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Thoracic spine (upper back) pain The main cause of this problem is injury to the small joints either side of the spine. Risk factors for the development of this problem include: Poor seated posture - or spending too long sitting Limited thoracic extension - due to slouching posture Reduced mid back rotation - again due to prolonged sitting and not enough movement of these joints. Muscle imbalance between the chest muscles and the back muscles. Treatment for this injury includes mobilization of the stiff and injured joints, massage, dry needling or acupuncture and stretching to help settle the affected area. A rehabilitation program is then devised to treat the risk factors and causes of the injury. To help prevent this happening follow these simple exercises: Lie over a rolled up towel on the floor placed horizontally across your back. Stretch your arms up over your head and feel the gentle stretch as your encourage your upper back to extend. Hold each position for 30 seconds and try to do 3 levels of your back. Lie on your back on a Swiss Ball - then relax the arms out to the side at 90 degrees and keep them there for 30 seconds - rest for 30 seconds and repeat three times.