Middle Back Pain: Essential Tips for Finding Fast Relief

middle back pain

Are you dealing with middle back pain and looking for ways to relieve it?

Middle back pain can be one of the most annoying and potentially debilitating types of chronic pain. It occurs when the muscles in your mid back are strained, pulled, or injured.

This pain can range from a sharp, stabbing sensation to a dull, throbbing ache.

If you're experiencing middle back pain, we're sure you're looking for ways to find relief. That's why we've put together this guide on quickly overcoming and relieving middle back pain.

Here you'll learn about the causes of middle back pain, as well as simple steps you can take to help you find relief from this common health condition.

Causes of Middle Back Pain

Understanding what's behind pain in your middle back is essential to finding successful relief.

From muscle strain and poor posture to spinal issues and osteoarthritis, there are many potential causes. Let's take a look at some of the most common.

Poor posture

Poor posture is one of the leading causes of middle back pain.

Slouching or hunching over for extended periods can cause your spine to curve in an unnatural way, which can be damaging to your mid-back muscles and vertebrae.

This type of poor posture not only leads to pain but can also result in long-term spinal damage if left untreated.

What's more, it can lead to chronic fatigue and headaches.

Muscle strain

Another common cause of pain in your middle back is muscle strain.

This can occur when you lift something heavy or awkwardly twist your mid-back.

It can also occur due to repetitive motions or overuse, such as sitting at a desk all day or doing the same physical activity repeatedly without giving your body time to recover. When your muscles become strained, it can lead to pain and stiffness in your mid back.


Ever heard of osteoarthritis?

It's a type of arthritis that develops when the protective cartilage around the vertebrae in your mid back breaks down, resulting in stiffness and pain. It commonly affects the spine as a degenerative joint disease (DJD).

DJD can also cause inflammation and reduce the range of motion in your mid-back area, making it difficult to perform everyday activities. If left untreated, osteoarthritis can lead to more serious spinal issues.

Spinal issues

Are you experiencing pain in your mid-back that radiates down to your legs?

If so, you may have a spinal issue such as a herniated disc or spinal stenosis.

These conditions are caused by age-related wear and tear on the spine or trauma from an injury.

Herniated discs occur when the cushioning material between two vertebrae is damaged, often leading to pain, numbness, and tingling in the mid-back area.

Degenerative disc disease is a condition in which discs become flattened over time, resulting in pain and stiffness.

Finally, spinal stenosis occurs when the openings around your spinal cord become narrowed due to age or injury, leading to a pinching sensation in your mid back.


Obesity can also be a significant contributing factor to middle back pain.

Excess weight puts additional strain on the spine and muscles in the mid-back area, leading to pain and stiffness.

This pain occurs because your body has to work harder to support the extra weight, leading to increased stress on the spine.

If you are overweight or obese, it is crucial to maintain a healthy weight to reduce your risk of back pain.

Fractured vertebrae

Fractured vertebrae are a severe cause of middle back pain.

They manifest when the spine is exposed to a traumatic event, such as a slip and fall or a car accident. It can also be caused by weakened bones due to age-related osteoporosis.

With fractured vertebrae, performing daily activities can be difficult and painful. If left untreated, the condition can worsen and lead to more serious spinal issues like nerve damage or paralysis.


As we age, our bodies naturally wear down and become less resilient.

This can result in chronic pain and stiffness in the middle back area due to reduced muscle flexibility and strength.

What's more, age-related conditions such as osteoporosis can cause fractures in the vertebrae of your mid back, leading to pain and discomfort.

Now that we've looked at the causes of middle back pain let's move on to just how you can tell if you're dealing with this type of pain.

Symptoms of Middle Back Pain

middle back pain symptoms

Experiencing middle back pain can be painful and exasperating. But how do you know if it's what you're dealing with? That's what we'll be discussing in this section.

Localized pain or tenderness in the middle back area

As the name suggests, middle back pain is pain or discomfort in the mid-back area.

This type of localized pain or tenderness can range from a dull ache to an intense stabbing sensation that radiates outward. It may also be accompanied by stiffness and difficulty with movement.

Muscle aches

Another sign of experiencing middle back pain is muscle aches.

These can manifest as a deep, dull ache in your mid back muscles that often worsens with movement or activity. This ache can also worsen at night, making it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position.

Muscle tightness or stiffness

Do you ever feel like your muscles in the middle of your back are tight or stiff?

If so, it could be a sign of middle back pain.

Muscle tightness or stiffness occurs when the muscles in your mid-back area become tense due to overuse, injury, or inflammation. You may also experience difficulty with your range of motion due to tightness. Muscle tightness can be caused by poor posture, repetitive movements, or overuse of the muscles in your mid back.

Loss of bowel or bladder control

Loss of bowel or bladder control can signify middle back pain.

This symptom is often caused by a herniated disc in the middle back area, which places pressure on nearby nerve roots. When this happens, it can cause difficulty with bladder and/or bowel control.

Common symptoms may include difficulty urinating, feeling like you have to go all the time, or an inability to hold your bowel movements.

