Other than protecting the spinal cord, the vertebrae create joints that allow the spine to bend and twist. The joints of the thoracic spine are important to arm movement, bending over, and other movements.
What does the thoracic spine control?
Thoracic (mid back) – the main function of the thoracic spine is to hold the rib cage and protect the heart and lungs. The twelve thoracic vertebrae are numbered T1 to T12.
Is thoracic back pain serious?
Thoracic back pain is common throughout life but is not as well studied as neck pain or low back pain. Thoracic back pain is more often due to serious spinal pathology than neck or low back pain but thoracic back pain is also prevalent among healthy individuals without any serious underlying cause.
What does a pinched thoracic nerve feel like?
Individuals with a thoracic pinched nerve often experience some of the following symptoms: Pain in the middle of the back. Pain that radiates to the front of the chest or shoulder. Numbness or tingling that extends from the back into the upper chest.
What does thoracic spinal stenosis feel like?
The most common symptoms of spinal stenosis include: Neck pain. Stiffness of the neck. Numbness in the shoulders, arms or hands.
What does a herniated disc in the thoracic spine feel like?
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.
When should I be concerned about thoracic back pain?
Pain that doesn’t get better after 2-4 weeks of treatment. Pain that is accompanied by severe stiffness in the morning. Changes to the shape of the spine, including the appearance of lumps or bumps. Pins and needles, numbness or weakness of the legs that is severe or gets worse over time.
What causes degeneration of the thoracic spine?
It appears that the aging process, trauma, and arthritis contribute to disc degeneration. Genetic, environmental, and autoimmune factors are also thought to play a role, as are lifestyle factors, such as smoking or strenuous repetitive activities, such as lifting or gymnastics.
Can a misaligned spine cause stomach pain?
If the vertebrae in the spine are improperly aligned, it can cause a misfire in the signals they send to the nerves of the digestive system, including those in the stomach and intestines. The result is many of the commonly reported digestive ailments we hear about, or experience ourselves.
What does an MRI of the thoracic spine show?
An MRI for thoracic spine shows snapshots of discs, nerves, spinal cord, and other soft tissues in this region of the spine. A trained radiographer and consultant radiologist will be able to point out anomalies and other irregularities occurring in this region which require closer attention.
Can you get arthritis in your thoracic spine?
Thoracic degenerative joint disease, also known as osteoarthritis, is a term used to describe a degenerative condition in the middle of the back (thoracic spine). The thoracic spine connects directly to the rib cage and helps protect major organs, such as the heart, lungs and liver.