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Mid-Upper Back Pain

The thoracic spine is the region that makes up your middle and upper back. It is composed of the 12 vertebra which correspond to the chest area. The thoracic spine is different in form and function than the lower back and neck regions of the spine. While the neck and lower back are designed to provide us with mobility, the middle back is designed to be very strong and stable to allow us to stand upright and protect vital internal organs as well as the nerves which supply those organs. From each thoracic vertebra extends a pair of ribs, which wrap around to the anterior of the chest cavity. Most episodes of mid-back pain are a result of injury, overuse, misuse, abnormal spinal alignment or degeneration (hunchback). When the spinal bones become misaligned or movement is restricted the result is a common condition called vertebral subluxation. Ribs can also become subluxated or misaligned where they attach to the thoracic vertebrae. This often results in pain causing the muscles of the mid-back to tighten and knot. The sharp, jabbing nature of the pain can refer to the front side of the rib cage and mimic heartburn or even heart attack. Your chiropractor is well trained to differentiate the causes of mid and upper back pain.

Chiropractic adjustments to the thoracic spine and rib joints can be very effective in relieving pain. Additionally, advice on proper posture and altered ergonomics may be offered by a chiropractor to reduce reoccurrence. Adjunctive therapies such as home exercises, massage or ultrasound may be recommended to return you to your normal lifestyle as quickly as possible.

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