The area of the spine from the base of the neck to the lower rib is called the mid-back. Mid-back pain can be caused by any number of problems. Since the description is based on the location, not the cause, your physician will work with you diagnose the problem. University Spine Center is dedicated to providing you complete information, answering your questions and giving you an accurate diagnosis.

What can cause mid-back pain?

  • Mid-back pain can be caused by a blow to the back, a car accident or some other injury and trauma to that area.
  • In some cases, an injury to the ribs or front of the body at the level of the mid-back may be felt in the back.
  • A ruptured or herniated disc in that region may cause severe mid-back pain.
  • Osteoporosis can weaken bones, including the vertebrae, and trigger mid-back pain.
  • Spinal stenosis can cause the spinal canal to contract and cause pain.
  • Arthritis can affect any part of the spine, including the mid-back.

What are the symptoms of mid-back pain?

Besides the most obvious symptom of pain in the mid-back area, you may notice some other symptoms:

  • Pain may extend to the neck, shoulder blades or ribs.
  • It may be hard to breathe deeply or there may be chest pain when inhaling deeply.
  • Pain in the back or front may be worse when you sneeze or cough.
  • Pain in the ribs, particularly if it comes on suddenly and then goes away.

Diagnosis of mid-back pain

University Spine Center has successfully treated many people with mid-back pain. The first step is getting an accurate diagnosis. This includes not just identifying what hurts and where it hurts but what the cause of the problem might be. This will involve a physical examination and a consultation with a back pain specialist, but it may also involve X-rays or other imaging techniques as well as other tests. Your doctor will tell you what is most helpful in your case.

Treating mid-back pain

At University Spine Center, there are two important aspects to treating mid-back pain:

Talk to your physician about your pain levels. There are many things you can do for pain. For many people with mid-back pain, you will benefit from doing a combination of things that work for you. These things may include:

Talk to your doctor about which ones might be right for you.

Beyond getting relief from pain, you may need to address the underlying problem in your back. In some cases, injuries or damage to the mid-back may heal naturally over time. In other instances, you may require special treatments. Your University Spine Center team will help you find the right course of treatment for you.