Suffering from upper backache?
Ayurveda can provide you with long-term relief and prevent recurrences rather than continuing with the same over-the-counter pain relievers and NSAIDs.
Upper backache is comparatively less common than low backache.
Still, it can occur due to improper posture, both while sitting for long hours at the workplace as well as wrong sleeping positions.
This needs to be approached much more holistically and at a deeper level.
There comes the role of Ayurveda in tackling this problem where we focus on both curative and preventive aspects.
What is upper back pain?
Upper back pain usually occurs between the neck’s base and the ribcage’s bottom.
It may result from poor posture, muscle overuse, or injury.
It can be mild or severe, or it may be constant, or you may only notice it with activity.
Although back pain is common, upper back pain seems less common than lower back pain.
This is because the bones in the upper and middle back are attached to the ribcage and are not as mobile as those in the neck or lower back.
- Poor posture
- Improper workouts
- Muscle strain
- Traumatic injury
- Pinched nerve
- Spinal canal stenosis
- Herniated thoracic disc
- Compression fracture
- Spinal deformities such as scoliosis, kyphosis
- Spinal infection
Other nonstructural causes
- Lung cancer
- Heart attack
- Gallbladder diseases
- Aortic aneurysm
These rare causes can be suspected if other organ-related symptoms persist.
Causes of upper backache in females
Females are prone to upper back aches during their reproductive life and after menopause.
During the reproductive period, women may suffer from period cramps that can radiate to the upper and lower back.
This may even worsen with associated endometriosis, adenomyosis, fibroids, etc.
In and around menopause, many hormonal changes occur, affecting women both mentally and physically.
There will be osteoporotic bone changes, which may lead to degeneration in the spinal discs.
As a result, upper backache can occur.
Other causes of upper backache in females include:
- Large breast size
- Improper fitting bra
Upper back pain can have a sudden or slow onset.
It can sometimes be severe and limit mobility.
Signs and symptoms of upper back pain include:
- Burning or sharp pain.
- Stabbing pain
- Dull, aching, and throbbing pain.
- Muscle cramping
- Muscle spasm
- Radiating pain along a nerve.
- Tingling, numbness, or weakness.
Upper back pain is often the result of acute trauma or repetitive motion injury. Some other factors will make you more susceptible:
- Being overweight
- Excessive lifting or carrying
- Participating in contact sports
- Sitting for long hours in front of a digital gadget.
- Poor posture
- Low muscle tone
Prevention Of Upper Back Pain
Prevention is better than cure, so it is always better to follow these principles to keep your spine healthy.
- Practice good posture as far as possible
- Maintain a healthy weight
Exercise and eat a balanced, healthy diet
- Use proper weightlifting techniques
- Avoid smoking
- If you are an IT professional or you sitting long hours for your work, then make sure you take sufficient breaks between your work, stretch and walk around,
- Use proper spine supporting chairs and other accessories to maintain a good posture.
The muscle strain and fatigue of sitting for long hours add to poor posture and can make you more vulnerable to backache.
Ayurvedic treatment Protocol for upper backache
The Ayurvedic treatment for upper backache focuses on lifestyle and dietary modifications, detoxification, and correcting spinal abnormalities.
The Ayurvedic medicines and nutritional changes aid in reducing the inflammation of the affected joint space and associated soft tissues and relax the supporting musculature.
Ayurvedic treatment in Kerala helps to bring the vitiated ‘dosha’ back to the state of equilibrium and ultimately attains the state of health.
The primary treatment protocol for any Vata vitiated disease is snehana (oil application) and Sweden (fomentation).
Treatment procedures like Abhyanga, Patra Potala swedana, choorna pinda swedana, Prishta vasti, etc., can be done according to the patient’s condition.
These Treatments help bring the vitiated doshas back to koshta (GIT), from where they can be cleared by purgation or vasthi.
Internal medicines can also be administered to pacify the remaining dosha.
They are determined depending on many factors like the patient’s body strength, treatment season, digestive capacity, Prakruthi, Age, etc. Treatments like “Katee Tharpana,” “Pradesika Pichu,” and “Lepanam” can also be performed as a part of “Samana” procedures.
Panchakarma treatment procedures For Upper Back Pain
Panchakarma treatment procedures are detoxifying procedures where the doshic imbalances are brought back to normal to maintain an ultimate state of health and wellbeing.
It eliminates toxins through your colon, sweets glands, lungs, bladder, and intestines.
A successful detox decreases discomfort throughout the body.
Panchakarma therapies for upper backache enable the vitiated Vata dosha to return to normalcy, and the gentle massages help heal the body muscles.
Panchakarma therapies for upper backache include:
Medicated Oil Therapy or Prushta Vasti:-
Prushta Vasti treatment is one of the effective therapies specifically meant to treat upper backache.
Prushta Vasti is a therapy that uses heat and oil to replace the lost fat tissues, providing lubrication to the joints.
This helps to reduce the stiffness of spinal discs and heals the pain in the upper back area.
It also helps in relieving nerve pinching and also its inflammation.
Medicated Pouch Massage or Patra Potli Sweda
Patra Potli Sweda is a hot herbal pouch massage where different medicinal leaves are used to prepare the pouch, dipped in hot oil.
The heat from the pouch provides immediate relief and also detoxifies the body.
The treatment has a rejuvenating effect that helps improve the vertebral joints’ range of motion. Also, it relieves muscle pain and stiffness.
Shashtika shali pinda sweda or Njavara kizhi
Njavarakizhi is a hot pouch massage where njavara rice, milk, and Bala moola kwath(decoction) are used for its preparation.
Pouches filled with medicated rice dipped in oil are applied during the massage.
This massage helps rejuvenate the vertebra and paraspinal muscles and nourishes the nerve roots, thereby relieving the pain.
Agnikarma is a para-surgical procedure where an instrument known as Agnikarma Shalaka is used to heat specific areas to relieve pain.
It is one of the best procedures to prevent upper backache recurrence and provides fast relief.
Home remedies for upper backache
- Maintain a good posture both while sitting and sleeping.
- Epsom salt water bath
Get a good back massage
Avoid refrigerated food and drinks
- Consume warm, sour, and salty foods to pacify vitiated Vata.
- Milk boiled with garlic
Include herbs like turmeric, ginger, Tulsi garlic more in your diet
- Apply a paste of Guggulu or Shallaki over the upper back.
Exercise and Yoga postures for upper backache
Stretching exercises such as corner stretch, opposite arm/leg raise, cat-cow pose
Yoga asanas help improve the spinal stability and tone of paraspinal muscles. and renders mental strength too. It helps decrease pain perception by healing the emotional aspect of pain.
Practicing Pranayama (Anulom viloma or alternate nostril breathing) can help balance Vata.
Among the Yoga Asanas, when there is pain, start with simple back-bends, such as
To keep the spine aligned, practice Veerasana.
Caution – Before trying any of these postures, consult a yoga teacher or ayurvedic physician to determine the best poses for your condition.
Ayurvedic treatment can do wonders, especially in musculoskeletal disorders like backache. The external therapies, including Agni karma, are very effective for immediate pain relief. Following proper food regimes, exercise, and a good posture helps prevent the disease.
Saatwika Ayurveda Hospital in Trivandrum Provides the best ayurvedic treatment for upper back pain.
If you are looking for ayurvedic treatment for upper back pain, visit or contact our Ayurvedic Treatment Centre in Trivandrum
Medically Reviewed by Dr Salini. L.S