Mid Back Pain

Mid back pain is one of the more common complaints patients report when initially visiting a chiropractor. The mid back area is commonly referred to as the thoracic spine. The thoracic spine consists of twelve vertebra attached by twelve pairs of ribs that make up the mid back area.

Most patients complain of mid back pain with limited motion in the thoracic region due to excessive twisting/bending of their torso or the pain in the region between their shoulder blades. Symptoms of mid back pain can range from muscle tightness and spasms, trigger points (area of acute spasm and pain), restricted range of motion when bending or twisting, sharp or stabbing pains from the back, radiating to the front of the chest or abdomen. The rib cage can also become irritated/misaligned causing symptoms that mimic respiratory or cardiac problems such as shortness of breath, irregular heart beat and fast or slow heart rhythms.

The mid back area is highly reactive and compensates for the pelvis and lower back region (lumbar spine) or to the upper neck area (cervical spine). Sitting at a computer with improper posture or driving for long periods of time without a lumbar support are two common causes of mid back related pain. Mid back pain can also be associated with a referred pain or complication from one of the organ systems in the thorax such as the liver, gallbladder or kidneys. Some common causes of mid back pain are:

  • Mid back injury
  • Rib injury
  • Muscle sprain/strain
    • Excessive exertion
    • Excessive lifting
  • Arthritis
  • Scoliosis
  • Pregnancy
  • Gallbladder conditions
  • heart conditions
  • lung conditions
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Kidney infection

Chiropractors utilize gentle spinal manipulations to misalignments of the thoracic spine and ribs to alleviate mid back pain. A misalignment of the spine or other soft tissue structures can irritate the nervous system in such a way as to cause pain or organ dysfunction (liver, kidney, gallbladder issues, etc.). The same nerves located in the thoracic spine innervating the mid back and chest also innervate the associated organs. By manipulating the thoracic spine and ribs, a chiropractor can fix the alignment of the spine allowing for proper functioning of the nervous system, alleviating pain and other symptoms. Rehabilitative therapies such as electrical stimulation and ultrasound may be utilized to relax aggravated soft tissue in order to speed up the healing process.

Mid back pain may not resolve after one treatment session with a chiropractor. The chiropractor will evaluate each patient at the onset of therapy to determine the proper treatment course. The number of adjustments necessary and rehabilitative therapies used varies upon the nature of your condition and the health of your spine.

With concerns due to mid back pain, please contact the office at 732-920-8188 or emailĀ dryanchus@brickfamilychiropractic.com.