Osteopathy for Middle Back (Thoracic) Pain

Middle back (Thoracic) pain or upper back pain is classified by symptoms in the thoracic region of the spine. The thoracic spine is made up of 12 vertebrae and is an area of the spine to which the rib cage attaches. The muscle attachments in this area include from your neck, shoulders, and lower back. These key muscle groups help to keep you standing or sitting up straight. The most common symptoms in this region typically originate from muscular strain, ligament sprain, or direct trauma to the area. Your Osteopath will do a full examination of the area to determine the root cause of your symptoms and can then recommend the best form of treatment.


Causes of Middle Back (Thoracic) Pain

There are a variety of causes of Middle Back (Thoracic) pain, these can include (but are not limited to);

  • Muscle Tension: this be in the neck, shoulders, upper back, or lower back
  • Pinched Nerves: compression of the nerves as they exit the thoracic (middle back) spine and cause radiation of pain into the arms or rib cage
  • Joint Fixation: when joints in the neck or upper back become fixated, this can lead to pain or discomfort in the middle back
  • Stress: excessive physical or mental stress can cause tight muscles or increased inflammation
  • Trauma: falls, trips, and whiplash are just some types of trauma
  • Disc Herniation: slipped (prolapsed) or bulging thoracic discs can press on the nerves in the middle back
  • Poor Posture: slumped posture on the sofa, at your desk, or long periods in awkward positions
  • Overuse: repetitive movements, heavy lifting or awkward lifting can cause a muscular strain
  • Slipped Rib: a misaligned or subluxated rib can cause significant middle back or chest pain



  • Middle Back Pain
  • Sharp / Stabbing Pain
  • Rib Pain
  • Chest Pain
  • Muscle loss, tension, weakness, pain or spasm 
  • Shoulder Pain or Frozen Shoulder
  • Arm Pain / Numbness (pins & needles)
  • Stiffness
  • Limited Range of Motion
  • Poor Posture
  • Local Pain
  • Referred Pain
  • Pain with Movement
  • Local Swelling
  • Difficulty Walking
  • Clicking, Popping or Crunching from the back
Middle back pain radiating Littlehampton Chiropractor Osteopath Sussex

Treatment for Middle Back (Thoracic) Pain

The type of treatment suitable for middle back (thoracic) pain primarily depends on the type, location, and cause of your symptoms. Every day people visit Osteopaths with neck pain and evidence shows that Osteopathic treatment is effective at treating middle back (thoracic) pain. During your New Patient Appointment, your Osteopath will assess your body, complete a medical and symptom history, allowing them to provide a working diagnosis. There may be occasions where Osteopathy is not the right solution for you, and in this event, we will refer you to the correct health practitioner (e.g. General Practitioner).

Osteopathy care can include;

  • Spinal Manipulation
  • Joint Articulation
  • Massage Therapy
  • Soft Tissues Release
  • Trigger Avoidance Mechanisms
  • Stretches

Osteopathy is available at Littlehampton Natural Health Centre Monday to Friday.

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