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Thoracic Back Pain Treatment

Thoracic Back Pain Treatment

Pain in the upper back (thoracic region) is prevalent and persists throughout life but has received less attention than other types of back pain.

Unlike cases of neck or low back pain, which are often caused by minor injuries, thoracic back pain is commonly the result of a more significant spinal disease, but it is also common in otherwise healthy people.

Pain in the upper back (thoracic region) is prevalent and persists throughout life but has received less attention than other types of back pain. While the significant spinal disease is often the source of thoracic back pain, thoracic back discomfort is also common in otherwise healthy people.


There are a number of different potential reasons for pain in the thoracic region. Here are a few of the most typical examples:

  • Injury and damage to soft tissues
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Problems with spinal joints
  • Stiff, overworked muscles
  • Scoliosis
  • Postural problems

Causes in Teenagers

Teenagers, in addition to adults, may experience pain of this kind. If you're a teenager and you're experiencing pain in your lower back, it's probably because of

  • Students carrying around large bookbags
  • Adopting a slouched posture when seated over extended periods of time
  • Maintaining a slouched posture when standing
  • Spending hours in front of a screen
  • An injury sustained while participating in sports
  • Weakened back muscles
  • Physical activity with repeated motion, such as that seen in various sports (e.g., baseball, golf)

Causes in the Elderly

Back pain, especially in the midsection, is a common complaint as we get older due to the wear and tear that aging does on our spine and the rest of our bodies. These are some of the most prevalent reasons for middle back pain in the elderly:

  • Shingles attack
  • Osteoporosis
  • Reduced space for the spinal cord in the thoracic spine is medically known as stenosis.
  • Bone breaks in the spine caused by compression (including the thoracic vertebrae)
  • Infection of the spinal canal
  • Prolapsed discs and herniated discs
  • Osteoarthritis of the spine
  • Ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammation of the vertebral facet joints, and other symptoms of inflammatory disease
  • Scheuermann disease
  • Spine tumors.


Injuries to the upper back from regular or weekend-warrior activities might cause the following symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Tightness
  • Stiffness
  • Sensitivity to physical contact
  • Headache

These are signs of a strained muscle or a pulled ligament, but they may also be caused by a spinal cord injury. You may also experience the following signs and symptoms if your upper back pain is caused by problems with the bones, nerves, or discs of your thoracic spine:

  • Inflammation of the lower back
  • Aching in the thighs and calves
  • Incontinence refers to the leaking of bowel and/or bladder contents.
  • Leg numbness or weakness

There's no need to hurry to the doctor for a checkup if you've got some modest upper back pain that you can definitely attribute to a certain activity. Upper back discomfort, especially if accompanied by other symptoms, warrants a trip to the doctor.

The thoracic region of the body is under constant stress since it houses some of the most vital organs for human life. Although the spine is designed to tolerate normal everyday stresses, there are situations, such as injuries, that might put an undue strain on its capacity to heal and recover. The thoracic spine is a common site of pain when stress levels are high.

Symptoms at Night

Symptoms at night could be more severe and somewhat better in the morning. Pain in the thoracic spine is often accompanied by a burning sensation like a tight belt around the middle of the body, while discomfort in the lumbar spine is sometimes accompanied by leg pain or paralysis similar to that caused by a herniated disc.

Does anybody know of a good remedy for thoracic back pain? Medication, physical therapy, and self-care solutions are three methods by which you might successfully lessen or eliminate thoracic pain.

These are sometimes supplemented by further self-care measures taken by the patient to hasten recovery after therapy or by surgery in extreme cases.

Thoracic-Back Pain Relief Strategies

When the underlying cause of thoracic back pain is treated, the symptoms often subside. Since the causes might vary from something as benign as muscular stress to something as serious as a tumor, physicians may have a hard time settling on a single therapy.

This is why those who have thoracic back pain should always seek a professional diagnosis before taking or undergoing any kind of therapy. After making an accurate diagnosis, the doctor will often suggest one of three treatments:

Physical Therapy

For those suffering from discomfort in the thoracic spine, this is a go-to method of relief. The primary focus of physical therapy is to restore or enhance a patient's normal or optimal range of motion and function.

Also, it helps alleviate pain and corrects postural anomalies along with mechanical and muscle issues.

