Thoracic Disorders (midback)

The thoracic spine (midback) is made up of 12 vertebra (bones), discs in between each vertebra, and many muscles and ligaments that provide movement and stabilization. The 12 ribs also attach to the thoracic spine. An acute injury such as whiplash, a fall, or lifting heavy objects can cause pain and decreased range of motion. Acute injuries can affect all structures in the spine from the vertebrae or ribs and corresponding joints of each vertebra or joints connecting the vertebra to the ribs, spinal muscles (strains) and ligaments (sprains), spinal nerves and discs (bulging or herniated). Chronic disorders can also affect the same structures of the spine but typically build up over time. Arthritic or degenerative changes to the spine that develop over time can predispose people to spinal disorders. These changes do not necessarily have to be painful, rather extraneous variables including our sitting/standing posture, sleeping posture, stress or other biomechanical faults can all lead to stress on these arthritic spinal areas eventually causing pain.

Common chronic disorders that we treat of the thoracic spine are kyphosis (increased rounding of the spine) and scoliosis (increased curvature side to side of the spine). Both are largely affected by posture and muscle imbalance. At CPTC, we can help balance the need for strengthening and stretching/mobility.

We are also trained to treat all post-surgical spinal conditions following appropriate tissue healing parameters and the referring physician’s rehabilitation guidelines or protocol.

Depending on your individual needs, your treatment plan may include a wide variety of interventions, such as: joint mobilizations of the spine, soft tissue mobilizations to surrounding muscles, modalities (electrical stimulation, ultrasound), exercises for strengthening and/or stretching, and posture education.

Comprehensive Physical Therapy Center · 100 Timberhill Place, Suite #115 · Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Phone: (919) 967-5959 · Fax: (919) 968-1478 · Email:
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