Upper back pain and middle back pain are generally less common than lower back pain. In our hectic lives, we tend to burden our lower back more than our upper back or middle back. At Pain Away Clinic we regularly treat clients who suffer from upper back pain and middle back pain. These types of back pain are often a result of muscle irritation and joint problems caused by overload, a poor posture, stress and tension, or trauma.


Upper back pain and middle back pain can be experienced in different ways and are often difficult to exactly pinpoint to a specific location. Similar to lower back pain, the symptoms are usually a combination of factors. The pain can be constant, but the pain can also only occur when certain activities are performed. Most common symptoms of upper back pain and middle back pain our clients experience:

  • Dull or throbbing feeling in the upper back or middle back
  • Sharp or shooting pain in the upper back or middle back
  • Stiffness of the entire upper back
  • Pain between the shoulder blades
  • Pain at the level of the rib cage and lungs
  • Radiation throughout the arms, neck, or chest
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weakness in the arms
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms or chest


Certain occupations and professions are at a higher risk of developing problems in the upper back or middle back, especially those who are seated for long periods or do manual work. Most upper back pain and middle back pain is caused by:

  • Overload of the upper or middle back
  • Wrong movement of the upper or middle back
  • A poor working posture
  • Overhead work (like painting a ceiling)
  • One-sided use of the arms
  • A pinched nerve
  • A spinal fracture
  • Arthrosis
  • Myofascial Pain Syndrome
  • Trauma
  • Stress
  • Pregnancy
  • Old age

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Upper back pain and middle back pain as a result of temporary overload will usually disappear after some rest. For less serious injuries there are some home remedies which can alleviate the pain. If your back hurts a lot, take a break, and return to your activities slowly. A heat pack or ice pack can be applied if you experience stiffness (use heat) or swelling (use ice).
Exercise (lightly) to stretch and strengthen your muscles, this will help improve your posture and decreases the risk of injury, and reduces pain. Try to reduce stress in your life, as stress can make our bodies tense and cause all types of pain. A (sports) massage or meditation are great ways to reduce stress.
If you have overworked your muscles during an exercise, or at the gym, a sports massage can help reduce the pain and reduce recovery time of your back pain. If the back pain is persistent, it is recommended to find professional help from one of our licensed physicians.
Feel free to make an appointment through Our Booking App, or contact us through any of the channels listed on our Prices and Booking page. We are happy to answers your questions and will get back to you as soon as we can.

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