Exercises to Help with Mid Back Pain

Last Updated on November 27, 2020 by James Matthews

Are you dealing with an intense sharp pain in your mid-back? Does your back feel too stiff after spending hours working on your desk? Mid back pain can be limiting and irritating. Taking a painkiller might work once, but if you want to get rid of the pain, you need to practice some exercises for mid back pain.  

Pain in the lower thoracic spine is widespread in people due to some unhealthy habits, but it’s treatable. You don’t have to live with the pain forever or depend on pills to stay comfortable and productive. Keep on reading to learn more about the best exercises and stretches to keep your back in the best shape.  

What Causes Mid Back Pain? 

The back is made up of the spine, spinal cord, nerves, and muscles. Any of these structures can become irritated, inflamed, or overworked because of our unhealthy daily habits.  

People don’t usually realize that they’re doing something wrong until they suffer from severe pain. In this case, they might rush to take an over the counter painkiller, which might temporarily relieve the pain but won’t fix the core of the problem.  

There are several things that cause mid back pain.  

  • Poor posture is probably the culprit. If you’re hunching over your desk most of the time, you’re willingly putting your back in an unnatural position, which causes a lot of pain in the long run as the muscles become too stiff.  
  • Muscle strain can cause a lot of pain. If you’re always carrying heavy weights, you will be putting too much pressure on the muscles in your back, causing a lot of discomfort.  
  • Sports injuries might cause pain in the mid-back. Working out is amazing for your health, but if you’re working out too hard or applying too much force, you might be hurting your back.  

You need to warm up and stretch properly before hitting the gym. It’s always recommended to work with a professional trainer to make sure that you’re not doing anything wrong.  

  • In some cases, you might have a herniated disc that causes a lot of pain. If you have severe pain that doesn’t get any better, especially when you try to bend or straighten your back, you need to see the doctor. Herniated disc pain is usually accompanied by muscle weakness and numbness. You shouldn’t work out, except if the doctor agrees.  

Mid back pain can affect you in several ways.

  • Dealing with sharp intense pain is usually common. It might go away after a while. 
  • In some cases, you might deal with dull long-lasting pain that affects your mobility and ability to sleep.  
  • You might start feeling some weakness in your legs and arms. This could be accompanied by numbness.  
  • A tingling sensation is quite common when the pain is too severe.  

How to Deal with Mid Back Pain 

There are several ways to help you deal with and overcome mid back pain. Exercises for mid back pain are quite potent, but you can combine other techniques with exercises to help you get rid of this annoying pain.  

  • Using heating pads will work if your muscles are strained. If you’ve been working out vigorously or putting your muscles under so much pressure, hot compresses or a warm bath can help your muscles relax.  
  • Cold compresses work to relieve intense pain. If you suffer from internal inflammation, ice packs can help you deal with the pain and discomfort.  
  • Medication and relaxation can help with pain. Taking deep breaths is good for your health and can help relax your tensed muscles in the mid-back.  
  • Improving your posture and getting rid of bad habits will help eliminate the pain. You should make sure that you’re maintaining the right posture while walking or standing. When you’re sleeping, you need to use pillows for support and make sure that you’re not bending your back too much.  
  • The right exercises for mid back pain also work. These exercises are targeted towards the muscle groups in the mid-back and will strengthen them to help you feel better.  

The Best Exercises for Mid Back Pain 

exercises for mid back pain

The following exercises are easy to practice and will help you get rid of mid back pain. They stretch and strengthen the muscles to help support your spine better.  

The best thing about these exercises is that they don’t take much time. You can practice them in the morning or after you finish work to help keep your mid-back in perfect health. You should follow a few precautions before working out.  

  • Don’t exercise with an empty stomach. You should eat something light and healthy to give your body some stamina. 
  • Wear comfortable clothes while working out. They will help you move better. 
  • Get a comfortable exercise mat to provide support.  
  • Listen to your body. If something feels too painful, then you might need to skip it. Your muscles might be too tense, and you might need to give your body some time before taking your exercise regimen to the next level. 
  • Take short breaks while working out. Overstressing your body will cause more harm than good.  

Cat-Cow Movements 

exercises for mid back pain

This exercise helps to stretch the muscles in your back. If you suffer from stiffness and overstressed muscles, this exercise will help get your muscles ready for the more challenging workout that follows.  

  • Start from all-fours, putting your wrists directly under your shoulders. Make sure that your wrists are not wider than your shoulders to give your body the needed support. Your knees should be right under the hips.  
  • Start by spreading your fingers as wide as possible to distribute your weight evenly. This will help you avoid injuries to the wrist.  
  • Take a deep breath and put your belly down. Send your pelvis upward and keep your face and chin up.  
  • Maintain this position for a few seconds.  
  • Exhale and let the air out as you arch your back like a cat. Round your spine and tuck your pelvis in. Let your head fall down naturally.  
  • Maintain this position for a few seconds, then repeat.  
  • Repeat this pose for 5 to 7 times to let the spine stretch and open up. This stretch will help you get rid of any muscle stiffness that you might suffer from due to sitting on the desk or driving for long hours.  

Passive Backbend 

exercises for mid back pain

This relaxing exercise reverses the tension in the back that you might suffer from due to hunching over for extended periods. It helps strengthen the muscles, increase flexibility, and improve posture. You will need a rolled towel, yoga mat, blanket, or yoga blocks to do this exercise successfully.  

For this exercise, you need to listen to your body to make sure that you’re not overstressing your muscles. If you roll a towel or a yoga mat, it shouldn’t be too thick, or it might cause a lot of pain. As you feel more comfortable, you can use a thicker object for more flexibility.  

  • Start with a thin rolled mat, blanket, or towel. If you’re using yoga blocks, keep one under your head for support. Make sure that the two blocks are of the same height.  
  • Sleep on the rolled object, keeping it at your higher mid-back, right under your shoulder blades. If you’re using yoga blocks, keep one right in the middle of your back while the other one supports your head.  
  • Relax in this position and try to maintain it for at least 3 minutes. 
  • If the position feels too uncomfortable, you can use another towel under your head for more support. A thicker object will offer more release and flexibility. A thinner object will be more comfortable, especially for a beginner.  

Corner Stretch 

The tensed muscles in your back might also affect your chest muscles. This exercise will help open up your chest muscles as it stretches your mid-back muscles. You don’t need any special tools or props for this exercise, and you can do it at the office.  

  • Face the corner of a room or stand in the middle of the door.  
  • If you’re standing in the corner of a room, keep your feet together about 2 feet away from the corner. If this feels too much for you, you can start from a nearer position.  
  • Extend your arms at 90 degrees, keeping the elbows lower than the shoulder blades.  
  • Lean forward using the walls or sides of the door for support. Keep on leaning slowly until you feel a good stretch in the chest and back.  
  • Keep your lower back in a natural position as the movement should come from the upper and middle back muscles.  
  • Hold the position for a minute, then return to a neutral position.  
  • Repeat this stretch for 3 or 5 times a day to keep your muscles stretched.  

Wrap Up 

Dealing with mid back pain can affect every aspect of your life. However, exercises for mid back pain will help you live comfortably without any pain or discomfort.  

You should listen to your body as you practice these exercises. If something feels too difficult or too painful, then your body might not be ready for it. Doing these exercises every day will deliver good results.