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Knowing Why You Have Upper Back Pain With a Cold and How to Treat It

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Upper back pain can be a symptom caused by many kinds of health conditions — it occurs either alone or accompanied by chest pain. These cases of upper back pain can be connected to heart disease or other medical conditions that require immediate attention such as acute bronchitis, wherein a patient can experience upper back pain with colds. In this case, proper treatment is essential not just for the condition causing it but also for the back pain itself.

So what is the best way to treat upper back pain caused by colds? There’s no best way to treat upper back pain with a cold, because it depends on several factors such as your current health condition, medications taken, and your doctor’s recommendation. It’s important to consider the different kinds of pain treatment for upper back pain with a cold to facilitate better recovery from whatever the causes are.

Understanding the Anatomy of Pain: Why You Have Upper Back Pain While Sick

During the transmission of pain signals to the brain, the body undergoes different processes of pain, which involve transduction, transmission, perception, and modulation. The transmission stage involves triggering a painful stimulus from the site of the damaged tissue, which is sent to the brain for interpretation. The transduction stage then activates nerve endings which results in your mind’s perception of pain.

The perception stage occurs as a result of evoking the brain’s response to the triggered stimuli from the transmission and transduction stage. Lastly, the modulation phase of pain processing involves the interactions occurring between the brain and nerves to duly respond to the pain and produce a specific kind of pain experience.

Pain is usually a common symptom that indicates a condition in the pain area that needs an appropriate medical response. Similarly, upper back pain may be the body’s immune response against viral infections or bacterial infections. This immune response comes naturally, which increases the body’s sensitivity to pain. 

Upper back pain is a kind of back pain that occurs in the area between the base of the neck (i.e, shoulder blade) and the bottom of the rib cage area. Meanwhile, upper back pain symptoms can occur in the upper half of the thoracic spine, which is also known as the cervical spine. If it occurs in the lumbar spine, then it’s a lower back pain symptom.

The pain receptors causing upper back pain may be triggered by health conditions causing muscle pain, inflammation, or extreme pressure in the area. Some of the top health conditions which can cause upper back pain are:

  • Heart disease (e.g, heart attack, angina, heartburn, pericarditis, aortic aneurysm, blood flow issues, blood vessel inflammation, blood vessel rupture)
  • Lung disease (e.g, pneumonia, pleurisy, lung cancer, acute bronchitis)
  • Muscular conditions (e.g, musculoskeletal pain, muscle spasm, muscle strain, muscle overuse, injury, joint pain)
  • Spinal problems (e.g, poor posture, spinal stenosis, spinal infection)
  • Decreased barometric pressure
  • Pinched nerve
  • Gallstones

What It Means If You Have Upper Back Pain With Cold

Upper back pain is usually rooted in soft tissue injuries caused by underlying medical conditions in the body or an activity that exerted too much pressure on the body or muscle tension. So when you have a cold, you may also have upper back pain, which can both cause it and worsen it at the same time.

Additionally, colds can sometimes worsen and become cough, which will eventually put a large amount of pressure into the sac fluid located in the spinal cord, and affect the nerves to cause you pain.

Colds can be indicative of many kinds of respiratory illnesses, but when it’s accompanied with upper back pain, there may be instances that these are cases of acute bronchitis. It’s essential to confirm this with your healthcare provider before jumping to conclusions. You need to receive the appropriate treatment both for the condition and the upper back pain, whether you have just one of these or both.

Why Upper Back Pain After Cold Must Be Treated

Upper back pain isn’t a symptom that simply goes away when the condition causing cold is resolved. Non-treatment of upper back pain restricts the recovery process because it prevents coughing and deep breathing, which are 2 essential aspects of lung health during the recovery phase. 

Additionally, you wouldn’t want your upper back pain to worsen into thoracic outlet syndrome or a pinched nerve, which is all the common upper back pain symptoms combined, including numbness. Sometimes you can also feel numbness in the shoulder blade area when you have upper back pain with a cold. Upper back pain requires to be managed and treated on its own to facilitate faster recovery and improve the quality of life during the recovery phase. 

Treatments at Gramercy Pain Center for Upper Back Pain With a Cold

Pain management for upper back pain with cold is important to encourage a faster and more effective healing process as you treat the source of your condition. The following are the available pain treatment options at Gramercy pain center:

  • Cortisone Shots. Cortisone shots are effective remedies for pain relief, which can also reduce the inflammation that occurs within the body.
  • Radiofrequency Ablation. Radiofrequency neurotomy is a method of heat therapy to eliminate chronic back pain when all the other choices such as pain medication, physical therapy, and other treatments to improve current health condition, have been tried out. This heat therapy involves using radiofrequency to determine multiple locations and ablate them all at the same time in a single treatment session.
  • DRG Spinal Cord Implanted Nerve Stimulators. This treatment is a spinal cord stimulation therapy to relieve chronic pain. Spinal cord stimulation devices such as the pulse generator and the generator leads are implanted into the abdomen and the target area respectively, to send electrical pulses to the brain and alter pain signals before it can go through the pain processes.

Before these treatments can be considered, it’s essential to identify first the condition that may be causing the cold as well as the current treatments that you’ll be going through in the entire recovery process. 

There are instances when other kinds of treatment solutions are more appropriate for you such as chiropractic care or physical therapy. Sometimes healthy lifestyle choices and minor changes such as improvement of poor posture or lowering one’s risk for heart attack through a healthy diet and exercise are enough. 

The location of the pain is also considered, whether it’s lower back pain, middle back pain, or upper back pain symptom. Pain relief treatments are different for each kind of pain. This should be duly discussed with a pain specialist so the right treatment plan can be recommended to you.

Ease and Resolve Upper Back Pain With a Cold at Gramercy Pain Center

Upper back pain is technically manageable at home if the symptoms are mild to moderate, but sometimes its presence can slow down recovery from the condition causing the cold. Whether it’s mild pain, severe pain, or even sharp pain, seeking the expertise of a pain specialist can help ease the pain in a much more effective and safer way.

Here at Gramercy Pain Center, we give you the most advanced procedures for your upper back pain as you heal from the underlying health condition causing it. Our pain specialists use only the best pain management techniques and personalized treatment plans for upper back pain, chest pain, neck pain, lower back pain, and middle back pain. Book a consultation at Gramercy Pain Center today.

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