When most people experience back pain, it's usually in their lower back. The middle back, or thoracic spine, is far less prone to injury because it is less mobile and does not carry as much of your body weight. Although less common, it is possible to experience pain or discomfort anywhere from the bottom of your neck to roughly waist level.
If you are experiencing middle back or thoracic spine pain (TSP), the doctors at Desert Institute for Spine Care are here for you. We focus on compassionate care and sophisticated diagnostic techniques to help us find the source of your middle back pain and develop a personalized treatment approach.
Middle back pain is a symptom rather than a condition, and it usually points to some injury or illness of the thoracic spine. The thoracic spine has far less range of motion than the upper or lower back. Its main functions are to provide stability, protect the spinal cord and provide an attachment point for the ribs and various muscle groups.
Your spinal column is made up of 33 vertebrae, 12 of which are located in the thoracic region. This middle back area is found at the back of the chest, extending from the bottom of the neck to the start of the low back.
Along with the vertebrae, the middle back consists of shock-absorbing spinal discs, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and blood vessels.
When you experience damage, injury or irritation to any of the thoracic spine structures, you may experience TSP.
The pain that people experience in their middle back can be characterized in various ways, including tenderness, tightness or stiffness. Patients also describe their pain as feeling dull, sharp or stabbing. TSP can be accompanied by a burning sensation in the middle back.
Additional side effects that sometimes accompany middle back pain include:
There are a variety of effective and innovative treatment options for middle back pain. At DISC in Arizona, our first aim is to provide an accurate diagnosis. Because of the various potential causes, we use a proprietary diagnostic technique called Personalized Pain Diagnostics (PPD) to find the specific pain generator.
Once we understand your unique pain journey, we work with you to develop a personalized treatment approach. As leaders in minimally invasive spine care, we always start with the least invasive option, including non-surgical treatments like:
However, if your middle back pain symptoms progress, we may recommend surgical intervention. The spinal care experts at DISC specialize in a wide range of surgical options, including minimally invasive procedures.
If you've been struggling with middle back pain and nothing seems to relieve your symptoms, contact the orthopedic spine surgeons at DISC to learn about your treatment options. Take the first step toward relieving your pain and enjoying life again.