Symptoms of Thoracic Back Pain

Thoracic back pain is pain that occurs in the thoracic spine. The thoracic spine is located at the back of the chest (the thorax), mostly between the shoulder blades.

The thoracic spine comprises the twelve vertebrae to which the ribs attach and could, therefore, be described as the “upper back” region.

Symptoms of Thoracic pain include:

  • Stiffness
  • Limited range of motion
  • Muscle spasms
  • Thoracic nerve pain symptoms like tingling, numbness, burning, a pins and needles sensation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Stooped posture
  • Referred pain to the ribs, shoulder, arm, fingers, neck or legs
  • Changes in bladder or bowel function or incontinence (severe case- seek medical attention immediately)
The symptoms of a herniated disc in the thoracic area usually include:
  • Pain that travels around the body and into one or both legs.
  • Numbness or tingling in areas of one or both legs.
  • Muscle weakness in certain muscles of one or both legs.
  • Increased reflexes in one or both legs that can cause spasticity in the legs.

It is an absolute must to treat thoracic pain as it can actually be coming from an underlying cause, symptoms to be aware of:

  • Fever and/or chills
  • Unexplained/uncontrollable weight loss
  • Noticeable deformity
  • Nerve pain/numbness/tingling in the legs or lower body
  • Severe stiffness, particularly in the morning (which could be a sign of rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Physical trauma (e.g., from a recent car accident)
  • Onset of pain before the age of 20
  • Onset of pain after the age of 50
  • Constant, severe pain that is not helped by changing position

If you experience thoracic back pain after a recent trauma or develop any of these unusual symptoms at the same time, do not hesitate to see a doctor. Because this portion of the spine is connected to the ribs that keep your lungs and heart protected, damage to the thoracic vertebrae can affect your cardiopulmonary system as well.

Usually thoracic pain can be treated by a specialist such as The Luklinski Spine Clinic which use non-invasive Orthopaedic methods to deal with the causes and not just symptoms of back pain.