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Thoracic Spine Pain

Thoracic Spine Pain

Thoracic Spine Pain

Thoracic spine pain is discomfort or pain that is felt in the middle of the back, around the area of the ribs. Common causes of thoracic spine pain can include:

  1. Poor posture: Sitting or standing for long periods with poor posture can put strain on the muscles and ligaments of the thoracic spine, leading to pain. Having a ‘forward head’ posture is a big contributor to neck and middle back pain. See my blog here which discusses the problem and offers some solutions.

  2. Injury: A fall, car accident, or other trauma can cause damage to the bones, muscles, or other tissues of the thoracic spine, resulting in pain.

  3. Arthritis: Arthritis is a condition where the joints become inflamed and painful. Arthritis can occur in the thoracic spine, leading to discomfort.

  4. Herniated disc: A herniated disc occurs when the soft tissue inside the spinal disc bulges or ruptures, putting pressure on the nerves and causing pain.

  5. Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a condition where the bones become weak and brittle, making them more prone to fractures. Fractures in the thoracic spine can cause pain.

  6. Stress and tension: Emotional stress and tension can cause muscle tension and spasm in the thoracic spine, leading to discomfort.

  7. Scoliosis: Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine that can affect the thoracic spine. It can cause pain, limited mobility, and breathing difficulties.

  8. Thoracic outlet syndrome: Thoracic outlet syndrome is a condition in which nerves or blood vessels in the thoracic outlet (the area between the collarbone and first rib) become compressed. This can cause pain, numbness, or weakness in the arms and hands.

  9. Ankylosing spondylitis: Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of inflammatory arthritis that primarily affects the spine. It can cause pain, stiffness, and limited mobility in the thoracic spine and other areas of the spine.

  10. Facet joint irritation: Facet joint irritation, also known as facet joint syndrome, is a condition that affects the small joints located between the vertebrae in the spine. These joints are responsible for providing stability and allowing movement in the spine. When they become irritated, usually due to injury, degeneration or inflammation, they can cause pain and stiffness in the back, neck, and sometimes the arms or legs. This pain is typically localized to the affected joint and may worsen with certain movements or positions. Treatment may involve rest, physical therapy, medication, and in some cases, injection or surgery.

  11. Scheuermann's disease: Scheuermann's disease is a condition that affects the spine, causing the vertebrae to grow unevenly. This uneven growth can lead to a curved or hunched back, known as kyphosis. It usually develops during adolescence and can cause back pain and stiffness. In severe cases, it may affect breathing and heart function. Treatment options include physical therapy, bracing, and surgery in rare cases.

It's important to speak with a healthcare provider if you are experiencing thoracic spine pain to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan. I have found that thoracic spine pain is one of the hardest problems to treat yourself and one of the easiest problems to treat with osteopathy.

Come and see me with your thoracic pain problem at Osteostudio in Ashurst Wood, East Grinstead.

Cliff Russell, Registered Osteopath, East Grinstead.

You can follow my blog here or on Facebook.

Author: Cliff Russell - Registered Osteopath

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