The thoracic spine is a curve called thoracic kyphosis. The most forceful movement is the sideways bends. It is made of 12 vertebrae. They gradually change their structure to become higher and wider. They are tightly connected (tiled) and have limited movement due to the connection to the chest. The vertebrae have articular processes that connect to the ribs. The places where sections of the spine connect are exposed to pathological changes or overload. Disturbances within one segment of the spine are associated with asymmetry throughout the whole spine.
- Posture defects – back: round, concave, flat, round-concave. Scoliosis- lateral curvatures of the spine.
- Scheuermann’s disease, ankylosing spondylitis.
- Fractures – the most common vertebrae compression (osteoporosis/injuries)
- Muscle dysfunction affects incorrect posture, which is associated with the deepening of curves or their shallowing.
- Degenerative changes – affects intervertebral discs, vertebral joints or ligaments. The changes lead to narrowing of the spinal canal. They provoke back pain, numbness, paralysis radiating, for example, to the chest or ribs.
Learning the correct body posture should be started with strengthening the muscles stabilising the spine. Improvement of the posture follows a series of correctly selected exercises – breathing, stretching or relaxing. The therapist can use manual therapy, work on soft tissues, and mobilise or manipulate the spine joints, bringing pain relief. Lasers or currents give good results. If necessary, special orthopaedic equipment, such as corrective corsets, should be used to treat scoliosis. Rehabilitation involves the patient’s involvement and cooperation with physiotherapists.