Facebook Pixel

Spine Or Muscle Pain? (And How the Two Are Related)

Is your upper back pain spine or muscle pain? Turns out, the answer’s not always straight forward. In this article we’ll look at the two types of pain and how they may be related. For the purposes of this article we’ll examine neck pain and muscle pain in the upper back and arms.

spine or muscle pain

Upper Back Spine Pain

Many different conditions can cause you pain in the upper part of your spine or your neck. Causes can include herniated disc, spinal stenosis, trauma from an accident and more. Oftentimes poor posture or daily habits can lead to pain in the upper spine. A perfect example of this is “text neck syndrome“, also called “tech neck” or “forward head posture”. These names describe when an individual develops pain in their neck (and possibly in their back and arms) as a result of looking down at a tech device for long periods of time.

Upper Back Muscle Pain

Pain in your upper back muscles can also have many causes. One of the most common reasons a person develops upper back muscle pain is strenuous physical activity. Repeated heavy lifting or use of the back muscles can cause strain on these muscles or ligaments and result in pain. Muscle spasms can also cause upper back muscle pain. Interestingly, problems in your spine can result in muscle spasms.

Spine or Muscle Pain? Or Both?

With respect to upper back and muscle pain, an individual could be experiencing one of three symptoms:

  • Neck pain in the upper spine
  • Pain in the upper back muscles
  • Pain in the upper spine which also causes upper back muscle pain

In essence, it could be spine pain, muscle pain, or both, the muscle pain could be the result of the spine pain.

How does this work? In a previous article we talked about muscle spasms and how problems in the spine can contribute to spasms. Essentially, when issues in the spine put pressure on nerves that control muscles, the nerves can send false signals to the muscle to contract. This repeated contraction, if the spine issue continues, can result in muscle strain. So basically, a spine issue impacts the nerve which controls a muscle. Therefore, the spine problem transfers out to the muscle.

It can sometimes be difficult for an individual to understand if they’re experiencing spine or muscle pain. If you have pain in your upper back you may need a doctor to help diagnose the source of the problem. Our experts at Saratoga Spine can help. Give us a call to schedule appointment in one of our office in Saratoga, Glens Falls, or Plattsburgh, or for a remote consultation.

*Please Note: Information on this site or any recommended sites should not be used as a diagnosis or a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.
Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery