Common Causes of Mid to Upper Back Pain


Mid to upper back pain usually comes from strained back muscles, misaligned vertebral joints and rib attachments, or compressed thoracic discs.

In rare cases, the individual may have a recent vertebral compression fracture, spinous or ribhead fracture (see below MRI image of a compression fracture).   While impact trauma can cause all three types, vertebral body compression fractures may occur spontaneously in those with advanced osteoporosis (loss of bone mass).   Check with your doctor if your mid/upper back pain is focalized and sharp in nature; lasting over three weeks and is not relieved by massage, heat/cold or manipulation because you may have a fracture or bone pathology.

vertebral comp fx

For most cases of gradual-onset mid/upper back pain, it is posture-related and common to those who have desk jobs.  This category of back pain is what this ebook will focus on.

People affected by chronic, mid/upper back pain typically have:


NEXT: Risk Factors for Mid/Upper Back Pain

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