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Effective Home Remedies for Middle Back Pain Relief

effective home remedies for middle back pain


Middle back pain, a common ailment affecting individuals of all ages, significantly impacts the quality of life and daily functionality. Given its impact, understanding and addressing this condition is important for maintaining overall health and well-being. 

This blog delves into the middle back pain causes, common symptoms, and effective home remedies for pain relief, emphasizing the importance of a proactive approach and the benefits of physical therapy and ergonomic adjustments. 

With an eye towards practical, actionable advice, we’ll explore how to relieve pain and improve life quality through simple, yet effective strategies.

Understanding Middle Back Pain

Middle back pain, situated in the thoracic spine area, is less common than lower back pain but can be equally debilitating. It encompasses the region between the neck and the lower back, affecting the vertebrae, muscles, and ligaments within this spinal section. Unlike other types of back pain, middle back pain often results from postural strain, muscular imbalances, or direct injury, impacting one’s ability to perform daily activities smoothly.

Common Causes of Middle Back Pain

Poor Posture

Long hours spent in front of screens without ergonomic support lead to slouching and improper spine alignment. This habitual poor posture strains the middle back, resulting in persistent pain and discomfort.


Excess body weight exerts additional pressure on the spine and back muscles, contributing to strain and pain in the middle back area. The increased load can worsen existing conditions, leading to further discomfort.

Muscle Sprain or Strain

Overexertion or sudden movements can cause muscle sprains or strains, leading to sharp pain in middle of back. These injuries often result from lifting heavy objects improperly or engaging in strenuous physical activities without adequate warm-up.

Fall or Other Injury

Direct trauma from falls or accidents can cause immediate and severe middle back pain. Such incidents may result in more serious conditions requiring prompt medical attention.

Herniated Disk

The disks between vertebrae can bulge or rupture, leading to compressed nerves. This herniation can cause sharp, sudden middle back pain, significantly affecting mobility and comfort.


Degenerative joint disease like arthritis can affect the spine, leading to stiffness, swelling, and chronic pain in the middle back region as the joints deteriorate over time.

Fractured Vertebrae

Vertebral fractures, whether from osteoporosis, trauma, or extreme stress, can lead to intense middle back pain, often necessitating medical intervention for pain management and healing.

Kidney Problems

Issues such as kidney stones or infections can manifest as back pain, often mistaken for muscular or spinal conditions. This type of pain is typically deep and located on either side of the spine, just below the rib cage.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Middle Back Pain

Middle back pain manifests in various forms, each signaling a different underlying issue.


  • Stiffness: Limits daily activities, making movement difficult.
  • Sharp or Dull Pain: Persistent pain that doesn’t necessarily change with movement.
  • Muscle Spasms: Sudden, severe pain causing difficulty in movement or maintaining posture.
  • Reduced Flexibility: Difficulty in performing simple tasks like bending or twisting due to decreased mobility in the thoracic spine.


  • Physical Exam: Assess spine alignment, muscle strength, and nerve function through specific movements and tests.
  • Imaging Tests:
    • X-rays: Reveal structural abnormalities like fractures or arthritis.
    • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): Provides detailed images of soft tissues, including muscles, spinal discs, and nerves.
    • CT (Computed Tomography) Scans: Offer comprehensive images to identify conditions not visible in X-rays.
  • Medical History Review: Analysis of previous injuries, onset of symptoms, lifestyle habits, and past medical treatment options or surgeries to identify potential causes.

Impact of Middle Back Pain on Daily Life

Impact of Middle Back Pain on Daily Life

Activity Limitation

Chronic pain can severely limit one’s ability to engage in physical activities, leading to a passive lifestyle that can worsen other health conditions.

Mental Health

Persistent pain often leads to psychological effects, including stress, anxiety, and depression, further decreasing life quality.

Lifestyle Change

Adapting to chronic pain often means altering daily routines and activities to avoid worsening the condition, impacting one’s sense of normality and independence.

Sleep Disruption

Middle back pain can interfere with sleep patterns, leading to insomnia or restless nights, which, in turn, affects overall health and well-being.

Social Impact

Pain and its resulting limitations can strain relationships and reduce social interaction, leading to feelings of isolation and decreased support networks.

