Upper back pain and symptoms can occur in ANY of the above structures outlined below. These include posture/mechanics (joints not moving properly), wear and tear, compression, sprain (ligaments), strain/tightening (muscles) inflammation of the blood vessels/nerves, fractures (bone) or from another cause.

Upper Back Pain - female

Structures of the upper back

The upper back has 12 spinal bones known as vertebrae: The upper and mid-back comprise of the Thoracic Spine (T1 – T12 vertebrae) and the Rib Cage consisting of 12 pairs of ribs.  

Between each spinal vertebrae are fibrocartilage structures called Discs which allow slight movement and shock absorbancy. The bones are held together and stabilised by ligaments. The joints are further stabilised and moved by the muscles which are categorised into superficial, Intermediate and Deep muscles.

The brain, spinal cord and nerves collectively are known as The Nervous System which is protected by the spine and skull.  The spinal cord is housed within the vertebral canal of the spine. From the cord, the nerves exit between each vertebrae to supply the rest of the body. The nerves and spinal cord provide an electical communication network from the brain to the body and from the body back to the brain.


A diagnosis, therefore can be difficult without the appropriate training. Each practitioner at Future Proof Care is trained to perform a thorough history and examination to gain the correct diagnosis of upper back pain.

History and Examination

When a patient comes to the Practice, they will be asked questions regarding their presentation. We will then examine the upper backneck, low back, ribs, pelvis, muscles, legsabdomen and posture.  We do many mechanical, orthopaedic, neurological and muscle tests will be carried out to arrive at a diagnosis with clinical clarity.

Conditions we have diagnosed and/or support

Patients have presented to our Practice with back pain from a range of causes of upper back pain. These include overuse, trauma or impact, poor posture, sedentary lifestyle, instability, or sometimes pain of unknown reason.  We have diagnosed and/or support patients with the following conditions:

  • Scoliosis
  • Muscular strain
  • Ligament Sprain
  • Mechanical dysfunction
  • Upper Cross Syndrome
  • Hyper/hypo kyphosis
  • Poor posture
  • Rib fixation
  • Facet syndrome
  • CostochondritisOsteoarthritis (Wear and tear)
  • Facet syndrome
  • Nerve pain
  • Scheuermann’s disease
  • Spondylitis/spondylosis
  • Fractured/bruised Ribs

We refer patients for imaging or further testing to confirm the diagnosis if necessary. Patients thereafter, when appropriate, supported with treatment and educated on how to manage and rehabilitate their presentation. 

How conditions present

Patients may describe their upper back pain or symptoms as one of the following. Each description points towards a certain diagnosis.If you use any of these terms, book an appointment with one of our Practitioners at Future Proof Care, Kings Hill, West Malling.

  • Difficulty breathing in
  • “Ache” – constant/intermittent
  • Numbness
  • Burning
  • Sharp – “takes breath away”
  • Restricted / tight
  • Unable to get comfortable
  • Difficulty turning neck / head
  • “Constantly feel like I have to move/wiggle”
  • “Cant sit up straight” or Slumped posture

Why Choose us?

Not all Practitioners within the Chiropractic, Osteopathic or Physiotherapy professions treat back pain both directly AND indirectly. They may focus more on the area of discomfort in isolation. At Future Proof Care, we treat the body as a whole, thereby getting better results quicker.

We first establish what your pain is, why you have it, what can be done about it and how to get your back to function as quickly as possible. We are honest and act with integrity, keeping you, your goals and needs at the focus of our care

Don’t let your upper back symptoms steal your comfort.  Our practitioners go beyond their training in Chiropractic and Osteopathy. We continually attend seminars and stay up to date with the latest research and techniques, so our patients can get the best service.



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