Upper back pain is a common condition characterized by discomfort or pain in the upper thoracic region, often manifesting between the shoulder blades or along the spine. It can range from a dull ache to sharp pain and may be accompanied by stiffness and reduced mobility. Various factors, including muscular tension, poor posture, and underlying spinal issues, can contribute to upper back pain, making it a multifaceted health concern.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) interprets upper back pain through a holistic lens, focusing on the flow and balance of Qi (vital energy) and Blood. TCM practitioners view such pain as a result of imbalances in these energies, often caused by factors like Qi Stagnation, Blood Stagnation, or pathogenic invasions of Cold or Dampness. Emphasizing the interconnectedness of bodily systems, TCM aims to identify and address the root cause of pain, rather than just treating the symptoms.
In TCM, acupuncture is a key treatment for upper back pain, with specific acupoints selected to alleviate discomfort.
Kunlun BL-60, located near the ankle, is used for its ability to remove channel obstructions and benefit the back, while Pohu BL-42, near the upper back, is known to tonify Lung Qi and subdue Rebellious Qi. Dingchuan EX-B-1, close to the base of the neck, is effective in calming respiratory issues.
Additionally, Houxi SI-3 on the hand helps regulate Governing Vessels and expel winds, beneficial for upper back pain. Lastly, Jugu LI-16 on the shoulder and Qihu ST-13 near the chest are employed for their channel-clearing and Qi-regulating properties. These points reflect TCM's approach to treating pain by harmonizing the body's energy flow.
Explore below some acupoints used to address upper back pain, organized by meridian.