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.

Yoga for Neck and Upper Back Pain

Many people today live a very complex but inactive lifestyle due in part to long working hours, lack of outdoor activity, and repetitive, tedious occupations. This can lead to numerous health problems including neck and upper back pain. Factory workers that do repetitive reaching or heavy lifting, computer operators that sit bent over their computers for extended lengths of time or tollbooth operators that stand and lean, handing out tickets and collecting money all day, along with people in thousands of other jobs are prime candidates for neck and upper back pain. Stay at home people that carry a baby on their hip for hours, hunching over playing video games, sitting in bed reading, playing golf, or just lazing around continuously can also result in neck and upper back pain. The neck, shoulders, and upper back are common areas affected by too much emotional and mental stress. In other words, putting excess strain on your neck and back, practicing poor posture, stress, or not using your upper back and neck muscles enough can all lead to neck and upper back pain.

The good news is that there are numerous ways to help and prevent neck and upper back pain. Developing sensible work habits, reducing stress, practicing healthy posture, finding good physical balance, and living a healthy lifestyle helps relieve and prevent neck and upper back pain. Some of the traditional treatment methods used to reduce pain is chiropractic treatments, physical therapy, massage, and exercise, including several types of stretching exercises.

People have practiced yoga all over the world for centuries to promote mental and physical well being. Although it took a while, yoga has become very popular in the United States today, although westerners do not practice the spiritual components of yoga as often. It is the breathing exercises and physical poses that more and more Americans are turning to and usually finding relief from neck and upper back pain. The results from using yoga regularly to relieve physical pain, reduce stress, increase strength, and improve flexibility is amazing. Some yoga poses may require modification depending upon your back pain.

Some causes of neck and upper back pain could be more serious than poor posture, muscle tension, and strain, so if it is a recurring or persistent pain, make an appointment with your physician. The condition and reasons for neck and upper back pain problems vary and the cause usually determines the treatment. You should always talk to your doctor before starting any type of yoga or exercise routine if you have any known health problems.

Conquering the Pain Beast with Exercises for Lower Back Pain

When you have lower back pain it can feel as if you’re carrying around a beast that won’t let go. Sitting, twisting, bending and even walking can be difficult and as a result, it’s tempting to reduce the level of activity. Unfortunately that’s the worst thing you can do. The less you do the more it’s going to hurt. Think of it this way. When you aren’t doing anything to improve the pain, why would you expect it to improve? In other words, if you don’t to exercises for lower back pain, how are the muscles going to get stronger?

Lower back pain is the result of both emotional and physical factors. They are intertwined and can’t be separated. Exercises for lower back pain don’t just deal with muscles. They also deal with your mental state that makes you believe lack of exercise is the cure for back pain. Exercise can help you adjust your attitude, get some feel-good endorphins flowing and strengthen your back.

Of course, some lower back pain will need surgical correction if the result of degenerative disease for example. But even in that situation, exercise serves the same purpose. It can reduce the amount of back pain you are experiencing while waiting for surgery by strengthening the muscles. Getting your lower back muscles into good shape will also help you recover faster from the surgery. Exercise is just plain good for you whether you have back pain or not.

Exercises for lower back pain include a variety of exercises that include even aerobic conditioning. The lower back muscles and bones are just a subset of your overall muscular skeletal structure. Whatever you do for the lower back benefits the entire system, and it works the other way around too. The better shape your body is in overall, the better for your lower back. If you are out of shape or overweight, both conditions can contribute to lower back pain.

Following is a list of some exercises for lower back pain. You can do these exercises at home, but if you’re under the care of a doctor it’s important to show the physician the plan. The important thing is to do them regularly. You can’t do them for a few days and then quit and expect to see results. It may hurt at first, but if you stick with the program you’ll be amazed at how the pain beast begins to let go.

• Abdominal contractions
• Wall slides or squats
• Straight leg raises
• Alternating knee to chest
• Treadmill
• Stationary bike
• Balance ball arm and leg raises (lie on stomach)

There are others you can do too. You should start with 3 ten minute sessions a day and add time as your muscles get stronger. Exercises for lower back pain can scare the pain beast away so you can restore your lively step to your daily activities.

Physiotherapy Equipment Used in Physical Therapy

A physical therapist, or physiotherapist, uses both manual therapy as well as mechanical or electrical therapy to aid a patient’s recovery process and prevention. They use a number of physiotherapy equipment to reduce and relieve pain, repair the joint and muscle, and to make the patient more comfortable during his or her visit.

A physiotherapy chair, bed, couch, or table is among the various type of physiotherapy equipment. This is generally a flat cushioned bench with cushioned head support and two to seven adjustable sections. The sections adjust to lay the patient completely flat on the back, or stomach, or can be folded into different degrees to become a chair or exercise table. The physiotherapist uses this to keep the patient comfortable while examining and diagnosing. It is also used while the patient performs specific exercises, or for massage therapy.

For exercise a physical therapist might bring in hand and leg weights, elastic bands, and exercise balls as part of their physiotherapy equipment. A balance ball chair is a large air filled ball securely attached to a small stool set on rollers with back support. The client may use this type of equipment for exercises that require support for less strain on the spine and back.