Chest pain

Wondering how chest pain is related to middle back pain?

Just think of it like this: The chest and middle back are connected, so pain in one area can sometimes radiate to the other.

Chest pain caused by middle back pain may feel like a sharp or stabbing sensation that radiates down your body's left or right side.

This sharp pain may also be accompanied by other symptoms such as shortness of breath, nausea, or dizziness.

Experiencing these symptoms may signify that you're dealing with middle back pain. Most times, it can be hard to tell the cause of the pain or whether it's even related to your mid-back area.

Treating Middle Back Pain

Getting relief from middle back pain can be a challenge. However, several treatments may help reduce the pain and improve your quality of life. Some of them include the following:

Physical therapy to improve posture and strengthen the core muscles

Physical therapy is a great way to improve posture and strengthen the core muscles, which can help to reduce pain in your middle back.

Physical therapy involves exercises and stretches that target the mid-back area and focus on improving strength, flexibility, and range of motion.

A physical therapist can also guide you on proper body mechanics and how to modify certain activities so as not to strain the mid-back muscles.

What's more, physical therapists can also provide you with tools and techniques to help manage your pain, such as heat or cold therapy, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound.

Improve your posture

Are you guilty of sitting or standing in one spot for long periods of time?

If so, it's essential to take frequent breaks.

Taking breaks from sitting or standing in one spot for long periods can help reduce the strain on your mid-back muscles.

Try to rest every 20 minutes if you need to sit or stand for extended periods, and change positions frequently throughout the day.

You can try setting a timer on your phone to remind you to take a break.

Cold compress therapy

If you're experiencing mid-back pain, applying a cold compress to the affected area can help to reduce inflammation and improve mobility.

To make your own cold compress, fill a plastic bag with ice cubes and wrap it in a towel. Apply the cold compress to the affected area for 15-20 minutes daily.

Heat therapy

Infrared therapy middle back pain

Another simple home remedy for relieving pain in your mid-back area is heat therapy.

Applying heat to the affected area can help to reduce inflammation, increase circulation, and promote muscle relaxation. There are several ways you can use heat to your mid back.

A hot water bottle or heating pad can be used for targeted relief, or you can take a warm bath or shower to provide more general relief.

Avoid activities that put a strain on your mid back

Staying away from activities or positions that cause or exacerbate middle back pain is also essential to managing middle back pain.

If you experience pain while performing a certain activity, it may be best to stop the activity and take a break. This may include avoiding activities that involve heavy lifting, repetitive motions, or awkward postures.

You may also benefit from using supports or braces to help with posture and reduce strain on the mid back. For example, if you experience pain lifting heavy objects, use proper body mechanics and try using a lighter weight or a tool like a dolly to help you with the load.

Practice gentle stretching exercises or yoga poses

Gentle stretching exercises or yoga poses are a great way to reduce pain and improve flexibility in your mid-back area.

These exercises can help increase the affected area's circulation, reduce muscle tension, and promote relaxation. Some of them include the cat-cow pose, cobra pose, and spinal twist. Let's take a look at how to do each one:

Cat-Cow pose

Start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Inhale as you arch your back, draw your shoulder blades down, and lift your head up. Exhale as you round your spine toward the ceiling, draw your shoulder blades up, and tuck your chin to your chest.

Cobra pose

Lie on your stomach with your legs straight behind you and the tops of your feet on the floor. Place your hands flat next to your ribcage and slowly press into them as you lift your chest off the ground. Keep your elbows bent and only go up as far as is comfortable.

Spinal twist

Lie on your back and bring your knees up to your chest. Cross your right knee over the left and allow it to fall to the side. Keep both shoulders firmly on the ground as you turn your head to look in the opposite direction. Hold for a few breaths before switching sides.

These are just a few poses and stretches that can help relieve pain in your mid-back area. You can find more examples of stretching exercises online or consult with a physical therapist for tailored exercises. Just remember to practice these exercises slowly and gently to ensure smooth relief.

Engage in core strengthening exercises

Engaging in core strengthening exercises is a great way to help reduce pain in your middle back.

Core exercises can help strengthen your abdomen and back muscles, improving your posture and reducing strain on the mid-back region.

Examples of core strengthening exercises include planks, bridges, mountain climbers, and pelvic tilts. When performing these exercises, it's essential to maintain good form and engage the core muscles.

Improve your dietary habits

Make changes to my diet? Sounds like a reach, right?

Are you willing to let go of that bottle of soda for a glass of water?

While it may feel insignificant, it can significantly reduce inflammation in your body. Eating an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce inflammation in the mid back region, leading to reduced pain and improved mobility.

Some of the best anti-inflammatory foods include leafy green vegetables, fatty fish, and fresh fruits and vegetables. You can also take supplements like fish oil and turmeric to help reduce inflammation.

These are just a few steps to manage mid-back pain from the comfort of your own home. It's important to remember that we are all unique, so what works for one person may not work for another.

Now, let's explore alternative treatments to help you find relief from your mid-back pain.

