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Thoracic back pain: Dr Amir Neupane

2022 Aug 27, 7:06,
Representative Image (Photo: Pinterest)

Thoracic back pain is joint throughout life but is not as well studied as neck or low back pain. Thoracic back pain is more often due to spinal severe pathology than neck or low back pain but thoracic back pain is also prevalent among healthy individuals without any serious underlying cause.

In children and adolescents, thoracic back pain is associated with:

  • Female gender
  • Postural changes associated with backpack use
  • Back weight
  • Musculoskeletal symptoms, participation in specific sports
  • Chair height at school
  • Difficulty with homework
  • Poorer mental health

In adults, thoracic back pain is associated with:

  • Concurrent other musculoskeletal symptoms
  • Difficulty in performing activities of daily living
  • Lower-grade male white-collar workers were more likely to report TSP than male workers in other occupational categories
  • Upper-grade female white-collar and professional workers were more likely to report TSP

Thoracic back pain occurs:

  • As a result of trauma or sudden injury
  • Through strain or poor posture over time
  • From inflammatory, degenerative, metabolic, infective, and neoplastic conditions
  • From conditions such as primary and secondary osteoporosis (especially vertebral fractures and hyperkyphosis arising from vertebral bone loss), ankylosing spondylitis, osteoarthritis, and Scheuermann's disease

The most common cause of thoracic back pain appears to originate from:

  • Muscular irritation
  • Lack of strength
  • Poor posture
  • Prolonged sitting at a computer
  • Using a backpack 
  • Overuse injuries (such as repetitive motion), or
  • Trauma (such as a whiplash injury caused by a car accident or as a result of a sports injury)

Dr Amir Neupane
Dr Amir Neupane

Asymptomatic thoracic disc herniations are relatively common but symptomatic disc herniations are rare. They occur in approximately 5 in 1,000 disc herniations presented in a clinical setting. Thoracic spine pain can be a complex issue.

The thoracic spine is compromised of 12 vertebrae and this part of the spine joins with the ribs to make the costovertebral joints. This part of the spine is often injured as a result of poor postural habits and structures which can cause pain including joints, muscles, ligaments, nerves, and discs. 


Early and acute treatment focuses on understanding the diagnosis, reduction in pain and poor movement patterns, and restoration of range of motion. Physiotherapists treat thoracic spine pain using a variety of techniques including:

  • Muscular and trigger point releases
  • Light thoracic spinal mobilisations for pain relief
  • Firm thoracic spinal mobilisations for stiffness
  • Manipulations
  • Modalities such as heat, ice, and TENs
  • Protection such as compression, padding, strapping
  • Support braces or tape-assisted posture retraining
  • Muscular stretches
  • Range of motion and breathing exercises
  • Postural training for core and alignment
  • Muscular strength and endurance exercises
  • Dry needling
  • Manual handling, ergonomics, technique training, education, and advice
  • Sport, work, hobby-specific retraining

Contact Details:

Dr. Amir Neupane

Managing Director at Aashas health care

Address: Jawalakhel Rd, Lalitpur

Phone No: 01-5554999

Dr Amir Neupane horacic back pain joint low back pain pathology adolescents musculoskeletal Asymptomatic ergonomics technique training education muscles ligaments nerves
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