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Mid-thoracic Back Pain

Mid-thoracic back pain is pain in the middle of your back, from the base of your neck to the bottom of your ribs.

Causes of middle back pain include:

  • Muscle strain
  • Poor posture
  • Diseases such as osteoarthritis
  • Stress
  • Lack of strength,
  • Prolonged sitting at a computer
  • Using a backpack
  • Overuse injuries (such as repetitive motion), or
  • Trauma (such as a whiplash injury caused by a car accident or as a result of a sports injury).

Symptoms of mid-thoracic back pain

Symptoms of mid-thoracic back pain include:

  • Pain, which can be dull, burning, or sharp
  • Stiffness or tightness
  • Weakness
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms, legs, chest, or belly
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

Diagnosing mid-thoracic back pain

Because there are many different causes of middle back pain, your physician will review your medical history and perform a physical examination to help identify possible causes. Your doctor may also recommend diagnostic imaging, such as X-ray or MRI, to assist in diagnosing your pain.

Non-surgical Treatments:

1. Medication

Back pain and stiffness can make daily activities challenging. Frequently, a self-care approach using limited rest, appropriate gentle exercise, and over-the-counter medications or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can make you feel more comfortable until your pain resolves on its own.

When back pain does not improve on its own, the doctor may evaluate your symptoms and work with you to determine the treatment that is best for your individual condition. As part of your treatment, the doctor may use medications to support your return to function.

2. Physical therapy

Physiotherapists at Westminster Ortho Med Clinic, DHCC, Dubai are university trained in the assessment and treatment of spinal problems. Early and acute treatment focuses on understanding the diagnosis, reduction in pain and poor movement patterns and restoration of range of motion.

Physiotherapists treat thoracic spine pain using a variety of techniques including:

  • Soft tissue massage, muscular and trigger point releases
  • Manual treatments including :

Joint Manipulation: A passive, high velocity, low amplitude thrust applied to a joint complex within its anatomical limit with the intent to restore optimal motion, function, and/ or to reduce pain.

Joint Mobilization: A manual therapy technique as Maitland and other techniques comprising a continuum of skilled passive movements to the joint complex that are applied at varying Modalities such as heat, ice and TENs.

  • Protection such as compression, padding, strapping
  • Support braces or tape assisted posture retraining
  • Muscular stretches
  • Range of motion and breathing exercises
  • Postural training for core and alignment and Ergonomic advice and education
  • Taping
  • Muscular strength and endurance exercises
  • Manual handling, ergonomics, technique training, education and advice
  • Sport, work, hobby specific retaining
  • Active Release Techniques: A practitioner determines where adhesions are through touch, the practitioner then couples a patient’s active movement with his/her touches.
  • Exercises are beneficial in situations of hypo mobility to increase movement and hypermobility and postural issues to increase strength.

3. Exercises – Home exercise program

Most people who experience discomfort can treat back pain themselves with a few simple steps. Using these methods, 95 percent of people get better within three months without medical treatment. Effective self-care methods include:

  • Modified rest: Inactivity for an extended period of time is not a good idea, and may even make it more difficult to recover.
  • Appropriate gentle exercise: Stay active, but choose exercise that does not make your symptoms worse.
  • Medication: Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs can reduce swelling and provide temporary pain relief.
  • Ice and heat: If pain flares up right after activity, use an ice pack to reduce swelling. If achy soreness persists over time, or if you wake up with sore muscles, apply a heating pad to help ease muscle tightness.
  • Massage: Massage therapy has been shown to reduce the need for painkillers by providing temporary relief of chronic low back pain. Massage can reduce stress, pain, and muscle tension.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Extra weight puts increased stress on the structures of the spine. You can set your own weight-loss goals or get nutrition guidance from Summit’s wellness dietitian.
  • Walking: Walking delivers excellent health benefits, among them a better-conditioned spine. Regular walking can also ease episodes of back pain by stimulating the large nerves in the leg muscles. Studies have shown that a single session of walking—as little as 10 minutes on a treadmill—can lead to a significant reduction in low back pain.
  • The prognosis of mid- thoracic back pain will depend on the underling cause and specific circumstances of the individual.
  • Thoracic back pain is more likely than neck or low back pain to indicate underlying pathology.
  • Many cases of nonspecific thoracic back pain resolve within a few weeks.


Disclaimer: All contents on this site are for general information and in no circumstances information be substituted for professional advice from the relevant healthcare professional, Writer does not take responsibility of any damage done by the misuse or use of the information.

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