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Aching and Burning in the mid back

Your Pain Pattern,
What Aggravates It,

The Underlying Anatomy
How to Get Relief,
and more…

Want to skip ahead?
Here’s a link to my post about
getting relief on your own.

How People Describe This Pain Pattern

These people complain of aching or burning pain over the kidneys. The pain is often associated with chronic coughing or recent illness with nausea and vomiting. Many of them have already had their kidneys checked but have not found any problems.

If this is your pain pattern, you should seek medical treatment before you consult a bodyworker. Kidney pain is serious and, left unchecked, can create irreversible damage. On the right, this is also an indicator of a congested gallbladder or gall stones. Again, see your doctor first.

When it is not associated with sickness, it is an annoying pain that causes the person to stretch and fidget to get relief. Chairs that press into this area can aggravate the trigger point. When the chair is cold, it is more likely to aggravate this trigger point.

How You Activate and Intensify This Pain Pattern

Reach for the Sky!

If they can name an activity that caused this, it involves a combination of awkward twisting and breathing. Reaching up and back while twisting in sports or construction work can twist these lower ribs and activate this trigger point.

Painfully Sick

Chronic coughing or retching increases the burning aching. People often get this pain during excessive coughing. As well, this can get aggravated when you are forcefully or pervasively vomiting.

Stabbed in the back

Occasionally, a sharp jab to the mid-back irritates the muscle and activates the trigger point. This scenario is unusual and often traumatizes the kidney as well. Again, seek medical attention.

The Musculoskeletal Anatomy Behind Your Pain

Start by Understanding the Anatomy.
About the coloring of the illustrations…

This muscle straps down the erectors and gathers them medially into a bundle. At the same time, it anchors the lower ribs to the vertebrae near the thoracolumbar junction. Read more in this post about serratus posterior inferior.

Getting Relief on Your Own

Clinically Proven
Self-Care Strategies

This post has strategies for getting relief on your own. Explore how to change your activities, stretch, and other strategies that relieve the pain associated with this trigger point.

Very Similar Pain Pattern, Different Muscle

There are a few trigger points that produce pain in the mid-back. The trigger point in this other post is similar in pattern. It is agitated by similar activities of reaching and twisting. Also, it hurts in the lower ribs. Furthermore, it can create pain while coughing.

On the other hand, it is painful instead of burning and often creates a stiff low back. Another difference is that the pain tends to extend upward into the shoulder or down into the low back.

Better Bodywork
Through Shared Expertise

This post has techniques, tips, treatment routines, and anatomy illustrations to improve the bodyworker’s approach.

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Tony Preston has a practice in Atlanta, Georgia, where he sees clients. He has written and taught about anatomy, trigger points, and cranial therapies since the mid-90s.

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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 will include more patterns with better self-care. In the meanwhile, there may be inconsistencies in formatting, content presentation, and readability. Until we get older posts updated, please excuse our mess.