Upper back muscle pain from myofascial pain may develop in your upper back when the muscle fascia becomes damaged or inflamed from exercises or over activity.
Repetitive use injuries can affect the fascia when the same motion is performed repeatedly, and this repeated motion, chafes or irritates the fascia, resulting in myofascial pain.
When athletes and other active people do not stretch and warm up correctly, they can develop myofascial pain as a result of stretching or tearing the fascia. The fascia is a strong connective tissue, and as such, is less soft and stretchy than muscle tissue.
Warm-up is Key
The fascia needs to be warmed up, and stretched out gently, prior to any vigorous activity. An athletic trainer or physical therapist can demonstrate techniques to prepare the upper back for vigorous physical activity.
"many different layers of muscle"
Myofascial pain may also develop during periods of immobilization, such as when your arm is in a sling for several weeks. During these times of inactivity the fascia can become stiff and dry, causing it to stick and not slide properly past other muscles.
This can be especially problematic in the upper back, because there are so many different layers of bone and muscle. The rhomboid and trapezius muscle groups are in direct proximity with the shoulder blade and other muscles of the shoulder. When these many layers do not slide smoothly past each other, it can cause myofascial pain.
Range of Motion Exercises
If you anticipate that you are going to be immobilized for an extended period of time, due to an injury or sickness. Talk to your doctor about the risks of stiffness and myofascial pain. Many times they can recommend active or passive range of motion exercises, which you can do to prevent myofascial pain from developing.
These are some of the more common causes of upper back pain and stiffness. These should improve with a few days of rest, and over the counter pain medication. As you improve, you should be able to start advancing your activity.
"severe pain, or pain that prevents
your normal activities"
There are other, less common causes of upper back pain that are more serious. Whenever you have severe pain, or pain that prevents your normal activities, you need to be seen by your doctor.
He knows your medical history. He can do a complete physical exam, and order the appropriate tests, to find out what is causing your pain.
Early diagnosis and treatment is always the key to the best possible outcome.