When Should I Worry About Upper Back Pain
Upper back pain is not a cause for worry in most cases, but it can be uncomfortable, painful, and inconvenient. Furthermore, if pain develops suddenly and is severesuch as from an injury and, certainly if pain and symptoms progressively worsen you should seek medical attention.
If you have a history of back problems, you may be at increased risk of developing a back problem in the future. This is especially true if you are overweight or obese, have diabetes, or are taking medications that affect your blood sugar levels.
What Is Middle Back Pain A Symptom Of
Middle back pain is caused by sports injuries, poor posture, arthritis, muscle strain, and car accident injuries. Lower back pain is more common than middle back pain due to the fact that the spine in the lower half of the body does not move as much.
The most common causes of pain are muscle strains, repetitive strain injuries , and degenerative disc disease . If you have any of these conditions, it is important to see a physical therapist to determine the best treatment options for your condition.
When To See A Doctor
You should always take chest pain seriously, as sometimes it may be an indicator of a serious health condition, like a heart attack.
Always seek emergency medical attention if you have unexplained or sudden chest pain, especially if you have difficulty breathing or the pain has spread to other areas like the arm or jaw.
You should also make a doctors appointment for any condition that isnt relieved using OTC medications or has symptoms that recur, are persistent, or begin to worsen.
You can connect to a physician in your area using the Healthline FindCare tool.
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Development Of Upper Back And Chest Pain
The chest and upper back are in close proximity to each other with both sharing many ribs that help protect the same vital internal organs. Some of the underlying biomechanics that can contribute to both upper back and chest pain include:
- Muscle dysfunction. Muscle inflammation or strain in the chest and/or upper back region can cause muscle tightness and/or spasms. When one muscle becomes painful or stiff, other nearby muscles may also become painful in response, such as if they need to work harder. Additionally, tendons, ligaments, or the muscleâs connective tissues may become overstretched or inflamed and refer pain to the chest and upper back.
- Problem with internal organs. Various problems or conditions can develop in the heart or lungs, which may send pain to both the chest and upper back.
Many other factors may be involved with developing chest and upper back pain. Sometimes upper back and chest pain may also have more than one cause or separate causes.
What Else Could Cause My Back Pain
People often assume that their back pain is caused by overdoing an activity, such as weight training, gardening, or work that requires a lot of digging, lifting or twisting. However, there are many causes of back pain. Fortunately, most causes are not as serious as a heart attack. Other causes of back pain include:
Back muscle spasm, sprain or strain due to overuse or injury
Degenerative disc disease is a breakdown of your spinal discs that cushion your spine.
Herniated disc between the bones of your back . Discs act as shock absorbers for your spine.
Osteoarthritis is wear and tear of your spine.
Osteomyelitis is infection or inflammation of your spinal bones.
Osteoporosis is thinning of your bones.
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the space around your spinal cord. This causes painful nerve compression.
Spondylitis is infection or inflammation of the joints in your spine.
A life-threatening cause of back pain is an aortic dissection, a condition in which the biggest artery in your chest tears.
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What Makes You Worry That Chest Pain Is Serious Like A Heart Attack
When is chest pain serious? That dull burning feeling in your chest doesn’t seem to be going away, and even feels like it is getting worse. Is it a heart attack, or something else?
It’s a vexing question, one that millions of people and their doctors face each year. What’s the problem? Chest pain can stem from dozens of conditions besides heart attack, from pancreatitis to pneumonia or panic attack.
Millions of Americans with chest pain are seen in hospital emergency departments every year. Only 20% of them are diagnosed with a heart attack or an episode of unstable angina, a warning sign that a heart attack may happen soon. A few have another potentially life-threatening problem, such as pulmonary embolism or aortic dissection . Some are experiencing “regular” angina, which occurs when part of the heart isn’t getting as much oxygen-rich blood as it needs during periods of physical exertion or emotional stress. Most of them, though, had a condition unrelated to the heart or arteries.
The other tricky problem with heart attacks is that different people experience them in different ways. Some have classic chest pain. Others have jaw pain or back pain. Still others become breathless, or extremely fatigued, or nauseated.
Assessment Of Potential Confounders
Given their known association with LBP and coronary heart disease, we investigated smoking status, engagement in physical activity and body mass index as potential baseline confounders. Participants were asked about smoking habits, with answers dichotomised as ex/never smoker or current/occasional smoker. Physical activity was examined by participants engagement in leisure physical activity and was based on four options: i) I do not practice exercise. My leisure time is mostly sedentary ii) Some sport or physical activity occasionally iii) Regular physical activity several times a month iv) Physical training several times a week. Responses to the physical activity variable were dichotomised into sedentary/no physical activity engagement in recreational physical activity or mild/moderate/vigorous physical activity engagement. BMI was calculated by dividing the individuals body weight in kilograms by the square of their height in meters and was used as a continuous variable. Smoking status and leisure physical activity questions originated from the Spanish National Health Survey questionnaire .
