Top Raleigh, NC chiropractor explains.
Thoracalgia, or pain in the thoracic spine, is often described as a tight, burning, nagging, and (often times) sharp pain. The pain may be located between the shoulder blades or in a slightly higher area close to the neck and around the top of the shoulders. Thoracalgia may also affect the lower back close to the lumbar spine.
Mid back pain may be acute or sometimes this type of pain is a chronic pain that does not resolve with time.
Thoracalgia can be caused by restriction of the thoracic joints or vertebrae. Your thoracic spine includes 12 thoracic vertebrae from T1 (the first thoracic vertebrae) all the way down to T 12 (the 12th thoracic vertebrae).
In between each vertebrae, there is a soft disc which allows for weight to be distributed and impacted through the spine protecting the bones or vertebrae. If the thoracic discs degenerate or herniate, this may lead to thoracic pain or mid back pain.
To visualize thoracic joint restriction in your spine, think of your spine of being like a giant chain moving in all planes of motion. Sometimes, a part of the chain can becomes kinked and not move, which causes dysfunction in the entire unit.
This joint restriction can come from injuries such as car accident injuries,
falls, or sports injuries. Mid back pain can also develop overtime with poor posture, being overweight, poor body mechanics, or muscular imbalances.
So, what’s the big deal with restricted joints? The restricted joints can cause perpetual discomfort, pain, tightness and lead to inflammation and swelling this triggers dysfunctions, inflammation in the muscles and other soft tissues surrounding the spine.
Often times, I hear my patients at my Raleigh, NC chiropractor’s clinic complain have problems sleeping because of the pain in the thoracic spine. They will often have ongoing pain at work sitting at the computer or desk exacerbates the thoracalgia.
What are the symptoms of thoracalgia?
Symptoms of thoracalgia include pain and discomfort in the mid back between the shoulder blades or closer to the neck down lower towards the lower back but above the lower back.
Usually, when thoracalgia is present, patients, like the ones that I see at my Raleigh, NC chiropractor clinic, will complain of muscular tension knots in the muscles or trigger points or small nodules in the mid back which perpetuate the cycle of pain in the thoracic spine.
The pain of thoracalgia is often described as tight, stiff, sore or nagging. Often times, there is a burning discomfort or tingling. Make sure to tell your chiropractor if you feel any radiating pain around the ribs, chest pain, a cough that won’t resolve, breathing problems. These can be signs of a more serious underlying condition.
How do I treat my thoracalgia?
If your thoracalgia is musculoskeletal in nature you will likely do very well under chiropractic care, like I provide at my Raleigh, NC chiropractor’s clinic.
Chiropractic care will reestablish the thoracic joint restriction with small gentle adjustments into the spine to restore the mobility and ranges of motion.
Chiropractic care will also focus and treat the muscular imbalances, knots and spasms around the thoracic spine with chiropractic physical therapies such as electrical muscle stimulation , ultrasound therapy, traction therapy , myofascial release, targeted therapeutic exercises, manual therapy or massage therapy to provide relief from the underlying muscular inflammation and discomfort.
Thoracalgia, or mid back pain, can cause pain, dysfunction and loss of enjoyment with lief activities. Thoracalgia is treated successfully with chiropractic care using gentle joint mobilizations and physical therapies
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Dr. Jeffrey Gerdes D.C.