Middle Back Pain, Injuries, & Conditions

Pain in the middle of your back can be temporary. However, this discomfort might be persistent for some people. Although middle back pain and thoracic back pain are frequently used interchangeably, middle back pain is commonly the discomfort that develops above the lumbar portion of the spine but below the rib cage. Middle back pain symptoms can be ambiguous and hard to identify, proving to be irritating in chronic situations.

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Most Common Causes of Middle Back Pain

Middle back discomfort can have various reasons, including accidents and bad posture.

  • Aging: Although it may afflict anyone at any age, back pain is a prevalent ailment for many people over 30. Less fluid between the spinal joints, a decline in muscle mass, and thinner bones are some of the natural reasons for back discomfort in older people. 
  • Arthritis: A variety of distinct types of arthritis can have an impact on the back. For example, the rubbing together of bone ends due to osteoarthritis can result in discomfort, edema, and stiffness. 
  • Fractured vertebra: Fractured middle back vertebrae can result in pain due to a sports injury, car accident, or fall. A broken vertebra can also result from the severe degeneration of the spine over time, such as that brought on by osteoarthritis. 
  • Herniated disks: The disks between the vertebrae serve as cushions for stress absorption. The symptoms of a herniated disk in the middle back are not always present. However, they might include pain, tingling, or numbness. 
  • Lifestyle choices: Muscle weakness brought on by inactivity might be a factor in middle back discomfort.  
  • Strained or sprained muscle: The muscles and ligaments in the middle back might get stretched or torn if you move large objects frequently or carry and lift heavy objects improperly. 
  • Obesity. The bodies muscles, bones, and other back components are more easily stressed when one is overweight or obese. 
  • Osteoporosis. A kind of bone disease called osteoporosis causes fragile bones. The body cannot produce enough new bone to compensate for normal bone loss. As a result, strains or compression fractures can cause middle back discomfort in people with back osteoporosis. 
  • Bad posture. Middle back pain is frequently brought on by poor standing or sitting posture. Slouching also puts more strain on the muscles as they work to maintain balance and puts more pressure on the spine. 
  • Scoliosis: The spine curves sideways due to scoliosis. It results in unequal weight distribution across the back and might result in middle back discomfort. 
  • Tumor: If a tumor develops in the middle back, it may impact the spinal alignment, and the adjacent nerves, muscles, and ligaments may be under strain. 

Additional Causes of Middle Back Pain

  • Post Laminectomy Syndrome
  • Herniated Discs
  • Kyphosis
  • Scoliosis
  • Spinal compression fractures/ osteoporotic fractures
  • Spinal Arthritis
  • Muscle Spasm
  • Nerve Impingement (Radiculopathy)
  • Thoracic or Lumbar Sprain or Strain

Available Treatments for Middle Back Pain Include: 

The underlying cause of middle back pain will determine the best course of treatment. Typically, non-surgical therapies are advised first, but experts may also suggest medicinal and surgical methods.

  • Exercise and Physical Therapy: Some of most common treatments for middle back pain that a doctor may suggest include exercise and physical therapy. Physical therapy aims to treat, mitigate, or prevent physical impairments. In also aids in reducing pain, accelerating recovery, and regaining mobility and function. 
  • Medication: You can treat middle back discomfort with over-the-counter analgesics like Tylenol, aspirin, or NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen. Professionals can also recommend stronger painkillers or muscle relaxants if you’re having trouble getting through a typical day. 
  • Nerve Stimulation: These procedures are designed to relieve nerve damage and chronic back pain. Specific nerves are electrically stimulated during radiofrequency ablation to reduce their pain sensitivity.  
  • Intradiscal Electrothermal Therapy (IDET): IDET employs heat to alter the spinal disc’s nerve fibers and kill the region’s pain receptors. The IDET technique is performed as an outpatient procedure while you are awake and sedated. 
  • Radiofrequency Discal Nucleoplasty: In radiofrequency discal nucleoplasty, a radio frequency probe is used in place of a heated wire to break apart a tiny chunk of the center disc’s substance. Partially decompressing the disc as a consequence may help reduce pain brought on by protruding discs pushing against surrounding spinal nerve roots. 
  • Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injections. A strong painkiller is directly injected into a trigger site. It could be the solution to your issue, or it might just buy you some time without experiencing discomfort while you look into other options for treating your middle back pain. 
  • Lumbar Rhizotomy. Although spinal surgery might be frightening, there are occasions when it is the most effective way to get relief. Problems with the spine, such as vertebral fracture, a herniated disc, or deformity, usually to blame for this. 

Why Lonseth Interventional Pain Centers?

At Lonseth Interventional Pain Centers, we use only the latest state-of-the-art therapies to pinpoint and treat your middle back pain at its source. The team of double board certified anesthesiologists and pain management experts at Lonseth have extensive fellowship training and are proud to collaborate with you to develop a customized plan. We specialize in non-surgical treatments that focus on rehabilitation. These treatments will help you manage your middle back pain so you can return to your daily activities.

“I just had my first appointment and I cannot say enough good things about Dr. Lonseth and his staff. Everyone one of his staff members was kind and helpful. I felt like I was heard and my needs were addressed. ”
– David

Middle Back Pain FAQ

Lower and upper back pain tends to be more frequent than middle back discomfort. This is due to the thoracic spine’s lack of mobility compared to that of the neck and lower back.

Like other back pain, middle back pain can take many forms and be either acute or chronic. The pain can range from subtle to agonizing or abrupt and critical, depending on the underlying cause of the pain. Similar to how the pain from a condition elsewhere in the body can radiate to the middle back, middle back discomfort can also affect other parts of the body.

You should visit a doctor if your middle back discomfort does not go away after a few weeks. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience symptoms including tingling and numbness, pain that doesn’t subside after taking medicine, problems urinating, numbness, weakness, or discomfort in the lower extremities.