The thoracic spine also referred to as the upper back or middle back is designed for stability to anchor the rib cage and protect vital internal organs within the chest. Compared to the neck (cervical spine) and lower back (lumbar spine), the upper back is remarkably resistant to injury and pain. When Thoracic Disc Problem or Upper Back Pain does occur, it is typically due to long-term poor posture or an injury that overpowers the thoracic spine’s sturdiness.
What is Thoracic Disc Problem or Upper Back Pain
The thoracic spine starts beneath the neck and is comprised of 12 vertebrae, labeled T1 through to T12, which go down the back of the torso. Unlike the cervical spine and lumbar spine, the thoracic spine is relatively immobile because each of its vertebrae are connected to a pair of ribs (one on each side), which along with the sternum at the front of the chest combine to form the rib cage.
What Causes Thoracic Spine Pain Or Upper Back Pain
1. Muscular Irritation
The shoulder girdle attaches by large muscles to the scapula (the shoulder blade) and the back of the rib cage. These large upper back muscles are prone to developing strains or tightness that can be painful and difficult to alleviate. Muscular irritation in the upper back is typically due to either de-conditioning (lack of strength) or overuse injuries (such as repetitive motions).
2. Joint Dysfunction
Either from a sudden injury or natural degeneration due to aging, joints in the thoracic spine can become dysfunctional and painful. If upper back pain becomes bad enough to limit activities, it usually feels like a sharp, burning pain localized to one spot or a general ache that can flare up and possibly spread to the shoulder, neck, or elsewhere.
Thoracic Spine Pain Symptoms
Radiating pain or pins-and-needles, tingling in the abdominal or chest areas due to the pressure on the nerves
Muscle stiffness and weakness
Fever or Chills
Reduced coordination and problem in walking
The above are some of the common features observed in patients suffering with Thoracic Spine Pain. These Symptoms may vary depending upon the level of disc damage.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Upper Back Pain
Balancing vitiated Vata is the best way to treat chronic backache. One of the best Ayurvedic treatments for back pain is Kati Basti (Back oil dough therapy). It is a form of external oleation (Snehana) therapy in Ayurveda. For this Ayurvedic spine treatment, the patient is made to lie face down. A “dam” made with gram flour dough of four to five inches in diameter is created on the patient’s back (lumbar-sacral area). Medicated oil is poured into this dough ring. When cool, the oil is soaked up using cotton gauze and the process is repeated several times. Usually Vata-pacifying oils such as castor oil, bala oil or dashamoola oil work wonderfully well for Kati Basti. Brahmi oil is used in case of nerve damage.
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