To relieve pain, acute and chronic, physiotherapy equipment such as a TENS, or Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, system may be used. A TENS unit provides the patient with temporary pain relief without the added use of drugs, narcotics, or painful shots. The attachments are set on the skin over the affected area where the machine sends tiny electrical currents, or pulses to the nerves. The pulses scramble and block pain signals before they reach the brain and are said to raise the level of endorphins produced by the brain. Portable versions come as battery operated handheld devices.

Often included in a physical therapist’s physiotherapy equipment arsenal are items used in electrotherapy and ultrasound. Ultrasound devices generally consist of a round handheld wand, or probe. This probe is placed on the patient’s skin with the use of ultrasound gel to transmit ultrasonic waves through the skin. The vibration of the tissues produce heat that helps reduce pain while relaxing and repairing muscle tissue. Ultrasound can also produce a pulse for tissue relaxation when heat is not desired. Ultrasound can also be used to give medications that are needed below the skin. Usually used for patients unable to take needle injections. Often ultrasound wands come attached to a large electronic device connected to a cart.

Each physical therapist has her or his own method of treatment. These examples are just some of a long list of physiotherapy equipment used to treat patients.

Some of the Best Methods for Upper Back Pain Treatment

Upper back pain can strike any one of us at any time. Although it can be caused by a few different things such as ligament problems, in most cases, it’s caused by a muscle being pulled, stretched or strained. Possible causes of upper back pain may be overuse of certain muscles, lack of strength, or trauma as one would receive in a car or sports accident. Upper back pain treatment will usually revolve around helping the muscles once again relaxed. Upper back pain will usually show up as a pain in or near the shoulder blade as well as movement restrictions.

Upper back pain is also referred as thoracic pain or middle back pain. It is called ‘thoracic’ because it’s thoracic spine, which is located in that area. Upper back pain is also felt between the lumbar spine and the bottom of the neck. Massage is often used as an upper back pain treatment and will sometimes give relief quickly. However, if the problem is not in the muscles, medical treatment should be given to determine if there is a more serious problem.

For muscular problems in the upper back, exercise and light physical therapy often are helpful as upper back pain treatment. At the onset of the problem, ice is stilled the recommended upper back pain treatment to avoid swelling and inflammation. Many people choose to see a chiropractor for treatments. Although there are still many that don’t believe in chiropractic manipulation, many people have been helped by their services. Pain medications are often used as part of the upper back pain treatment, although they are never used by themselves. They are recommended to be taken along with physical therapy or exercise.

If there is one specific area or spot, that is tender and painful, trigger point injections or massages are also a method of upper back pain treatment. Many doctors like this method because the medication is going to just the painful area and not throughout the entire body.

Occasionally, upper back pain is caused by the joints connecting the ribs and the vertebrae. In this case, the upper back pain treatment is chiropractic treatments, physical therapy and pain medications. A lot of this will depend on the severity of the pain.

Other causes of upper back pain may be herniated spinal disc, degenerative disc or fractured vertebrae. Fractured vertebra is quite common in women over the age of 50 due to osteoporosis. In these cases, medical treatment will be necessary to get prompt relief before further damage takes place.

Online Sports Physical Therapy Jobs

One of the biggest advantages of being trained for one of the sports physical therapy jobs that there is virtually a limitless supply of options open to you. Especially if you added a specialty to your degree, all kinds of medical offices and hospitals could easily use your services. It may not be so much as where to find a job, but deciding which type of environment you wish to work in. It’s pretty common to find sports physical therapy jobs in hospitals. The thing is the hospitals often have several departments that need your type of experience. You could find yourself in the orthopedic wing, or in the geriatric department. Even pediatrics could have a need for someone with your specialized education.

Take a look at some of the other venues where your special talents could be put to use. Many therapists tired of the daily grind in a hospital choose to share their abilities and set up shop with a chiropractic partner. The two fields of study tend to work very well together. Another place to look for sports physical therapy jobs if the hospital scene isn’t for you is a nursing home or rehabilitation center. Other options include outpatient clinics, school systems for their athletic teams, and home health care agencies. All would give you the opportunity to put your knowledge to work for the benefit of your patients.

The fastest and one of the most reliable ways to track down the sports physical therapy jobs in your area is online. You have likely already heard of monster.com and careerbuilder.com, but you could save yourself the bother of an individualized search by visiting some of the websites set up specifically for sports physical therapists. Take alltherapyjobs.com for example. This site is set up to allow the user to search for jobs according to specialty. It also has a function for you to add your resume to the list for potential employees to explore at their leisure. In order to search for sports physical therapy jobs by state the place to go is rehabworld.com. As mentioned the jobs are listed according to state, so that is a valuable time saving tool. It also lists the prospective employers contact information, so you don’t have to go through the website if you prefer not to.

With your education and experience knowing where to find sports physical therapy jobs is the hardest part of your job search. There are several other websites for finding physical therapy jobs, but those will at least get you pointed in the right direction.

Searching online for sports physical therapy jobs can yield faster results than the traditional methods. It gives you a chance to what is available and allows you the opportunity to pick what type of environment you prefer to work in.