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What Is Middle Back Pain? What’s Causing It? How To Fix It?

Last updated on August 18, 2023

What Is Middle Back Pain?

Middle back pain occurs below the neck and above the bottom of your rib cage, in an area called the thoracic spine. The thoracic spine is made up of 12 vertebrae (back bones), attached to each vertebrae are a set of 12 ribs. Between each bone sits a disc that acts as a cushion for shock absorption in your spine. The role of your thoracic spine is structure support – to keep you up right – and mobility – allows you to bend, extend and rotate, but most importantly it encapsulates and protects your very delicate nervous system (your body’s chief operating system).

What Are Symptoms of Middle Back Pain?

There are several different signs or symptoms that encompass middle back pain. The symptoms will depend on the cause of your pain. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of middle back pain include: 

  • Pressure build up 
  • Dull ache 
  • Sharp stabbing pain especially when breathing in
  • Stiffness and muscle tension

Other more serious symptoms may include:

  • Numbness or tingling 
  • Chest pain 
  • Shooting electric shock like pain 
  • Weakness in arms or legs 
  • Loss of bowel or bladder control

What Is Causing My Middle Back Pain?

There are a multitude of causes of middle back pain some of the most common causes are: 

  1. Dysfunctional/abnormal movement of your thoracic spine (subluxation). This then causes poor posture and postural control. 
  2. Obesity 
  3. Muscle sprain or strain 
  4. Herniated disc
  5. Osteoarthritis 
  6. Fractures 

While these are common causes of middle back pain, it’s not always straightforward, that is why it’s so important to be checked by a Chiropractor to determine the root cause of your pain so that you get an accurate diagnosis and best care possible.

How Is Middle Back Pain Diagnosed?

You must visit your Chiropractor to receive a diagnosis for the condition causing your pain. Your Chiropractor will use the following to help them make a diagnosis: 

  • Thorough History and Physical Examination – consisting of a variety of questions and  tests to find and assess the cause of your pain.
  • Special Tests – Your Chiropractor will likely run some additional tests to make an accurate diagnosis. These include neurological and imaging tests (x-rays/MRI/CT/ultrasound). These imaging tests will allow your Chiropractor to see what condition your spine is in and to identify or confirm any underlying conditions.

How Can I Fix My Middle Back Pain?

Many of the typical treatment options for middle back pain and pain in general focus on numbing the SYMPTOMS (i.e. panadol) not addressing the CAUSE. The treatment of middle back pain depends on the CAUSE. Presumptions about one’s own cause of the pain and subsequent self treatment may cause further problems and issues. That is why it is so important to get your spine and nervous system checked by a Chiropractor so they can identify the CAUSE of your pain so you have a positive and long term solution to your problem.

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