The thoracic spine in the human body contains the most number of vertebrae, twelve to be exact. It comprises the upper and middle back and serves primarily as a source of stability and protection of the vital organs. The thoracic spine is the least flexible as all but two of the vertebrae connect directly to the ribs and sternum. The remaining two, T11 and T12, do not connect to the sternum but still provide protection to the kidneys. Because there are twelve vertebrae there are many areas of the body that is controlled by the nerves in the thoracic spine, and as such, a variety of symptoms that can present themselves if there is a problem.
Think about all that is contained within your rib cage. Your heart, lungs, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, spleen and adrenal glands. If there is an irritation to one of the vertebrae because of an injury or a misalignment due to excessive wear and tear, a symptom can appear that seems unrelated. If you are unfamiliar with chiropractic care, would you know that acne, allergies, shortness of breath, or chronic tiredness could be symptoms of an irritation in the nerves of T11, T9, T1 or T10 respectively? Not knowing the correlation could mean we take unnecessary prescription medications, suffer needlessly, or drink too much caffeine simply to get through the day. But have we really addressed the underlying problem? No.
So, is it any wonder that only 20% of the population has seen a chiropractor? That is a small percentage who understand the correlation between the spine and the rest of the body. That is a small percentage who have looked past the symptoms to uncover the true cause. The good news is that knowledge is power. Power to positively impact your health. Power to positively impact your finances by avoiding unnecessary doctor visits that will only cover the symptoms not the root of the problem like a Chiropractor does.
Irritation or an injury with the nerves in the thoracic spine can cause symptoms such as:
- pain in the lower arms and hands
- gas pains
There is always an answer to pain and discomfort. It is how your body “talks” to you and tells you that something is amiss. Always listen to what it has to say.