Middle Back Pain, symptoms, causes, treatment, Surgeries

Middle back pain can be any kind of pain or discomfort around the lower and middle back, which called the thoracic area or lower thoracic spine. The upper thoracic makes the upper back and lumbar spine make up part of the lower back.

Our middle back consists of the spinal cord, nerves, discs, muscles, blood vessels, ligaments, and tendons.  The structure in the spine become irritated or inflamed in severe conditions. Back middle pain causes injuries, poor posture, arthritis, muscle strain, and car accident injuries. However, it is not common like upper and lowers middle back pain because the spine does not move as much as the lower back.

Middle back pain mostly remains lasting for more than three months. In some cases, acute back pain can resolve in some days, and in persistent conditions, more serious problems can occur.

Let’s talk about all the symptoms or causes of middle back pain. These could be prevented if we take care of ourselves with timely diagnosis or treatment. If the severe condition occurs, then it can be life-threatening too. Most of the people suffer who older than 30 years, overweight, lack of physical activity, etc. No matter what’s the cause, it would be best if you never ignored the symptoms.

Middle back pain symptoms

Middle back pain symptoms relay on the underlying disease such as pain back due to arthritis can cause more pain in the joints. Back pain is a major symptom of fibromyalgia associated with fatigue and sleep problems. The most common middle back pain symptoms are

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fatigue Fever
  • Morning Stiffness
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Redness
  • Warmth or swelling of the back
  • Sleeping problems

In worse conditions, middle back pain can cause some life-threatening conditions like a heart attack. Besides, in other life-threatening conditions, chest pain, tightness or pressure, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, jaw pain, loss of bladder, bowel control, severe abdominal pain, weakness, paralysis, numbness in the legs.

Middle back pain causes

The middle back pain consists of bony structures or thoracic spine called vertebrae, which surrounding the nerves of the spinal cord. Between the vertebrae, there are spongy sacs of cartilage, which called discs. Moreover, muscles, ligaments, and muscles provide support to the back.

The mild to severe pain happens mostly during sudden movement during sports activities. People on a sedentary lifestyle are at more risk of these types of sprains and strains.

Besides these, middle back pain also happens due to some serious conditions like spondylitis, fibromyalgia, or herniated disc. Also, the problem in other parts of the body, also referred to as middle back pain.

Poor Posture

 Poor posture or repeated pressure can cause middle back pain. The ligaments and muscles in the back keep you in a balanced position.


According to some researches, weight and lower back pain have a correlation between back pain and obesity. If your weight increases, your back pain also increases.

Muscle strain and sprain

Sprains are known as stretching or tearing the ligaments, and strains are tearing or stretching of muscles and tendons.  Lifting heavy objects without proper form can cause strain or sprain their back.

Fall or Other injury

The middle back is less experience injury than the cervical spine and lumbar spine. It is more rigid and structured, and most of these injuries occur because of hard fall, a car accident, blunt force trauma, and sports accident.

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc occurs when the under the gel-like core of a disc in your back pushes against the outer ring of cartilage that puts pressure on a nerve. These herniated discs are called slipped disks or ruptured disc. The pressure on the nerve happens in the result of pain, numbness, or tingling.


Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disorder that occurs when the joints break down. It is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States.


Mostly old people experience back pain and mostly age between 30-50 years old people suffer.  In the aging process, thinning bones, reduction in muscle mass, reduction of fluid between joints in the spine.


Endometriosis is a medical condition of tissues like to the lining of the uterus grows in other body parts like fallopian, ovaries, vagina, and cervix. Endometriosis upper and middle back pain left side to occur and, in its symptoms, painful cramps during menstruation, pain during or after vaginal intercourse, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, nausea, bowel movements issues are included.


Fractures occur when fall, car accident, or sports injury. These are more common in people with reduced bone density, like people with OA.

Fractures cause severe middle back pain when you experience incontinence, tingling, numbness. Fractures require immediate treatment and, in these treatments, options wearing a brace, physical therapy, and surgery included.

How to Diagnose Middle Back Pain?

The first doctor sees your symptoms and so physical examination. After that, he can order an imaging test, an X-ray or MRI to diagnose the exact problem.

Middle back pain treatment

Middle back pain treatment relies on the cause of the pain because it is common. Many people try to treat first at home with some inexpensive and noninvasive treatment methods.

However, it is just for mild problems; these home remedies can’t help in severe cases.  In the most common home remedies ice, the area and appl hear is included for middle back pain relief. To take over the counter pain medications like ibuprofen, naproxen which reduce the swelling and pain.

Strengthen and stretch the back muscles by doing some exercises like yoga. For getting Middle back pain relief, the following tips could be helpful for you such as avoid slouching, keep shoulders back when standing, standing for a long time of periods, try for good posture.

