Mid Back Burning Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Nothing can slow you down like back pain does. If it feels like a hot iron is in your mid back, you want to find out why. The spine protects vital things like your spinal cord and nerves. If something goes wrong, you might feel a burning in your middle back. Pain warns us to take care and check what’s wrong. So, knowing what might cause it and finding the right treatment is key.

Key Takeaways

  • Mid back burning pain can have a variety of underlying causes, including muscle strains, herniated discs, and nerve compression.
  • Symptoms like tingling, numbness, and decreased function may accompany the burning sensation.
  • Prompt diagnosis and targeted treatment are crucial for managing mid back burning pain effectively.
  • Conservative treatments, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes can help provide relief and prevent future episodes.
  • Seek medical attention for severe, persistent, or neurological symptoms related to mid back burning pain.

Understanding the Burning Sensation in Your Mid Back

Do you feel warmth or heat in your mid to upper back? This is a burning back sensation. It might come with or without pain. You may also feel tingling, numbness, or itching.

Common Causes of Mid Back Burning Pain

Several things can cause mid back burning pain. This includes muscle sprains, strains, and back spasms. Some common reasons are weak mid-back muscles and poor posture. Also, tight neck and mid-back, spinal misalignment, and GERD can lead to it. Pinched nerves, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, and not getting enough vitamins are also important factors.

Associated Symptoms of Mid Back Discomfort

Other symptoms that can happen with mid back pain are pain, tingling, and numbness. You might see the area turn red. It can get warm or swell up. Your skin could also become more sensitive.

Diagnosing the Root Cause of Your Mid Back Burning Pain

It’s key to figure out why your mid back hurts. Your doctor will start with a checkup and questions. They will ask about your symptoms and past health. This helps find out if things like muscle problems, herniated discs, or arthritis are causing your pain.

Physical Examination and Medical History

Your provider will touch and move your back to check for pain. They want to hear how bad the pain is and if you feel anything strange, like tingling. They’ll look at what you’ve done before that might have hurt your back.

Diagnostic Tests and Imaging

Your doctor might need to do some tests to know for sure. You could get X-rays or other pictures of your back. These can show if you have a herniated disc or something else that’s causing the pain.

All these exams and tests help the doctor understand your pain. This will lead to a plan to help get rid of your back pain for good.

Common Conditions Causing Mid Back Burning Pain

The mid back, called the thoracic spine, faces many issues that can cause a burn. This area can hurt for many reasons. Some top ones include:

Muscle Strains and Spasms

Issues with muscles in the mid back can make it burn or ache. This might happen from bad posture, too much work, quick moves, or if the muscles are weak. Stiff neck and shoulder muscles might also add to the pain by causing tension.

Herniated or Bulging Discs

Damaged or herniated discs can press on nerves in the middle back. This pressure might cause burning, tingling, or sharp pain. As well, discs that just wear out over time can lead to this type of pain.

Spinal Stenosis

When the spinal canal narrows, it’s called spinal stenosis. This issue can press on the spinal cord and nerves. It leads to a burning, numb, or sharp feeling in the mid back.

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Arthritis and Degenerative Disc Disease

Types of arthritis can make the mid back feel inflamed and stiff, causing pain. Also, when the discs between the back bones get worse over time, it can lead to discomfort.

Shingles and Postherpetic Neuralgia

Do you have pain in your mid back or chest along with a rash? If the rash is blistering or oozing, and forms a band, it could be shingles. Shingles comes after having chickenpox. It might bring a long-term pain known as postherpetic neuralgia. This pain can feel like burning or stinging and last for a long time.

1 out of 5 people with shingles may get postherpetic neuralgia. It’s more common after 60, especially in women. If you felt numb, tingling, or itchy before the rash, your risk is higher. Severe pain or a strong rash at the start of shingles also raises the risk.

If you have a weak immune system, due to HIV or cancer, you might be more at risk. But, there’s hope. Vaccines like Zostavax and Shingrix cut your shingles risk by 50%. They also lower the chance of postherpetic neuralgia. Taking antiviral drugs early can also help.

