Are you in pain? Mid/Upper Back, Rib & Chest Pain

Mid/Upper Back, Rib & Chest Pain: Causes & Recommended Treatment


Mid to upper back, rib, and chest pain, possibly extending into the shoulder, may begin gradually without explanation and worsen over a long period of time. It is often caused by poor posture, and if it comes on slowly this is the most obvious cause. The pain will come on suddenly, however, if after an injury.

The pain can be felt on one or both sides of the back, in the shoulders, and in the chest or ribs. Stiffness in the shoulder, chest, and/or upper back due to muscle tightness, can reduce the ability to perform basic tasks, such as getting dressed or driving. 

Taking over the counter medications can help in the short term, but it is far better to address the root cause of your back or chest pain and find longer-term relief.  Here at The House Clinics, our team of specialist ChiropractorsPhysiotherapists, and Massage Therapists are expertly trained in the treatment of back and chest pain.


Treatment Recommended: ChiropracticPhysiotherapyMassage Therapy 


Upper Back, Rib and Chest Pain, The House Clinics, Bristol


Common Types of Back, Rib & Chest Pain: Symptoms


Back, Rib, and Chest pain rarely has a serious underlying cause. Seeing a qualified health professional, such as a chiropractor or physiotherapist who is experienced in diagnosing conditions of the back and spine, can help treat the pain, restore mobility, and also identify if further investigations are needed.


Simple Mechanical Pain:

Poor posture, particularly as many of us are working from home at the moment, or injury can cause spraining to the spinal and rib joints resulting in stress on the associated muscles and ligaments. Muscle spasms and myofascial pain can present in the connective tissue of a group of muscles and there are often obvious trigger points or tender spots upon touch, within the muscles.


Nerve Pain:

Pressure on the nerves situated between the ribs or in the spinal column can be caused by conditions such as displaced ribs or a bulging disc. Symptoms can include pins and needles or tingling, burning, sharp, or electric shock-like pain that may worsen with movement. You may also experience radiating pain along a rib from the upper back to the chest area. If the pain is not affected by movement or a deep breath you may need to visit your GP to check for shingles.


Subluxated rib (popped rib) or intercostal muscle strain:

This is experienced as pain that travels along the rib or possibly between ribs made worse by taking a deep breath, in and rotation, or reaching for something. A popped rib can result after a sudden or unusual movement, in an injury, or when doing something very strenuous.


Trapped Nerve in The Neck:

A trapped nerve in the neck can refer pain to the upper back, shoulder, and arm.



Caused by the breakdown of cartilage which cushions the small vertebral joints in the spine, which can become worn with resulting muscle spasm and pain.


A Fracture:

Mid-back and vertebral fractures are more common in the elderly, usually due to osteoporosis which weakens the bones. A spontaneous fracture can occur when doing something as simple as carrying shopping, These fractures can result in a loss of height as well as pain.



Chiropractors and Physiotherapists specialise in assessing, diagnosing, and managing conditions of the spine and neck. They are highly trained in finding the cause of your pain. Before starting treatment, your practitioner will undertake a full assessment. This will involve taking details about your condition, current health and medical history, and performing a physical examination. Sometimes it may be necessary to refer you for other tests, such as X-rays or MRI scans. 

Before starting treatment, our practitioners will explain what is wrong, what can be done, and what can be expected from chiropractic or physiotherapy treatment.

At The House Clinics, we also believe that Massage Therapy can work hand-hand with chiropractic or physiotherapy treatment to speed your recovery to full health. We may recommend massage therapy as part of your treatment programme to relieve back, rib, and chest pain.

Book A Consultation and Treatment with one of our expert practitioners today!


Treatments Recommended

As a multidisciplinary practice, The House Clinics are able to combine the expertise of our Chiropractic, Physiotherapy, Massage Therapy, Podiatry and Chiropody practitioners to offer a unique and exceptional service to our clients. Please speak to your practitioner if you have any queries about other services we offer.

If you have any queries, do not hesitate to contact us.

Ask a Question

Latest Blog Posts

A wealth of information and useful news articles to help you.

How Often Will I Need to See My Chiropractor?

By Jonathan Cook

If you've made the positive step of deciding to see a Chiropractor for treatment, you may be wondering what to expect in terms of the treatment and frequency of visits to get good results. Here's our full guide on how Chiropractic treatment plans work...

Vitamin D: Relief for Joint and Muscle Pain

By Jonathan Cook

A vitamin D deficiency is linked to increased joint and muscle pain as well a many other health problems. Here is our full guide on why you should consider taking a vitamin D supplement to boost your health

Biomechanical Analysis: Orthotics & Podiatry

By Sophie Stockdale

A biomechanical assessment and the prescription of orthotics can resolve many common foot pain condiitons, as well as back pain, knee, calf and ankle pain.