This blog is excerpted from Healthline, medically reviewed by Cynthia Cobb, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, FAANP and written by Valencia Higuera on February 23, 2021.

A burning pain is different from other types of back pain. Some people describe it as a prickly, stinging sensation, or an electrical shock felt between your shoulder blades or on the right or left side of your spine. Other symptoms can accompany a burning sensation in your upper back too. You might also experience neck pain, or pain that radiates to your arms, chest, or down your leg.  Upper back pain can even limit your range of motion and mobility.

A Few Causes of Burning Pain

Muscle strain

A back injury or overuse of back muscles can also cause a burning, stinging sensation in your upper back. This can happen after:

  • lifting heavy objects
  • sudden movements
  • exercise
  • playing sports
  • other back injuries

Muscle strains can occur anywhere in your back, such as between your shoulder blades or on the right or left side of your spine. Sometimes, a muscle strain can radiate to your chest. This type of pain often develops after a back injury or other strenuous activity, and symptoms might worsen with repeated strain.

Spinal misalignment

Spinal misalignment are another possible cause of a burning, stinging sensation in your upper back. Factors contributing to spinal misalignment include:

  • an injury like a fall or car accident
  • improper posture
  • sleeping in an incorrect position
  • repetitive motions

You may feel pain from spinal misalignment in between your shoulder blades or neck.

Herniated disc

Discs are rubbery cushions in between your vertebrae in your spine. These discs become herniated when they move out of position and compress a nerve. Pain is typically in your lower back, but you can also feel it in your upper back. You can feel pain on the right or left side of your back and a burning sensation around your neck too.

You might have other symptoms too, like muscle weakness and muscle spasms. Some herniated discs occur after trauma like:

  • a fall
  • an accident
  • moving the wrong way

But herniated discs can also develop for no apparent reason due to age and wear and tear.

Bone spurs

These are bony growths that form on a bone’s edge due to joint damage. Bone spurs on your spine can compress nerves. These spurs cause the following experiences to occur in your upper back:

  • weakness
  • numbness
  • a burning sensation

Bone spurs on your spine can also cause neck pain and chest pain.

Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis is narrowing of your spinal canal, or the spaces within your spine. This narrowing also places pressure on nerves, causing back pain. Spinal stenosis often causes upper back and neck pain that radiates to your chest.

When To Call A Doctor

Some upper back pain might improve on its own with home remedies and over-the-counter medication within a few days or weeks. Call a doctor for any back pain that doesn’t improve or worsens, especially if your pain has remained the same or worsened after three months. Your doctor can use diagnostic tests such as X-rays or MRIs to determine the underlying cause of pain, and then recommend an effective treatment course.

If you’ve received diagnostic imagery and have been diagnosed with one of the conditions above, the Bonati Spine Institute is here to help. In the 35 years we’ve been open, we have performed over 60,000 outpatient procedures WITHOUT the use of hardware or devices being permanently inserted into the spine. Guests have and can feel pain relief, including relief of burning pain in the upper back, immediately after surgery! If you’d like for us to take a look at your case and verify if our Bonati Spine Procedures can help you, please call us at 855-267-0482 or complete our online contact form here and an advocate will reach out to you directly to discuss your case.

You can read the full Healthline article here: https://www.healthline.com/health/back-pain/burning-sensation-in-upper-back