When you have pain in your neck you can barely drive because you can’t turn your head. When you have low back pain you can’t get in or out of your car, or chair…But, what about mid back pain? That pain between your shoulder blades or ribs. Mid back pain needs effective help just as much as neck or low back pain.
We thought you might like some useful information about mid back pain causes and treatments. First, lets explore some common causes of mid back pain.
How Your Mid Back Works
Your mid back is where your ribs attach to the spine. This is called the thoracic spine. The thoracic spine does not have as much motion as the neck or lower back because of the rib attachments. But, it needs to have some flexibility to bend forward and back and side to side to stay healthy. Also, The ribs must also go up and down with each breath, in what is called a bucket-handle motion. If any of these motions do not occur, there can be pain and stiffness in your mid back.
Some Causes of Mid Back Pain
When you regularly experience stiffness in any part of your spine including your mid back, pain will likely soon follow unless the reason for the stiff sensation is fixed.
When a rib mis-aligns it can cause sudden sharp pain in either the back or chest or both. Sometimes this mimics a heart attack type pain. Rib pains usually hurt worse however when you take a deep breath. Realigning a rib takes a skilled chiropractic adjustment.
Mid back disc injuries are rare compared to neck or lower back disc problems because of the stabilizing ribs. Sometimes neck disc injuries refer pain into the mid back though. Strong rotational movements like swinging a bat or golf club, or in heavy lifting movements can also irritate nerves between the ribs.
Even though your mid back is more stable than your neck or low back, poor neck or low back posture can lead to problems in your mid back.
The Problem of Poor Posture
Poor posture with rounded shoulders causes mid back pain. Look in the mirror. Do you notice that your head seems a little too far forward? This posture strains muscles along each side of your spine. This is enough to start mid back pain. If you add a lot of bench presses, push-ups or even just long hours bent over a desk or your cell phone… the resulting muscle imbalances can lead to pain. Your mid back then feels tired and achy all the time.
Just sitting too much can also give you mid back pain. When you sit for a long time, a big muscle that runs from the front of your lower back vertebrae to your hips called the ilio-psoas becomes shortened. This results in difficulty fully straightening your spine when you stand which contributes to the mid back pain.
These are just a few of the imbalances we find in people with mid back pains.
And That’s Not All
To top off all the muscle and joint causes of pain, sometimes internal diseases can refer pain to the mid back like…gall bladder pain can be felt in the right shoulder blade region. Lung problems and even heart problems and stomach disease can sometimes be felt in the upper back too.
How Do You Find Out What Is Causing Your Back Pain?
When someone first comes to us with mid back pain, we do an exam. Dr. Steve or Dr. Ellen will take the person through some tests. We check their posture and their muscles and joints and look for pinched nerves or pains referred from discs in the neck.
If we don’t find any of the common musculoskeletal causes of the pain, we will tell you and refer you to your medical doctor for further tests.
But the good news is, that stuck joints, muscle trigger points and bad posture are the most common reason for mid back pains. Then we will set up a treatment program for you to get out of pain and back to health as quickly as possible.
What Can Be Done For Mid Back Pain?
Chiropractic adjustments free up stuck spinal and rib joints. Sometimes this is all it takes for a painful back to feel better.
Knots in muscles are usually involved at the same time. We use specific hands on muscle therapy techniques called ‘fascial manipulation’ to free up the painful knots. Sometimes you may not even be aware of these knots. But knots have far-reaching effects that decrease your stability and limit your pain free movement.
We teach our patients gentle effective Foundation Training exercises. We feel these are the best and most effective way to get you out of pain and restore your stability as soon as possible. Foundation Training exercises require no equipment and you won’t need to join a gym in order to start feeling better quickly. The Foundation Training exercises also improve your health and posture.
If you find you enjoy these exercises and want to learn more, you can follow them by learning their many facets on line at https://www.foundationtraining.com/
What You Can Do For Yourself
- Make sure your bed is no more than 7 years old
- Don’t wear the heels of your shoes down to nothing
- When sitting at a desk or computer, always sit facing straight on, never twisted to one side.
- Avoid sitting with one leg curled under you, this tips your spine and causes the muscles to pull unevenly.
- Avoid shoulder shrugs and push-ups as part of your work-out. This can worsen mid to upper back pains.
- When weight training, be sure to strengthen muscles both on the front and back of your body. (For example strengthen your rhomboids and lower trapezius). Good health is often a question of balance in more ways than one.
- Keep regular chiropractic visits. (You would not wait to have tooth pain before going to a dentist would you? Why wait for back pain before going to a chiropractor?)
What We Can Do To Help
We can check your exercises to be sure they are correct for you. We make sure you are not doing exercises that are making you worse. Loosening up tight joints and soothing achy muscles also help.These are just a few of the ways we can help your achy back. Why suffer? Give us a call today at 978-535-6155.