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Pain in your thoracic region (mid back) can be attributed to many things. Much the same as lower back pain, there are a variety of risk factors that may increase your likelihood of experiencing thoracic pain. Pain in the thoracic spine has the added complexity of being in close proximity of the shoulder blades and also being the site of all the rib attachments. With this being the case, there are a number of things that may be contributing to your thoracic pain. The risk factors with the thoracic spine are similar to that of the lower back, although BMI is less of a factor for thoracic pain:

  • Prolonged inactivity (e.g. desk-based work).

  • Poor biomechanics (e.g. repetitive poor technique with lifting).

  • Exercise or sporting injuries (often as a result of either poor biomechanics or over exertion).

  • Occupational (jobs that require repetitive bending, standing or lifting can be provocative of low back pain.

Mid-Back Pain Overview


The treatment of your mid-back will be individual and based upon the clinical assessment. Due to the number of structures that are around and associated with the thoracic spine (e.g. shoulders and ribs), it is essential to be thorough with the assessment to understand each structures role within your thoracic pain. Similar to how we assess the lower back, we do this by first obtaining a history of your injury, then testing specific structures and movements in your thoracic spine.


Once we have understanding as to what is causing your pain, we will then decipher an appropriate treatment plan to manage this. Treatment initially focuses on restoring movement and reducing pain symptoms with manual techniques and advice. Once this has been achieved there is greater emphasis on exercise prescription to help address the areas that have predisposed you to your initial injury, and to help prevent re-injury. With these considerations, your treatment may include:


  • Correction of poor biomechanics

  • Mobilisation and manipulation

  • Acupuncture and/or dry needling

  • Manual therapy

  • Exercise Prescription

  • Sports specific rehabilitation

  • Education

If you have any questions, concerns, or are unsure of a prior diagnosis, then book an Initial Assessment or free 15 minute phone triage and take the first step to being back to your best.