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Upper Back/Thoracic Pain

Researchers were asked to find out how many people got back pain and came back with the answer ‘between 4 and 72 people out of 100’
If you or a loved one have been experiencing any early warning signs of a upper back/thoracic pain, symptoms include pain, tingling, burning in upper back, radiating pain around ribs, physical therapy can help. Our experienced physical therapist has the skills needed to provide safe, effective and non-invasive treatment for patients of all ages. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of physical therapy for thoracic/upper back pain!

What causes thoracic spine pain?

The most common cause of thoracic back pain is inflammation of the muscles or soft tissues of the thoracic spine. This inflammation can occur for a number of reasons:

  • Many times, pain in upper back is radiating pain from cervical spine(neck)
    • Degenerative disc disease
    • Arthritis or osteoporosis
    • Compression fracture: When your bones break or fracture, usually a result of osteoporosis.
    • Muscle, fascia, tendon or ligament sprain or strain
    • Poor posture: Poor posture weakens the spine, back, and shoulder muscles and causes them to be stressed and strained. Many times tightness in front chest muscles(pectoralis minor and major) puts more strain on your neck and upper back.
    • Spinal curvature disorders such as kyphosislordosis, or scoliosis: very rarely these conditions causes pain
    • Pinched nerve: Narrowing of the space where spinal nerves leave the spinal cord to go to the rest of the body. This can be caused by herniated discs, degenerated disc disease, or trauma to this specific area. The pain can be radiating to chest, on ribs, arms, legs. Pain can be burning, tingling, numbness.
    • Spinal stenosis-narrowing of spinal canal due to disc herniation or osteoarthritis
    • Spinal osteoarthritis
    • Less commonly Spinal infections or spinal tumors
  • Some times thoracic pain is radiating from other part of body.

Common symptoms for thoracic/upper back pain.

Besides chronic pain in the thoracic area, located on either side of the spinal cord. There are other symptoms that may arise causing discomfort:

  • Stiffness
  • Limited range of motion
  • Muscle spasms
  • Thoracic nerve pain symptoms like tingling, numbness, burning, a pins and needles sensation
  • Muscle weakness
  • Stooped posture
  • Referred pain to the ribs, shoulder, arm, fingers, neck or legs
  • Changes in bladder or bowel function or incontinence (severe case- seek medical attention immediately)
  • Sudden Weakness in legs. (severe case- seek medical attention immediately)

How Does Physical Therapy Help Treat thoracic/upper back pain?

Our physical therapist can help to manage upper back pain symptoms through the use of targeted physical therapy treatment. This safe and prescription drug-free treatment option is non-invasive and designed to promote faster natural healing while providing fast pain relief. Instead of simply treating your symptoms, physical therapy is designed to alleviate the cause / driving factors for back pain which helps to prevent reoccurrence of pain. Want to learn more about the benefits of physical therapy for thoracic/upper back pain? Contact our physical therapist today at Monroe, NJ center, for more information and be sure to schedule an initial consultation.