Alternative Treatments for Middle Back Pain

While the above strategies can help reduce mid-back pain, it may be beneficial to explore alternative treatments. Options like acupuncture, massage therapy, and chiropractic adjustments can help to reduce pain and improve mobility in the mid-back area.

Let's take a closer look at how these treatments can help:

Acupuncture sessions to stimulate areas around the nerves in the middle back

If you are looking for a holistic approach to relieving pain in your mid-back region, acupuncture may be the answer.

It's an ancient Chinese healing practice that involves the insertion of fine needles into specific points on the body.

During an acupuncture session, the practitioner will insert needles into areas around the nerves in your mid back, which can help to stimulate the release of pain-relieving endorphins for relaxation. Acupuncture can also help to reduce inflammation and improve circulation to the affected area.

Specialized chiropractic care, including manual adjustments

A second alternative treatment option for middle back pain is chiropractic care.

Chiropractors are trained to assess the spine and make specialized adjustments to help relieve tension in the affected area. They can use manual manipulations, such as adjusting your vertebrae with their hands and using special tools like a spinal decompression table.

One of the benefits of chiropractic care is that it helps reduce pain and improve the range of motion and mobility in the mid-back area.

Massage therapy to relieve tension and loosen tight muscles

Ever thought of massage therapy? It has been found to reduce pain and improve mobility in the mid-back area.

Massage therapy involves manipulating the soft tissues in your body to reduce tension and enhance the flexibility of your back muscles. Massage therapists may use a variety of techniques, such as Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, or trigger point therapy, to relax your muscles and improve your posture.

Massage devices such as foam rollers and massage guns may also speed up recovery. These tools are very effective in reducing pain and improving mobility in the mid-back area.

Let's explore these devices and other fitness tools for a comprehensive approach to reducing back pain.

Using Fitness Tools for Middle Back Pain Relief

Using fitness devices is a great way to reduce pain and improve mobility in your mid-back muscles.

Powerful fitness tools like foam rollers and massage guns can target specific areas of your back to reduce tension and increase flexibility.

Let's take a closer look at how to use these devices for mid-back pain relief.

Massage guns

best massage gun for middle back pain

Are you wondering what massage guns are and how they help relieve pain in your mid-back muscles?

Massage guns are a great way to target specific areas of your mid back to reduce tension and improve mobility. These powerful handheld devices deliver exceptional percussive therapy to help release knots, break up scar tissue, and reduce inflammation.

They come in various shapes and sizes, with attachments to customize your massage experience. Fitness brands like Fusion Recovery offer the best massage guns to help you achieve maximum relief from mid-back pain. With a solid device, you can get a deep tissue massage at home and on the go.

Foam rollers

Foam rollers are another excellent option for relieving mid-back pain.

They are cylindrical foam devices that use your body weight to provide targeted relief on specific areas of your mid back. By rolling the foam roller up and down your back, you can apply pressure to sore muscles and break up any knots or tension in the area.

Foam rollers are also a great way to help reduce pain and improve mobility in the mid-back area. You can also use them to stretch out tight areas before or after a workout to reduce any chance of injury.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you still have questions about treating middle back pain? Don't worry; we've got you covered.

Here you'll find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about this condition and the various treatments available.

Can middle back pain go away on its own?

Yes, middle back pain can often go away on its own, given enough time.

Most people get relief within a few days or weeks, but some may experience longer-term pain. If your pain persists for longer than a few weeks, it's crucial to speak to your doctor to determine the cause and get appropriate medical treatment.

Is there any way to prevent middle back pain?

Yes, there are some steps you can take to help prevent middle back pain.

One of the most important things is to maintain good posture. This helps to reduce stress on your muscles and joints, which can help decrease the likelihood of developing middle back pain.

What's more, regular stretching and exercise can help keep your muscles flexible and reduce tension in the mid-back area. Strengthening your core muscles can also help to support the spine and reduce strain on the mid-back area.

How should I sleep with middle back pain?

Sleeping with middle back pain can be challenging, but some tips can make it easier.

First, it's important to avoid sleeping on your stomach as this puts extra strain on the lower and middle back. Sleeping on your side is preferable, as it helps to reduce pressure on the spine and evenly distribute your weight throughout the body.

It's also essential to use a supportive mattress and pillow that helps to keep your back in a neutral position.

What are the red flags for middle back pain?

Red flags for middle back pain include sudden or severe pain, numbness or tingling in the mid back area, difficulty breathing, weakness or loss of sensation in the arms and legs, and a fever.

If you experience any of these symptoms along with your middle back pain, it's essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Additionally, if your pain persists for longer than a few weeks, you should also speak to your doctor.


Middle back pain can be a difficult and uncomfortable condition to live with.

Luckily, there are various treatments available to help manage and reduce symptoms.

To find relief, it's important to first identify what might be causing this common condition in your particular case before looking into suitable solutions.

Treatments can range from physical therapy to medications to using massage guns and foam rollers.

Combined with lifestyle changes such as improved posture and core strengthening exercises, these treatments can help reduce your pain and strengthen weak muscles in your mid back.

We hope this article has enlightened you on middle back pain, its causes and how you can find relief. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

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