The Thoracic Spine
The thoracic spine or the thoracic vertebrae compose the middle part of the vertebral column. It is found in between the cervical vertebrae and the lumbar vertebrae. The entire thoracic spine is composed of twelve individual thoracic vertebrae, each with distinctive characteristics. The thoracic spine is located in the chest area, this is the section found in a person’s upper back. It goes from the base of the neck up to the bottom of the rib cage. Bones, joints, nerves, connective tissues, muscles, and spinal segment are the important parts of the structure of the thoracic spine. These most important parts are what make up the thoracic spine and knowing each of these parts would lead to the understanding of the regions and structures for better health care and prevention of back pains.
Thoracic Spine Arthritis
Arthritis can affect any part of the human body, including the thoracic spine. Thoracic spine arthritis often involves pain in the chest, shoulders, and upper back areas which can cause numbness, and stiffness. When symptoms for thoracic spine arthritis are observed, it is best to have your doctor make a diagnosis before taking up any medications and treatments. Some of the most common intervention for arthritic pain in the thoracic spine includes anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. However, if the pain still persists even after regular medication and therapy, the doctor might give the patient the option of a surgery.
Symptoms of thoracic spine arthritis include tenderness or numbness, the feeling or sound of bone crunching; limited range of motion, and pain or tenderness in the shoulders, hips, knees or heels.
Exercises for Thoracic Spine Arthritis
Regular exercise can help improve the patients’ condition having thoracic spine arthritis. Exercise can do a lot of beneficial things to the body. It is a kind of therapy that we can do by ourselves. There are certain exercises which are really good for those patients who suffer from thoracic spine arthritis. Doing these exercises can greatly improve their mobility and lessen the occurrence of pain. Although these exercises can be done at home, it is recommended to consult a doctor or a therapist before attempting to do the exercises as these might cause pain.
Aquatic exercise is a good form of exercise for thoracic arthritis. It provides both resistance and support for exercises that cause too much pain when performed on land. The muscles of the upper back can be strengthened due to the slight resistance of the water. Aquatic exercises are often done in pools which are deep enough to cover the upper back.
Floor exercises can also help improve the flexibility of the thoracic spine and relieve the arthritic pain. Floor exercises can be done while lying on the floor face down and trying to raise the shoulders off the floor. Applying force through the upper arms increases the extension of the thoracic spine which improves flexibility.
Stretching while sitting can also be done. Seated exercises can help improve poor posture which is often the cause of pain. You can start the seated exercise by having your arms relaxed at the sides and then extending them over your head. Then you can bring your arms to the shoulders, then to the elbows, and then try to touch your elbows together.