Thoracic back pain is otherwise called as mid-back pain. Thoracic pain is not a very common disorder as compared to cervical or lower back pain because there is limited motion and a greater stability throughout the upper back.

The thoracic spine is situated between the cervical and lumbar spine. The thoracic spine is made up of twelve vertebrae in the middle of the spine with ribs attached to it.

Causes Of Thoracic Pain:

The causes of thoracic pain could be classified into medical and structural.

  • Medical causes of mid-back pain:
  1. Spinal stenosis
  2. Muscle spasms
  3. Degeneration of the spine
  4. Infection of the bones
  5. Paget disease
  6. Osteoporosis
  • Structural causes of mid-back pain:
  1. Spinal fracture
  2. Tumor of the spine
  3. Disc herniation
  4. Kyphosis
  5. Scoliosis

There are other reasons as well, which are more serious and would require immediate medical attention.

Some Of The More Serious Causes Of Thoracic Back Pain Are:

  • Heart attack:

Also called myocardial infarction, is death of the heart muscle, due to prolonged lack of oxygen supply. One of the symptoms of heart attack is severe radiating pain from the shoulder to the mid-back.

  • Aortic aneurysm:

Aortic aneurysm is a bulge in a section of the aorta, the body’s main artery. The enlargement of the bulge can cause mid back pain.

  • Renal stones:

Pain in the back below the ribcage is experienced due to the presence of stones in the kidneys.

Symptoms Of Thoracic Pain:

To understand the symptoms associated with Thoracic Back pain, one must understand the underlying cause behind the pain. If the pain is caused by arthritis, then it might be accompanied by pain in other joints as well, especially in the hands and feet. Some of the other symptoms that go along with thoracic pain are:

  • Stiffness of the back:

When you wake up in the mornings with a stiff back which seems to get better by stretching, you might be suffering from thoracic back pain or middle back pain.

  • Exhaustion or Fatigue:

If you feel tired very frequently, despite having adequate and frequent rest periods, it might be an indication of thoracic back pain.

  • Fever:

You might also have fever, nausea, headache, vomiting. You’ll also feel very sensitive to brightness or lights, and would prefer darker environs.

  • Some other symptoms include bouts of anxiety or depression.


A physical examination will enable the physician to identify the cause behind the pain. History of any trauma, accidents, falls or any indications of the symptoms listed above will help the physician make a deduction on the location, severity and type (numbness, burning sensation etc.) of pain. After this, the physician may recommend either an X-ray or MRI to further confirm this diagnosis.

Ayurvedic Treatment For Thoracic Back Pain:

Compared to other joint pains, thoracic back pain is usually caused by other underlying factors. In many cases, the pain would usually go away without treatment. The treatment, where prescribed, would typically involve treating the underlying pathological cause.Surgical interventions are very rarely needed, or advised, owing to higher morbidity levels. However, recent advancement in percutaneous nucleoplasty of the thoracic intervertebral disc have known to be less invasive along with reduced operating times.


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