Each year thousands of Martin County residents are involved in car accidents. Here are 3 reasons to choose chiropractic care after a car accident. Some car accidents cause minor damage while others cause major damage. The severity of the damage to vehicles and the severity of the injuries vary. Did you know that the vehicle […]
Thoracic or mid-back pain is most likely as common as cervical or lumbar pain but less often reported due to its mild pain presentation. The thoracic spine connects to the ribs and chest region. Sprains and fractures in this area are primarily caused by high velocity auto accidents, and may result in permanent nerve damage.
Where the neck is made for movement and the low back is made for power and flexibility, the mid-back (thoracic spine) is made for stability. With the rib cage attached to all levels of the thoracic spine (ribs 1-10 being attached to the sternum and ribs 11-12 floating or not attached to the sternum) this severely limits the motion of the thoracic spine. This limit in motion makes disc herniations and nerve root compression in the thoracic spine less common.
There are two types of thoracic pain.
- Mechanical thoracic pain is caused by injury, trauma or overuse.
- Non-mechanical thoracic pain is due to underlying pathology or disease.
Causes of mechanical thoracic pain are:
- sprain/strain (such as those experienced in a car crash.)
- compression fracture
- postural syndrome
Causes of non-mechanical thoracic pain are:
- osteoid osteoma
- Scheuermann’s Disease
- T4 Syndrome
- herpes zoster
- metastasis (the development of secondary malignant growths at a distance from a primary site of cancer.)
- referred pain from viscera
What to expect at your appointment for a complaint of thoracic pain:
You should expect to provide a full medical history to your healthcare provider. An event or physical complaint that you think is entirely unrelated to your thoracic back pain may provide essential information needed to make a correct diagnosis.
Your doctor will perform a full physical exam, including sensation and strength testing. Your doctor may order X-rays, CT or an MRI to confirm the diagnosis. If non-mechanical thoracic pain is suspected, blood work will be ordered to confirm the diagnosis.
When to seek immediate care for thoracic pain:
Thoracic pain can be referral pain from the viscera i.e. cancer so please seek immediate professional help if you experience thoracic pain with any of the following symptoms.
- History of cancer
- Unexplained weight loss
- Lower limb spasticity
- Progressive pain, worse at night
What can a Chiropractor do for thoracic pain:
- Mid-back exercises and stretches
- Ergonomic training
- Electrical stimulation/TENS treatment
- Supervised medical massage
Thoracic back pain can have a multitude of causes and can be a symptom of cancer. Back pain should always be checked by a chiropractor or medical doctor.
If you live or work in Stuart, Florida and are experiencing back pain, call 855-509-5400 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Danielle Hurd, DC.