How to Stop Mid-Back Pain
The Latissimus Dorsi
Middle Back Pain- The latissimus dorsi or “lat” is a huge muscle that covers most of the back and frequently is the cause of mid-back pain when it has trigger points in it. It can also cause shoulder pain, lower back pain, arm pain, and even abdominal pain. A trigger point is a knot that refers pain and/or has a twitch response.
It primarily acts to extend the arm at the shoulder, adduct the arm and depress the humerus. The lat is used when swimming freestyle, hanging from a rope, doing chin-ups, or pitching a baseball. A tight bra can cause trigger points in this muscle. Also, the pressure of sleeping on the side of a trigger point in the latissimus muscle can activate it.
Because this muscle is a long, slack muscle, it rarely causes pain with motions that only partially stretch it. In fact, the trigger point has been ultra activated when you feel pain at rest from this muscle. If you can’t figure out what motion causes the pain, it is probably coming from the lats.
How to Find Pain Relief
If you are having middle back pain and muscle tension around the shoulder blades, avoid reaching high for anything heavy. Also when you sleep keep a pillow resting on the bed between your armpit and chest so that it keeps your arm between that pillow and your head pillow. You don’t want to shorten the muscles for long periods of time when you have trigger points here.
There are a few things you can do at home to help relieve pain in the mid back muscles. Since the fibers go in several directions, you will need to do a couple of mid back stretches to loosen your tight muscles.
One is a doorway stretch: Reach your hands to the top of the doorway, with your arms straight arch your lower back, and swing your hips forward through the door. You should feel a slight stretch. Another is the Mouth Wrap Around test: take your left hand and try to touch the right side of your mouth by wrapping your arm around the back of your head. Kyron shows another stretch to relieve mid back pain in the video below.
One other thing you can do at home to help is using a tennis ball to release the trigger points. Place the tennis ball (or lacrosse ball) on the floor and position it on the trigger point. Use gentle, non-painful pressure to relax the knot. And always remember to practice good posture!
How To Stop Mid-Back Pain with Massage
You will definitely find back pain relief with massage and the stretches in this video. If those two things don’t work, you may want to schedule a physical therapy session or try some gentle yoga exercise. The cat cow pose in yoga is a good yoga pose to try to temporarily relieve pain in your upper and middle back.
If the pain is a new pain, you probably only need one or two massages to loosen tight muscles and relieve stiffness. If you are having chronic pain, you will need 4-5 massages to relieve tension. Schedule online right now! We specialize in therapeutic massage to relieve back pain as well as neck pain.