Middle back pain


Discomfort in the area of the spine between the base of the neck to the bottom of the ribcage.


Self-care measures include keeping the back as straight as possible and balancing weight evenly when walking or sitting.

When to seek immediate medical care

See a health care professional immediately if middle back pain:

  • Occurs after a traumatic incident, such as a car crash, bad fall or sports injury.
  • Causes new bowel or bladder control problems.
  • Occurs with a fever.
  • Causes shortness of breath.

When to make a doctor's appointment

Make an appointment to see a health care professional if middle back pain:

  • Is constant or intense, especially at night or when lying down.
  • Spreads down one or both legs, especially if the pain extends below the knee.
  • Causes weakness, numbness or tingling in one or both legs.
  • Occurs with unintended weight loss.
  • Occurs with swelling or redness on the back.