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Probably one of the most stable structures, the thoracic spine and rib cage form a strong frame that protects the organs. 

 

Although fairly stable the thoracic spine has a remarkable amount of give allowing the intercostals and ribs to move through breathing while also facilitating rotation and side bending.

 

The classic ache between the shoulder blades, often named upper-crossed syndrome, is a postural-induced condition with the vast amount of clients who experience this issue being forced to sit at desks for long hours.  Postural induced discomfort will often require a solution that addresses these postural issues.

Other areas that are common problems in this region are rib dysfunctions, where the costovertebral joint sprains, and diaphragm tightness, which can affect the ability for the body to maintain intra-abdominal pressure; a key to core stability. 

Thoracic Pain

Thoracic Related Conditions 

  • Upper Crossed Syndrome (as pictured).

  • Scoliosis

  • Scheuermann's Disease

  • Costochondritis (Irritation of the joints between the ribs and the sternum and ribs and the thoracic spine).

  • Diaphragm spasm.

  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (creating tingling and pain into the arm and hands.)

  • Rib Subluxation and fracture.

  • Vertebral body compression fracture.

Treatment Techniques Frequently Used​

  • Postural and ergonomic advice

  • Functional analysis and correction of areas contributing toward symptoms.

  • Myofascial release (the releasing actively or passively of the soft tissues contributing toward the problem).

  • Spinal Manipulative Therapy in the thoracics and ribs for improved joint function.