Now talk about other medical treatment. If your Middle back pain remains for over 72 hours, then you must go to the physician. They recommend physical therapy, suggest pain relievers or muscle relaxers and steroid injections.


Besides, all surgeries are another option to get relief from middle back pain, but it always recommends in most severe cases.  The one drawback of these surgeries is that it takes so long time to recover.

In surgeries of Middle back pain relief, Laminectomy, Laminotomy, and Diskectomy are included. All these are different; In Laminectomy, the entire lamina, back wall of vertebrae, and decompress the spinal cord removed. The part of the lamina removes in laminotomy to alleviate the pinched nerve. Moreover, in Discectomy surgery, the spinal disc part removes to alleviate a pinched nerve.

Many heated patches are designed to middle back pain relief, which provides up to 8 hours of localized pain-relieving heat. These patches are effective ones that not only relieve pain also relax your muscles.  Many pain-relieving medicines are available; you can ask your doctor which one is best for you that can relieve middle back pain. Some topical medicines are also available that reduces inflammation. These topicals inhibit prostaglandin synthesis that causes inflammation, so in this way, it helps to relieve pain and reduce inflammation.  Moreover, you can consult a pharmacist and get proper guidelines.

Upper middle back pain

Upper and middle back pain occurs from the base of your neck to the bottom of your rib cage.  The ribs are attached to the flat bone in the center of the chest, which called the sternum. When any nerve of this area pinched, irritated, or injured, you feel pain in other places when this nerve travels in your arms, legs, chest, and belly. Upper middle back pain is not so common, like low back or neck pain. It is because the bones do not move much in this area, just like in our lower back or neck. Moreover, they attach with ribs so protect the vital organs such as the heart and lungs. The most common symptoms of upper middle back pain are dull, burning, or sharp pain, muscle tightness or stiffness. Besides, in more serious symptoms, weakness of arms or legs, numbness or tingling in arms, legs or belly, loss of bowel or bladder control are included.

Back Pain on One side

Sometimes, the pain comes suddenly on the middle back pain left side or middle back pain right side. Almost 80 % population in the United States have middle back pain in which upper middle back pain, middle back pain right side, middle back pain left side. When pain occurs to one side, you wonder what exactly is going on.  Injuries happen in the muscles, discs, joints, which most common cause of back pain on one side.

Mostly due to tissue injuries, middle back pain on the right side or left side happens. Moreover, muscle strains are the most common cause of one side pain. The pain on the right side or left side comes from the organs in your middle back, abdominal, and pelvic area. The pain in these areas causes infection, inflammation, or irritation, which affected organs like Kidneys, Pancreas, Colon, and Uterus.

You must take the serious right or left side pain because sometimes it can lead to you in serious health problems. A serious nerve condition is called cauda equina syndrome, in which nerve compression at the end of the spinal cord.  Bone and muscle issues cause middle back pain left side. A muscle strain occurs due to overworking or heavy lifting, which causes upper back middle pain.

If you experience any kind of a pain in the back or having some symptoms, there could be issues related to an internal organ. In these problems, intestinal inflammation of the colon is included, which shows the symptoms of digestive problems, weight change, or cramping.

Kidneys: kidney stones also cause one-sided back pain that occurs between the bottom of the rib cage and hips. Due to pain in kidneys, you have experience of other symptoms like pain during urination or blood in the urine.

Uterus: middle back pain right side can also due to fibroids or endometriosis. Mostly women suffer from uterus pain and experience menstrual irregularities, frequent urination, and painful intercourse included.

How to Prevent Middle Back Pain?

A car accident can cause middle back pain, so to protect your spine from middle back pain, you must try some good things.

Change your sleeping posture: If you sleep straight on the back that misaligning your spine and cause middle back pain. Then you must try some other sleeping position so that you can prevent this. Try to sleep on the side with a pillow between knees and sleeping in the fetal position.

Adjust the posture: Maintain good posture that can prevent muscle breakdown and allows then to strengthen. You must be standing and sitting straight, lower your chair height, moving to compute screens to eye level; all these can improve posture.

See a physical therapist:  For core strength, posture, spinal mobility, and endurance ensure good health. A physical therapist will improve your strength and movement.


In this world, due to overloading or work can cause back pain, and mostly middle back pain occurs. In this article, we talked about all the causes and symptoms of middle back pain that sometimes could be more severe. The severe conditions cause more complicated health problems, even lead to a heart attack. Therefore, you should never be ignored the symptoms and get proper treatment at the time. Moreover, sometimes back pain occurs due to poor lifestyle or posture or lack of physical activity. So, for this purpose, you can see the section on how to prevent middle back pain and know how you can stay away from back pain by yourself. Besides, home remedies and other treatments are given so you can consult your doctor and get to know what it is and how it could be prevented.



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