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Thoracic Spine

Back Pain B and W-cropDefinition
Your thoracic spine is the chest area between your neck and low back. It consists of 12 vertebrae (bones) with the corresponding ribs attached.

  • Pain most frequently develops in this area as a result of poor posture and our increasingly sedentary lifestyles. It can also be the result of muscular injury, or poor movement patterns elsewhere in your body such as your pelvis or shoulder.
  • Less frequently, some people develop a condition called thoracic outlet syndrome. This occurs, when pressure on blood vessels and nerves in the area between your collarbone and upper ribs, results in symptoms including pain, numbness and tingling in the hands and/or forearm and weakness with gripping.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Pain in the middle of your back, sometimes radiating to the front of your chest. You should always be screened by your General Practitioner if, you experience this type of pain, to exclude any heart disorders.
  • Limited Range of movement, or pain with movement of your upper body
  • Pain may increase with prolonged sitting
  • Pain with taking a deep breath, coughing or sneezing
  • Pain can also be related to using your arms

Management

  • Improving posture and strengthening the postural muscles
  • Assessing your workstation and making necessary changes, regular movement and stretching while working at a desk.
  • Physiotherapy treatment will include massage, joint mobilisation, correction of movement patterns of the vertebrae, ribs and shoulder girdle, strengthening the muscles around the shoulder blade and upper back, stretches and other home exercises.

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