Back pain thoracic spine is not as common as low back pain. The thoracic spine is an important section of the spinal column, attaching to the rib cage not moving as much as the cervical or lumbar spine, however it is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the middle back and rib cage, which protects vital tissue and organs in the chest. The thoracic spine consists of 12 vertebrae, ranging from the T1 to T12, and is located directly behind the chest. The ribs of the chest connect to thoracic spine.
Costovertebral Joint Pain
What is costovertebral joint pain?
The costovertebral joint is the articulation between the rib and the same level vertebrae. This joint is important to normal breathing mechanics as the rib must swivel to some degree like a bucket handle motion. As with any other joint, the structures comprising the joint and its surroundings can be injured.
What causes costovertebral joint pain?
Costovertebral Joint disorders most commonly result from an overstretching injury to the joint. This can occur very simply such as when the trunk and rib cage is rotated or when an impact occurs against the chest or trunk.
How does costovertebral joint pain feel?
A costovertebral Joint disorder will result in upper back or chest pain. This pain is often a stabbingpain that is made worse by deep breathing, coughing or rotation movements of the trunk and rib cage.
Management of costovertebral joint pain and how to fix it
The assistance of a physiotherapist is important in the treatment of a costovertebral joint disorder. This may involve activity modification, using anti-inflammatory medications, electrotherapy treatment, costovertebral joint mobilization and stretches.
Osteoporotic compression fractures
Osteoporotic compression fractures occur when the bone density of vertebrae is low and suffer loads or stresses which cause them to fail. These are mostly seen in the thoracic spine and are a common cause of back pain thoracic spine. The stress required to fracture osteoporotic bone can be very low e.g bering over to pick something up suddenly. Osteoporosis is a condition when the uptake of bone is greater than the rebuilding of bone in the spinal vertebrae. It is not an elderly persons disease as in recent times we are seeing it more often in both male and female young populations, including children. Bone density or bone banking is created in our growing years. Healthy diets with plenty of calcium and regular exercise throughout life contribute to good bone health. Vitamin D, best attained from sunlight, also is essential in developing and maintaining calcium density in bone.