Causes of Neck and Upper Back Pain for Chiropractic Patients in Atlanta

Nov 17, 2015

For people who suffer from neck pain, the source of the problem is often related to tension within their upper shoulders.

Your body can function properly because it is set up as an interconnected network of physiological processes, which is to say that each area of your body affects how the others work

The significant tension in the upper area of your back is usually a signal that the nerve and blood supply connected to your neck and head is cut off. When this situation takes places, our Atlanta Chiropractors often treat patients who experience symptoms like:

  • tingling
  • aching
  • numbness or the traditional “pins and needles” sensation

Most of the time, neck conditions are in some way influenced by or connected to problems in your upper back, since the majority of your neck muscles are either located in or attached to your upper back.

These muscles include:

  • the cervical paraspinal muscles;
  • the scalene muscles
  • the trapezius;

and the levator scapulae, among others.

What Causes Upper Back and Neck Pain?

For most patients who visit an Atlanta Chiropractor for back pain treatment, the source of their condition tends to derive from years of poor posture, subluxations, disc problems, and recent injuries.

Poor Posture

From reading a book in bed to sitting behind your work computer, carrying yourself with poor posture over long periods of time can be detrimental to your overall health and often leads to ongoing neck pain.

When your body is placed in unnatural positions on a regular basis, they become conditioned over time and take on adaptations that contort your physical structure.

Although relatively common, correcting your posture is one of the easier conditions to treat, since it’s a matter of commitment and repetition.

Going through your daily routine without bending your back forward or hunching your neck for extended periods of time is essential for maintaining the correct posture. If your job happens to see you sit for hours at a time, each day, make sure you take advantage of ergonomic chairs and resources that provide greater lumbar support and help keep your back and neck in an upward position.


Stress associated with supporting your neck builds up over time and often leads to the development of subluxations. Most tend to be connected to one of four areas:

  • where the thoracic and cervical areas of your spine connect
  • in the middle of the thoracic spine
  • the top of the cervical spine where it connects with your skull
  • in the midst of the cervical spine where the mechanical stress from supporting your head is the most concentrated.

Most patients with subluxations notice them when looking in the mirror. You can tell if you have one by whether or not you see that your head appears titled or if one of your shoulders is naturally fixated a bit higher than the other.

Forward Head Position (FHP) is extremely common among Americans and is when your head sits forward, ahead of your shoulders. If not treated, they can continue to grow and become painful over time.


One of the most common reasons patients sees a Chiropractor for neck pain is because they were involved in some auto accident.

For those who have been rear-ended and were exposed to a sudden jolt, they most likely experienced Whiplash.

When this happens, the ligaments, supporting muscles, and connect tissue around your neck and the upper back area become damaged.


Your muscles contract when you become stressed, especially the ones found on your back. The areas of your body that are most susceptible to stress are your:

  • neck
  • lower back
  • upper back
  • shoulders
  • spine.

Specifically, when stress is continuously applied to your trapezius muscle, chronic tightness develops and can begin to create trigger points.

Stress, of course, can be overcome with regular exercise and adopting a healthy diet in your everyday routine.

Disc Herniations

The discs located in your cervical spine can begin to bulge or herniate, which places pressure on the nerves the travel through that area.

Cervical discs tend to herniate after they have absorbed damage caused by Whiplash injuries.


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