What other symptoms might occur with middle back pain?

Middle back pain may occur with other symptoms, which vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. For instance, if your back pain is due to arthritis, you may experience pain in other joints of your body. Back pain due to a pinched nerve can even lead to loss of bladder control. Back pain is often a major symptom of fibromyalgia, which is characterized by fatigue and sleep problems.

Other symptoms that may accompany middle back pain include:

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Fatigue

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Morning back stiffness

  • Redness, warmth or swelling of the back

  • Shoulder, neck or hip pain

  • Sleeping problems

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

In some cases, middle back pain may occur with other symptoms that might indicate a serious or life-threatening condition, such as heart attack or cauda equina syndrome (a syndrome in which nerves in the spinal cord of the lower back are compressed or paralyzed, cutting off sensation and movement). Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if your middle back pain occurs with any of the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain, tightness or pressure

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

  • Jaw pain

  • Loss of bladder or bowel control

  • Severe abdominal pain

  • Weakness, paralysis or numbness in the legs


What is middle back pain?

Middle back pain is any type of pain or discomfort in the area between your upper and lower back. Health care professionals refer to this area as the lower thoracic area or lower thoracic spine. The upper thoracic area or upper thoracic spine makes up part of the upper back. The lumbar spine makes up part of the lower back.

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What causes middle back pain?

The middle back consists of the thoracic spine (bony structures called vertebrae surrounding the nerves of the spinal cord). Between the vertebrae are spongy sacs of cartilage called discs that act as cushions and provide a range of motion to the back. Muscles, tendons and ligaments provide additional support. Any of these structures in the back can become irritated or inflamed in response to a... Read more about middle back paincauses

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 5, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Bones, Joints and Muscles

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