With thoracic facet irritation, people also commonly feel soreness in the ribs. That's because the
thoracic spine, found in the mid back, is attached to the rib cage. The rib cage wraps all the way around the middle portion
of the body, helping to make the spine much more stable and less prone to injury. When the joints in the spine get irritated,
the area where the ribs attach to the thoracic spine can become tender.
facet irritation develops when there's inflammation of the facet joints, which are the joints that connect the vertebrae
(spinal bones). Awkward neck and back movements, subluxations (stuck or misaligned joints), acute injuries, poor posture and
tight muscles can place stress on the facet joints or limit their motion, which leads to irritation and ultimately the pain
associated with this condition.
Subluxations are a major contributor to thoracic
facet irritation, because they limit the joints' ability to move through their normal range of motion, preventing them from
functioning properly. When joints are aligned and able to move through their normal range of motion, they lubricate themselves
and remain healthy. When subluxated, however, they no longer lubricate themselves and begin to stick, like an unused door
hinge. This stickiness causes irritation.
Physical activities, including heavy lifting,
reaching overhead to put something away, carrying heavy objects on the shoulders or pulling a weighted object for a long period
of time can lead to thoracic facet irritation. These activities may stretch the joint capsules (which protect and support
the joints) or jam the facet joints, causing subluxations in the spine and painful swelling and inflammation.
Fortunately, we can provide effective care for thoracic facet
irritation to relieve irritated joints, relax tight muscles, and promote overall healing.