How To Relieve Middle Back Pain
Middle back pain stretches and strengthening are a great way to work on healing middle back pain, but what if they dont completely help with your pain? Sometimes you need more than one approach. Physical therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, and some types of injections are other treatment options to consider.
At Arizona Pain, we know that middle back pain can seem like an unsolvable riddle. With therapeutic options tailored to you, we can help you put the pieces together. Get in touch today.
Back Muscle Strain Vs Pulled Back Muscle Vs Torn Muscle In Back
What is the difference between a strained, pulled, and torn back muscle? Sometimes, these terms are used interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference.
A strained back muscle is a general term to describe damage to the muscle or tendon tissue. Doctors from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons say that a back muscle strain can happen over time because of repetitive actions that overstretch or damage the muscle. Or, the strain can be an acute injury caused by falling, twisting, or suffering trauma to the back.1
A pulled muscle in your back is an example of an acute muscle strain that causes mild to severe back pain. Doctors from MedlinePlus say that pulling a muscle or tendon can result in a muscle strain. This can cause muscle spasms, swelling, and make moving the muscle difficult.2
A tear in a back muscle is a more serious injury that results in some of the tissue tearing from the connective joint or tendon. Doctors from the AAOS say that a torn muscle will cause significant swelling and will probably result in the affected area becoming immobile.1
What Causes The Mid
Poor posture is the main reason for the middle back pain. The thoracic spine is the area between the base of your neck and your lower ribs. It forms the backside of your rib cage. This part of your spine gives you stability while protecting vital organs like the heart, lungs and liver.
When you slouch or slump, you put extra pressure on the spinal components, including the muscles, ligaments, discs and vertebrae, which in time can cause wear-and-tear problems. Several factors can cause mid-back pain, including:
- Overusing the same muscles over a long period of time
- Doing repetitive movements for your job or hobby
- Being overweight or obese, which puts extra pressure on your thoracic spine
- Suffering from arthritis, which causes stiffness, swelling and intense pain
- Having osteoporosis, which makes you vulnerable to broken bones, as your bone density decreases
- Getting degenerative disc disease, which is caused by an injury or by wear and tear over time
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Middle Back Pain: Causes Symptoms And Treatment Options
Written byDevon AndrePublished onJanuary 24, 2017
Pain in the middle of the back can put a damper on your day and affect your ability to complete simple tasks. The middle of the back is made up of 12 thoracic vertebrae and their interlocking facet joints and discs, as well as the different muscles, tendons, and ligaments that allow movement. Because this section of the back is attached to the ribs, it is much more rigid and unable to bend and stretch in the way the upper and lower back can, meaning the discs of the middle back do not experience the same level of degradation as those in other areas. Instead, middle back pain is often a result of strained muscles or stressed joints between the ribs and vertebrae.
How Your Back Works
The spine, which is also called the backbone or spinal column, is one of the strongest parts of the body and gives us a great deal of flexibility and strength.
Its made up of 24 bones, known as vertebrae, one sitting on top of the other. These bones have discs in between and lots of strong ligaments and muscles around them for support. There are also the bones in the tailbone at the bottom of the back, which are fused together and have no discs in between.
On either side of the spine, running from top to bottom, are many small joints called the facet joints.
The spinal cord passes inside the vertebrae, which protect it.
The spinal cord connects to the brain through the base of the skull and to the rest of the body by nerves that pass through spaces between the bones of the spine. These nerves are also known as nerve roots.
As you grow older, the structures of your spine, such as the joints, discs and ligaments, age as well. The structures remain strong but its usual for your back to get stiffer as you get older.
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What Is Mid Back Pain
Mid back pain usually affects the lower thoracic spine where pain or discomfort can range from mild and brief, sharp and chronic that could last for months, averaging three months. The pain in the middle back occurs when any of the spineâs structure has inflammation or irritation. Other causes are due to diseases, injuries and structural changes.
Symptoms of mid back pain
The most common symptoms of mid back pain are due to the following:
- Mental problems such as depression or anxiety
What Exactly Is The Lower Back Anyway
Your lower back is known as the lumbar region of the spine. It has a lot of heavy lifting to do: The lumbar spine carries the weight of your entire upper body, plus biomechanical stresses that occur with movement.
The lumbar spine has five vertebraebackbones. Each vertebra has a large disc cushiony gel wrapped in a tough membrane on its front side that acts as a shock absorber. Each vertebra also has two cartilage-lined facet joints on its back side. Working together, discs and facet joints allow the spine to safely bend and twist.
