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The Difference Between Upper and Lower Back Injuries

by BrookeChaplan

Dealing with a back injury can be incredibly difficult. Not only will you likely have to deal with lots of pain, but it can also drastically reduce your mobility and make it more difficult or even impossible to perform many tasks. The good news is that there are numerous treatment options that can help with back injuries, but it all depends on whether the injury is in the lower or upper back. With this in mind, here are a few of the common differences between upper and lower back injuries. 

Lower Back Injuries Are Much More Common 

Lower back injuries tend to be far more common than upper back injuries. The reason for this is that the lower back has the least amount of structural support and undergoes far more stress than other parts of the spine. The lumbar joints and discs are especially prone to damage and wear as a result of these factors. 

Upper Back Injuries Are Most Often Muscle Related 

Lower back pain can have numerous potential causes such as damage to the lumbar discs or joints, muscle injuries, or even issues related to the pelvis. On the other hand, most upper back injuries are related to the muscles and tend to manifest themselves in pain around the shoulders and neck. The muscles in the upper back are quite large and powerful, and we also demand a lot of them when performing a huge range of activities which can cause the muscles to become irritated or inflamed. Upper back injuries can also be related to the thoracic part of the spine, but this is less common. 

Back Injuries Can Happen at any Age

Lower back injuries are most commonly seen in people over the age of 40 and result from poor condition or general wear and tear. However, more and more young people are also experiencing lower back injuries as a result of carrying around heavy backpacks filled with school books. That being said, upper back injuries are definitely more common in younger people simply due to the fact that they tend to be far more active, and all this activity can easily lead to muscular injuries. 

If you’re experiencing pain caused by an injury to your upper or lower back, it is important that you get the professional medical help you need. Many back injuries will worsen over time if not properly treated, which makes it vital that you seek treatment as soon as you suspect you have an injury. 

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