Neck strain is often just called whiplash. Although it's usually associated with car accidents, any impact or blow that causes your head to jerk forward or backward can cause neck strain. The sudden force stretches and tears the muscles and tendons in your neck.
Neck strain afflicts many amateur and professional athletes. People who play contact sports like football are especially prone to neck strain.
Neck strains are often confused with neck sprains. They're a bit different. Neck strains are...
Steroid shots to help reduce swelling and relieve pressure on nerves and nerve roots. But there is little evidence showing that these shots can help control back pain.
In some cases, a back brace may be used to support the bones in the spine after a fracture.
Surgery is seldom used to treat upper and middle back pain. If your doctor recommends surgery, the type will depend on the problem you have. Before you decide to have surgery, it's a good idea to get a second opinion from a different doctor. Surgery choices may include:
Vertebroplasty or kyphoplasty. These procedures relieve pain from compression fractures of the spine caused by osteoporosis, tumors, or other conditions. In vertebroplasty, bone cement is injected into the crushed area to stabilize the broken bones. In kyphoplasty, a balloon device is inserted into the broken vertebra and inflated to restore the back bones to a more normal height and shape. Bone cement is then added to keep them in place. These procedures are not done very often, because most fractures heal on their own.
Herniated disc removal. It removes the portion of the disc that is herniated and pushing into the spinal canal. In most cases, herniated discs that occur in the upper and middle back are small and don't need surgery. But you may need surgery for a large herniated disc that presses on the spinal cord.
Spinal decompression for stenosis. It widens the spinal canal that has narrowed, and it relieves pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. This procedure is not done very often, because spinal stenosis in the upper and middle back is rare.