The spinal column has different regions. In the mid-back is the thoracic spine which holds the rib cage and protects the heart and lungs. There are 12 vertebrae in the thoracic area of the spine, numbered T1 to T12.
The joints in the thoracic spine are important to arm movement, bending over, bending sideways and more. The muscles that affect the thoracic spine’s function include the spinalis, a long muscle that moves the spine and helps with posture, and the longissimus, another long muscle that runs up the spine and on both sides of the spinalis. Between each vertebra in the thoracic spine is the intervertebral disc.
Now that you understand the anatomy and function of the thoracic spine, you’ll understand how it is essential to everyday life. The thoracic spine is used in everyday movements, which can make it prone to injury. Some injuries might include:
- Fractured vertebrae
- Strain or sprain
Trauma to the thoracic spine can also lead to spinal conditions, including:
- Herniated or ruptured disc
- Spinal stenosis
- Pinched nerves
Thoracic Spine Injury Symptoms
With any type of injury, the symptoms are moderate to severe back pain in the thoracic spine that is worsened with movement. If an injury leads to any type of spinal impairment, a person is more likely to suffer:
- Back pain that radiates down into the thighs and legs
- Pain in the ribs
- Difficulty walking
The vertebral connections to the body can also lead to other symptoms if you suffer any type of injury to the thoracic spine.
Injuries to the T1 to T4 thoracic vertebrae may lead to issues with the esophagus, trachea, and lungs, such as congestion, bronchitis or difficulty breathing and swallowing.
The T5 is connected to the liver and the body’s circulation, so an injury may lead to blood pressure issues, poor circulation or problems with the liver.
The T6 to T8 are connected to the pancreas, stomach, and spleen, and patients may experience ulcers, gastritis, indigestion, and heartburn with injury to this area.
The lower thoracic vertebrae are linked to the kidney and small intestine, and an injury may cause kidney problems such as nephritis, gas pains or rheumatism.
ChiroCare of Florida doctors provide chiropractic therapy for anyone who has suffered a back injury or spinal condition. If you have suffered an injury to the thoracic spine, our experienced doctors can help. We will use thoracic spine pain treatment techniques that are comfortable for you and can help you get back to everyday life.
Call 1-877-DRRIGHT to schedule a visit with a ChiroCare of Florida doctor closest to you.