Mid Spine Pain Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your mid spine pain symptoms, including 4 causes & common questions.

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  1. 4 Possible Mid Spine Pain Causes
  2. Real-Life Stories
  3. FAQs
  4. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  5. Statistics
  6. Related Articles

4 Possible Mid Spine Pain Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced mid spine pain. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Vertebral osteomyelitis

Vertebral osteomyelitis, or spinal osteomyelitis, is an infection in the bones of the spine. It usually affects the lumbar, or lower, back, and may be either acute or chronic.

The infection is caused by bacteria, most commonly Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and by some types of fungi. These agents can travel through the bloodstream from an infected wound elsewhere in the body and reach the bones of the spine.

Most susceptible are those with weakened immune systems; poor circulation; recent injury; or undergoing hemodialysis. Osteomyelitis of the spine is the most common form of osteomyelitis in adults, though children can also be affected.

Symptoms include swelling, redness, and pain at the site of the infection, along with fever, chills, and fatigue.

A medical provider should be seen for these symptoms, as vertebral osteomyelitis can progress to abscess and cause further complications if not treated.

Diagnosis is made through blood tests, imaging of the spine, and sometimes biopsy.

Treatment involves several weeks of intravenous antibiotic or antifungal medication, which can be given as an outpatient.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: upper back pain, spontaneous neck or back pain, fever, foot numbness, upper leg numbness

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Osteoporotic spinal fracture

Osteoporosis is a condition in which the density and quality of bone are reduced. Cracks can appear in the boney structures of the back (vertebrae) which can lead to back pain, back deformities and loss of height.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: mid back pain, spontaneous mid back pain, unintentional weight loss, back pain affecting the spine, back deformity

Urgency: In-person visit

Mid Spine Pain Symptom Checker

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Heart attack in a woman

A heart attack happens when the heart does not receive enough oxygenated blood to meet its demand, resulting in the death of heart tissue. This can be caused by a decreased supply of oxygenated blood or too high of a demand.

Symptoms include chest pain or pressure th...

Read more

Traumatic vertebral fracture

Vertebrae are the individual small bones that fit together, one above the other, to form the spine. If a vertebra is broken and/or dislocated due to sudden forceful injury (trauma,) this is a traumatic vertebral fracture.

The term includes fracture of the transverse processes, the "wings" of bone on either side of each vertebra. This is a less serious injury.

Automobile accidents, sports injuries, and falls from heights are common causes, as are gunshot wounds.

Symptoms include severe back pain that is worse with movement. Damage to the spinal cord causes limb numbness and weakness, with bowel and bladder dysfunction.

This is a medical emergency. One vertebra has been partially or entirely torn away from the vertebra directly below it and damaged the spinal cord. Take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination, neurologic tests to assess ability to move, and imaging.

Surgery stabilizes and realigns the spine, which removes pressure from the spinal cord. Rehabilitation will help the patient regain normal function.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: back pain, constant back pain, severe back pain, back pain that shoots down the leg, back pain affecting the spine

Symptoms that always occur with traumatic vertebral fracture: back pain

Symptoms that never occur with traumatic vertebral fracture: mild back pain

Urgency: Emergency medical service

Real-life Stories

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FAQs About Mid Spine Pain

Here are some frequently asked questions about mid spine pain.

What causes mid spine pain when bending?

Mid-back pain is most frequently caused by muscle strain, spasm or injury, either from poor posture or inflammation of the myofascial (connective tissue around the muscles). It can also be caused by spinal stenosis, but usually involves the lower regions of the back or the legs. Mid-back pain can be aggravated by a slouched position while sitting and may be helped by sitting with a more upright posture while working especially if you work for long periods of time.

Why do I have mid spine pain while sleeping?

Back pain that is worse while sleeping can be caused by the change in posture that occurs during sleep. More superficial structures like skin and muscle are pressed upon if an individual sleeps on their back. Pain from pressing on these structures, if they are inflamed, can cause mid-spine pain. Mid-spine pain can also be caused by a slipped disk or joint within the back as well as a fracture, cancer traveling to the spine, or an infection. Infection and associated cancer pain are usually worse at night. If you have mid-spine pain while sleeping, you should seek medical evaluation.

Can a slipped disc cause mid spine pain?

Yes, a slipped disc can cause back pain. It often causes pain in the lower regions of the back or the "small of the back," but it can less commonly cause pain in the mid-spine region. Particularly, a compression of the L2, L3, or L4 (lumbar) nerves can cause back pain that radiates to the front of the thigh. It may also cause weakness in thigh raising and knee bending.

Does poor posture lead to mid spine pain?

Yes, poor posture can strain the muscles of the back leading to back pain. Particularly, sitting in a hunched position for a long period of time can lead to pain in the middle region of the back. This position is common for individuals that work at desks or chairs for long periods of time. Correct ergonomics (our interactions with things such as chairs and desks) is important for those who sit for many hours at work or home, especially when using a computer).Backless chairs and standing desks may help correct posture. Exercises that stress good posture, like yoga or olympic weight lifting, can help improve posture significantly.

Why do I have sudden mid back pain?

You may have sudden mid-back pain after slipping a disk or fracturing a vertebra. This usually occurs following trauma to the region of the back. Traumatic incidents can include a strike to the back as well as improper lifting of a heavy object. If you have sudden mid-back pain that does not decrease, is associated with numbness or loss of control of a part of your body or incontinence, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Mid Spine Pain

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Have you experienced any nausea?
  • Have you noticed any changes in the color of your urine recently?
  • Are you currently pregnant?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Mid Spine Pain Symptom Checker

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Mid Spine Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced mid spine pain have also experienced:

  • 6% Back Pain
  • 6% Lower Back Pain
  • 4% Upper Spine Pain

People who have experienced mid spine pain were most often matched with:

  • 38% Heart Attack In A Woman
  • 33% Vertebral Osteomyelitis
  • 27% Osteoporotic Spinal Fracture

People who have experienced mid spine pain had symptoms persist for:

  • 30% Less than a day
  • 27% Less than a week
  • 24% Over a month

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant (a.k.a. the quiz).

Mid Spine Pain Symptom Checker

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