Your lower back also includes ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Ligaments are strong bands that hold the vertebrae and discs together. Tendons attach muscles to the vertebrae. These structures help limit excessive movement that could harm the spinal cord.
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Middle Back Pain In Females
Pregnant women frequently experience back pain due to a combination of the biomechanical forces put on their spine by the growing fetus and the loosening of their ligaments due to the relaxin hormone released during pregnancy.
What organs can cause mid-back pain?The kidneys and gallbladder are organs that can cause mid-back pain. Mid-back pain can be a symptom of kidney stones.
How Is Upper And Middle Back Pain Treated
The reason you should definitely see your doctor regarding upper and middle back pain treatment is because the treatment depends on:
- The severity of the symptoms you experience
- How much your symptoms limit your mobility and performance of daily tasks
- How well other treatments have worked .
For the severe and unbearable pain, your doctor may suggest:
- Muscle relaxants which reduce the pain and muscle tension while improving mobility
- Antidepressants to help treat chronic upper and middle back pain
- Steroid injections that reduce the swelling and relieve the pressure on nerves and nerve roots.
- Surgery is only recommended in the most extreme cases when other treatments dont work.
However, most people experience mild to moderate upper and middle back pain whose symptoms can be easily manageable. Here is what you can do:
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Who Can Get A Back Strain
Does your back hurt? You are not alone. Most people at one time or another will suffer from a slight back problem. In the United States, back pain is one of the most common medical problems.
Back injuries often occur during sports, tasks at work, or home projects. When the lower spine muscles become swollen and inflamed, this is known as a strain. A strain can lead to muscle spasms and pain. Though less complicated than a fracture, the healing process depends on the cause and treatment.
Over a lifetime, more than eighty percent of people will have low back pain. It is seen more commonly among people ages 40 to 80, and in women. Over 100 billion dollars are spent each year in the United States because of low back pain factoring in decreased wages and absence from work.
A few people are more likely to develop a back strain. Risk factors include a family history of back pain, long periods of sitting, lifting of heavy items, and diseases such as arthritis or osteoporosis.
Other Causes Of Middle Back Pain
Middle back pain can range in severity and be explained by a number of things, ranging from tight muscles to cancer. Some of the more frequent causes of pain in the middle of the back are:
- Weak muscles that hinder movement and do not support the back properly
- Frequent and incorrect use of knapsacks that are too heavy or weighted improperly
- Trauma from a fall or car accident
- Long periods of poor posture
- Slipped or herniated disks
- Repeated heavy lifting
- Injuries due to sports
If your pain is not related to a known cause such as injury, poor posture, or improper use of a knapsack, it is important to speak with your doctor about potential causes, as middle back pain can be associated with more serious conditions such as osteoporosis, scoliosis, and some cancers.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Lower Back Pain
Symptoms of lower back pain can come on suddenly or appear gradually. Sometimes, pain occurs after a specific event, such as bending to pick something up. Other times, you may not know what caused the pain.
Pain may be sharp or dull and achy, and it may radiate to your bottom or down the back of your legs . If you strain your back during an activity, you may hear a pop when it happened. Pain is often worse in certain positions and gets better when you lie down.
Other symptoms of lower back pain include:
- Stiffness: It may be tough to move or straighten your back. Getting up from a seated position may take a while, and you might feel like you need to walk or stretch to loosen up. You may notice decreased range of motion.
- Posture problems: Many people with back pain find it hard to stand up straight. You may stand crooked or bent, with your torso off to the side rather than aligned with your spine. Your lower back may look flat instead of curved.
- Muscle spasms: After a strain, muscles in the lower back can spasm or contract uncontrollably. Muscle spasms can cause extreme pain and make it difficult or impossible to stand, walk or move.
How Can You Care For Yourself At Home
There are several things you can do at home to help reduce your pain. For example:
- Rest. If your back hurts a lot, take a break. But try not to let too much time pass before you get moving again. Instead, return to your activities slowly.
- Use over-the-counter pain medicines, such as acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . These can reduce pain and swelling. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
- Use over-the-counter muscle relaxants, such as methocarbamol . These can relax muscles and may reduce pain, but they may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or lightheadedness.
- Use a heating pad or ice pack. Heat can reduce pain and stiffness. Ice can help reduce pain and swelling.
