What are the causes of thoracic spine pain? First of all, the thoracic spine is comprised with 12 vertebrae which are separated by discs and attached laterally to the ribs. There are different conditions that can create varying degrees and types of pain in the thoracic spine. Few of which are life threatening.
Sprains are the most common, least serious but sometimes the most painful. Tumors are the least common, most serious but sometimes do not generate much pain. This is quite the ironic side of thoracic pain and usually leaves some patients very frustrated especially when they don’t know yet the diagnosis of the pain they are feeling.
Here are the causes of thoracic spine pain:
- Spondylosis – this is the wear and tear type of spinal arthritis. This is common among both genders beyond the age of 45 and it usually involved disc degeneration and bone spur growth. During the early stages of spondylosis in the thoracic spine, it creates an achy stiffness between the shoulder blades and sometimes laterally around the rib cage. Usually, this stiffness is worse in the moning but abates with activity. Later stages of degeneration can irritate the nerve roots and create an intermittent, burning pain.
- Fractures – experiencing deep, dull, constant pain can be caused by fractures. Osteoporosis is the most common cause because o fthe reduced bone density which leads to compression fractures.
- Scoliosis – this is an unnatural lateral curvature of the spine and is the most common in the thoracic region. This usually occurs in adoloscent females and is of unknown cause. Pain from scoliosis can range from nonexistent to severe, depending on the degree of deformity and flexibilitu of the afflicted area. If there is a severe deformity, then thoracic spine pain and tightness can result from simply breathing.
- Sprained joints – this is the most commnon sourse of thoracic spine pain and can be the most severe. There are two types of joints that becomes compressed or misaligned which are the facet joints and the costrovertebral joints. The facet joint is often sharp with restricted movement, whereas costovertebral pain is stabbing or like and ice pick. A severe, left-sided costovertebral sprain can mimic a heart attack in presentation.
- Disc herniation – this can occur in the region of the thoracic but they are not common. Trauma is the most common cause of thoracic herniations. It can irritate nerve roots which can cause a bvurning or shooting electric pains especially around the rib cage.
- Infection – spine infection is a serious disease and this can become life threatening without antibiotics.
These are some of the causes of thoracic spine pain. This will be very helpful for you and can serve as a guide especially if you have scoliosis in adults.