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Middle Back Pain

The thoracic spine is the 12 vertebra which correspond to the chest area. The thoracic spine is different in form and function than the lumbar and cervical portions of the spine. While the neck and lower back are designed to provide us with mobility, the middle back is designed to be very strong and stable to allow us to stand upright and protect vital internal organs as well as the nerves which supply those organs. From each thoracic vertebra extends a pair of ribs, which wrap around to the anterior of the chest cavity. Most episodes of mid-back pain are a result of injury, overuse, misuse, abnormal spinal alignment or degeneration (hunchback). When the spinal bones become misaligned or movement is restricted the result is a common condition called vertebral subluxation. Ribs can also become subluxated or misaligned where they attach to the thoracic vertebrae. This often results in “trigger points” of pain causing the muscles of the mid-back to tighten and knot. The sharp, jabbing nature of the pain can refer to the front side of the rib cage and mimic heartburn or even heart attack.

Gonstead Chiropractic and Middle Back Pain

With a chiropractic adjustment your Gonstead doctor specifically moves misaligned or restricted spinal joints, which helps relax the connecting muscles and improves mobility. Adjustments help to maintain the integrity of the joint cartilage, improve the metabolism of the intervertebral disk and prevent premature degenerative changes. In addition, the nerve supply to many of the body’s organs (stomach, liver, intestines, gall bladder, etc.) branch from the thoracic spine, and irritation to these nerves can lead to malfunction in the body. The chiropractic adjustment aims to rid the body of such nerve irritation allowing for a better functioning, healthy body.

Here’s what Gonstead patients say:

“I am not in constant pain in my mid-back. I can ride in the car again for longer than 15 minutes without mid-back pain!”

Kris H.

Neurol Clin 1999;17:91-111.

J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2003;26:108-15

Neville Usher, MD, FACP, “The Visceral Spinal Syndrome a New Concept of Visceral Motor and Sensory Changes in Relation to Deranged Spinal Structures.”

Lewitt MD, Dsc “Manipulative Therapy in rehabilitation of the Locomotor System” (1985) Butterworth and Company London and Boston. P. 261-62.

H. Kamieth, “Pathogenic Importance of the Thoracic Portion of the Vertebral Spine,” Journal of the Am Med Assoc (Nov. 15, 1958), p.1586.