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Upper and Middle Back Pain

Most people when they think of back pain typically think of neck pain (cervical) or lower back pain (lumbar) as these are the most common types that 1occur. Upper and middle back pain is not as common as low back pain or neck pain because the bones in this area of the back don’t flex or move as much as the bones in your lower back or neck. Instead, they work with the ribs to keep the back stable and help protect vital organs, such as the heart and lungs. However, patients with upper and middle back pain are commonly seen in the office of Dr. Jeff J. Mollins. Upper and middle back (thoracic) pain can result from trauma or overuse of the muscles, and therefore commonly occurs after an accident (work related accident, construction accident, slip and fall, or automobile accident for example). Thoracic pain can be mild to severe, is often disabling, and can sometimes (but rarely) be indicative of a dire condition so an accurate diagnosis is extremely important.

Thoracic pain may be caused by the following:

  1. Overuse, muscle strain, or injury to the muscles, ligaments, and discs that support your spine.
  2. Poor Posture.
  3. A fracture of one of the vertebrae.
  4. Osteoarthritis caused by the breakdown of cartilage that cushions the small facet joints in the spine.
  5. Myofascial pain that affects the connective tissue of a muscle or group of muscles.
  6. In rare cases, pain may be caused by other problems, such as gallbladder disease, cancer, or an infection

What are the symptoms?

  1. A dull burning or sharp pain
  2. Muscle tightness or stiffness
  3. Weakness in your arms or legs
  4. Numbness or tingling in your arms, legs, chest, or belly
  5. Loss of bowel or bladder control.

If you are experiencing thoracic pain as a result of any kind of accident, go to your doctor immediately. If thoracic pain is present (for an unknown reason) and has been chronic (more than 2 months in duration), you should also see your doctor. Dr. Mollins ALWAYS starts by taking a precise history. Quite often, understanding the mechanism of the injury enables Dr. Mollins to ascertain a proper working diagnosis. He then performs a careful, concise, comprehensive physical (orthopedic and neurological) examination on the patient. If diagnostic testing is required, then x-rays and/or mri study are performed. Dr. Mollins works very closely with referred medical specialists (orthopedists, neurologists, pain management specialists, etc.) so if the patients diagnosis requires the expertise of another physician, Dr. Mollins will make that referral immediately. Once a proper diagnosis is established, Dr. Mollins can then recommend a treatment regimen so our patient can achieve wellness as expeditiously as possible.

Treatment may consist of the following:

  1. Chiropractic spinal manipulation augmented by physical therapy
  2. Rest
  3. Over the counter pain medications
  4. Ice pack for the first 24-48 hours and then a heating pad
  5. Exercises that stretch and strengthen the muscles in your back, shoulders and stomach
  6. Practice good posture

Remember, if you are experiencing thoracic pain, see Dr. Mollins in downtown Brooklyn immediately. Dr. Mollins will diagnose and treat your back pain. If other medical professionals are needed, he will refer you to them ASAP. Dr Mollins believes that you only have one body, so you better take care of it!

Posted in: Back Pain Treatment, Blog