#15-03 Mt. Elizabeth Medical Centre
3 Mt. Elizabeth, Singapore 228510


Middle Back Pain

Why & How To Solve It

There is an increase in Back Pain throughout the world. Dr. Prem Pillay, a prominent Spine Specialist based in Singapore, states that this is related to 21st Century lifestyle and workstyles. More people are sitting too long at work and at home, often in front of computers. The overuse of smartphones, laptops, ipads and computer games is also a contributing factor. Middle Back pain is a category of back pain that affects many people. The middle back is the part behind the chest and below the neck.

Middle back pain can arise suddenly from a injury or more insidiously over time. Sudden attacks may be related to carrying a heavy object or a sudden twist to the spine. Certain sports, such as contact sports like soccer and rugby or sports with jumping and/or twisting such as badminton, tennis and golf may be a cause.

For those without injuries it is often related to their workstyles states Dr. Prem Pillay. Prolonged sitting, housework, work that requires physical lifting or bending are among those that can cause problems to the back over time. If the middle back pain is associated with fever, a spine infection can also be a cause. There is another group of people where there is no injury and the pain is from a spine tumor relates Dr. Prem.

Those who suffer from middle back pain may self treat themselves or see a therapist for a massage. Sometimes therapy or massages can make the problem worse. If the pain does not go away after three sessions or becomes worse after the first session you should see a medicallly qualified spine specialist.

Dr. Prem Pillay explains that a real Spine specialist has the qualifications and experience to examine the Spine and the Nerves properly to arrive at the proper diagnosis. He can also order more advanced spine tests such as MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) of the Spine which provides the clearest pictures of the different parts of the Spine – the vertebral bodies, the discs, the spine canal and the spine nerves. This allows precise information on injured or diseased parts of the spine such as a slipped disc (or disc protrusion, disc herniation, disc extrusion, disc bulge, etc.) or a spine infection or tumor.

Common causes of middle back pain are muscular spine injuries, slipped discs, spine arthritis and spine spondylosis. Less common are spine infections such as tuberculosis, spine fractures and spine tumors. A serious spine problem can cause not just pain but nerve compression resulting in numbness, tingling and weakness of leg movements and even bladder and bowel weakness.

If a person has the right diagnosis made early, there are a variety of treatments that can solve the problem for the majority of people, clarifies Dr. Prem Pillay, the Spine Specialist. Patients with mild spine injuries wihout serious nerve pressure can be helped with medications and spine physiotherapy. Patients with slipped discs that are mild are in this category as well. Medications include mild analgesics and muscle relaxers. For those with more serious problems specialized spine injections can be done. For certain types of spine vertebral fractures a spine injection procedure can be done to correct the injury. Severe spine problems causing middle back pain, may need surgery.

Modern types of surgery including Microsurgery with microinstrumentation and real time imaging and nerve monitoring have helped make spine surgery safer and more effective. Percutaneous and keyhole types of spine surgery are also now available. Specialized retractor systems and endoscopic systems are now available as well. Dr. Prem Pillay explains that many patients can have their spine problems solved safely and effectively with experience and advanced technology for a faster return to their normal life and activities.

Further information is available at: and by contacting (+65) 6835 4325.