Mid-back pain refers to the middle of your spine from just below your neck to the vertebra that attaches to your bottom rib.
Your mid-back is comprised of your Thoracic Spine which goes from T1 through T12 . Your spinal cord passes through these vertebrae and then out to innervate each of your organs. They are also innervating all of the muscles of your trunk.
You have many important muscles that form your mid-back. Each muscle has multiple purposes, all of them related to breathing (ie: intercostal muscles), and moving your spine. A sampling of the muscles are:
- The Erector Spinae Group – enables you to stand up from the bent forward position. Since each of these muscle fibers insert into a rib, when the muscle is pulling on the insertion point at the bone, you will have mid-back pain.
- Trapezius – brings your head back and draws your shoulder blades back (military style). When your trapezius muscle is in spasm, and you try to bring your arms forward or tilt your head to the opposite side, you will feel the strain as pain in your mid-back area.
- Rhomboids – brings your shoulder blades toward your spine, and brings your arm back so you can put your hand behind your back. Like the trapezius, if your rhomboid muscle is in spasm you will feel pain in your mid-back as the muscle, which has knots in the fibers, is being stretched.
When the muscles of your mid-back are in spasm because of repetitive strain, as they pull on their insertion points on the bones, they are placing a great strain on the thoracic vertebrae which can cause pain by impinging on the nerves of your mid-back. This causes burning pain, such as the pain you feel between your shoulder blades.
The tight mid-back muscles can also be causing a strain on the bones, and just as pulling your hair will cause pain at your scalp, when the muscles are tight they are pulling and will cause bone pain.
The burning pain is caused by a nerve being impinged. Nerves can be impinged by bone, ie: where they pass through the spine on their way to the area they innervate, or by muscles.
When muscles are tight they can be pressing on nerves, which will refer pain along the length of the nerve fiber. You may feel the burning pain in your mid-back, but the actual spasm could be anywhere along the length of the nerve from your spine to the end-point.
Rubbing on the burning, painful, area won’t help. You need to find the muscle spasm and release it.
You will get relief from pain as you take the pressure off the nerve by releasing the tension in the mid-back muscle fibers.
15 Minute Back Pain Solution. Learn how to stretch and strengthen to relieve pain and to achieve a healthier back.