Comprehensive Guide to Physical Therapy Exercises for Middle Back Pain

Physical therapy exercises play a pivotal role in managing and treating middle back pain. These exercises, carefully curated and prescribed by healthcare professionals, are designed to target the specific areas contributing to discomfort. Here’s a deeper dive into how these exercises work and the benefits they offer:

  • Stretching Exercises: Flexibility is key to reducing tension and pain in the middle back. Stretching exercises specifically designed for the thoracic region of the spine help in loosening tight muscles, thus reducing stiffness and improving range of motion. Examples include:
  • Cat-Cow Stretch: Mimics the movements of a cat and a cow, which helps in stretching the spine and its surrounding muscles, promoting flexibility.
  • Cobra Pose: This yoga pose is excellent for stretching the muscles in the chest and shoulders, the abdominals, and the entire front of the body. It also encourages the spine’s natural curvature, providing a gentle stretch to the middle back. 
  • Seated Twist: The Seated Twist is a gentle way to increase spinal mobility and stretch the muscles around the thoracic spine. It aids in relieving muscle tension and can improve digestion, which is sometimes affected by back pain.
  • Strengthening Exercises: Building strength in the muscles surrounding the middle back supports the spine and reduces the likelihood of pain. Strengthening exercises focus on the core and back muscles, providing better stability and support for the thoracic spine.
  • Low-Impact Aerobic Activities: Walking, swimming, or cycling promotes overall fitness without putting unnecessary stress on the back. These exercises increase blood flow to the back area, which aids in healing and reduces pain over time. They also contribute to healthy weight management, which is crucial in reducing the pressure on the spine.

Adjusting Your Work And Living Environments To Support Back Health

Creating an ergonomic workspace with proper chair support, screen height, and regular movement breaks can prevent and relieve middle back pain. Similarly, ensuring your living environment promotes healthy posture and supports back health is essential.

Practical Application of Adjustments for Back Health

  • Standing Desks: Transitioning to a standing desk can reduce the risks associated with prolonged sitting, such as muscle stiffness and back pain. Standing encourages natural spine alignment and promotes movement, reducing pressure on the back. An adjustable desk allows for alternating between sitting and standing, which is optimal for spine health.
  • Ergonomic Chairs: Chairs designed with lumbar support and adjustable features ensure that the back is supported correctly. The right chair can maintain the spine’s natural curve, preventing slouching and reducing the strain on the middle back. Features to look for include adjustable height, backrest angle, and lumbar support to tailor the fit to your body’s needs.
  • Lumbar Support Cushions: Lumbar support cushions can make a significant difference for those who spend long hours seated. They fill the gap between the chair and the lower back, providing the necessary support to prevent slumping and reduce strain on the middle back.
  • Regular Stretching Breaks: Incorporating stretching into your daily routine can relieve tension and improve flexibility. Simple stretches, done every hour or so, can interrupt the cycle of stiffness and pain associated with static postures. Stretching exercises targeting the back, shoulders, and neck are particularly effective in maintaining spinal health.
  • Proper Screen Height and Keyboard Placement: Ensuring that your computer screen is at eye level and that your keyboard is positioned to allow your arms to rest comfortably can prevent straining your back, neck bones, and shoulders. This adjustment is crucial for those who work at a desk for extended periods.

Benefits of a Back-friendly Environment Illustrated with Real-life Scenarios

Creating a back-friendly environment, whether in the workplace or at home, goes beyond mere comfort—it’s about fostering spaces that actively contribute to spinal health and overall well-being. The benefits of such an environment are multifaceted, impacting physical health, productivity, mood, and long-term wellness. Here’s an in-depth exploration of the advantages:

Enhanced Spinal Health

A back-friendly environment supports the spine’s natural curves, reducing the chance of injury, strain, and misalignment. Ergonomic furniture and tools designed to maintain proper posture ensure that the spine remains in a neutral position, minimizing stress on the vertebrae and discs. 

Increased Productivity and Focus

Comfortable and supportive workspaces can lead to increased productivity and better focus. When not distracted by discomfort or pain, individuals can concentrate more effectively on their daily tasks, improving performance and efficiency. Moreover, ergonomic setups can reduce the need for frequent breaks due to discomfort, allowing for more sustained periods of focused work.

