Thoracic (mid back) joint pain
The thoracic spine (mid-back) is made for stability. This allows for strong muscle attachments and forms a protective ring around our vital organs. While this may be a good thing for our organs it also means that joint discomfort and stiffness in the mid-back is common.
The symptoms of joint pain in the thoracic spine may include pain that is made worse with movement or sustained postures (such as slouching). Depending on the cause joint pain in the mid-back can present with many different symptoms.
In most cases, joint pain in the mid-back is not serious. Joint pain can be caused by a variety of stressors and injuries to the ligaments, tendons, joint structures such as intervertebral disc, cartilage or bones (vertebrae) of the mid-back. Injury can be acute (sudden) like a fall, or chronic (longstanding).
Join pain comprises two broad categories:
- Mechanical Problems with joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones.
- Non-mechanical These can be more serious causes of mid back joint pain and include infections (e.g. Mycobacterium tuberculosis), autoimmune (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and gout), fractures and dislocations, tumours and cancers.
With any case of joint pain, there are some symtpoms that may indicate something more serious is causes mid back pain. These include:
- Resting, constant pain
- Pain that wakes someone up at night
- Joints appear red, hot and swollen
- Multiple joints in the body are affected
- Feels fatigued and unwell with associated joint pain
- Bowel or bladder changes
The treatment for mid back joint pain depends on its cause. Chiropractic and physiotherapy treatment is useful in most cases.