If you suspect shingles with the burning pain and rash, see a doctor fast. Acting quickly can help avoid postherpetic neuralgia. The Spine Care Center, listed as Top Doctors, offers top-notch help. They can guide you on managing the pain and symptoms.

Nerve Compression and Radiculopathy

In the mid back, burning pain can come from many issues. Nerve compression and radiculopathy are part of this. Radiculopathy happens when a nerve root near the spinal cord gets irritated or squished. This can lead to pain, weakness, and strange feelings.

Cervical Radiculopathy

Cervical radiculopathy is a type of nerve issue. It can make the mid back hurt because a nerve root in the neck is pinched. This pinching can bring pain, weakness, and less feeling from the neck to the mid back.

Sciatica and Nerve Root Impingement

Sciatica and nerve root impingement in the lower back can also cause mid back pain. The sciatic nerve, from the lower back, might get pressed. This leads to a pain that moves up the back.

Right diagnosis and treatment to fix the nerve trouble are key. Your doctor might do tests like scans and electromyography. These tests show what’s causing the issue with the nerves.

Mid Back Burning Pain: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Mid back burning pain can come from many things. This includes muscle strains, disc problems, and spinal stenosis. Symptoms might be pain, tingling, or less movement. It’s important to find the cause and treat it to stop the pain and improve your life.

The reasons for this pain can be simple. They might include muscle sprains, back spasms, and poor posture. But it also can be from more serious things like burns or certain diseases. If you’re in a lot of pain or can’t control your body, see a doctor right away.

This type of pain is usually felt between the shoulder blades. Sometimes it’s a bit lower in the middle of your back. Look out for certain signs that need quick medical attention. These signs are burns, not being able to control your bowels or bladder, or having a very high fever.

How to treat this pain depends on what’s causing it. In general, you might need rest and some medicine. But you could also benefit from physical therapy or using devices like the Spinal Backrack. This device can help by offering exercises you can do at home focused on your mid back.

Muscle Strains and SpasmsSudden or gradual onset of pain, tightness, and difficulty movingRest, ice, heat, over-the-counter pain medication, physical therapy
Herniated or Bulging DiscsBurning, tingling, or numbness radiating from the back into the legsAnti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, epidural injections, surgery in severe cases
Spinal StenosisCramping, weakness, or numbness in the legs, difficulty walkingAnti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, epidural injections, surgery
Arthritis and Degenerative Disc DiseaseStiffness, pain, and decreased mobility in the backAnti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, weight management, bracing
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Treatment Options for Mid Back Burning Pain

Feeling a burning mid back pain? There are many ways to find relief. Your doctor will figure out a special plan just for you. This guide will help tackle the problem at its root.

Conservative Treatments

At first, simple steps may work well. Try resting or applying ice or heat. Over-the-counter drugs like acetaminophen can help. So can NSAIDs. You might also use skin creams to cut down on swelling.

Physical Therapy and Exercises

Physical therapy can be a big help. A therapist will set you up with exercises just right for you. They’ll make your core and back stronger, boost your flexibility, and fix your posture. This may ease your pain a lot.

Medications and Injections

If the pain sticks around, stronger meds might be the answer. Your doctor could give you drugs to calm irritated nerves. Or, they might suggest injections to hit the pain where it starts.

Alternative Therapies

Don’t forget alternative treatments. Massages, acupuncture, and chiropractic care could work wonders. There are even devices that gently stretch your spine, making you feel better.

By teaming up with your doctor and trying different treatments, you can beat mid back pain. Then, you can get back to doing what you love, without the hurt.

Preventing Mid Back Burning Pain

It’s key to stop mid back burning pain and thoracic spine discomfort. Start with good habits and life changes. This way, you guard your back and lower chances of hurting later.

Maintaining Good Posture

Keeping the right posture keeps your spine healthy and straight. Remember to sit and stand straight. Keep your shoulders back, head straight, and spine well supported. Don’t slouch or bend over; it pressures your mid back and can cause pain.

Ergonomic Workplace Setup

For desk workers, an ergonomic setup is vital to fight off mid back burning pain. Make sure your chair, desk, and computer are set correctly. This avoids upper body strain. Also, pause often to stretch and move. It boosts blood flow and relaxes your muscles.

