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We often hear the low back and neck discussed in relation to back pain. Frequently the middle region of the back which is called the thoracic spine is neglected.

This is the area that the ribs are attached to. The ribs play an important role in protecting the heart and lungs and assist with breathing.

The thoracic spine should curve outwards, this is called a kyphosis. This should be in balance with the low back which curves inwards. This is called a lordosis. There is very little rotation available in the low back so if we lose rotation in the thoracic spine we end up overloading the more mobile neck and low back. Essentially if your thoracic kyphosis gets too big a few problems arise. You lose your rotation ability, your middle back gets stiff, your head gets forced forward creating neck pain and headaches, your shoulders get rolled forward creating an overload on your rotator cuff and you are at high risk of low back pain. In the older population osteoporotic fractures become another risk in this area.

Good spinal health with good muscle and postural control is highly imortant for good quality of life both now and into the future. Your Physiotherapists at Burns Bay Physiotherapy are experts in assisting you in this area.

Article published in “The Village Observer”, Nov, 2011, written by Burns Bay Physiotherapy.