Centre of Non-Medicated Pain Management and Body Adjustments

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Upper and Middle Back Pain

What is upper and middle back pain?

Upper and middle back pain can occur anywhere from the base of your neck to the bottom of your rib cage.

Your ribs attach to a long, flat bone in the center of the chest called the sternum and attach to and wrap around your back. If a nerve in this area is pinched, irritated, or injured, you may also feel pain in other places where the nerve travels, such as your arms, legs, chest, and belly.

Upper and middle back pain is not as common as low back pain or neck pain, because the bones in this area of the back don’t flex or move as much as the bones in your lower back or neck. Instead, they work with the ribs to keep the back stable and help protect vital organs, such as the heart and lungs.

What causes upper and middle back pain?

Upper and middle back pain may be caused by:

  • Overuse, muscle strain, or injury to the muscles, ligaments, and discs that support your spine.
  • Poor posture.
    Pressure on the spinal nerves from certain problems, such as a herniated disc.
  • A fracture of one of the vertebrae.
  • Osteoarthritis caused by the breakdown of cartilage that cushions the small facet joints in the spine.
  • Myofascial pain that affects the connective tissue of a muscle or group of muscles.


In rare cases, pain may be caused by other problems, such as gallbladder disease, cancer, or an infection.

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