Mid Back Pain

Mid Back Pain Overview

Your mid-back is the area of your spine between the upper border of your shoulder blades and your lowest ribs. Pain in the mid back can be quite disabling.

Mid-back pain is very common due to people spending more and more time on computers and looking down at their smartphones or ipads. We often think of mid back pain as between your shoulder blades ( interscapular pain ) . However, pain in the mid-back can occur anywhere along your spine and ribcage.

In the past, doctors and scientists disregarded the midback region and only focused their attention on the neck (cervical ) and lower back (lumbar spine ). Recently, however, there has been an increased interest in the anatomy, biomechanics and function of the mid-back. The latest research indicates that the integrity and position of your thoracic spine and ribcage are essential to the proper function of the neck, low back and pelvic floor.

Your trunk (ribcage & thoracic spine) is the anatomical, functional and physiological crossroad of your whole body. The midback forms the connection between your upper and lower body. For example, you could not walk without these intricate trunk connections. Your body’s ability to rotate occurs mostly in your trunk. Normal breathing integration is not possible without the proper functioning of your trunk. Your body’s core is also part of the trunk.

The use of the word core is widespread these days so most people think of your core as being only your abdominal muscles. Your core includes the muscles that connect your trunk to your lower limbs via your pelvis – this includes your diaphragm, your pelvic floor and all the muscles in between. Your core and trunk muscles have a variety of functions:

1. To Provide Spinal stability
2. To Provide Lumbopelvic/hip stability
3. Control of basic trunk rotation
4. Functional connection of the upper body to the lower body
5. Integration with Pelvic floor
6. Full 360 Breathing – ribcage expands to front, sides & back

The most common pain in your mid-back is myofascial while the second most common pain in the thoracic spine or midback is from your thoracic spinal joints & your costovertebral joints (rib joints). Pain in the trunk typically arises from both.
There is also mid-back pain that arises from nerves, often involving a bulged or herniated disc in your thoracic spine. This is though this quite uncommon.

Physiotherapists can assess, diagnose and treat your midback pain. We can help you with postural correction, breathing and core control exercises as well as hands-on treatment to improve function, restore normal movement patterns and mobility in your midback.

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