Top 7 Causes of Upper Middle Back Pain and How to Get Rid of It

upper middle back pain

Upper Middle Back Pain

Back pain is one of the most common ailments in the world, and long-term back issues can lead to disability. What are some of the most common causes of back pain including upper middle back pain and how can you find relief?

Consider the following list of the top seven causes of upper middle back pain or upper back pain.

#1. Improper Posture and Upper Middle Back Pain

This is often the biggest culprit when it comes to upper middle back pain. Poor posture is rampant in the business world where people sit all day long using mobile devices, looking at monitors that are below eye level, and hold phones between their shoulder and ear. We also spend long hours commuting and often engage in poor posture during the drive as well. All of this can lead to misalignments and pain once the back locks in a stressed position.

#2. Lifting with the Back

You’ve probably heard the saying “lift with your knees not with your back” over and over throughout your life. It is a good adage. Unfortunately, most people have a tendency to ignore it. Lifting the wrong way accounts for a lot of issues with upper middle back pain by causing both misalignments and injuries.

#3. Carrying a Heavy Purse or Bag

One of the big mistakes we make when carrying a bag all day long is keeping it slung over one shoulder. This uneven distribution of weight leads to poor posture, spinal misalignments, and back pain. Try to use a bag that allows for even weight distribution or avoid packing the bag with too much weight if you have to carry it on one side.

This is important for kids too. Backpacks can get really heavy. Get children backpacks that evenly distribute the weight and encourage them to wear the bag properly rather than hefting it over one shoulder.

#4. Accidents or Injuries

This is a major cause of long-term back problems. The fact is that the accident or injury itself doesn’t have to be that serious to cause long-term injury. Any time you experience trauma that affects your head or neck, you should have the top bones in the spine checked by an upper cervical chiropractor to ensure proper alignment. A misalignment in one of these two bones can create changes throughout the spine and lead to long-term back pain among other symptoms.

upper middle back pain relief infographic

#5. Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition of the bones that leads to them becoming weaker. The part of the spine that is affected the most is where pain will present. However, the changes often begin to take place higher on the spine and work their way down. When osteoporosis becomes advanced, it can lead to fractures in the vertebrae. This can increase poor posture and pain and lead to even faster degeneration, so it is important to stay ahead of degenerative spinal conditions.

#6. Kyphosis

If you have ever seen what the spine is supposed to look like from the side, you have probably noted the S curve. Between the shoulders, the spine curves out a little. However, if the spine curves out too far, the condition is called kyphosis. This can relate to problems in the upper spine such as upper cervical misalignments or degenerative conditions like osteoporosis. Kyphosis gives a person a “hunchback” look, and it can cause pain, stiffness, and even affect how a person walks.

#7. Scoliosis and Upper Middle Back Pain

Another possible reason for upper middle back pain is scoliosis. This is another abnormal curvature of the spine that can lead to long-term problems with posture, gait, and pain. The good news is that the earlier you catch scoliosis the more options there are for getting help. That is why children are often screened for it in school.

Upper cervical chiropractic care has been studied in relation to scoliosis, with some research and case studies available on the topic.

Here are some findings from the available sources regarding upper middle back pain:

  • According to one case study involving a 15-year-old girl, upper cervical chiropractic care was able to reduce a 44-degree Cobb angle scoliosis (which normally requires surgery) to a 32-degree angle in just 5 months. After 4 years, the degree was further reduced to 25 and surgery was no longer recommended for the patient who was a young woman at that point.
  • A case study reported a reduction of 10° in the Cobb angle of a patient with idiopathic scoliosis after 25 weeks of NUCCA manipulation, a specific type of upper cervical chiropractic treatment.
  • A retrospective analysis of 28 adult scoliosis patients who received multimodal chiropractic rehabilitation treatment reported improvements in pain and disability after 24 months of treatment.
  • A case report and review of literature described the reduction of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis and improved cervical curve in a 12-year-old female undergoing orthogonal upper cervical chiropractic care. Three upper cervical adjustments were delivered over a period of five visits and 28 days, resulting in a reduction of 6.2° in the scoliosis curve.

These findings suggest that there is some evidence and case studies supporting the use of upper cervical chiropractic care in the management of scoliosis. But even if you do not have scoliosis upper cervical chiropractic care may be your answer.

Hope for Those Suffering from Upper Middle Back Pain

If you are among the millions who suffer from back pain, then you will be happy to know that upper cervical chiropractic care can help more than just those with scoliosis. This specialty in the chiropractic field focuses on the adjustment of the C1 and C2, the top two bones in the spine that are located at the base of the skull.

Misalignments in this area can have far-reaching effects on the body and can particularly affect the rest of the spine since the bones and soft tissue have a built-in tendency to shift to keep the head level.

Upper cervical chiropractors take precise measurements of the C1 and C2 using modern diagnostic imaging techniques. This allows them to provide gentle adjustments that are tailored to each patient’s needs.

If you have experienced general chiropractic, but not upper cervical, you are in for a surprise. Upper cervical adjustments are low-force and require little to no pressure. Some practitioners even use an adjusting instrument instead of their hands. They do not involve any popping, cracking, or twisting of the spine.

The results, however, speak for themselves. And unlike painkillers which come along with side effects and provide little long-term benefit, upper cervical chiropractic care is safe and effective on a long-term basis because it gets to the root of many back problems including upper middle back pain.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic and Upper Middle Back Pain Research

Several studies have investigated the effectiveness of upper cervical chiropractic care for neck, upper middle back pain, and lower back pain.

  • A retrospective case series found statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvements in neck pain and disability after specific chiropractic care, including upper cervical care.
  • A prospective, multicenter, cohort study reported significantly improved clinical outcomes for neck pain and disability, headache, mid-back pain, as well as lower back pain and disability following upper cervical chiropractic care, with a high level of patient satisfaction.
  • A review article on the clinical effectiveness and efficacy of chiropractic for spine pain mentioned accumulating evidence on the effectiveness of adjustments for the treatment of acute and chronic back and neck pain.
  • Additionally, a case report published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics tracked the progression of a patient with a cervical disc herniation and found that upper cervical chiropractic care led to a significant reduction in neck and lower back pain.

These studies suggest that upper cervical chiropractic care may be effective for managing neck and back pain, including upper middle back pain. To learn more, watch the video below and then contact an upper cervical specialist in your local area to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

upper middle back pain

Find An Upper Cervical Doctor in Your Area

to schedule a consultation today.

Find an Upper Cervical Specialist In Your Area

to schedule a consultation today.

Featured Articles


Montel Williams
Montel Williams

TV show host Montel Williams describes how specific chiropractic care has helped his body.

NBC's The Doctors

The TV show "The Doctors" showcased Upper Cervical Care.

CBS News/Migraine Relief

CBS News highlighted the alleviation of Migraines and Headaches.

The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.