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TitsMcGhee's avatar

Why does my back hurt like this?

Asked by TitsMcGhee (8212 points ) March 19th, 2009

Every once in awhile, it feels like all the muscles in my back, down to somewhere around the bottom of my rib cage, are tensing and won’t let go. When I move, it feels like I’m stretching muscles that I slept on funny, but it always happens midday. I haven’t done any strenuous lifting or exercise, I have pretty good posture from being a dancer for a long time, and I have no muscle-related medical problems. I don’t think it’s breast related because my lower back isn’t effected. Ideas?

Also, does anyone have any remedies that will ease pain that does not involve medication? Any stretches, etc that might help?

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30 Answers

shilolo's avatar

This is a tough one. One possible explanation is back spasms which can happen to anyone, at any time. However, these tend to occur more in the lower than the upper back. Other explanations include muscle irritation and nerve issues (radiculopathies). These tend to be rare in the thoracic (or upper spine), which is where the problem would need to be to account for upper and middle back pain. I suggest you see your doctor, and perhaps a thorough physical exam, MRI ± visit to a neurologist might help sort out this issue.

casheroo's avatar

I’m all about chiropractors. It just feels good afterwards. My primary care physician recommended one, after I gave birth and was having a terrible time trying to walk..it felt like my hip was dislocated all the time. The chiro really helped with the pain.

I’m not sure why, I’m curious as to what shilolo is typing. Could it be the chair you are using??
I have back pain all the time, but I think it’s the bed we have and the way I sit or lay on the couch.

shilolo's avatar

@casheroo. I wouldn’t let a chiropractor mess with my neck or upper back. No way, no how. Lower back, maybe, anywhere else, under no circumstances. Nothing chiropractors do (save manipulation for joint pain) has ever been proven to work in clinical trials.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@shilolo if chiropractors didnt work people wouldnt continue to go to them…

shilolo's avatar

@uberbatman. Placebos work too. One might as well go to a masseuse. At least at the massage parlor you might get a happy ending, too.

casheroo's avatar

@shilolo Well, mine was a lower back/hip issue, and I had had an MRI done, and my doctor(he’s a D.O. I’m sure you think less of him for that) felt a chiropractor would help the most. I also saw one throughout my pregnancy, and it made life bearable for me. Don’t knock it til ya try it!

casheroo's avatar

Just want to add, if shilolo is correct, that it is spasms..nothing works for that other than Valium for me.
If the pain is disturbing your life, then definitely see a doctor and go from there. My suggestion for the chiropractor is what I would do, for myself..if I didn’t want medical intervention. You should probably figure out the cause, before anything else.

shilolo's avatar

Lot’s of people define “work” in abstract terms. They feel better, therefore, it “works”. Without data from a large population to prove that a treatment is more effective than placebo, or doing nothing, or standard of care, there is no scientific way to know whether a treatment works. With all due respect, neither your anecdote, nor uberchiropracticbatman’s are real data. That, in a nutshell, is the basis of modern medicine.

Chiropractors neither understand that concept, nor care to even study it. The whole field is a fallacy. Your spine is misaligned, therefore you have malady A, or B, or C, or D. I call bullshit. Serious bullshit. People were doing bloodletting for all sorts of things years ago, that didn’t make it appropriate.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@shilolo Your right, its all in my head. Of all the different medical treatments ive gone through for my back, chiropractic is the only one that has helped. I mean i didnt reeeeeally want my back to be healed until i went to him right?

My spine is screwed up. It always will be unless i get some kind of surgery. Nothing else will fix that not even a chiropractor. But if he can help me cope with the pain and have it no longer bother me without an invasive surgery, isnt that a success?

