Mid Back Pain and Physiotherapy

By Healthweb | November 6, 2013

Mid back pain is a pain felt in the area below the neck and above the waist or lower back. The middle back is composed of 12 vertebrae which are part of the thoracic section of the spine. The middle back is naturally strong and stable, as it is connected to the rib cage. The elastic cartilages which are found between each bone serve as shock absorbers. There are muscles and tendons that provide stability to the back.

There are many different problems that could trigger mid back pain. Some causes of pain in the middle back include:

  • Poor posture
  • Emotional stress
  • Improper lifting
  • Accidental trauma
  • Tightening of the diaphragm
  • Standing for hours
  • Sleeping uncomfortably
  • Aging
  • Poor intake of sugar and carbohydrates
  • Muscle strains
  • Overexertion
  • Heavy breasts

The Physiotherapist will take a thorough history and provide a physical examination of muscles, joints and nerve tissue related to the mid back area. After the assessment, the Physio will develop a plan to correct the underlying problems. The plan will be explained to the patient. Treatment will include precise and gentle mobilisations to the specific areas of malfunction, as well as a home program of stretches, strengthening exercises and postural awareness.

Conservative treatments Physiotherapists may use are:

Mobilisation to help relieve pain and improve function.

Massage to help reduce muscle tension and pain and improve blood flow.

Dry needling/Acupuncture promotes healing and pain relief.

Electrotherapy such as ultrasound, laser, interferential, TENS

Hot and cold packs to reduce pain and stiffness.

Patient education on correct posture, chair and workplace ergonomics.

Exercise prescription to stretch and strengthen the muscles of your back, shoulders, and stomach to help increase your flexibility, strength, and balance. Your physio may teach you an exercise program so you can do it at home.

Physiotherapists are healthcare professionals who have the training and skills to assess and treat mid back pain. If you are suffering from pain or know someone with pain, seek help early. Statistics reveal the longer the delay in starting treatment, the longer the time it takes to recover.

Stretch of the Month

Mid-Back Sitting Stretch

Do this exercise while sitting in a chair or on a bench with your feet resting flat on the floor.

  1. Lift your left arm until you feel a stretch in your rib area.
  2. Lower your arm and repeat with your right arm.
  3. Repeat this sequence 10 times.

Stop immediately if you feel pain.