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Many factors cause mid-back pain

+ EDITOR'S NOTE: This public service information was provided by Dr. Cheryl McFarland of Better Health Chiropractic, 6166 W Gulf to Lake Highway, Crystal River. Call 795-8911.

Mid-back pain occurs in the area between the shoulder blades, which is the thoracic region.

There are many causes for mid-back pain. If there was a very recent muscle strain, it may go away on its own in one to three days. If the pain persists longer than that, the problem may be a subluxation: the misalignment of the vertebrae of the spine resulting in nerve interference. The nerve interference can cause muscle spasms and pain.

Upon postural analysis one shoulder may appear higher than the other.

The chiropractor assesses this condition with an examination that includes postural analysis, palpitation for tenderness and spasms and checking spinal range of motion. X-rays are also taken to verify the area of subluxation. All of this helps to assess the true problem and rule out any other more serious conditions.

The chiropractor uses adjustments (also known as manipulation) to restore the natural alignment of the spine and relieve nerve interference.

Other possible causes of mid-back pain are herniated discs, fractures, scoliosis or tumors.

The chiropractor will refer spinal tumors to a neurologist, treat scoliosis with exercises and manipulation, allow fractures to heal, and use physiotherapy to reduce the pain and spasms associated with herniated discs.