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Here’s a little more info: I’ve had a muscle spasm before, and it doesn’t feel like that. The pain is also not so bad that I can’t function; it is in no way debilitating. It just feels tight around the back of my rib cage, like someone is pulling at those muscles from a central point behind me. The pain is more intense if I pull my shoulder blades together, and is less if I curl my shoulders forward (because it feels like my back is being stretched, which helps, but doesn’t fix it). It is also worse if I pull my shoulders up towards the ceiling, but only when standing.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@TitsMcGhee i recommend a good deep tissue massage :)

shilolo's avatar

@uberbatman Modern medicine is littered with well intentioned treatments that looked good scientifically, looked good initially, and then, after much study were deemed dangerous. For example. lots and lots of people took the COX-2 inhibitors like celebrex for arthritis, and it seemed safe, until large studies found an association with the meds and heart attacks and strokes. Likewise, hormone replacement therapy for women was standard of care, until a massive study called the Woman’s Health Initiative showed that there were significant risks of heart disease, stroke and cancer with the therapy. My point is this, chiropractors might be well intentioned (but I think a lot are scammers), but they have no data to prove that their treatments work, or are safe in the short or long term. They don’t want to do the trials because I think they know what the outcomes will be.

casheroo's avatar

Interesting. Sounds like you need to get a massage.
(i see uberbatman posted the same thing!)

El_Cadejo's avatar

@shilolo chiropractors are nothing new though so if there was oh so dangerous wouldnt that have been discovered by now…..
Maybe its me but it seems like the “real” medicine is more dangerous than a chiropractor. I mean how many times do you hear about drug recalls or even the drugs that are FDA approved just listen to the LOOOOOOONG list of side effects they rattle off at the end of the commercial.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Who’s malpractice insurance rates are the higher, the chiropractors or the surgeons?

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@uberbatman: Is that an offer? raised eyebrow

shilolo's avatar

Um, uber, better do some research before you cast aspersions. That is because medicines have to be tested rigorously, whereas, chiropractic does not. I would happily share with you a long list of chiropractic horror stories.

See, doctors and scientists test hypotheses, but chiropractors don’t even know what that means. Science isn’t really a part of the curriculum.

Also, one last thing. I’m sure you are aware that there are lots of chiropractors who do it because they couldn’t get into medical school. There are no cases of the reverse.

casheroo's avatar

I think we’re getting off topic.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Id give you that deep massagin anyday tits :P

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Well back hurts pretty bad now, sooooo….

nikipedia's avatar

@uberbatman: I think even Dr. S has to agree that deep massaging tits cures most ailments.

prasad's avatar

You work in sitting posture? Then, try giving some support to your lower back; it would help. If you want it pretty accurate, then support the S5 disc of the lumber vertebrae.

If you work standing, try bending a couple of times or sit for some time with support to lower back.

Also, take massage. It takes much pain out, and it feels good too.

If anything of this doesn’t turn up anything then better consult the doctor.

prasad's avatar

Also, take rest enough.
Do sleep well.

Jack79's avatar

Tits: a possible reason could be the physical condition which led to your nickname. Seriously. I had a girlfriend whose breasts were as big as watermellons, while she was overall quite small in size (around 1.50m and thin). She always hurt a lot because of that, and ended up having surgery after we broke up(much to her new boyfriend’s dismay). So you don’t have to do any hard labour, just carrying around that weight all day can hurt your back, and particulary the point you mention.

As a man I could never tell a woman to reduce her breasts. That would be such a shame. But massage would work fine. I used to do that for my girlfriend (in exchange for keeping them of course).

@Niki “I think even Dr. S has to agree that deep massaging tits cures most ailments”....yes, it does. But not TitsMcGhee’s ailments ;) lol

shilolo's avatar

Yes, I think a physical exam is in order… ;-)

El_Cadejo's avatar

@shilolo you stay the hell away from my tits, MR! :P

TitsMcGhee's avatar

Gentlemen, gentlemen, there is certainly enough Tits to go around. There are also enough Tits to go around.

Jack79's avatar

no, seriously…check it. And take any massage offer you get :)

TitsMcGhee's avatar

@Jack79: I’m up to 3…. SWEET.

sam111's avatar

When I work on the computer for a long time, I get pain in my upper back too. I like to use heat therapy. I can feel it got loosen a lot.

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