Reduced Pain and Discomfort

Implementing back-friendly practices and equipment directly contributes to a decrease in pain and discomfort. For those already suffering from back issues, ergonomic adjustments can provide immediate relief and aid in the recovery process. Regular use of such environments can also prevent the recurrence of back pain, offering a more permanent solution to those prone to spinal problems.

Improved Posture

A back-friendly environment encourages proper posture, which is crucial for spinal health. Over time, ergonomic chairs, standing desks, and posture reminders can help correct poor posture habits, leading to better alignment and reduced strain on the back muscles and ligaments. Improved posture also enhances breathing and circulation, contributing to better overall health.

Prevention of Long-term Health Issues

Chronic back pain and spinal disorders can lead to long-term health issues, including reduced mobility, dependency on pain medications, permanent nerve damage, and in severe cases, the need for surgical intervention. By investing in a back-friendly environment, individuals can proactively prevent these outcomes, maintaining their health and mobility well into the future.

Enhanced Well-being and Quality of Life

Living and working in spaces that promote back health can significantly enhance one’s quality of life. With reduced pain and increased mobility, individuals can engage more fully in their daily activities and hobbies, leading to higher life satisfaction and well-being. 

Economic Benefits

Investing in a back-friendly environment can also have economic benefits by reducing healthcare costs associated with back pain, including doctor visits, physical therapy, and medications. For employers, creating ergonomic workplaces can decrease tardiness and turnover rates, as employees are healthier, happier, and more engaged in their work.

Benefits of Physical Therapy for Middle Back Pain

Benefits of Physical Therapy for Middle Back Pain

Physical therapy offers a multifaceted approach to managing middle back pain. Through customized exercise programs and manual therapy, patients can significantly improve their condition without the need for invasive procedures.

Pain Management

Effective pain relief strategies reduce the need for medications, offering a healthier, more sustainable approach to pain management.

Improved Mobility

Tailored exercises increase range of motion and flexibility, directly impacting one’s ability to perform daily activities with ease.

Prevention of Surgery

In many cases, physical therapy can serve as an effective alternative to surgical options, addressing the root cause of pain through non-invasive methods.

Recovery from Surgery

Post-operative physical therapy is crucial for a speedy and comprehensive recovery, ensuring optimal outcomes after back surgery.

Prevention of Injuries

Strengthening and conditioning exercises fortify the back against future injuries, promoting long-term health and resilience.

Improved Posture

Corrective exercises and posture training can reverse the effects of poor posture, preventing one of the primary causes of middle back pain.

The Role of Progressive Mobility Physio & Performance in Managing Middle Back Pain

Specialized physiotherapy programs, such as those offered by Progressive Mobility Physio & Performance, play an important role in managing middle back pain. These programs, tailored to individual needs, leverage the latest in physical therapy research and practice to offer effective, personalized treatment plans. Integral to these programs is the incorporation of progressive massage therapy, a technique that complements traditional physiotherapy by focusing on the gradual relief of muscle tension and enhancement of tissue healing. 

This holistic approach ensures a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses both the immediate symptoms and the underlying causes of middle back pain.


Middle back pain, while challenging, can be effectively managed through a combination of home remedies, physical therapy, and lifestyle adjustments. By understanding the causes and implementing targeted strategies, individuals can achieve significant relief and prevent future episodes. As always, consult with healthcare professionals for chronic or severe pain to ensure a comprehensive approach to back health.


How do you know if back pain is muscular?

Muscular pain often increases with movement or touch and is accompanied by muscle tightness or spasms, distinguishing it from nerve-related pain.

How long does muscle back pain last? 

Typically, muscular back pain improves within a few weeks with proper care, including rest, physical therapy, and pain management strategies.

How to sleep with back pain? 

Adopting a sleeping position that maintains the natural curve of your spine, using supportive pillows, and choosing a mattress that offers adequate support can significantly improve sleep quality despite back pain.

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Jenn Wallace

Progressive Mobility

"We help active adults and athletes in the Spartanburg area get back to sports and activities that they love, while avoiding surgery, injections & medications"