Mid-back or thoracic pain is most often associated with postural problems. Many students tend to hunch over a desk while reading or writing. This causes forward head carriage and rounded shoulders, placing stress on the mid-back muscles (rhomboids and trapezius muscles). Adolescent teenagers, especially young girls, bring their shoulders forward due to lack of self-confidence. These forms of posture are carried into their adult years and are very difficult to change. It may be painful to keep the shoulders back. A Chiropractor can help in this situation.
The thoracic spine’s curve is called a kyphosis, whereas, the cervical and lumbar spines have a lordosis. The thoracic kyphosis can become exaggerated in later years. Many of the older population who suffer from osteoporosis (decrease in bone mass) develop an unhealthy increase in the thoracic curve due to one or several compression fractures because of the decrease in bone mass.
The thoracic vertebrae have areas on them for ribs to attach. A subluxated rib head (the posterior portion that attaches to the spine) will produce pain. Some describe the pain as an "ice pick in the back" and have increased pain upon breathing.
The majority of the population seeks medical help for a quick fix for pain relief. The medications that are prescribed help diminish the pain but do not treat the underlying cause of the dysfunction. The Doctor of Chiropractic looks for these causes.
The Chiropractor will perform an initial consultation and a detailed medical history. After the physical, orthopedic, and chiropractic examinations, radiographs of the area of chief complaint may be warranted for further diagnosis. Based on the findings the chiropractor gives a report of findings and a treatment plan, which will be discussed with the patient. Referrals to other practitioners are made if necessary.