Middle back pain is characterized by pain and discomfort in the spine’s thoracic region, below the neck and above the bottom of the rib cage. There are 12 bones located in the thoracic spine, referred to as T1 through T12, and disc reside between each of them to reduce friction between bones and increase stability and physical shock resistance. This column of the spine protects the spinal cord, an extended bundle of nerves that relay signals between the brain and the body. Problems in the spine, muscles, spinal cord, ligaments, or discs can lead to pain.
Pain in the thoracic region is commonly noticed in the form of aching in the muscles, dull pain, a burning, sharp or stabbing sensation, and stiffness in the back. In serious complications, a patient may experience tingling in the lower and mid-section of the body. This is accompanied by pain in the hands, chest, and ribs. Additionally, patients may experience difficulty in excretion due to bowel and bladder dysfunction.
Many reasons can cause pain in the middle back. Bad posture and obesity can lead to added strain on the spine, which in turn can cause higher wear and tear. Tension in the muscles due to lifting heavy weights, repetitive motions can also lead to discomfort. Most of the complications with these kinds of reasons can be solved with making life changes, such as fixing posture, physical therapy, and weight loss. Middle back pain can also be a result of a fall or injury. Conditions such as Osteoarthritis or a herniated disc can also lead to degradation in the spine, leading to problems. Spinal degeneration is especially common in old age due to extended wear and tear over time. It is essential to consult a doctor to investigate the extent of the damage and find appropriate treatment in such cases.
Diagnosis involves physical exams and imaging scans. The doctor will physically examine your entire spinal region during a physical exam to look for tenderness, swelling, and deformity. Further scans such as the X-Ray, CT, and MRI may be performed to look more closely at the spine. This helps the doctor investigate the exact location of the problem, it’s the extent and suggest proper treatment.
Treatment may involve simple changes to your daily life, such as physical exercise, stretching, and proper posture. The doctor may advise you to avoid lifting heavy objects to avoid increasing the load on the spine. In severe conditions, medical intervention in the form of medication, inter-spinal injections, and surgery may be required. Medication such as pain and anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to reduce the discomfort a patient experiences. Inter-spinal steroid injections may be necessary to reduce inflammation and to take care of herniated discs. Spinal surgery such as Laminectomy, Diskectomy, or Laminotomy may be performed to ease the strain on the spine and spinal cords.
To reduce your chances of developing these symptoms, it is critical to practice better posture while sitting, walking, sleeping, and lifting heavy objects. If you’re overweight, consider looking into weight-loss more seriously as weight provides additional strain to the spine, leading to a myriad of complications. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle where one exercises regularly, eats, and sleeps well is also essential.