Does the swelling and pain affect both sides of the back, or just one side? If the pain, aching and swelling affect both sides, could it be related to your posture at work?
If you are sitting at a desk for long periods of time and are bending over, the neck and upper back could become painful. Making sure your work station is correctly set up for you is very important (if your job is at a desk). A swelling or pain that comes and goes would not likely be serious (because serious conditions are usually persistent in nature). However, without examining you myself I would not be able to totally reassure you that there is nothing going on here.
If you have not seen your doctor about this complaint, it would be sensible to make an appointment, preferably when the pain and swelling are present. The doctor can then decide if you need to have an X-ray or any other investigations.
Answered by Dr Emmajane Down.
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