Mid Back (Thoracic) Pain

What is it?

The thoracic spine is made up of 12 vertebrae and it’s role is mainly to provide stability for the flexible neck and lower back as well as protecting the internal organs.


  • Pain in the middle area of the back, can be vague
  • Can refer around towards the ribs and the breast bone
  • May be worse on taking deep breaths
  • Pain can be worse with extremes of movement e.g twisting movements
  • May be restricted or stiff in twisting and arching from the thoracic spine
  • Often worse in those with desk based jobs and static postures


  • Activity modification and pacing
  • Heat
  • Pain relief
  • Physiotherapy including manipulative and/or mobilisation techniques, soft tissue mobilisations, range of movement exercises and a graded strengthening programme

Investigations are generally not required in most patients.

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