Mid-Back Pain That Comes & Goes

Many reasons exist for mid-back pain, ranging from mild to severe. Your back is composed of many components, including muscle, bone, ligaments and cartilage, all of which can affect how your back moves and feels. Along with more serious back injuries, if you are experiencing pain that comes and goes, it may be due to muscle spasms or a muscle strain.

Mid-back pain can have several causes.
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Muscle Spasms

Muscles spasms can cause sudden pain or discomfort in your back. They can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. Muscle spasms are likely to be caused by a minor injury to the back muscles, such as a muscle strain due to heavy lifting or a sudden awkward movement that may twist your back muscles in the wrong way. To avoid these triggers, use your leg muscles when lifting heavy objects, and be mindful of your spine alignment during physical activity.

Ruptured Disk

Between the bones of your spine are soft disks of cartilage that cushion the movements of your back. Occasionally, a disk may begin to bulge or slide out of place, causing moderate to severe pain in the mid-back area. This is known as a herniated thoracic disk. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, this is considered one of the more severe causes for for back pain, and typically is caused by too much pressure on the spine.


Too much stress can be the cause of many ailments, from headaches, fatigue and back pain. When you feel stressed, the muscles in your body tend to tense up. Muscles that are consistently tight can cause pain, especially in your back. If you notice pain in your mid-back area, try to relax. Take a deep breath and reduce your stress. A back massage is one way to reduce the pain in your muscles and relieve stress at the same time.

When to See a Doctor

If you feel that your back pain has become more frequent, doesn't go away or severely limits your mobility, speak to a qualified medical professional to check for back injuries. Do not be quick to blame stress for the pain, as something more serious may be the cause for your pain.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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