Is Lower Back Pain Worse Than Upper Back Pain – Causes & Treatment

Is lower back pain worse than upper back pain? People who face upper back pain are concerned about this question.

What Will I learn

There may be a chance that you face lower back pain along with upper back pain. Both affect the back muscles and your spine.

Is Lower Back Pain Worse Than Upper Back Pain

The lower and upper back are linked through the spine and connecting mules and tissues. Any pain in the lower back can affect the upper back as well.

People face lower back pain more often than the upper back. The lower back faces more movement and pressure, that’s why it can cause pain easily. Upper back muscles suffer pain in case of serious injury.

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Lower back pain can be worse than upper back pain because of its daily movement. While bending, walking, and sitting, our spine faces all the pressure in the lower back.

Lower back pain starts from normal pain and then extends to chronic lower back pain. Your spine needs care and rests on working effectively.

Upper Back Pain

Back pain which occurs between the base of the neck and the bottom of the rib cage is known as upper back pain. Upper back pain can happen due to any injury in the spine or disc problem.

People with upper back pain will face sharp pain in the neck are the upper back area.  You may feel upper back pain less than lower back pain.

The upper muscles and bones move less than the lower back muscles. That’s why we don’t feel a sharp pain as usual. It can rarely happen with sharp pain.

Causes Of Upper Back Pain

Upper back pain can happen due to various reasons. It can be a sign of a medical emergency or any spine injury. I’ve noticed these common causes in my patients.

The following are the basic causes of upper back pain;

1. Poor Posture:

Many people experience upper back pain because of poor posture position. The major reason is that people don’t know how to sit in a proper way. It causes many problems with muscles in the upper back.

Another reason is sitting for long hours. People who work in offices they undergo from upper back pain. It is because sitting for a long time increases pressure in the spine.

People should exercise a little or stretch their bodies to make the blood flow better in the body.

2. Fracture Or Injury:

The human body is made up of many connected bones. Any injury in the spine causes upper back pain. I have observed patients that have a slipped disc in their spine. It is because they pick up a heavy object.

Trying to pick up any heavy object inserts a lot of pressure on the spine. This pressure causes pain in the upper back and neck.

In this case, I advised the patient to rest and avoid lifting any heavy objects. The spine is an imitable part of the body. It needs extra care.

3. Herniated Disc:

A herniated disc happens when its soft middle point impulses through a gap in the tougher outer. There are many discs around the spine in our back. . These discs act as shockwave absorbers.

Shockwave absorbers help to stable the back. The herniated disc removes from its place. This replacement inserts some extra pressure on the nerves around it.

When someone suffers from a herniated disc, they’ll experience sharp pain in the upper back.

4. Arthritis:

Arthritis causes upper back pain. This condition can be seen in people over the age of 55 years. People with arthritis may also suffer from osteoarthritis.

In our body, our joints are secured by cartilage. When this cartilage weakens, bones start to rub with each other. It causes pain in the upper back and neck.

Lower Back Pain

The lower back is the lumbar region of the body. Made of the spine, the main supporting part of your body.

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A strange twist of the spine can cause lower back pain. It can vary from minor to severe lower back pain. It can affect people of any age. It is more common in people with more age.

Lower back pain can get worse by lifting any heavy object. A strained muscle, excessive exercise, or another injury can affect the lower back. These can get better within a few weeks.

Causes Of Lower Back Pain

If you ignore its initial symptoms, lower back pain turns from minor to severe. When you are feeling any sharp pain in your lower back which can go further into your legs, it can be due to any injury.

The following reasons can cause lower back pain:

1. Muscle Fatigue:

Walking for a long period without rest can cause the enervate muscle in the lower back to too. It creates a feeling of discomfort.

This pain can improve by resting the back by sitting or lying down for some time. I have observed in some cases that people with more weight than normal experience this pain more.

2. Physical Injury:

In some patients, I noticed lower back pain was due to physical injury. People with any physical trauma can have an injury. This injury can cause lower back pain while breathing.

In case of any physical injury, get yourself to check properly to find out the affected part.

3. Scoliosis:

Scoliosis occurs during infancy or between the ages of 10-15. This condition impacts around 3% of the population. It is an abnormal side-to-side twist of your spine.

I have seen many people with scoliosis who have pain when they breathe. It is due to pressure from their ribcage and spine against their heart and lungs.

4. Strained Muscle:

Strained muscles can be seen in people who have problems with torn muscles. Torn muscles can cause pain in the lower back. Muscles in our body should be relaxed and strong.

It can be caused due to any physical movement or lack of flexibility. Stretching can make it better. Stretching relaxes and flexible the muscles.

Treatment Options For Upper & Lower Back Pain

These recommended treatment options can reduce severe back pain. I, as a doctor, applied these recommendations to my patients.

Everyone should follow these options to reduce pain and live stress-free lives. Improve your quality of life and enjoy your everyday routine to its fullest.

1. Healthy Diet:

Adopt a healthy diet in your life.  Consumption of healthy food reduces the chance of stress on your body. Unhealthy food increases the chances of back problems.

Try to avoid the increased intake of alcohol and large meals.

2. Exercise:

Daily exercise reduces the chance of lower or upper back pain. Exercise keeps the muscles and bones active. It helps the blood to flow properly in the body. 

Through exercise, you can lose weight, which is a major cause of back pain.

3. Stretching:

Stretching relaxes your body’s tight tissues and muscles. It releases the stress from your body and relief the pain. Sitting or lying down for a long time makes your back muscle tight and tense.

Make it your habit to do stretching and exercise whenever you feel normal back pain. It can stop it from getting any worse.

4. Massage Treatment:

Another effective recommendation is to have a massage for back pain. It should be a combination of stretches and exercises.

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Massage therapists try to improve blood flow and make your body work more actively. They use hand techniques. One should take a massage treatment once in a while.

5. Sustain Proper Posture:

People who spend long hours on a computer while working face lower or upper back pain more often. Those people should correct their sitting positions. They should buy a comfortable chair which supports their back.

They should practice stretching exercises while sitting. They should take a rest after some work.

6. Quit Smoking:

Smoking can cause severe lower and upper back pain. It increases the risk of less oxygen because it narrows the blood vessels. It reduces the blood flow in the body.

Blood flow should be fluent so that it can circulate in the body. Proper blood flow also prevent other unstable medical conditions.

7. Hot And Cold Therapy:

Hot and cold therapy is an effective remedy for pain relief. It can be used with other methods to have the best results. Both of these therapies work in different manners.

Cold therapy reduces the blood flow in the body. Reduced blood flow helps to reduce swelling. Cold therapy is excellent for joints that have been pulled while walking. In short, it reduces lower back pain.

Heat therapy is better for blood circulation in your lower back. It relaxes your muscles. This therapy allows nutrient-rich blood to flow into tissues that need healing.

8. Try Acupuncture:

Acupuncture treatment is a Chinese practice that is an exercise to reduce back pain. Some tiny needles are inserted into the patient’s body during this process.  It restores blood flow in the body.

Better blood flow makes the muscles and body work effectively.


Our body is made of connected muscles and tissues. These muscles protect the spine and provide support to the back.

Any pain in the lower back can also cause pain in the upper back and neck. Pain can be cured if it’s identified at the initial stage.

The spine needs care and precautions to work effectively. Try to follow the preventive measures at the initial level. If you face normal pain in the back, try to adopt home remedies for back pain.

If the pain doesn’t improve, you should consult your doctor and get medication. They will examine you and suggest treatment according to your condition.

Terry Chimes

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