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CAUSES OF MID-BACK PAIN

ACUTE MID-BACK STRAIN/SPRAIN (Thoracic Facet Syndrome) –It is usually acute onset.  This condition comprises approximately 75% of the mid-back pain that we treat in our office. It may be characterized by severe pain.  Patient’s may have difficulty changing positions, doing basic activities of daily living and feel very stiff and immobile.  This condition can be very debilitating.   It is the same physiology as a sprained ankle.  The spinal joints get irritated and you get swelling, inflammation and muscle rigidity.  The good news is that with proper chiropractic care, this condition will get progressively better within 7 to 10 days. Initially ice and spinal manipulation are helpful for these conditions.

BIOMECHANICAL LESION/VERTEBRAL JOINT FIXATION – This is essentially what chiropractors treat.  When the spine gets injured, it causes muscles to tighten, resulting in joints that don’t move properly(fixation). As chiropractors, we administer soft tissue therapy to relax the musculature and spinal manipulation to get the joints moving again. Our goal is to restore the normal biomechanics of the spine, which reduces pain and improves function.

CHRONIC MID-BACK PAIN - This type of back pain is characterized by mid to low grade pain.  It is usually a nagging type of dull stiffness that is not debilitating. Causes may vary from arthritis, vertebral joint fixation, disc degeneration, and/or old injuries that have left scar tissue in and around the joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles.  Heat and spinal manipulation are effective for chronic mid-back pain. These conditions will take longer to heal than acute sprains/strains.  The longer you have had a condition, typically the longer it will normally take to resolve.

THORACIC RIB FIXATION/SPRAIN - This is a very painful and debilitating condition.  It involves the joints where the ribs attach to the spine.  When these joints get irritated, the swelling and inflammation makes it difficult to move and many patients have trouble taking a deep breath, coughing and sneezing.  Often the pain can wrap around to the front of the chest. Pain may even be felt at the rib attachment in the front.  Spinal manipulation and ice are the best initial treatments.  Thankfully, these conditions will resolve in 7 to 10 days with proper chiropractic care.

OSTEOARTHRITIS – This is also called “wear and tear” arthritis. The degree of osteoarthritis a patient gets is determined by genetics and how much abuse the joints have suffered during a patient’s lifetime.  It is characterized by joint stiffness and pain.  Most patients feel stiff and achy in the morning. The joints loosen up as the day progresses and symptoms may improve.  Later in the day, the patient’s symptoms may worsen due to ongoing stress on the joints.  Chiropractic care can help keep arthritic joints loose and flexible thereby decreasing the symptoms of osteoarthritis.  Since osteoarthritis is not curable, ongoing care is needed to keep symptoms under control.