Upper Back Pain Relief in Fort Collins

Upper back pain is one of those pains far too many people in Fort Collins have on a regular basis. Regardless if it is due to hours of poor posture daily in front of a computer or more traumatic causes such as a mountain biking accident on a Fort Collins trail; most of us experience upper back pain, mid back pain and/or pain between the shoulder blades on some type of basis. Luckily for all of us, there are ways to fix these common pains that are often caused just by living life to the fullest.

The first question that needs to be asked is - what anatomical structures are causing the pain and dysfunction? Within the upper and mid back, there are only a handful of structures that typically cause this type of discomfort, and they include the spinal joints (each composed of two vertebra and a disc), costal joints (where each rib joins a vertebra in the spine), nerves and muscles/ligaments/tendons. Upper back pain can vary a lot in regards to its specific qualities and this can often help determine what the problem is. Below is a short list of some of the more common pain descriptions patients describe as well as the most common causes of each type of pain. Because pain descriptions vary so greatly amongst people; these descriptions may give clues as to the possible causes of your pain but should not be relied upon alone to accurately diagnose the problem.


Sharp Pain = Severe spinal joint or rib joint misalignment, strained muscle, sprained ligament
Dull Ache = Chronic (long term) spinal joint misalignment, muscle overuse/fatigue
Tingling = Misaligned upper back vertebra causing impingement of a spinal nerve exiting the spine
Restricted Motion = Spinal joints have lost motion and musculature has become chronically shortened
Painful Breathing = Rib or spinal joint misalignment, strained rib cage musculature
Areas of Numbness (no sensation) = Misaligned vertebra causing impingement of a spinal nerve


Where to Start?

If you are suffering with upper back pain in Fort Collins, you should start by having your spine checked by a chiropractor. Regardless of what you may think the problem is, a chiropractor is your wisest choice at determining and solving the cause of your upper and mid back pain. Why is this so? Because chiropractors are doctors that specialize in the structures found within the upper and mid back including joints, nerves, ribs and discs. They find and fix these kinds of problems every day. Their education of anatomy and underlying sources of structurally based pain far exceeds massage therapists and is equal to or greater than most other types of doctors, including medical doctors. If you are suffering from upper back pain, you deserve a doctor’s opinion and not a therapist’s. You may be aware already that chiropractors ‘adjust the spine’ - this is true. If your pain is caused by a misaligned vertebrae, the doctor will determine how it is misaligned and give it the correct adjustment needed to resume its normal motion and alignment. If your pain is not due to a joint or nerve, a quality Fort Collins chiropractor will refer you to someone who does specialize in your condition. Chiropractic adjustments gently correct misaligned joints and relieve the pressure that causes upper back pain. Chiropractic is an effective and affordable way to help maintain the health of your upper back.

Did you know problems within the spine that are easily fixable can cause many types of muscle pain and tightness within the back?

This is because each spinal nerve exits its spinal joint and immediately gives nervous supply to the muscles adjacent the spine. If there is a problem within the spine of the upper back, the muscles adjacent to that area will contract in an attempt to guard the injury and may seem like they are the primary problem. When this is the case, and it often is, you can massage or stretch the muscle all day long and the pain will still return because the problem is actually the spinal joint and nerve, and not the muscles. Caring for spinal joints and nerves is the primary focus of Fort Collins Gonstead Chiropractic. If you are suffering from upper back pain in Fort Collins, allow our chiropractor Dr. Steven Cook the opportunity to give you the courteous, patient focused care he prides himself on.


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Business Hours:


Monday: 8:30am-12 & 2-5:30pm
Tuesday: 8:30am-12 & 2-5:30pm
Wednesday: 8:30am-11:00am
Thursday: 8:30am-12 & 2-5:30pm
Friday: by appt. only

(970) 460-6770


Complimentary 15 minute phone & in-office consultations available.

Let our Fort Collins chiropractor
Dr. Steven Cook determine if chiropractic can help you.