles, this helps you understand chest and upper back pain better. Although the upper back and chest are two separate areas, it is crucial to achieve proper muscular balance to maintain good posture. If the upper back and chest are imbalanced, this makes it very easy for injury to result. The three main muscles found in your upper back and chest is the latissimus dorsi, pectoralis major, and trapezius. The latissimus dorsi is a flat, broad muscle on either side of the back. The largest of the back muscles, it runs from the upper arm bone to the lower back, acting as the arms internal rotator. The pectoralis major are the large skeletal muscle or chest muscles located on both sides of the breastbone. Its main job is to rotate and adduct the arms or draws the arm towards the body. The trapezius muscles are two triangular, flat muscles of the upper back and shoulders that facilitates movement of the arms and shoulders.

An excellent exercise to relieve chest and upper back pain is a shoulder raise, which you do standing straight in an upright position. With your arms hanging straight at your sides, lift both your shoulders as high as you possible can. Without lowering them, start rotating your shoulders towards your back ten times and then lower your shoulders. By doing this exercise twice daily, it can help relieve chest and upper back pain. Pinpoint massage done between your shoulder blades by focusing on the sore area or central point of pain relieves chest and upper back pain. Swimming and some types of water aerobics help relieve or eliminate chest and upper back pain without putting too much pressure on your muscles.

Any type of pains in your chest may be heart related and should be investigated by your physician immediately. A wrong self-made diagnosis could mean the difference between life and death, so always seek medical help.


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