(Upper & Mid Back)
Supporting your neck as well as your upper body and rib cage, your thoracic spine is a somewhat rigid structure made up of 12 vertebrae, or spinal bones. The cushions between each vertebrae, or thoracic discs, help allow for some movement. That said, the middle, and longest, section of spine is the most limited in extension. This rigidness adds to its ability to protect the heart and lungs while stabilizing your upper body. Your thoracic spine ends at the bottom of your rib cage, and along this spine section are major back and shoulder muscles that provide additional support while allowing you to twist and bend.
As the rest of your spine, the vertebrae of the thoracic section surround and protect the spinal cord and nerve roots that transmit signals which enable you to feel and control your body. While your thoracic spine is strong and stabilizing, the muscles and other soft tissues are vulnerable to strain, and even the vertebrae can be damaged with trauma and degeneration. Upper and mid back pain is common, so some problems are the result of daily living, from lifting and moving boxes to sitting for extended periods. Other problems require expert care, and it can be difficult to know the difference.
How Are You Feeling?
At Nebraska Spine + Pain Center, our surgeons and nonoperative doctors are all specialty-trained with years of experience dedicated to treating your pain at the source, from your upper back and mid back through your whole spine. If you have any of the symptoms listed below, our experts are here to offer the best care plan focused on you:
- Numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arms, hands, and fingers
- Pain starting in the back that radiates to the chest, rib cage, abdomen, arms, or legs
- Persistent or chronic pain in the middle of your back or between your shoulders
- Rounding of your upper back or curving in the middle or upper back
- Stiffness in the back
- Sudden, intense pain in your upper or mid back
Finding the Problem
Our entire team of advanced specialists provides top-tier care for a range of problems that affect the thoracic spine and its structure, from muscular pain to nerve-related injuries and conditions.
When you visit us, your provider team will listen to your experiences and thoroughly examine affected areas, which may include advanced imaging and other diagnostics. With this information, your doctor will be able to diagnose your problem and help find the source of your pain or limitation. The most common diagnoses our doctors specialize in include:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Kyphosis or scoliosis
- Compression fractures
- Herniated thoracic discs, or slipped discs, and bulging discs
- Thoracic spinal stenosis or thoracic myelopathy
- Thoracic spondylosis
Finding the Solution
Once your diagnosis is carefully determined, your doctor will work closely with you and your care team to offer the evidence-based treatment options best-suited to alleviate your symptoms and keep you doing what you love. That is all we do every day at Nebraska Spine + Pain Center.
Always beginning with conservative measures, such as medications, targeted exercises, and physical therapy, your doctor will find the right way to help you. Should interventional or surgical measures be needed, our doctors will use the least invasive methods possible, including utilizing image-guided and/or minimally invasive techniques and technologies. Whatever your needs, our specialists have the advanced expertise to perform the procedure that will restore function and give you relief.