Thoracic Injuries

Patients with thoracic injuries (including injuries involving the ribs and sternum) may present with a variety of symptoms, including but not limited to;

  • Sharp and/or stabbing pain
  • Dull and/or achy pain
  • Unilateral and/or bilateral pain
  • Pain on inspiration and/or expiration
  • Tightness and/or stiffness and/or restriction


During the patient history and examination, careful consideration should be given to exclude visceral pathology that may present as somatic pain.


Common injuries presenting to a Chiropractor for assessment include;

  • Thoracic disc injuries
  • Thoracic facet also known as zygapophyseal joint strain
  • Costotransverse and/or costovertebral joint strains
  • Functional and structural scoliosis management
  • Intercostal muscle and connective tissue strains
  • Sternocostal joint strains
  • Diaphragm tightness
  • Neural tissue irritation


Thoracic injury predisposing factors;

  • Flexion based lifestyles (upper and lower crossed syndromes)
  • Structural development changes (military spine, sway-back spine, kyphoscoliosis spine)
  • Bone density (osteoporotic compression fractures commonly seen in the elderly and frail who may present with
  • Barrel chested, pectus excavatum and pectus carinatum
  • Paradoxical breathing (chest breathing instead of diaphragmatic breathing)
  • Date May 7, 2019
  • Tags Breathing, Chest, Chiropractic, Chiropractor, Desk postures, Diaphragmatic breathing, Ribs, Spinal, Spine, Sternal, Sternum, Stiffness, Tension, Thoracic, Thorax, Treatment, Tummy breathing, Upper Crossed Syndrome