Middle Back Pain Relief

middle back pain relief

Mid Back Pain Relief

Wanting relief from middle back pain is a common complaint and often painful postural problem. Usually related to weak or poor posture, it can begin with an injury, accident or from long-term habits. Over time, posture stress causes pain and breakdown (Arthritis/Degenerative Joint Disease) in the spine and other joints from daily wear & tear.

Middle back pain is usually positional. This means it gets better, worse or different as body position changes. Frequently episodic, mid back pain may come on after a lot of activity or without any apparent cause.  Another common complaint is mid back pain after sleeping. In most cases, it is triggered as your body adapts to mechanical stress, weak posture and adaptive motion.

  • Excessive sitting and poor sitting position in front of a computer for hours
  • Standing, bending or being in an awkward position that creates back pain
  • Sleeping position that causes strain or stiffness
  • Chronic posture stress such as carrying a heavy backpack, handbag, or child

Related Conditions: Postural adaptive muscle strain; Pinched nerve in back; Intercostal Neuralgia; Rib out of place; Thoracomyodynia; Thoracic neuralgia

Self-Help Solutions to Relieve Middle Back Pain

Understanding that in most cases mid back pain is the result of some type of mechanical or postural stress, poor positioning when sleeping, lifting, working or carrying, and weak core and posture tells us the answer of how to relieve middle back pain will require habit changes and focused effort to improve posture.

1. Do posture exercises daily to strengthen your back

  • Begin a program like the 7 Steps to Strong Posture program offered by StrongPosture.com to strengthen balance, correct alignment and get stiff joints moving full range again. Remember, the problem likely didn’t occur overnight, so it’ll take a few steps to fix it.
  • Be sure not to skip the beginning alignment exercises, and do the ball back stretches for middle back pain
  • The Strong Posture exercise program will teach you to be aware of body positioning in every activity in life, work to recreational. This is key to staying well after you’re feeling better!

2. Relieve mid back pain by being conscious of your posture

  • Notice throughout the day, is your head tall and centered over your torso?
  • Shoulders should be back and relaxed down to allow your chest to open
  • Keep your pelvis tucked and centered when sitting, standing or lifting

3. Change body position and posture frequently

  • Adjust your desk chair to be optimum height and position
  • If you’re uncomfortable, ‘working through the pain” will make it worse
  • If you spend a lot of time in the car check your seat position and seat support
  • Alternate which arm or shoulder you use to carry weight like a box or suitcase

4. Keep Moving – The body is made to move

  • Take frequent breaks to practice your stretches to relieve middle back pain
  • As you’ll learn in the Strong Posture exercise program, stretch in the opposite direction you use your body throughout the day

5. Best way to sleep for upper back pain and middle back pain

If you experience mid back pain after sleeping, creating a new habit of being able to sleep in a different position is important. Try:

  • Side sleeping position, with a pillow under your upper arm, and a contoured cervical pillow under your neck to keep head aligned with your spine.
  • If sleeping on your back, get a contoured memory foam pillow.
  • Experiment with a foam wedge between your knees or a specially designed knee pillow to reduce strain and pain in the middle back. This is an important alignment support for anyone and  can help reduce back and hip pain while retraining sleep habits.
  • Change your sleeping position if you are  a stomach sleeper! Sleeping on your stomach applies to much pressure to the low back, cranks the neck and can inhibit the ability to breathe deeply.
  • Replace your mattress. They don’t last forever! A worn unsupportive, or too stiff mattress will stress the body leading to body pain and stiffness when you wake up.

Next steps for mid back pain relief

  • Waking with back pain after what should have been a great night sleep is frustrating and can be scary.  If you don’t get relief when you were still for hours allowing your body to recover – then how will you ever get better?
  • Rest won’t fix a mechanical or positional problem, and rest won’t strengthen weak posture. In fact, lots of rest (or sitting) can make it worse.
  • Your first step is making a change in how your body moves. Begin a program that focuses on strengthening balance and body alignment as well as posture, like the Strong Posture exercise program (StrongPosture.com). You can also do a self-lead program like the one in the book Stand Taller Live Longer to correct posture, strengthen your core and back a step at a time, and get your body moving fluidly again.
  • Then, start integrating the other lifestyle changes suggested, one at a time.

Need Help?

If you want help getting started on a path that’s right for you, contact us and tell us more about you. We’ll send you tips to get started!


See Posture 101 to learn more about the importance of posture, and you’ll be amazed to learn posture affects every body function from breathing to blood pressure!

SITE DISCLAIMER & Health Note : Consult a professional if pain is severe or persists over two weeks. If there is no trauma and pain initially begins in the chest, if the pain is not affected by motion, or if there is fever, nausea, vomiting, uneven pulse, anxiety, a sick feeling, burning urination, loss of bowel or bladder control, or severe pain, call your Physician.