Thoracic pain occurs in the thoracic or middle region of the spine. It can be felt in the spine behind your chest, rib cage or thorax, as well as between your shoulder blades. It typically extends from the base of your neck to the beginning of your lumbar spine, or around the waist level.
Although pain in the thoracic region of your spine is less common than neck pain and lower back pain, there are many people who suffer from it, but thankfully there are ways to treat it, which will be discussed further down below.
But first, what causes thoracic spine pain?
Some possible causes of thoracic pain
Thoracic pain can occur in teenagers
This type of pain is not limited only to adults, but it can also affect younger people, such as teenagers. Experiencing pain in this region of the back as a teenager is most likely due to:
- Carrying heavy backpacks full of schoolbooks
- Sitting in a slouched position for long periods of time
- Regularly standing with a slouched posture
- Sitting in front of a computer for several hours
- A sports injury
- Weakened muscles in the back
- Repetitive movements, such as those seen in some sports (e.g. baseball, golf)
Causes in older people
The ageing process takes its toll on our spine as well as the rest of our body, and this can lead to pain in the middle section of the back. Some common causes of mid back pain in elderly people can include:
- A bout of shingles
- Thoracic spinal stenosis, or narrowing of the canal through which the spinal cord passes
- Compression fractures of the spine (including the thoracic vertebrae)
- An infection in the spine
- Disc problems such as herniated discs and prolapsed discs
- Spinal osteoarthritis
- Inflammation of the joints between the vertebrae (ankylosing spondylitis) as well as that of the facet joints
- Scheuermann’s disease
- Tumours on the spine.
Warning signs to look out for
However, note that not all pain in the spine will emanate from the spine itself. There could be problems in other parts of the body causing pain such as the lungs, oesophagus, stomach, gallbladder and the pancreas. These can have varying symptoms that accompany the spine, and there are some red flags that one should pay attention to such as:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Sudden visible and exaggerated deformity of the spine
If you experience any of these symptoms seek immediate medical advice as they can signal a potential life-threatening condition.
In many cases, back pain in general is not caused by a serious problem, and as such can be treated with minimal intervention. However, for severe cased of pain in this region, where the symptoms severely impact the life quality of the person or their ability to carry out simple everyday tasks, surgery may be considered.
When it comes to less invasive treatment options, some self-help remedies that may be helpful include yoga, stretching and bending exercises, massage, staying active, Pilates sessions, acupuncture, physical therapy, stress reduction techniques and an improved posture.
Something that can prove even more effective than all the options mentioned above is to engage in Spinal Decompression Therapy with the help of a special orthopaedic device, such as the Backrack.
A Revolutionary Technology That Helps Treat Thoracic Pain Naturally
Why Spinal Decompression
A large number of back pain cases, including those that occur in the thoracic region, are caused by spinal compression, an underlying factor behind many other spinal problems.
Decompression of the spine is a treatment modality that massages and lengthens the spine, removing any tension or pain a person might feel due to spinal compression, reversing this process.
Using the Backrack as a treatment method in this case can be especially beneficial as it focuses not only on the middle back region, but also on the cervical and lumbar spine, removing any problems in the latter sections, in case the person suffers from referred rather than localised pain.
It is also a prevention tool, keeping away possible further occurrences of pain in the mid back.
Author: Spinal Backrack