Mid-thoracic Back Pain
What is mid-thoracic back pain?
Mid-thoracic back pain is pain in the middle of your back, from the base of your neck to the bottom of your ribs. Causes of middle back pain include:
- Muscle strain
- Poor posture
- Diseases such as osteoarthritis
What are the common symptoms of mid-thoracic back pain?
Symptoms of mid-thoracic back pain include:
- Pain, which can be dull, burning, or sharp
- Stiffness or tightness
- Numbness or tingling in the arms, legs, chest, or belly
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
How do you diagnose mid-thoracic back pain?
Because there are many different causes of middle back pain, your physician will review your medical history and perform a physical examination to help identify possible causes. Your doctor may also recommend diagnostic imaging, such as X-ray or MRI, to assist in diagnosing your pain.
How is mid-thoracic back pain treated nonsurgically?
Treatment for mid-thoracic back pain focuses on managing the pain and restoring function with conservative care.
Nonsurgical treatment options include:
What surgical treatment options are available for mid-thoracic back pain?
Most patients find relief from their mid-thoracic back pain without surgery. Surgery is only appropriate in a very limited number of cases where everything else has been tried or the pain is so severe that you cannot do the most basic of daily activities. Most patients who only have mid-thoracic back pain are not surgical candidates.
Spinal Fusion Surgery
Spine fusion surgery attaches the damaged vertebral bone to an adjacent vertebral bone so that they grow together into one long bone. A fusion will reduce freedom of movement in the spine by making the fused vertebral bones immobile, but that immobility serves the purpose of reducing pain.
How spine fusion works:
- During surgery, a bone graft is added to the spine segment being fused.
- Your body grows new bony tissue over the bone graft between the two vertebral segments, fusing them together.
- When the fused bones heal, the fusion prevents movement at the joint.
More resources on fusion surgery:
- Check out information on Minimally Invasive Spine Fusions versus Spinal Fusion Surgery
- Learn how to Prepare for Spine Fusion Surgery
- Find out more on the Gold Standard in Spine Surgery
Summit Orthopedics offers comprehensive spine expertise
Summit’s spine care team is recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance for the comprehensive expertise of our patient-centered care. Our back specialists diagnose spine problems and design custom treatment plans built on a conservative, nonsurgical approach. Most patients find relief through treatments including guided injections, specialized physical therapy, biofeedback, exercise, activity modification, and medication. When conservative care does not relieve symptoms, our highly skilled surgeons offer proven, evidence-based surgical options. Together with you, we will determine the right course of action.
Summit has convenient locations across the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, serving Minnesota and western Wisconsin. We have state-of-the-art centers for comprehensive orthopedic care in Eagan, MN, Vadnais Heights, MN, and Woodbury, MN, as well as additional community clinics throughout the metro and southern Minnesota.
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Ask the Expert: Spine Video Series
Exercise is one of the best preventative measures we can take to maintain good health. Generally, exercise increases physical strength and improves longevity. Specific exercises can also address and improve many types of spine pain.