Back pain varies depending on location, frequency and intensity. Back pain needs to be taken seriously given the vital role the spinal column plays in our lives and some of the causes may lead to the pain becoming chronic and sometimes even bring about nerve damage.
Back pain may be either acute or chronic. Acute pain usually comes on quickly and is constant. Chronic back pain is usually associated with a feeling of discomfort day-to-day and may make routine activities more difficult.
The spinal column may be divided into three segments – cervical (neck), thoracic (chest) and lumbar (lower back).
We will look at the thoracic segment, which is made up of 12 vertebrae and the lowest ones connect the cervical and lumbar segments.
12 pairs of ribs start at the thoracic segment. Pain is less common here than in the neck or lower back. Mobility is more restricted than in other segments, which means it’s less prone to injury. This is why pain in this region is sometimes a sign of some underlying cause other than muscle strain.
One of the most common causes of back pain, notably in the thoracic segment is bad posture.
A worsening of the kyphotic curve or a protruding head and shoulders lead to unnecessary strain, which may cause myofascial pain in that area. The shoulder’s biomechanics may also become compromised and related pain may occur in different areas around the shoulder blade.
Another common cause of pain in the thoracic segment of the back is joint disorders. Disorders of the joints connecting the ribs to the spinal column may also cause the pain.
Degenerative changes such as osteochondrosis, spondylosis, osteoporosis and disc herniation may also cause pain in the thoracic segment of the back. This type of change may cause intercostal neuralgia, which is quite commonly seen and associated with compression, inflammation or nerve root irritation. Sharp pains in the thoracic region which get worse with inhalation/exhalation, coughing and physical movement.
Scoliosis is also one of the most common causes of pain in the thoracic segment of the back. It is a twisting of the back to the side (left or right).
Typical of this condition is rotation of the vertebrae along with their displacement to the side and an obvious muscle imbalance.
These are the most common causes of pain in the thoracic segment of the spinal column. Of course, if you show any symptoms it’s better to be seen first by a specialist.
Treatment may begin at the acute phase of the condition and once the pain has been overcome, the patient’s role in the process becomes much more important – getting rid of bad habits, doing regular exercise, stretching, etc.
At Okto, you will find effective treatments for back pain.