Question: How to alleviate upper back pain during sleep?

I currently see a chiropractor for my upper back problem. In the past 5 months, I have been experiencing upper back pain during sleep, and I often awake in such pain that it is difficult to move around.

My chiropractor had suggested a firmer mattress (I bought one), a body pillow (I bought one), a neck pillow (I bought one), ice and/or heat (have done that too), and so far there has been no pain relief. He now feels I have stress related back pain, since the pain seems to subside as the day wears on and I am moving around.

But what can I do to alleviate this horrible pain? What would you advise me to do next? Should I see my regular physician and be thoroughly checked out?

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Doctor's response: Upper back pain during sleep requires seeing a physician

You definitely need to see your medical doctor for a checkup. I doubt this is stress related back pain, since stress-related back pain tends to get worse as the day progresses (not better, as in your case).

The pain during sleep is concerning to me. Depending on your age and other medical problems, further imaging is necessary. At the very least, I would recommend a thoracic spine MRI. There may be a need for blood tests and other testing to look at your internal organs.

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In Spine-health’s Doctor Advice section, physicians respond to frequently asked questions about back pain issues. These responses represent the opinion of one physician, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the broader medical community. The advice presented has not been peer reviewed by Spine-health’s medical advisory board.