Author Topic: Upper Back hurts  (Read 4378 times)

Offline FastGuppy

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Upper Back hurts
« on: February 09, 2010, 09:10:17 AM »

I sprained some muscle in my back doing chin-ups. I was about half-way up maybe a little over half way and I felt a pain. I got through the rep but the pain is still here. I can feel it somewhere by or on my thoracic spine.
The pain’s not too bad but it’s been with me for two days now.
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Offline Ken PKChiro

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Re: Upper Back hurts
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2010, 12:18:56 PM »
Well, first, you can't sprain a muscle.  You strain a muscle.  2nd, you've self diagnosed.  If you're right, rest, and if it persists maybe a good starting point would just be a massage therapist.  If it persists still, go see a chiro.
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Offline Steve Low

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Re: Upper Back hurts
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2010, 09:06:30 PM »
Deep tissue massage, heat.

If it's actually strained badly then this:
http://www.eatmoveimprove.com/2010/01/on-muscle-strains/
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Offline FastGuppy

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Re: Upper Back hurts
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2010, 12:56:37 PM »
The pain change positions. It must be on my teres major or my upper lats on my left side. The pain is constant all the time and hardly increase with any kind of movement.

Can I get some proper pull-up/chin-up techniques so I can prevent this from happening again?
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Offline tabler1010

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Re: Upper Back hurts
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2010, 04:29:19 PM »
Not sure It could be a stress fracture I have one and I have the same pain as you. It hurts with physical activity and the pain moved around a few times.

Offline Dr.M

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Re: Upper Back hurts
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2010, 05:51:11 PM »
Is the pain on the shoulder blade or to the inside of the shoulder blade closer to the spine? If the pain is on the shoulder blade how close is it to the bony part that runs horizontally on the shoulder blade (spine of the scaplua)?

Depending on the muscle that is strained would depend on how you rehab it and possibly change your pull up technique.
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Offline FastGuppy

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Re: Upper Back hurts
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2010, 06:17:39 PM »
I'm almost back to full-strength now. I'll rest for 4-5 more days to be safe.

There's little pain now but the pain has been on my left side. This will so strange but my pain moved in a pattern. At first it was my spine. Then it moved to my lats and now it's at my rib cage (my left side). I think it was my lats that a sprained. When I feel the pain in my rib cage I think it is just the end of the lats.

I'm not aware of much technique for pull-up. I was always taught to do full ROM, shrug at the bottom, think of your elbows going down and touch the top of the bar with your chest. In addition, have your hands shoulder width apart.
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Offline Dr.M

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Re: Upper Back hurts
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2010, 07:15:09 PM »
You lats are on top of your ribs, but they don't have an official attachment to the ribs. Also, if the pain started in your upper back then it is not likely the lats because the lats are attached to the lower thoracic spine. With the pattern you described, it sounds more possible that you strained your serratus anterior. It attaches to the inside border of the scapula and runs underneath the scapula to wrap around to attach to the lateral and front of the ribs. Its the saw tooth muscle that you can see on your side under your arm. The purpose of the muscle is to keep the shoulder blade against the rib cage. Its possible during the pull up that the muscle fatigued (for what reason I do not know) and it became strained. Of course this is all speculation based off of anatomy and no exam.

Most importantly, glad that you are back to full strength.

For strengthening with pull ups you want to vary your hand position to utilize all of the back and arm flexor muscles for more balance of muscles (and of course working chest and abs for support. You also want to picture your shoulder blades coming together to engage the more stabilization and retraction based muscles  that assist with shoulder blade depression and retraction. Also, you want to focus on other ways of strengthening the muscles from pull ups like tree cutters, inverted rows, bent over rows, etc.
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Offline FastGuppy

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Re: Upper Back hurts
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2010, 01:53:56 PM »
Now my traps hurt again. I guess your right I tried to do one chin-up and I felt the pain in my rib cage. The pain varies to location to another location while im sitting around.

The only lift I can do without feeling serious pain is squats.
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Offline Dr.M

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Re: Upper Back hurts
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2010, 02:53:24 PM »
Pictures of the pain location would be helpful to determine the possible muscles that have been affected. The trapezius muscle is rather broad and depending on what part hurts would make a difference in exercise selection. Also know that the shoulder can refer pain to the back, but typically not to the ribs.
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Offline FastGuppy

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Re: Upper Back hurts
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2010, 11:12:30 AM »
Pictures of the pain location would be helpful to determine the possible muscles that have been affected. The trapezius muscle is rather broad and depending on what part hurts would make a difference in exercise selection. Also know that the shoulder can refer pain to the back, but typically not to the ribs.
jojo
Quote

have been doing some weight lifting lately and about 2 weeks ago started to have mid back/thoracic pain that wrapped around my side/ribs and into my front rib area.  In addition, I am having trouble breathing in--I get sharp pains bilaterally through the back/ribs and front ribs.  My research tells me this is serratus anterior pain,  but nothing tells me what to do!  I have been resting it for about 4 days but it is not getting better. One tennis article says to wait until the inflammation goes down and it is pain free or almost pain free to start working it again.  However, how do I know when the inflammation is gone and how long can I expect it to take for this to resolve?  When is it safe to exercise again?


This guy has the same problem as me. But it's not as bad with me.

Now that I notice, I can't sneeze or breathe in or it hurts.
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Hi Jojo,

I agree that the odds are you have a repetitive strain injury in the serratus anterior muscles, and you may also have a spasm in the rectus abdominis (anterior) which will also send a pain referral to that area.  The treatment is to locate the spasm and then press directly into it and hold the pressure for 30-60 seconds, then while still holding the point take a deep and slow breath to stretch the fibers.

The inflammation isn't going to stop until you have released the pressure on the insertion point of the muscle tendon, so you will speed up this process a great deal by treating the spasm so the tension is released.  If you go to http://www.julstro.com you can read more about how to treat the muscles and the specific trigger points. Read the sections about repetitive strain injuries, and then read the sections titled "Muscles and Pain" and "What's Happening Exactly."  You may also find some interesting information in the forum.

The good news is that once you have released the spasms, you should get better quickly. Learning how to self-treat will help you continue exercising without pain because you'll be able to stop any spasms when they start.

That was the answer to the guys question.
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Offline Steve Low

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Re: Upper Back hurts
« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2010, 02:30:15 PM »
Get some deep tissue massage...
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Offline Jacob Siler

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Re: Upper Back hurts
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2010, 08:34:09 AM »
trapezius instability? Trapezius is meant to move and stabilize the shoulder blade. Have you had previous shoulder injuries, AC separation, broken clavical (collar bone)? Trapezius strengthening exercises prone exercises that strengthen trap.

-don't use weight until you try the exercise and don't have any muscle soreness
-thumb should be pointing up
-there should be distance between shoulders and ears, depress the shoulders
-the motion should come from movement of the shoulderblade down and back, not from the arm
-commonly people want to do this exercise using their upper trap, you should feel them bellow or at your shoulderblades, not up in your neck

also look into an upper trap stretch.

As always if their is pain with the movement don't do it.
Jake Siler
Doctorate of Chiropractic student at Life University

Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science from Western Michigan University

*post are not a medical suggestion, or expert advice. Just sharing knowledge and experience.