Facts and Tips about Upper Back Pain

Peer Reviewed
  • Neck PainIf you have upper back pain, you may also have neck pain.
  • Your upper back is also called your thoracic spine. Your ribs connect to your thoracic vertebrae.
  • The thoracic spine, also known as the upper back or the mid-back, is the most stable region of the spine. The neck (cervical spine) and low back (lumbar spine) move more than the thoracic spine
  • One of the thoracic spine's main jobs is to protect the internal organ in the chest cavity (heart, lungs, etc.)
  • Upper back pain is often caused by a muscle or soft tissue problem.
  • It's very rare to have a herniated disc in the upper back.
  • Carrying too much in your backpack can cause upper back pain.
Updated on: 11/22/17
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What Is Upper Back Pain?
Jason M. Highsmith, MD
This article was reviewed by Jason M. Highsmith, MD.
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What Is Upper Back Pain?

The upper back, also known as the mid-back or thoracic spine, isn't as prone to pain as the neck and low back are. Learn about the basics of upper back pain.
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