Everybody either knows or has known a “sneaky kid.” The kid who has everybody fooled. He is charismatic, has good grades, does his chores, says things like “yes ma’am”, and always does what his parents ask. At least, so they think. However, you being the next door neighbor or family friend have seen his true behavior as a bully, liar or a thief.
Well, the Thoracic spine or upper back is that sneaky kid. The thoracic spine, similar to the hips, can hide many problems. However, the thoracic spine is far less obvious than the hips. The thoracic spine is conveniently hidden in the shadows between its troubled two brothers; neck and lower back. The neck and lower back are always in trouble. Either they are in pain or they are blamed for the pain radiating down your arm or leg.
Most people do not have pain in their upper back nearly as often they have pain in their neck or lower back. Even if you have disc bulges, arthritis, spinal stenosis, etc. in your neck or lower back, your upper back can have a big part in aggravating those areas. Many people may have both neck and low back pain which is always affected by the thoracic spine upper back, the “bridge” between the two painful areas.
Questions? Comments? Let me hear from you!
~ Peter St.Germain, PT