Mid-back pain refers to the general area between the shoulder blades. To understand this condition one needs to look at the anatomy of the mid-back.
The mid-back, which has several names, is referred to as that thoracic spine which extends from the shoulder level down to where the small of the lower back begins. The thoracic area is comprised of 12 bones called vertebrae. These are staked on top of one another each separated by a spinal disc. The disc allows movement between the vertebrae and also acts as a shock absorber. The thoracic spine is unique in that it is where the 12 pairs of ribs attach to the spine. They are firmly connect to the thoracic vertebrae. As in other areas of the spine, nerve roots exit from each thoracic spine between each vertebra to supply to tissues of the mid-back and chest area. Numerous muscles and ligaments, attached to the thoracic spine, provide stability to the area.
Some of the many possible causes of mid-back pain include:
· Strains and sprains
· Poor posture and muscle tone
· Arthritic conditions
· Organic diseases such as gall bladder, pulmonary or cardiovascular
· Altered spinal mechanics
· Bone diseases
Because there are so many possible causes of mid-back pain it is essential that a thorough physical examination and history be done before any treatment is recommended. The chiropractor is expertly trained to evaluate the cause of spinal pain. A thorough history, physical examination and laboratory blood work may be required to determine the nature of the condition.
Listed earlier as a possible cause of mid-back pain, altered spinal mechanics are responsible for a large number of cases. Altered mechanics refers to abnormal position and/or flexibility of one or more of the vertebrae of the spine. When the normal position or flexibility of the area is lost, irritation to the surrounding tissue results. This often leads to pain, stiffness and muscular spasm.
Altered mechanics of the spine can result, among other causes, from strains and sprains, injuries, arthritic problems and posture problems.
As mentioned previously, a careful and thorough evaluation of the cause of mid-back pain is essential. If, after complete examination, the chiropractor determines that the condition requires medical attention, the proper referral is made. If, however, the cause of the pain is determined to be due to a spinal mechanical problem, the chiropractor will recommend a treatment program to restore the area to normal function. Gentle manipulative therapy or “adjustment” can be administered to restore normal positions and mobility to the affected areas. Treatment may include the use of physical therapy, therapeutic exercise and other effective measure to relieve pain.
If you are suffering from mid-back pain, a chiropractic consultation shoulder seriously be considered.