The mid back or thoracic spine is, in my opinion, the most important area to treat in the whole body. Almost all neck pain starts with dysfunction in the middle back and every neck pain complaint will get better after treatment is administered here. Also for chronic low back complaints, addressing the movement in the middle back is paramount.
To understand this better, let’s look at the structure of the area briefly. The mid back or thoracic spine is made up of 12 vertebrae. Attached to these are 24 ribs (one on each side). In between the vertebrae is a disc but because of the ribs, the mid back moves much less than your lumbar or cervical spine. If the mid back is very stiff, or we can’t move freely here enough, we compensate in our low back and neck.
When the joints are stiff in the mid back, the muscles will very often compensate and overload. This can then lead to the formation of many trigger points which commonly refer to the head, neck and arm.
Types of conditions treated in the mid back:
- Thoracic vertebral joint restrictions
- Rib restrictions
- Increased Thoracic kyphosis
- Scheuermann’s Disease
- Breathing problems
Area of concern ?
On rare occasions, chest or mid back pain is caused by more serious life threatening conditions, or red flags. A thorough chiropractic history and assessment will help rule this out along with referral to an MRI or X ray.