should I be worried about my mid back pain?

In most cases, mid back pain is nothing to be overly concerned about. However, there are a few cases where there may be cause for concern. It is important to seek medical review if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Night pain and night sweats/fever
  • Chest pain and/or shortness of breath
  • Severe pain, especially if it is lasting longer than 6 weeks and getting worse
  • Numbness in the groin region and difficulty with bowel/bladder/sexual function
  • Changes in your balance or ability to walk, with sensation of weak legs
  • Weakness in your arms
  • Pins and needles and numbness in your arms/legs
  • An injury mechanism that involves significant or repetitive trauma such as a fall, car accident or sporting injury, where fracture may be suspected
  • Atypical back pain that does not have a clear mechanical pattern

With regards to chest pain, seek urgent medical review if you are noticing any of the following  symptoms - especially if you are over 40-50 years of age:

  • Chest pain that radiates into your sternum, jaw, neck, arms, stomach or between your shoulder blades
  • Chest pain that feels constricting or vice like
  • Chest pain that feels worse with activity/exercise and flares up with cold, heavy meals and stress
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Your treating health professional will be able to discuss your mid back pain and advise you if they are concerned about your symptoms. 

In the absence of the above factors, most cases of middle back pain and injury are not to be overly concerned about. Although distressing, especially in acute phases, most cases of pain will resolve with time and appropriate management. Your treating health professional will advise you on whether they are concerned about your symptoms. When appropriate they will refer you on for specialist medical review or investigation.