Upper back pain is often felt between the shoulder blades or sharp chest pain

When referring to the “thoracic spine”, this refers to the area between the neck and the lumbar spine. For this reason, the cause of the pain is not located in the front of the body even though upper back pain can sometimes be felt in the front in the chest area as well.

Generally, upper back pain (thoracic spine pain) is described as a stinging pain in the upper back region or as a painful tension between the shoulder blades. The pain may feel jarring, dull or sharp pain, or even painful in one particular spot. Pain in the thoracic spine can sometimes be felt in your back and/or ribs. Usually, the pain feels worse on one side than the other.

In the worst-case scenario, when your upper back is “locked up” it can affect breathing, which means that when inhaling, the air doesn’t reach the lungs properly. Mid-back pain can sometimes be attributed to neck/shoulder pain, or it can be felt down in the lower back.

The most common cause is found in the thoracic facet joints (mid-back). This ailment is often known as a “locked vertebrae” or “locked facet joint”.

The range of motion in the mid-back area is more limited than the cervical and lumbar spine. As a result of this, spinal disc issues in the upper back are rare.