Thoracic Strain
A thoracic strain, which is sometimes called a mid-back strain, is an injury to the muscles or tendons that attach to the upper part of your back behind your chest. This type of injury occurs when a muscle is overstretched or overloaded.
ImageThoracic strains can range from mild to severe. Mild strains may involve stretching a muscle or tendon without tearing it. These injuries may heal in 1–2 weeks. More severe strains involve tearing of muscle fibers or tendons. These will cause more pain and may take 6–8 weeks to heal.
CAUSES
This condition may be caused by:
In some cases, the cause may not be known.
RISK FACTORS
This injury is more common in:
SYMPTOMS
The main symptom of this condition is pain, especially with movement. Other symptoms include:
DIAGNOSIS
This condition may be diagnosed with a physical exam. X-rays may be taken to check for a fracture.
TREATMENT
This condition may be treated with:
HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS
SEEK MEDICAL CARE IF:
SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:
 
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.
 
Document Released: 03/09/2005 Document Revised: 09/07/2016 Document Reviewed: 02/11/2016
Elsevier Interactive Patient Education ©2016 Elsevier Inc.