What you should do when you have Mid Back Pain?
Mid Back Pain
Many patients will walk into my office complaining of mid-back pain. It is actually more common than one would expect. Patients that I typically find with this type of pain are individuals with rounded shoulders. Also, patients can acquire this type of pain related to specific repetitive activities such as golf, nursing, holding an infant, and even falling. Mid back can be related to a disc injury in the thoracic spine or a simple rib dysfunction. For our purposes of this specific blog post lets discuss mid back pain related to rib head dysfunction.
The symptoms of rib head dysfunction are quite intense and can present as sharp/shooting pain that can either be localized or referred to the front of the chest. Deep breathing and arm movement on the affected side can increase pain. Some patients also experience pain with lying flat on their back. Above is an illustration of the thoracic anatomy with a referral pain pattern of a typical rib head dysfunction.
Seeing a Physical Therapist
Getting to see your physical therapist for an initial exam is helpful in order to determine the diagnosis. If the rib is the source of the pain it can usually be resolved with physical therapy treatment. The use of modalities such as electrical stimulation, hot pack application, and ultrasound to reduce muscle spasm/inflammation. The therapist can then perform manual therapy manipulation to the affected rib head. The proper course of treatment can vary for each patient but generally, it’s no more than a few sessions.
by Frank Ruggiero DPT