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Q. I feel a tension and pain in upper back after joining a stressful work. Please help.

Answered by
Dr. James F Geiselman
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 02, 2020 and last reviewed on: Feb 05, 2020

Hi doctor,

I started working 12-hour shifts about a month ago. My upper back has been hurting. It feels like it starts from the middle up to the upper back. It is not a sharp pain, but it is like a tension. We are supposed to wear steel toe shoes. I just recently changed to tennis shoes since I work nights. I want to see if it is the shoes or long hours. Can you advise as to what it could be? I feel stressed out and I am very prone to it. The tension just does not go away at all.

#

Hi,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have reviewed your question. I am sorry you are experiencing upper back pain. In your question, you said you recently started working 12 hours shift and since then, your upper back has been hurting. It is not a sharp pain but feels like tension.

Most likely, you experience muscle fatigue and at some times, muscle spasms. I would like to know what your job entails.

Many police officers have upper and middle back pain and have something call upper cross syndrome. This is were the pectoral muscle are tight and pull the shoulders forward while the muscles of the back are weak. It is a stabilization problem usually attributed to wearing the heavy vest all day. Same thing in your case. Many students who study with their head down all day or text a lot experience similar pain in their upper and middle back.

If you were my patient, I would perform a chiropractic examination and recommend several home exercises as well as chiropractic adjustments. Since I am unable to confirm my suspicion, I recommend that you go see a local chiropractor for a proper examination. If they believe you are a candidate for chiropractic care, they will most likely recommend a trial of care as well as a series of home exercises to determine how you will respond to treatment.


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