- Muscular irritation. There are large muscles in your middle back which can be prone to developing painful strains or tightness. You may develop middle back pain over time if you put a strain on it. This might be from having a poor posture, particularly if you sit at a desk for hours, or do some type of repetitive motion, which is called an overuse injury. ...
- A problem with a joint. You might injure a joint in your back suddenly, from a sports injury for example, or it might naturally wear down with age or because of a degenerative condition like arthritis. It’s not unusual to have another health condition that affects your muscles and joints, such as osteoarthritis at the same time as back pain.
- A problem with vertebrae (a disc between two bones in your spine). If this happens, the pain might spread to the sides of your ribs, especially if you physically exert yourself, or even if you take a deep breath. Your chest might feel numb too.
- A compressed nerve around your spine.
Upper back pain is when the problem is in your neck, although it can spread into your shoulder, top of your back, head and even your arms. It can make your neck feel stiff and the muscles in the surrounding area can spasm. The pain might be aggravated by certain movements, your posture and activities, and be relieved by others.
There are treatments for both upper (neck) and middle back pain.