Mid-Back Pain

Thoracic (aka. Pinched Nerve) & Rib Misalignment

Problem

Thoracic Misalignment:

  • Often known as pinched nerve between the shoulders
  • This can vary in intensity from local pain to sharp strong shooting pain
  • Early symptoms includes
    • Muscular stiffness and tightness
    • Discomfort between the shoulder blades at night
    • Decreased range of motion of the shoulders
    • Pain on sneezing or coughing
  • Bad cases may also
    • Have pain shooting or referring up to the neck, shoulder/s and arms
    • Can often be the cause of headaches or migraines
    • Agonising pain on movement
  • Can in some cases cause a referral of pain around the chest

Rib Misalignment:

  • Is much less common than Thoracic Misalignment
  • Usually noticed with breathing, sneezing, and coughing
  • Mild cases have a slight discomfort, patients often remark “I can’t get a full breath in”
  • Often causes shooting pain that usually refers around the side or front of the chest

Causes

Thoracic Misalignment:

  • Usually caused by activities such as
    • Lifting items that are awkward in size and are moderately heavy – shifting items with your arms out stretched
    • Repetitive lifting, twisting, and bending – work related
    • Poor work station posture – using computer for prolonged periods
    • Falls or traumas
  • The thoracic misalignment causes inflammation and pressure in the disc, this in turn causes pressure on the neighbouring spinal nerve – causing pain locally or in bad cases pain being referred to the shoulder, neck, or rib cage.

 

 

Rib Misalignment:

  • Usually caused by
    • Compression or trauma to the rib cage (squeezing)
    • Often related to footy or basketball injuries where players are hit from the side
    • Twisting injuries – lifting and twisting with arms out stretched (factory work)
  • The Rib Misalignment is where one of the rib head becomes subluxated (misaligned) from the thoracic vertebra it is connected to. This causes pinching and irritation to the thoracic nerve as it exit the spine

Solutions

Thoracic Misalignment:

  • You might sometimes get relief from laying on the floor (carpet) flat on your back. Try using a thin pillow to stretch the ligament out in the front of the thoracic spine. This might give you some temporary relief
  • Professional intervention will help reduce the time it takes for your body to heal itself
  • Systematic ‘hands on’ examination of the spine, with the help of x-rays and specialised instruments, will lead our specially trained chiropractors to precisely locate the exact vertebra that is misaligned and causing pressure on the nerve
  • Once the cause is identified, a specific correction called an ‘adjustment’ is used to re-place the vertebra into the correct position

Rib Misalignment:

  • This one is very hard to get any relief at home. You might want to try an ice pack on the affected area, using the ice pack on for 10min, then off for 10min
  • This condition generally requires professional intervention if the symptoms haven’t improved over a period of three days
  • Similar to Thoracic Misalignment, a professionally trained Chiropractor will be able to figure out if the pain is being caused by misalignment in the thoracic spine, rib cage, or as a result of fracture

If Ignored

Thoracic Misalignment:

  • If left untreated Thoracic Misalignments
    • Will certainly get worse
    • Can start to cause Headaches and Migraines
    • Will start to cause wear and tear of the thoracic discs and joints
    • Pain will increase and become more frequent, maybe even constant
  • Long term, untreated Thoracic misalignment often causes shoulder issues such as frozen shoulder

Rib Misalignment:

  • If left untreated the rib misalignment
    • Can gradually get worse
    • Start referring further around the chest to the sternum
    • May start effecting activities such as hobbies and sports
  • Long standing rib problems often get mis-diagnosed as Asthma, as they can cause issues with inspiration especially while exercising

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