Regular Exercise and Stretching

Adding exercise and stretching helps against thoracic spine discomfort. Strengthen your core and back to keep your spine well. Also, do easy stretches for your shoulders, upper back, and neck. This makes you more flexible and less likely to feel pain.

Choose to be proactive about your back’s health. This lowers your chance of mid back burning pain down the road. Don’t forget, taking care of yourself now brings big benefits later on.

When to Seek Medical Attention

Feeling a burning pain in the middle of your back? It can usually be handled with simple care. But, it’s wise to see a doctor if the pain is really bad or doesn’t go away. This kind of pain could mean something more serious is going on. And it might need more than just rest to feel better.

Severe or Persistent Pain

Is the pain really bad or not stopping after a few days? Then, it’s time to get help from a doctor. Such severe pain could point to issues like a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or even a broken bone. If the pain just won’t quit, it’s probably wise to seek a professional’s review.

Neurological Symptoms

Feeling burning pain in your mid back and also have tingling or numbness? This might be a serious sign. Find a doctor fast. It could be your nerves are getting pinched. Getting the right care could stop more damage down the line.

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Traumatic Injury

Did a big fall, car crash, or sports hit cause your mid back pain? If so, don’t wait to see the doctor. These sudden injuries could have damaged your spine or muscles. Quick treatment could prevent bigger problems later.

Knowing when to get help for mid back burning pain is key. Seeing a doctor quick can help figure out what’s really going on. Especially if your pain is bad, just won’t stop, or comes with other alarming signs.


Mid back burning pain can be tough, but knowing its causes is important. Also, finding the right help is key. Working with your doctor to find what causes your thoracic spine discomfort helps. Then, you can start a special plan to feel better and enjoy life again.

Many people go to the doctor because of back pain. But, very few have serious issues like cancer or infections. If you act fast on your mid back burning pain, you can stop it from getting worse. This means taking care of your spine is really important for your health.

Combining simple treatments, physical therapy, and changes in what you do can really help. Always stay alert, work well with your healthcare team, and help yourself get better. With good care and your effort, you can beat this and live well once more.


What is a burning back?

A burning back feels warm or hot in the middle or upper area. There might be pain. You might also feel tingling, numbness, or itching.

What are the common causes of mid back burning pain?

Muscle sprains, strains, and spasms are common causes. Weak mid-back muscles and poor posture play a role. So do tight neck and spinal misalignment. GERD, pinched nerves, herniated discs, and vitamin deficiencies can also be causes.

What are the associated symptoms of mid back discomfort?

Associated symptoms can include pain, tingling, and numbness. You might also see redness or feel warmth, swell, or have more sensitive skin.

How is the root cause of mid back burning pain diagnosed?

To find the root cause, a healthcare provider looks at your health and exams you. They might take your medical history. Tests like X-rays or MRI scans can also help.

What are some common conditions that can cause mid back burning pain?

Conditions include muscle strains and spasms, herniated discs, and spinal stenosis. Arthritis or degenerative disc disease may also be the cause.

How can shingles and postherpetic neuralgia cause mid back burning pain?

If you have a rash that blisters or oozes in a strip on your back, it might be shingles. Shingles can cause postherpetic neuralgia, which leads to a burning pain in your back.

How can nerve compression and radiculopathy cause mid back burning pain?

Cervical radiculopathy and sciatica can cause mid back pain. These happen when spinal nerves get compressed or pinched. This can lead to weakness, loss of feeling, and pain in the mid back area.

What are the treatment options for mid back burning pain?

Treatments include rest, using ice or heat, and taking over-the-counter medicines. You can also try physical therapy, exercises, and medication. Injections and alternative therapies like massage, acupuncture, and spinal decompression help.

How can mid back burning pain be prevented?

To prevent mid back pain, keep good posture and a comfortable workstation. Regular exercises and stretching help. They make your muscles stronger and more flexible.

When should you seek medical attention for mid back burning pain?

See a doctor if your mid back pain is severe or doesn’t go away. Seek help if you feel weak or numb. This is especially important if the pain follows an injury.