Thoracic Back Pain

The Thoracic region

Thoracic mean the chest region and contains the rib cage, heart, lungs, other organs and the thoracic spine. The thoracic spine starts at the neck and goes down to the lumbar region, otherwise known as the lower back.

There are 12 vertebrae making up the thoracic spine and each vertebra is connected to a rib on either side. The area where the lower thoracic vertebrae join with the top lumbar vertebrae is where the spine allows twisting from side to side.

The thoracic spine is very rigid compared to the neck and lumbar region of the spine, as it is not made for mobility.

Thoracic back pain

The most common form of back pain in the thoracic region is muscular irritation and soft tissue problems. These are generally caused by trauma, repetitive strain injury, poor posture, joint problems, a compression fracture to a vertebra and lack of strength.

Some forms of back pain just need rest to alleviate the issues, while sufferers can take anti-inflammatory medicines to help alleviate the pain. Other forms need physical therapy, exercise, deep massage and manual manipulation.

There are alternative medicines that can help with a lot of the problems like acupuncture, which is the treatment of inserting lots of small needles into the problem area. Acupuncture is said to be a great form of medicine to restore health, well being and reducing pain.

Uncommon Thoracic conditions

Because of the strength in the thoracic region and the lack of motion carried out, disc herniations and disc degeneration are very rare in this region making only 1% of all those diagnosed with either condition.

Trauma and impact does cause damage to the thoracic spine, again this is only a small percentage and only affects those who have been in a severe trauma as damage generally affects the lumbar region.

Muscle pain in the upper back

The thoracic region is also known as the upper back, and while it does not cause as much back pain from spinal injury as the lumbar region, it does cause a lot of people to suffer pain from the muscles.

The muscles in the upper back can become strained and cause great pain; breathing or moving normally intensifies the pain.

Muscle pain is caused by lifting heavy items, sitting at a desk for long period of times so the back muscles become stiff or even by coughing or sneezing hard.

To alleviate muscle pain in the back you can use icepacks for twenty or thirty minutes at a time, anti inflammatory medication, relaxants for muscles and deep muscle massages.


Back pain can be an awful experience that makes the sufferer feel like they don’t even want to get out of bed, every movement feels painful from breathing to eat, walking to lying on your side.

If you are suffering with pain in the back region then you need to take care of the issue and try to protect further damage from occurring, if it persists visit a medical consultant.