mid back

Mid Back Misery

Mid back pain is a common condition that can also feel like tenderness, tightness, or tension in the centre of your back.

The term “mid back” often refers to the thoracic spine – the region of the back between the rib cage and the base of the neck.

Mid back pain can be mild or severe, short-lived, or long lasting. You may feel it is there all the time or only feel it on or off. It is not as common as low back pain, the reason for this is that the spine is not as mobile in this region.

The thoracic spine is made up of 12 vertebrae, discs that separate them and function as shock absorbers, and muscles and ligaments that hold the spine together.

Symptoms of mid back pain

The nature of mid back pain can vary from person to person and include:

  • Sharp stabbing pain
  • Dull ache
  • Cramp
  • Tight or stiff muscles


Mid back pain has many potential causes, but the most common cause in adults is chronic irritation to the muscles and surrounding soft tissues. These injuries often result from sudden, awkward movements during sports or other strenuous activities. Let’s take a look at 5 common causes:

  1. Arthritis

Aaaaaahh our old friend arthritis! There are several different forms of arthritis, some of which can affect the spine.

  • Osteoarthritis is a common degenerative joint disease and causes the ends of bones to rub together, leading to pain, stiffness and swelling.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis is a form of inflammatory arthritis that typically affects joints in the hands, feet, and legs. It can also affect spinal joints and other pats or the body. It occurs when a person’s immune system mistakenly attacks joint tissue.
  • Ankylosing spondylitis is a type or arthritis that affects the spine. Over time, it causes the vertebrae to fuse, limiting mobility and impacting posture.
  1. Poor posture

These days, where we spend increased time at our desks, some degree of poor posture is unavoidable. Poor posture leads to repeated pressure on the spine which can lead to middle back pain. The muscles and ligaments in your back must work hard to keep you balanced when you slouch! Overworking these muscles can lead to all sorts or aches and pains.

  1. Overweight

Being overweight and especially obese puts additional strain on the spine, muscles, and other structures. Higher body weight and lack of physical activity can increase a person’s risk of general back pain.

  1. Referred pain.

The spine, despite being comprised of individual bones, works as a team. This means that pain felt in the mid back can sometimes be the result of a problem in another part of the spine, such as the neck or low back.

  1. A fall or other injury

The mid back is less likely to experience injury than the neck or lower back. This is because it is more rigid and structured. Having said that, it is still possible to injure the mid back. These injuries most often occur as a result of:

  • A car accident
  • A hard fall, like down the stairs or from a height.
  • Blunt force trauma
  • Sports injury or accident

A thoracic spine injury can happen to anyone, however, the older we get the higher the risk.

If your mid back pain becomes severe, worsens, or persists it is time to get an appointment to see your Chiropractor for a proper diagnosis and treatment

If you would like some further information or to speak to a member of our team please call us on: Hitchin 01462 420077 or Luton 01582 579687, alternatively e-mail us at: or