Popping in upper back followed by pain.

Patient

Q: Today i heard a pop in my mid to upper back which was followed by pain. this has happened twice before but this time i became worried because i didnt know whether or not it was serious. i was turned toward the board in class and that is when i heard the pop. i turned back to finish my paper and it was mild to severe pain on the upper left side of my back. it felt almost like a cramping sensation and when i was getting up to leave class it hurt A LOT but got progressively better throughout the day. currently i am still in pain, the pain has not spread or worsened and only has gotten better. the other times i have experienced it it lasted about 2-3 days. i am taking it very easy because if it is a condition i do not want to make it worse. Should i see a doctor? i have told my mom but she thinks its because of my posture (it is not bad, obviously not the best but has never caused me discomfort.) please reply quickly so i know if i need to get medical attention. thank you!

Symptoms:  Pain in upper back
Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. It is possible that this 'popping' sensation followed by pain which you felt in your back could be due to poor posture. Poor posture can lead to curvature of the spine leading to uneven pressure on the vertebrae of the spinal column. This can result in crepitus or a 'popping/cracking' sound followed by pain when these vertebrae readjust. Since you are in considerable discomfort when this occurs, it would be best to have it examined by your doctor and have some x rays of your upper back performed to determine if you have any abnormal curvature of the spine. This can be corrected first by trying to mindful of your posture, trying to sit and stand with the back straight and not slouching. Secondly, stretching and keeping the muscles loose will also help in keeping you from having poor posture. Should this not help, then physiotherapy may be a wise option in assisting you to achieve good posture alleviating these painful episodes.

Thank you for consulting AskTheDoctor.com with your medical question.

Related Q&A

Q: Chronic lower back pain a right shoulder stuffiness

Q: I had an MRI for some back problems but it came back with this: "Small 1.3 cm lesion in the prepontine cistern, ...

Q: Recent MRI was given to me without results. I have to wait until later in the week to get them.

Q: 23 y.o. female had lower right back pain for about 1 year following a burning pain from bending over (I thought it wa...

Q: Hello, I'm Adriana, I just received MRI results of my brain, I'm 40 yrs old, suffer from migraines, tension headaches...

 
DOCTOR ADVISORY BOARD
218

Dr. James Obaji M.D.

  • 247 Reviews
  • Family Physician
173

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

  • 190 Reviews
  • Family Physician
138

Dr. Pat Golden M.D.

  • 169 Reviews
  • Cardiologist
98

Dr. Kunaal Jindal M.D.

  • 112 Reviews
  • Plastic Surgeon
CNN
BBC
MSNBC
CBS
abcNews
FoxNews