- Exercise. Exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles in your back, shoulders, and stomach can help improve your posture, decrease your chance of injury, and reduce pain.
- Practice good posture. Be sure to stand or sit tall. Don’t slump or slouch.
- Learn ways to reduce stress. You might try deep breathing and relaxation exercises or meditation.
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Posture Exercise Tree Balance Pose
TO PERFORM TREE POSE
The Right Kidney And Ureter Pain
The right kidney and right ureter condition manifest with right loin pain. The right loin pain commonly spreads to the right mid-back.
- Infections of the kidney and urinary tract.
- Kidney inflammation.
- Rarely, kidney tumors.
- Right loin pain: the loin is the area between your ribs and hip. It is the typical site of right kidney and ureter pain.
- The pain can spread to the mid-back at the right side. Also, ureteric pain spreads to the right groin.
- Sudden onset: Food or movement DOESNT trigger renal colics.
- Intense colic that lasts for minutes to few hours.
- Sudden offset: the pain is relieved entirely after the attack. It tends to recure again.
- Movement doesnt decrease either increase the intensity of pain.
- It is associated with intense nausea. Vomiting also occurs with severe pain.
- Change in urine color .
The causes listed below are either rare or rarely spreads to the mid-back at the right.
- Liver: liver inflammation , liver abscesses, or liver cancer.
- Cancers: liver cancer, kidney cancer, bone cancers, lung cancers, pleural cancer , colorectali cancer, abdominal lymphoma, and others.
- Painful skin lesions: painful skin lesion in the mid-back at the right side can cause pain. Also, a lipoma can cause pain when it is large enough.
- Colon pain: localized gas or colon diseases in the right colon can cause pain that spreads to the right mid-backfor example, trapped gas, irritable bowel syndrome, IBD, and colorectali cancer.
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Diseases That May Lead To Mid Back Pain
- Osteoporosis â occurs due to the thinning or weakening of bones.
- Osteoarthritis â which happens when the cartilage break down.
- Osteomyelitis â either due to infection or inflammation of the bones.
- Paget’s diseases â which happens due to bone tissue loss and reformation.
- Spinal stenosis â the narrowing of the spinal canal, causing a lot of pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.
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Treatment For Mild To Moderate Pain
In most cases, people with mild to moderate upper and middle back pain can manage their symptoms with:
- Over-the-counterpain medicines, such as acetaminophen and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , to reduce pain. But if these don’t get rid of your pain, you may need a prescription pain medicine that is stronger.
- Over-the-counter muscle relaxants, such as methocarbamol . These can relax muscles and may reduce pain.
- Heat or ice to reduce pain and stiffness.
- Exercise to stretch and strengthen the muscles of your back, shoulders, and stomach.
- Physiotherapy to help increase your flexibility, strength, and balance. Your physiotherapist may teach you an exercise program so you can do it at home.
- Massage to help reduce muscle tension and pain for a short time and to improve blood flow.
- Spinal manipulation to help relieve pain and improve function. It can range from massage and slow pressing to a quick thrust.
- Acupuncture. It involves putting tiny needles into your skin at certain points on the body to promote healing and pain relief.
- Capsaicin cream may help relieve pain.footnote 1 Capsaicin is a substance contained in cayenne peppers. Capsaicin cream is applied directly to the skin over the painful area. Do not apply topical products that contain capsaicin to areas of broken skin.
How To Relieve Mid Back Pain
Mid-back pain typically arises due to a muscle strain caused by poor posture, lifting an object improperly, or sudden twisting, often during sports such as basketball, golf or softball. You can normally alleviate the pain caused by minor strains quickly if you follow a conservative treatment plan. Such a plan should include a period of rest followed by exercises to restore your range of motion and strength, according to Dr. William Prentice, a physical therapist and author of the textbook Essentials of Athletic Injury Management.
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Risk Factors And Complications Of Middle Back Pain
While middle back pain can happen to nearly anyone at any age, it is most prevalent in those between the ages of 30 and 50, as the combination of lifestyle changes that occur around this time and the weakening and aging of the spine and tissues put this age bracket at higher risk. Some risk factors of middle back pain are:
- Older age
- Congenital or acquired back problems such as scoliosis and kyphosis
- Poor posture
- Obesity and a sedentary lifestyle
- Higher levels of stress and anxiety
- Weak core muscles
These risk factors may lead to complications such as chronic pain, disability, permanent nerve damage or paralysis, and a reduced quality of life.