Descriptive analyses were conducted for all included variables. The exposure variable was chronic LBP and the outcomes included myocardial infarction at anytime, myocardial infarction in the last 2 years, other coronary heart diseases and other coronary heart diseases in the last 2 years.
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How Do You Check For A Heart Blockage At Home
The official answer is yes. You can check for heart disease at home by measuring your pulse rate and your blood pressure if you have a blood pressure monitor. You can monitor yourself for symptoms of heart disease, such as chest pain, pressure, discomfort, or shortness of breath. Feeling dizzy or lightheaded, especially when sitting or lying down.
This can be caused by a blockage in your hearts blood vessels, called a coronary artery disease or aortic aneurysm . If youre at risk for CAD or AAD, talk to your doctor about how to manage your risk factors. Your doctor may also recommend that you see a cardiologist, a doctor who specializes in cardiology, to rule out other causes of your symptoms.
Preventing Heart Attacks By Understanding Cardiovascular Risks
Do you know that heart attacks have âbeginningsâ that can occur days or weeks before an actual attack? It is important to recognize these beginnings, with the help of an EHAC doctor, to help prevent the actual attack and its potential health consequences. People often mistake the early warning signs of a heart attack, such as chest pain, for heartburn or pulled a muscle. The unfortunate outcome is that many people wait too long before getting help.
At The Hospitals of Providence, we have an EHAC program delivered by a team of cardiologists, nurses and staff who are dedicated to helping men and women recognize the early warning signs of a heart attack. We provide care and treatment options for these signs and help prevent the emergency from happening.
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What Are The Warning Signs Of A Heart Attack
There are several different warning signs of a heart attack, and they are not always sudden or severe. Whether or not your chest pain symptoms include mild to severe pain, they should be considered heart-related until proven otherwise.
People having a heart attack may have just one of these symptoms, or a combination of several. They can come on suddenly or develop over a few minutes and get progressively worse. Symptoms usually last for at least 10 minutes.
Warning signs could include:
- discomfort or pain in the centre of your chest a heaviness, tightness or pressure, like something heavy sitting on your chest, or a belt tightening around your chest, or a bad case of indigestion
- discomfort in your arms, shoulder, neck, jaw or back
- other problems such as:
Women and men can experience the signs and symptoms of a heart attack differently.
Although chest pain is thought to be the most common symptom of heart attack and it is common in men only about half of all women who have a heart attack actually report chest pain.
Heart attacks are more common in older people than in younger people, but they can occur in people of any age.
The pain you have may not sound like that described above, but its still important to see a doctor. Remember, all chest pain should be checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.
When Should You See Your Doctor
Its always better to err on the side of caution if something doesnt feel right. If you have noticed that you are shorter of breath with regular activity, you should go to your general doctor or your cardiologist, says Dr. Cho. It depends on the severity and the acuteness if it has started recently or not.
When you do visit, be sure to:
- Bring a list of your symptoms and when they are occurring.
- Let them know about any related family history of heart disease.
- Talk about stress or anything going on in your life that might contribute to a problem.
Your doctor likely will listen to your symptoms and check your pulse and blood pressure. They may order blood work, which will show whether your heart is damaged. They also may use an electrocardiogram to tell whether the electrical activity of your heart is normal, or an echocardiogram to view images of the heart to see if damage has occurred. Some patients may get stress tests, a coronary computed tomography angiogram or a cardiac catheterization.All of this is important in identifying any problems and taking steps to intervene before a possible heart attack.
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Can Upper Back Pain Be Heart Related Finally Understand
If you havent done anything physical to trigger that back pain, and youre also feeling anxious or very tired along with the pain, that may mean you are experiencing a heart attack. Pressure, tightness, and pain in the chest are some of the symptoms of a heart attack.
What To Do When Heart Attack Happens
- If you or someone near you experiences heart attack symptoms like shoulder pain, heart attack may be suspected and 911 should be called within the first 5 minutes. Ensure you seek treatment immediately, most people die because they doubt the symptoms could be heat attack related.
- You might be tempted to drive the patient to the emergency room yourself, but it is better if you wait for the ambulance. The crew will know how to keep the patient alive. However, if you are having a heart attack, do not drive yourself unless you do not have any other choice.
- Before the ambulance arrives, try keeping the patient calm by sitting him down or helping him lie down. Secondly, if the person is not allergic to aspirin make them chew and swallow a baby aspirin. The effects are felt faster when it is chewed than when swallowed whole. If you notice the person has stopped breathing, a person qualified to perform CPR should perform the procedure on him, or you can do it. If you have no idea how to administer a CPR, the 911 operator can guide you through it.
