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Middle Back Pain

Middle Back PainWhile mid-back pain may not be as prevalent as discomfort in the upper or lower back, its impact on one’s life is equally significant and debilitating. The inability to twist or turn without pain can hinder your lifestyle and participation in your favorite activities. Mid-back pain imposes limitations on normal daily activities, affecting overall well-being. Relief is readily available in Wisconsin at Pro Spine & Pain, where five convenient locations offer accessible treatment options. Don’t endure unnecessary discomfort when solutions are within reach—call today to return to your normal routines.

Middle-back pain is less common than lower back pain, upper back pain, or neck pain. This pain is typically associated with the region between the shoulder blades spanning from the neck to the bottom of the ribcage, and discomfort in this part of the body can still pose challenges in daily life, particularly for otherwise healthy individuals. Chronic mid-back pain may result if the underlying condition causing it remains undiagnosed or if the individual fails to seek prompt treatment. The irritation can manifest as a sharp stabbing sensation or a dull, burning ache, accompanied by tightness and stiffness in the back muscles.

For effective relief, it is essential to have a thorough examination by a pain management specialist. The expert doctors at Pro Spine & Pain in Wisconsin will tailor a treatment plan to your specific needs.

Seeking medical attention becomes urgent if middle-back pain is accompanied by:

  • Weakness in your arms
  • Loss of control of your bladder or bowels
  • Numbness or tingling in your chest or arms
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fever and chills
  • Signs of a bacterial infection

Indicators that you Require Treatment for Mid-Back Pain

Back pain can arise from various diseases and medical conditions. While it is not very common, it’s essential to be aware of potentially serious issues such as pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer that may manifest as middle-back pain, particularly on the left-hand side. A kidney stone or other kidney problems could also trigger mid-back pain on the right side.

When seeking treatment from your Wisconsin back pain specialist, provide detailed information about the location and intensity of your pain.

Other medical conditions associated with pain in the thoracic spine area include:

Additional factors contributing to symptoms include:

  • Back injury, such as a slipped disc or sprain
  • Poor posture
  • Prolonged sitting at a desk
  • Overuse of specific muscles and ligaments
  • Repetitive movements in your job or sport
  • Back muscle atrophy
  • Wearing a backpack for extended periods
  • Sports injuries
  • Trauma from a car accident or fall
  • Occupations requiring frequent heavy lifting

Mid-Back Pain Treatment

The appropriate middle-back pain treatment for you will depend on the precise cause of your discomfort. Your pain management specialist in Wisconsin possesses a variety of tools and techniques to address the root of your pain. They will typically start with conservative, non-invasive treatment options.

To counter pain of a more minor nature, your doctor may suggest over-the-counter painkillers or prescribe a stronger medication for severe pain. Applying heat or ice to the affected area is also recommended to alleviate discomfort by reducing inflammation. Referral to a physical therapist might also be recommended to prescribe appropriate exercises. However, for individuals who are enduring chronic back pain in this area, more comprehensive treatment approaches may be necessary.

Opting for a Spinal Cord Stimulator

The spinal cord stimulator stands as a relatively recent technological advancement offering improved management of chronic mid-back pain. Surgically inserted beneath your skin, the device features wires connecting to the nerves of your spinal cord. When activated, it emits a mild electrical pulse that disrupts the pain signals received by your brain.

The initial phase may involve a trial device, which is not surgically implanted but worn close to your body. If the treatment proves effective, the stimulator device is then implanted. You will have control over the stimulator device through a remote control. Depending on your model, the spinal cord stimulator can remain operational for over 10 years.

Preventing Mid-Back Pain

Considering surgery may be needed in order to resolve extreme cases of mid-back pain, adopting preventive measures to safeguard your spine is strongly advised by doctors and physical therapy specialists.

Consider the following steps to prevent problems with this condition:

  • Adhere to the guidelines provided by your physical therapist to strengthen your back muscles and enhance overall flexibility.
  • Stretch and strengthen your abdominal muscles to alleviate stress on your back muscles.
  • Maintain a healthy weight to minimize daily pressure on your middle back.
  • Incorporate regular exercise into your routine, particularly aerobic activities such as swimming, walking, and elliptical training.
  • Reduce smoking or—even better—quit cigarettes altogether.
  • Be mindful of your movements, paying particular attention to how you bend, twist, and lift.
  • When lifting heavy objects use the muscles of your legs, not your back.
  • Pay attention to your posture, whether you are standing or sitting.

The following five exercises are commonly recommended for mid-back pain. Consult with your back pain specialist or physical therapist to ensure you perform these movements correctly so that you avoid making your condition worse.

  1. Thoracic Extension Exercises:
    • Sit or stand with your hands behind your head.
    • Gently arch your upper back backward, focusing on the middle of your spine.
    • Hold for a few seconds, then return to the starting position.
    • Repeat several times.
  2. Cat-Cow Pose:
    • Start on your hands and knees in a tabletop position.
    • Inhale as you arch your back, dropping your belly and lifting your head (Cow).
    • Exhale as you round your back, tucking your chin to your chest (Cat).
    • Repeat this motion for several repetitions.
  3. Seated Twist Stretch:
    • Sit on the floor with your legs crossed.
    • Place one hand on the opposite knee and gently twist your torso, looking over your shoulder.
    • Hold the stretch for a few seconds, then repeat on the other side.
  4. Rows with Resistance Bands:
    • Secure a resistance band around a stationary object.
    • Sit or stand facing an anchor point, holding the band with both hands.
    • Pull the band toward you, squeezing your shoulder blades together.
    • Slowly release and repeat several times.
  5. Child’s Pose:
    • Begin on your hands and knees.
    • Sit back on your heels, reaching your arms forward and lowering your chest toward the floor.
    • Hold the stretch, feeling a gentle extension in your mid-back.

Remember, it’s crucial to perform these exercises with proper form and to start with gentle movements. If you experience any pain or discomfort, stop immediately and consult with a healthcare professional. They can provide personalized advice based on your specific condition.

It is essential to have your mid-back pain evaluated by a medical professional. Contact Pro Spine & Pain for a consultation today.

Updated on Apr 12, 2024 by Dr. Thomas Stauss (Pain Management) of Pro Spine & Pain

Thomas Stauss, MD

Thomas Stauss, MD, completed both his undergraduate and medical studies at the esteemed University of Wisconsin in Madison. Dr. Stauss values having access to a wide array of cutting-edge treatment options, ensuring effective relief for his patients' discomfort and a significant enhancement in their quality of life. More specifically, he specializes in utilizing implanted devices to manage chronic pain. Dr. Stauss’s primary objective is to uphold the dignity of each patient while delivering ethical and professional services.

More about Dr. Stauss