Mid-Back Pain

Mid-back pain is usually caused by the joints in your thoracic back, thoracic back muscles, or the nerves in your thoracic back. The thoracic back is located at the back of the chest (the thorax), mostly between the shoulder blades.


Treatment, if pain caused by JOINTS (facet arthropathy)

This happens more often than most people realize because the joints in the thoracic back essentially wear down through the course of a lifetime. It generally involves a deep, gnawing pain that feels worst when you move your head side to side. We will first get confirmation of this with a simple X-ray of the thoracic back. Once we confirm this, we will target the nerves that go specifically the joints that are worn down with a diagnostic injection. If this helps, we will semi-permanently turn off the nerves. Part of the goal with helping you with the pain is to also strengthen the muscles so that the stress on the joints is reduced. This is how long-term pain relief and functionality is achieved.


Treatment, if pain caused by NERVES (thoracic radiculopathy)

The nerves in your thoracic back come off the spinal cord and go through a hole (the neuroforamen) in your spine before they go to the ribcage and to your abdominal wall. The space around the spinal cord can get tight from the joints and bushings (discs) wearing down and forming scar tissue. This tightening of the space causes the nerves to swell which further increases the pressure. Often, it is sufficient to inject the area with steroids to calm the inflammation down and to strengthen the muscles so that the stress on the joints is reduced. Unfortunately, this has to be done repeatedly while we rehabilitate your muscles. If we are unable to achieve sustained relief, we may need to escalate your care to a neurosurgeon who can create more space for the nerves.


Treatment, if pain caused by MUSCLES

Regardless of the source of your pain, the muscles in your thoracic back will tighten up and have to work extra hard. This wears them down and is similar to having to run a marathon day in and day out. The key to running a marathon without pain is to get enough sleep and recovery (which we can help with) as we help your muscles handle the extra requirements.

Conditions & Treatments

Head Pain

Facial Pain

Neck Pain

Shoulder Pain

Hand Pain

Chest/Upper Back Pain

Lower Back Pain

Abdomen Pain

Pelvic Pain

Lower Extremity Pain

Pain All Over