upper back painBACK PAIN DEFINED


Over 80 percent of the population will experience back pain at some point of time in life. Thus it is scarcely surprising that back pain is the most common cause that people visit an orthopaedic consultant. When it comes to back pain there are no ethnical, age or geographic barriers and it can inflict anyone at any point of time.

While there can be variations, the medical fraternity is of the opinion that back pain can originate in the neck as a top of back pain or even as upper back pain.


On the contrary conditions such as mid back pain or thoracic spine pain, although less common in the older age groups are equally incapacitating.

Some of the commoner causes of upper back pain may include trauma or injury. In other instances back pain variants like upper left back pain and upper back shoulder pain could occur due to improper postures or prolonged muscular strain. To illustrate the case in point:

If you work on computers for three or more hours in a day, you are at risk of developing top of the back pain or even upper left back pain due to improper posture or poor ergonomics. Ergonomics is best defined as fitting the job to the person so as to ensure optimal health and minimising the probability of contracting muscular irritation and damage.

Thus back pain at the workplace, regardless of whether it is top of the back pain or even mid back pain is best relieved by adopting some or more of these ergonomic options:


The chair should ideally have adjustable arm rests, seat height, seat depth and back support considering that one adjustment does not fit all. Concurrently the chair should have a lumbar support and the edge of the seat should be soft and should not be touching the back of the knee while sitting if thoracic spine pain and upper back pain relief is to be ensured.

The classically correct ergonomic sitting posture would include keeping the feet flat on the ground, the thighs parallel to the floor, knees at ninety degrees and the back straight. The posture would need to be erect, comfortable and relaxed such that there is no drooping or slouching of the shoulders at any point of time.


If the probability of upper left back pain, top of the shoulder pain and mid back pain is to be minimized then the preferred option is to organize the work table. This is best achieved by arranging all that you need so that they are in easy reach. This would ensure that you do not need to indulge in twisting or stretching actions at any point of time.


Arguably one of the most frequent causes of upper back shoulder pain is improper size or height of the keyboard tray. This is best achieved by adjusting the seat height so arms are level with the desk and ensuring desk area is big enough to accommodate the keyboard as well as the mouse. This ergonomic workstation adjustment is known to provide instant upper back pain relief for most.


One of the preferred corrections for upper back pain relief in computer users is to adjust the height of the computer monitor such that the top of the screen is at the same level as the eyes.

This then makes it more than evident that back pain, regardless of whether it is a thoracic spine pain, top of the back pain or even an upper left back pain is best achieved by adopting strategic ergonomic manoeuvres and measures.