What are Common Causes of Upper Middle Back Pain?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 09 October 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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Upper middle back pain is one of the most difficult pains to alleviate because it is particularly difficult to stretch the muscles in this part of the body. The problem is further complicated by tracking down the causes of upper middle back pain; such pain is often caused by stiffness or pain in other areas of the back, shoulders, neck, and even the chest and diaphragm. The muscles in the upper back are large and just about always in use due to regular movement and breathing, so muscle strains are common in this area.

Perhaps the most common cause of upper middle back pain is overuse. Heavy lifting can cause strain on the muscles of the lower and middle back, as well as the shoulders and neck. This may lead to upper middle back pain due to a lack of support from other muscles, or due to misalignment of the spine due to overstrained or injured back muscles. Routine stretching and exercise can help prevent such injuries and can strengthen the muscles of the back, shoulders, and neck.


Poor posture is another common cause of upper middle back pain, one that can be easily rectified by paying closer attention to posture when sitting, standing, and moving. If sitting for long periods of time, it is important to stand up and move around to allow tensed muscles to release. When sitting, it is important to sit up straight with the lower back and neck properly supported. Crossing one's legs or shifting weight to one side can cause overcompensation by some muscles, leading them to strain or pull. Developing core muscles that support the spine can improve posture and reduce pain in all areas of the back.

More serious spinal issues may also cause upper middle back pain. Arthritis and spinal deformities can cause intense pain in all areas of the back. Arthritis occurs when cartilage in joints wears down or disappears entirely, leaving the bones to rub against each other. This can cause atrophying of the bones, which can lead to intense pain. Spinal deformities due to illness, injury, or birth defects can also cause significant pain due to bone rubbing on bone. Such injuries can also lead to spinal compression. It is important to consult a doctor if the sufferer suspects any of these maladies, as each one is treated differently. Some may be alleviated with medication, while other issues may require surgery or physical therapy.



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