The thoracic region is also known as the chest and rib cage. It is a common area for people to have pain or discomfort. Many conditions may arise from the chest region, such as breast cancer, lung cancer, or pneumonia. The thoracic region contains 12 ribs. The top 7 are true ribs and attach directly to the sternum, also known as the breast bone. The top two ribs are called false ribs because they don’t connect directly to the sternum. Instead, they attach to the true ribs above them. The thoracic region joins with the abdominals and spine, making it vital for everyday tasks like breathing, sleeping, and moving. It is also affected by various conditions that make life difficult and unbearable. This article looks at some conditions that may need you to see a Edison thoracic conditions specialist.
Scheuermann’s kyphosis is a condition that results in an abnormal curvature of the spine. While it can affect children and teens, it mainly affects white males over 50 who may work construction or other jobs exposed to heavy lifting. Those who suffer from Scheuermann’s kyphosis usually experience chronic mid and lower back pain. This can develop into nerve damage which heightens the pain and makes it more challenging to walk and sit. Treatment may involve bracing or surgery where rods or screws are used to straighten the spine.
Like Scheuermann’s kyphosis, age-related kyphosis is more common in older adults. This condition can also result in chronic pain and damage to the nerves. Unlike Scheuermann’s kyphosis, age-related kyphosis does not usually get worse over time; instead, it remains constant throughout. Age-related kyphosis is caused by the natural degeneration of the spine over time, making it less flexible. As a result, one may develop an exaggerated curvature in the thoracic region. Treatment for age-related kyphosis usually involves avoiding certain activities that could worsen pain or symptoms.
A compression fracture of the spine is caused by a sudden impact on the bones of the vertebrae. These fractures can be very damaging and even fatal if not treated. Symptoms of a compression fracture include acute pain in the mid-back, which extends through to the thoracic region, possible swelling and bruising, numbness, and tingling in the arms. If you suspect that you’ve recently experienced a compression fracture, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Spinal tumors are more common in adults than children. The cause can be attributed to an unhealthy lifestyle, specific genes, or family history. Usually, the first sign of a spinal tumor is chronic back pain which may or may not be accompanied by some loss of feeling and muscle weakness in the legs. There are various spinal tumors, including hemangiomas, lipomas, and schwannoma. Treatment for spinal tumors is usually surgery used to remove or reduce the size of the tumor tissue. This may be followed by chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
In summary, the thoracic region is a common area for discomfort. Some of the most common conditions that affect this area include spinal tumors, compression fractures, age-related kyphosis, and Scheuermann’s kyphosis.