We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I Choose the Best Method of Upper Back Pain Relief?

M.C. Huguelet
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Whether it is caused by a sudden injury or a lifetime of poor habits, upper back pain can be annoying or even debilitating. Luckily, there are a number of different methods of upper back pain relief. Choosing the best method of upper back pain relief for you can be a matter of trial and error, and may vary depending on the cause of your pain. Common methods of upper back pain relief include taking painkillers, applying ice or heat, stretching and exercising, modifying the behavior, and, in extreme cases, having surgery.

Many people find that taking painkillers is an effective method of upper back pain relief. You may wish to try taking an over-the-counter painkiller such as ibuprofen. If you find that over-the-counter drugs are not strong enough to combat your back pain, your physician may recommend a course of prescription-strength painkillers. It should be noted, however, that if your upper back pain is caused by an underlying condition such as scoliosis or behavior such as poor posture, painkillers will provide only a temporary sense of relief.

You might also find that applying heat or ice can provide upper back pain relief. To reduce inflammation of the muscles in the upper back, try lying on your stomach with an ice pack on the affected area for a period of approximately 15 minutes. If you wish to relax and loosen the affected muscles, try lying on a heating pad for 20 to 30 minutes. Some people find it helpful to alternate ice and heat treatments. As with using painkillers, however, applying heat and ice will provide only temporary relief to those with chronic upper back issues.

Stretching and exercising can be very effective in providing long-term upper back pain relief. This is because proper stretching keeps the muscles flexible, preventing upper back soreness, while regular exercise helps build strength, reducing the risk of strains. You may wish to consult your physician or a physical therapist for a stretching and exercise routine that is custom-designed to address your upper back issues.

If your upper back pain is caused by behavioral factors, such as poor posture or long hours spent working at a computer, you may find that making small changes to your habits can eliminate your discomfort. Try making a consistent effort to stand and sit with your shoulders pushed back and your spine and neck held straight and tall. If you spend long periods of time working at a computer, try repositioning your monitor so it is directly in front of you and its screen falls just below your natural line of vision when looking straight ahead. In addition, attempt to stand up and stretch your back and shoulders for five to ten minutes each hour.

Upper back pain caused by an underlying structural issue, such as a herniated disk or scoliosis, may require surgical treatment. The exact nature of this type of treatment can vary widely, depending on the issue causing your pain. Back surgery can be fairly invasive and may require a significant recovery period. Thus, it is often recommended only after less invasive methods of upper back pain relief have failed.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
M.C. Huguelet
By M.C. Huguelet
Cate Huguelet, a Chicago-based freelance writer with a passion for storytelling, crafts engaging content for a wide range of publications, including The Health Board. With degrees in Writing and English, she brings a unique perspective and a commitment to clean, precise copy that resonates with readers. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any content creation team.
Discussion Comments
M.C. Huguelet
M.C. Huguelet
Cate Huguelet, a Chicago-based freelance writer with a passion for storytelling, crafts engaging content for a wide...
Learn more
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.