UPPER AND MIDDLE BACK PAIN DESCRIPTION AND CAUSES

Upper and middle back pain encompasses anything from the base of your neck to the bottom of your rib cage. This area is called the thoracic spine.

Upper back pain isn’t that common of a spinal disorder, but it can really hurt. Usually, upper back pain is a result of muscle pain or joint dysfunction. The bones in this area of the back aren’t designed to move as much as the bones in the lower back or neck. The upper and middle back is designed to keep your back stable (with help from your ribs) and protect your organs, especially your heart and lungs.

We see a lot of upper back pain as a result of working at a computer most of the day.


UPPER AND MIDDLE BACK PAIN CAUSES

COMPUTERS AND DAILY LIFE CAN CAUSE UPPER AND MIDDLE PAIN

We see a lot of upper back pain as a result of working at a computer most of the day.

Other causes can include:

  • Scoliosis or curvature of the spine
  • Muscle strain, injury (to muscles, ligaments and/or discs), overuse
  • Herniated, bulged or degenerated disc (discs separate each vertebrae and are designed to absorb shock)
  • Slip and fall
  • Sports injury
  • Car accident
  • Muscle spasm
  • Poor posture
  • Spinal stenosis (rare in the upper and middle back)

Symptoms:

  • Sudden, sharp pain
  • Dull or burning pain
  • Muscle stiffness, tightness
  • More serious symptoms that need to be treated right away include:
  • Arm or leg weakness
  • Numbness or tingling (arms, legs, chest, belly)
  • Problems with bowel or bladder control

TREATMENTS FOR UPPER AND MIDDLE BACK PAIN

Imaging (X-ray, MRI) may be needed to determine if an injury has occurred. Spinal manipulation and decompression are effective treatments. Physical conditioning also is effective to minimize pain recurrence.