Thoracic or mid-back pain is most likely as common as cervical or lumbar pain but less often reported due to its mild pain presentation.
Where the neck is made for movement and the low back is made for power and flexibility the mid-back (thoracic spine) is made for stability.
The rib cage attached to all levels of the thoracic spine. Ribs 1-10 are attached to the sternum and ribs 11-12 are “floating” or not attached to the sternum. The attachment of the ribs to the spine limits the motion of the thoracic spine. This limited motion makes disc herniation and nerve root compression in the thoracic spine less common.
There are two types of thoracic pain. Mechanical thoracic pain is caused by injury, trauma or overuse. Non-mechanical thoracic pain is due to underlying pathology or disease.
- compression fracture
- postural syndrome
Causes of non-mechanical thoracic pain are:
- osteoid osteoma
- Scheuermann’s Disease
- T4 Syndrome
- herpes zoster
- referred pain from viscera
What to expect at your appointment for a complaint of thoracic pain:
You should expect to provide a full medical history on your first visit. An event or physical complaint that you think is entirely unrelated to your thoracic pain may provide essential information needed to make a correct diagnosis.
Dr. Danielle will perform a full physical exam, including sensation and strength testing. She may order X-rays, CT or an MRI to confirm the diagnosis. If non-mechanical thoracic pain is suspected, blood work will be ordered to confirm the diagnosis.
When to seek immediate care for thoracic pain:
Thoracic pain can be referral pain from the viscera i.e. cancer so please seek immediate professional help if you experience thoracic pain with any of the following symptoms.
- History of cancer
- Unexplained weight loss
- Lower limb spasticity
- Progressive pain, worse at night
What can a Chiropractor do for thoracic pain:
- Mid-back exercises and stretches
- Ergonomic training
- Electrical stimulation/TENS treatment
- Supervised medical massage
Thoracic pain a.k.a. mid-back pain can be a symptom of something serious and life threatening. As a result, if you’re experiencing mid-back pain, you should always be checked by a chiropractor or medical doctor.
If you’re in Stuart, Florida (or don’t mind driving to Stuart, Florida), Dr. Danielle Hurd specializes in treating people who are in pain. She is a sought after chiropractic physician who frequently treats the severe injuries caused by car accidents.
Dr. Danielle has helped hundreds of patients achieve drug free relief from chronic and persistent pain.
Her office is located in the VIP America Home Health building at 2500 S Kanner Hwy Suite 3, Stuart, FL 34994
Schedule an appointment by calling: 855-509-5400