Self-care Home Remedies

When the main treatment for thoracic back pain (physical therapy or medicine) is complete, the patient may be able to supplement and enhance the benefits of the first treatment at home.

Such strategies often include modifying the patient's daily routine in anticipation of the inevitable transition that will occur after the initial therapy has concluded.

The only time you should try a home remedy for yourself is if your doctor has given you permission to do so.

If you don't know what you're doing, treatments like hot and cold therapy might prolong your tingling or numbness, and poor posture when exercising can worsen your symptoms.

That's why it's so important for patients to show up for their scheduled follow-up appointments while taking their prescribed medications at home.

The spine has a lengthier recovery time than other bodily structures. Thus, patients should never go against the advice of their doctors. Symptoms may get worse, and the underlying disease may worsen if you try to cure it on your own or without seeing a doctor.


The temporary alleviation of discomfort provided by NSAIDs (naproxen, ibuprofen), acetaminophen (Tylenol), and muscle relaxants may make physical therapy more tolerable.

Patients using the medicine for thoracic back pain should exercise caution due to the risk of addiction and other negative effects. Some painkillers are designed to mask symptoms but do little to address the underlying reason.


Injections may give the long-term symptom alleviation you're looking for if physical therapy and medicine alone don't cut it.

With the use of imaging technology, our professionals will inject medicine directly into the location they believe to be the source of the patient's discomfort. Injections like this might be used for both diagnosis and treatment.


Fear of spine surgery is understandable, yet in certain cases, it's the only surefire way to feel better. Upper back pain that is localized to one area is a rare indication for surgery. This is often because of something wrong with the spine, such as a deformity, fracture, or slipped disc.

Surgical Choices

Rare though the necessity for upper back surgery may be, there are treatments available. Some of the most typical treatments for a thoracic spine injury are the aforementioned methods.

Kyphoplasty or Vertebroplasty

Your physician will inject bone cement that acts similarly to glue in order to treat compression fractures brought on by osteoporosis.

Spinal laminectomy/spinal decompression.

If you suffer from spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal canal), your surgeon may recommend removing vertebral bone to relieve pressure on the spinal cord and nerves.


To alleviate nerve compression caused by a herniated disc, microdiscectomy, the least invasive removal of a disc (or section of a disc), is the treatment of choice.

Why is Spinal Decompression so Important?

Many types of back discomfort, particularly those in the thoracic area, may be traced back to spinal compression as the underlying cause.

Spinal decompression is a technique that involves massaging and stretching the spine to alleviate tension and discomfort caused by spinal compression.

When someone has referred pain rather than localized discomfort, the Backrack may be extremely helpful since it treats the cervical and lumbar spine as well as the middle back, eliminating any difficulties in the later regions.

It's also useful for avoiding future episodes of mid-back pain, so it's a double-edged sword.

Alternate Strategies for Handling Pain

Stretching and Working Out

Regular exercise prevents stiffness and tissue breakdown brought on by inactivity. Adding in some light stretching and walking to your regular physical therapy sessions will help you feel better and reduce your drug use.

Consistency, however, is the key to success with any physical therapy.

Changing your Sleeping Posture

Back pain is often brought on by sleeping in an awkward position, but this is easily remedied by using the correct sleep aids. Reducing thoracic back discomfort might be as simple as upgrading your pillow, mattress, or sleeping posture.

Correcting Posture

In addition to getting enough rest, good sitting and standing posture may go a long way toward relieving thoracic pain. When you sit up straight, your blood flows more easily, you reduce the risk of nerve injury, and your bowels move more smoothly.

Acute back pain may be alleviated by avoiding some common causes, such as acid reflux, muscular stress, and blocked arteries.


Even though thoracic back discomfort may be treated at home, it's important to see a doctor to rule out more severe causes. Get in touch with the physical therapists at Physical Therapy Advantage in North Aurora to learn more about treatment options for thoracic back discomfort.

Patients are urged to seek medical attention immediately if they have any pain or discomfort in the thoracic region since this location is in close proximity to several vital organs.

Home cures and self-medication are generally frowned upon and should only be attempted if advised to do so by a medical professional.

COVID-19 Update: Due to the continued COVID-19 concerns we wanted to update everyone on our current policies. We are still considered to be an essential healthcare provider, but as of January 1, 2023...