Middle back pain treatment modalities might focus on the spinal structures or the muscular tissues, depending on the diagnosed cause of discomfort. Middle back pain is one of the least common of all dorsalgia complaints, making it a bit of a niche sector in the larger back pain therapy industry. Although mid back ache problems are not as common as lower back pain, upper back pain and neck pain issues, they can be just as debilitating, especially when the symptoms are severe and chronic.
This patient guide examine the problems inherent to the middle back pain treatment sector and provides solutions for patients who are not sure which treatment is best suited for their needs and patients who have not yet enjoyed satisfying outcomes from previous treatment attempts.
Typically most middle back pain is theorized to be sourced by spinal abnormalities in the vertebral column. Spinal osteoarthritis, herniated discs and disc desiccation explain over 90% of all diagnosed mid back pain syndromes. Less common sources of middle back symptoms include scoliosis and muscular problems in the mid back anatomy. The least common causative sources of middle back issues include lower thoracic facet joint syndrome, posterior ramus syndrome and very rare instances of thoracic listhesis.
In virtually all cases, professional care will begin with a short diagnostic process, typically using medical imaging to locate and implicate (many times without evidence) a particular structural issue in or around the area of pain. This structural "problem" will be the focus of treatment efforts without further diagnostic processing in the overwhelming majority of patients.
Middle back pain treatment will likely commence using conservative methods of care, including pharmacological products, physical therapy and the possible application of complementary care practices, such as massage, TENS, chiropractic or acupuncture. We tend to support all of these modalities for symptomatic alleviation, with the exception of drug therapies, but warn patients that they are not likely to receive truly complete relief from any, nor are they likely to enjoy a back pain cure. If they do, then they are lucky and have defied statistics that are heavily weighed against them.
If and when patients decide that conservative care has not done enough to resolve their pain, escalation of care will typically begin. The usual recommended therapies might include epidural injections, minimally invasive surgical techniques and the possibility of nonsurgical spinal decompression in the complementary care sector. The last option, spinal decompression, demonstrates good curative results for certain highly defined causes of mid back pain. However, epidural injections are dangerous and mostly worthless, with the exception of sometimes providing a pharmaceutical bandage that can reduce pain for several days to several weeks.
If pain continues unchecked, virtually all patients regardless of diagnosis, will be recommended to undergo surgical intervention using some form of spinal operation. Some surgeries are indicated and may be successful, but most are not required, not indicated for treating the diagnosed condition and not at all successful, especially over long timelines of several years. With all these negative statistics governing middle back pain treatment, what is a patient to do to find actual relief with minimal risk?
In order to better your chances of falling outside the usual negative therapy outcome statistics for middle back pain, we recommend the adhering to the following advice to help patients navigate the diagnostic and treatment processes safely and more effectively:
First, get thoroughly involved in your own care. Research everything and ask lots of questions of your doctors. Make sure that their answers make logical sense and support what you have learned about your condition. If they do not, or if the doctors do not put in adequate effort in answering your questions, look elsewhere for better quality care.
Next, understand what your diagnosis implies and compare the clinical expectations of the condition to your actual symptoms, including location, duration, severity and consistency. If there are discrepancies, find out why, even if this means consulting with several different types of doctors. In fact, we recommend seeking several medical opinions before seeking any type of treatment for middle back pain. If you suffer from diagnostic eclecticism, take even longer pause before heading into treatment, since this label is a sure path to an unfulfilling therapeutic outcome.
Finally, remember that many pain syndromes are not structurally-based and might link to other nonspinal factors, such as disease, circulatory concern or mindbody causation. In fact, the majority of chronic pain syndromes that defy treatment are indeed of psychoemotional, rather than anatomical, origin. This is a fact that most medical doctors will never even mention to their patients, since this truth contraindicates any treatment that the doctor can offer and therefore deprives them of a paying customer.
Regardless of what the causative theory of pain might be, when the diagnostic verdict is valid, proper treatment should bring about relief. This is logical. When relief does not materialize despite active care, something is obviously wrong. Usually, the factor that has ruined the possibility of enjoying a positive end result is misdiagnosis of the causative condition responsible for creating the pain.
When the diagnosis is sound, curative forms of back pain treatment can all be very effective, including surgical intervention, nonsurgical spinal decompression and even simple rest and rehabilitation. Symptomatic therapies might not provide a complete and lasting cure, but should be effectual in their reduction of pain and related expressions. Once again, if these circumstances do not occur, we typically recommend that patients read the above paragraph again, since the diagnosis is typically where the problem resides.
For patients who have suffered multiple diagnostic revisions and have experienced no marked relief from treatments of all varieties, our experience speaks volumes to the probable mindbody nature of the syndrome. For these types of scenarios, there is certainly no harm in investigating the proven techniques of knowledge therapy. In fact, why wait until you are so desperate that you will try anything? Why not explore this time-tested and effective treatment ahead of undergoing any dangerous, expensive or generally ineffectual medical or complementary therapy? This approach is all potential benefit and no downside. If it does not work, then nothing has been risked or lost. If it provides a cure, then it might have actually saved your very life.