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What Causes Upper Back And Chest Pain
When upper back and chest pain occur together, the symptoms can vary widely depending on the cause or severity. Some people may experience mild discomfort or tightness while others may have sharp or intense pain. This pain may be one-sided or on both sides. Below are potential causes of upper back and chest pain appearing at the same time.
What Is A Heart Attack
Put simply, a heart attack is the blockage of blood flow to the heart muscle. This medical emergency usually occurs when a blood clot forms and blocks blood flow to the heart causing the tissue to lose oxygen and die. A heart attack can also be caused by a buildup of plaque, fat, cholesterol, or other substances.
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Signs Of A Heart Attack
A heart attack can cause symptoms beyond chest pain or chest discomfort. Examples of these heart attack signs include:
PAD can cause the following symptoms:
These symptoms usually worsen with physical activity, such as climbing stairs. When resting, the pain will usually resolve.
The condition can also cause physical changes to your body, especially your legs. These symptoms include:
- difficulty feeling pulses on the feet and lower legs
- muscle weakness or muscle loss
- nonhealing ulcers on the feet or legs
- skin that feels cool to the touch
- smooth, shiny skin on the lower legs
- toes that are cold to the touch or may feel numb
PAD symptoms are the result of claudication, or reduced blood flow. The lack of blood flow affects healing and can cause the legs to feel cool to the touch.
While Waiting For The Ambulance
Stop any activity and rest while waiting for an ambulance. Dont try to drive yourself to hospital. Loosen any tight clothing, such as collar buttons or ties. Avoid breathing in cigarette smoke. Dont have anything to eat or drink.
If you have been prescribed angina medicine, sit or lie down and take a dose of this under your tongue. If this doesnt relieve your symptoms in 5 minutes, try taking 2 more doses at 5-minute intervals.
Chew 300mg aspirin straight away, unless you’re allergic or your doctor has told you not to. Do not give aspirin to anyone under 12 years.
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When To See The Doctor For Chest Pain
When in doubt, call your doctor about any chest pain you have, especially if it comes on suddenly or is not relieved by anti-inflammatory medications or other self-care steps, such as changing your diet.
- A sudden feeling of pressure, squeezing, tightness, or crushing under your breastbone
- Chest pain that spreads to your jaw, left arm, or back
- Sudden, sharp chest pain with shortness of breath, especially after a long period of inactivity
- Nausea, dizziness, rapid heart rate or rapid breathing, confusion, ashen color, or excessive sweating
- Very low blood pressure or very low heart rate
- Fever, chills, or coughing up yellow-green mucus
- Problems swallowing
- Severe chest pain that does not go away
Back Pain And Risk Of Fatal Ischaemic Heart Disease: 13 Year Follow Up Of Finnish Farmers
- Accepted 16 June 1994
In the early 1980s some authors found an association between cardiovascular risk factors, especially smoking, and back pain. Quite recently Kauppila and Tollroth reported an association between history of back pain and atherosclerotic lesions of lumbar arteries in cadavers. They suggested that back pain could be an early symptom of atherosclerosis. Prospective studies concerning mortality related to back pain have not been published previously. My purpose was to find out whether patients reporting back pain have an increased risk of dying of ischaemic heart disease when compared with those who have no back symptoms.
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Pain While Breathing Or Coughing
Pain while breathing or coughing could be a symptom of one of the conditions below.
Issues with the ribs
The muscles between the ribs may become overstretched or partially torn as a result of overuse or injury. This may lead to chest pain and difficulty breathing.
A bruised or broken rib could also cause pain in the chest or mid-to-upper back, particularly when a person breathes in. Some other symptoms include:
- feeling or hearing a crack before the onset of rib pain
- swelling or tenderness around the affected rib
- bruising on the skin
Pneumothorax is a condition in which the lung partially collapses due to air or gas entering into the chest cavity and pressing over the lungs. This results in the following symptoms:
- chest pain in the side of the collapsed lung
- pain when breathing
- shortness of breath
Pneumothorax generally occurs as a result of injury to the chest or as a complication of a chronic lung condition.
Pleurisy refers to inflammation of the membrane that covers the lungs. The condition may cause a sharp pain in the chest that worsens when breathing deeply, coughing, sneezing, or moving around.
Other possible symptoms include:
- blue discoloration of the lips or nails
A pulmonary embolism is a medical emergency. Without prompt treatment, the condition can be fatal.
Pericarditis refers to inflammation of the sac of tissue that surrounds the heart. The condition can occur as a result of an infection or an underlying heart condition.