Spontaneous Mid Back Pain Symptoms, Causes & Common Questions

Understand your spontaneous mid back pain symptoms, including 9 causes and common questions.

This symptom can also be referred to as: middle back hurts randomly

Spontaneous Mid Back Pain Symptom Checker

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Contents

  1. 9 Possible Spontaneous Mid Back Pain Causes
  2. Real-Life Stories
  3. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  4. Statistics
  5. Related Articles

9 Possible Spontaneous Mid Back Pain Causes

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

Shingles (herpes zoster)

Shingles is a painful rash that results when the varicella zoster virus (VZV) — the same virus that causes the chickenpox — becomes reactivated. It results in a painful rash of small fluid-filled blisters (vesicles) over a single strip of skin on one side of the body...

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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

Kidney infection (pyelonephritis)

A kidney infection, or pyelonephritis, is actually a type of urinary tract infection (UTI) that begins in the urethra or bladder and spreads to the kidneys.

The infection is caused by bacteria that either travel into the urethra or spread from an infection elsewhere in the body.

Women, especially pregnant women, are most susceptible. Anyone who has had a urinary tract blockage, or uses a catheter, or has a weakened immune system is also at risk for a kidney infection.

Symptoms include fever; chills; back and abdominal pain; and frequent, painful urination. If there is also nausea and vomiting and discolored, foul-smelling urine, take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Left untreated, pyelonephritis can cause permanent damage to the kidneys. Bacteria can also enter the bloodstream and cause a life-threatening infection elsewhere in the body.

Diagnosis is made through urine test, blood test, and sometimes imaging such as ultrasound, CT scan, or x-ray.

Treatment includes antibiotics and sometimes hospitalization.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, pelvis pain, back pain, vomiting

Symptoms that never occur with kidney infection (pyelonephritis): mid back pain from an injury

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

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...

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Spontaneous Mid Back Pain Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your spontaneous mid back pain

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

Spine metastases

Metastasis is the term meaning the spread of cancer cells from tumors in other parts of the body. The spine is a common location for new tumors, or metastases, to form.

Some types of cancers, especially those of the breast, prostate, lung, thyroid, and kidney, are likely to spread to the spine. Exactly why this happens is not known.

Symptoms of spine metastases include back pain; bowel and urinary incontinence; arm or leg weakness; and hypercalcemia, or high levels of calcium in the blood.

Hypercalcemia can cause nausea and vomiting, constipation, and mental confusion.

These metastasized tumors can cause pain and fractures in the spine.

Diagnosis is made through various types of imaging, including x-ray, bone scintigraphy (bone scan,) CT scan, PET scan, and/or MRI.

Treatment is varied and is designed for each individual case. It may include IV osteoporosis medications to strengthen bones; chemotherapy to fight cancer cells; and steroids to reduce inflammation. All of these help to reduce pain, as well. Radiation therapy and surgery may also be used.

Rarity: Ultra rare

Top Symptoms: back pain, lower back pain, fatigue, mid back pain, urinary changes

Symptoms that always occur with spine metastases: back pain

Symptoms that never occur with spine metastases: back pain from overuse, lower back pain from an injury, mid back pain from an injury, mid back pain from overuse

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Aortic dissection

An aortic dissection occurs when blood gets between the walls of the aorta. The splitting of the wall can spread and send create dangerous blood clots.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: being severely ill, chest pain, pain below the ribs, sharp chest pain, spontaneous upper back pain

Symptoms that always occur with aortic dissection: being severely ill

Urgency: Emergency medical service

Kidney stone

A kidney stone is a stone made up of various possible materials that forms in the kidneys. Factors that increase the risk of forming kidney stones include high levels of calcium, uric acid, and oxalate in the urine, low levels of citrate in the urine, abnormal urine pH, low urine volume, certain urin...

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Acute pancreatitis

Acute pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas, which creates and releases insulin and glucagon to keep the sugar levels in your blood stable. It also creates the enzymes that digest your food in the small intestine. When these enzymes accidentally get activated in the pancreas, they digest the pancreas itself, causing pain and inflammation.

Rarity: Rare

Top Symptoms: constant abdominal pain, nausea or vomiting, being severely ill, severe abdominal pain, fever

Symptoms that always occur with acute pancreatitis: constant abdominal pain

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

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Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Spontaneous Mid Back Pain

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

  • Have you experienced any nausea?
  • Did you just suffer from a high impact injury (e.g., a fall, collision, accident or sports trauma)?
  • Do you currently smoke?
  • Have you noticed a change in your height (since your tallest recorded height)?

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

Please take a quiz to find out what might be causing your spontaneous mid back pain. These questions are also covered.

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Spontaneous Mid Back Pain Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced spontaneous mid back pain have also experienced:

  • 6% Nausea
  • 6% Mid Back Pain
  • 5% Back Pain

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

  • 40% Kidney Infection (Pyelonephritis)
  • 33% Osteoporotic Spinal Fracture
  • 26% Shingles (Herpes Zoster)

People who have experienced spontaneous mid back 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).

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