Self Care-Mid Back

Self-Care – Burning and Aching Mid-back Pain

Table of Contents

Here, you can find strategies for getting relief from burning and aching in the mid-back. In this other post, you will find how people describe and aggravate the trigger point.

Activities To Avoid or Change:

The reaching position shown here is a real problem, especially if teetering is involved. The teetering is worse when the target is back behind the person’s head. One patient created this pain pattern for himself when painting the fascia on the roof of his house.

Other ways you create this pain pattern occurs with sports or handy work. Some sort of twisting and losing balance is almost always involved. Another patient injured himself this way from a twisting fall while mountain biking when a stick hit him in the back.

For Temporary Relief:

An IcyHot patch can offer relief when the indicated area is burning or aching. This is one of the few cases where the trigger point is in the center of the pain.

It is helpful if the patch extends to your spine. This coverage provides relief to the small muscles that help secure the rib head. The Lidocaine in these patches offers analgesic relief to the joint as well. When joints are not free, they irritate active trigger points.

Break the Cycle

Stop the Coughing

Excessive or forceful coughing irritates the trigger point in this muscle. This other self-care post has helpful stretches that only take a few seconds to relax your throat and quell coughing.

Stop the Barfing

As well, forceful or pervasive vomiting aggravates this condition. If you are hungover, take look at this other post for quick relief. If the spot in your mid-back is still bothering you, use one of the strategies that I spoke about above.

These self-care activities, like over-the-counter drugs, are not intended to replace appropriate medical attention. If you have concerns about these self-care activities, get help from a professional. Use these suggestions and strategies with discretion and at your own risk. See your doctor when your pain is severe, persistent, or not responding to these simple suggestions.

Stretches and Exercises for Longer-Lasting Relief:

Twist and Stretch

This supine twist can be used to target the lower ribs by taking the foot on the table close to the hips before twisting.


This other self-care post discusses how to use magazines or other devices to loosen the rib heads and vertebral joints the stiffen and perpetuate this problem. Eight to ten minutes of breathing can really help.

The post also discusses some other devices, which many of my clients have used. The yoga wheel and back stretcher are favorites.

I’d love your feedback on how this works for you
and any suggestions you might have.
Email me at

Yoga Corner

Standing Bow Pose

The teetering and sudden shifts in balance that might occur in this standing bow pose are prime examples of what could activate this trigger point. A twisted pose, combined with heavy breathing, increases your odds of aggravating this pain pattern, as might happen in a flow class.

Stuck rib heads in the lower thoracic vertebrae agitate the trigger points in this muscle. Seated twisting poses can release those rib heads when the practitioner is mindful of focusing the twist.

Stablize, Then Open the Lower Ribs

Yoga poses like this one provide a stable base. This allows measured and steady stretches. As well, it reduces the quick, but subtle shifts in balance that aggravate the trigger point.

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Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where he sees clients. He has written materials and instructed classes since the mid-90s. This includes anatomy, trigger points, cranial, and neuromuscular.

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*This site is undergoing significant changes. We are reformatting and expanding the posts to make them easier to read. The result will also be more accessible and include more patterns with better self-care. Meanwhile, there may be formatting, content presentation, and readability inconsistencies. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.

Tony Preston

Tony Preston, LMT has been treating adults and children since the early 90s. He has authored a number of texts on neuromuscular and craniosacral techniques. He has taught Neuromuscular Therapy for ASHA School of Massage and craniosacral the National Institute of Craniosacral Studies. He currently teaches seminars in Integrative Craniosacral techniques at The Body Guild.

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