A back injury can take many forms, and can vary in severity depending on the nature of the accident. One of the most severe types of injury occurs when the spinal cord itself is damaged in a motor vehicle accident. An injury that damages the spinal cord disrupts the brain’s ability to communicate with the body, and can cause paralysis and numbness in part or all of the body. Symptoms usually occur in the parts of the body that are lower than the point of injury on the spinal cord. This means that an injury involving the lower spine will most likely affect the legs only, while a neck injury or upper back injury involving the spinal cord can cause paralysis and numbness in the arms as well as the leg
Although upper back pain is not a very common spinal disorder, it can cause significant discomfort and pain when it does occur. The most common causes of upper back pain are muscular irritation (myofascial pain) and joint dysfunction.There can be an injury to a disc in the upper back (such as a thoracic herniated disc or degenerated disc) that causes upper back pain, but such injuries are very rare.
It is important to note that the thoracic spine (also called upper back, middle back, or mid-back) is very different in form and function than the cervical spine (neck) or the lumbar spine (lower back). While the neck and lower back are designed to provide us with mobility, the thoracic spine is designed to be very strong and stable to allow us to stand upright and to protect the vital internal organs in the chest.
Because this section of the spinal column has a great deal of stability and only limited movement, there is generally little risk of injury or degeneration over time in the upper back.