The thoracic spine consists of 12 chest (thoracic) bones (vertebrae.) These bones consist of connective tissues, muscles, spinal segments, nerves, and joints which are separated by pads of cartilage that cushion the bones in the upper back. This article from http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/spine-anatomy/thoracic-spine-anatomy-and-upper-back-pain explains how the thoracic spine can be a main source of pain for the upper back.
Muscular problems – In most cases, upper back pain is caused by muscle irritation or tension. Poor posture or any type of irritation of the large back and shoulder muscles are usually the cause.
Arthritis – Inflammation in the spine due to arthritis may cause soreness, pressure to the nerve, and or limited range of motion.
Vertebral fractures – Compression fractures caused by osteoporosis are the main cause of thoracic spine pain as the body ages. Compression fractures can occur anywhere in the spine but typically materialize in the lower vertebrae of the thoracic spine.
Scoliosis – Scoliosis is a spine abnormality in which the spine curves sideways which can cause upper back pain.
Joint Dysfunction – Pain caused by joint dysfunction, (where the ribs are connected to the spine at each level of the thoracic spine, can cause pain.
Kyphosis (hunchback) – There are many factors that can cause kyphosis, including poor posture or a deformity such as ankylosing spondylitis or Scheuermann’s kyphosis. Even though kyphosis is a deformity, it can still cause serious pain.
Pain in the thoracic spine can indicate a sign of more serious underlying disease. At Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center, our physicians treat nearly every kind of condition including spinal trauma of the neck and back, tumors and infections of the spine, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, and adult degenerative conditions of the back. Call today to schedule an appointment – 540.347.9220 or visit us @ www.broava.com for more information.
It’s hard to face the fact that most of us will have some type of spinal degeneration, a drying out of the discs and arthritic changes in the spine due to age. If you have a job that requires hours of standing, you are more at risk, although those with desk jobs are certainly not immune to back pain.
Follow these strategies from Krames Staywell to reduce your risk!
Overweight and out of shape are a risky combination because of the stress and pressure they place on the spine. Aerobic conditioning on a treadmill, stair machine, or elliptical trainer will accomplish two things: Strengthen the trunk muscles so they can support the spine and burns calories, which in turn causes weight loss.
Office workers on occasion may have to lift boxes of files or a heavy stack of mail at some point during the day. Here is what you should do:
- Stand close to the object
- Place your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Bend at the knees and tighten your stomach muscles.
- Lift with your leg muscles as you stand up.
- Don’t twist your spine; pivot your feet to change directions.
Follow these same steps in reverse as you put the object down.
Adjust your Workstation
Start by adjusting your chair to support your back. Adjust so the lumbar support fits into your lower back inward curve. Then adjust the chair so your feet are resting flat on the floor. For the most benefit, place your monitor and keyboard directly in front of you.
Keep Moving During the Day
Our backs require movement and lots of it! Do your best to take a walk to the coffee or water machine. Walking will keep your muscles strong and lubricate the spine.
The Spine Center at Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center resolves everday aches and pain. Poor posture, trauma, lifting, and aging are all factors that can injure your spine and cause pain. Whether caused by an injury or the normal wear and tear of time, spine-related ailments require the best care available. Call us today @ 540-347-9220 to schedule an appointment or visit http://www.broava.com/ to learn more about our services.
Suffering with Acute or Chronic Pain? This Lecture is for YOU!
Join Dr. Daniel Heller for a FREE Community Q & A Lecture!
If persistent pain is interfering with the life you used to enjoy, we can help. Our team of caregivers has received advanced training in pain management. We work together across multiple healthcare disciplines to help manage your pain. We assess your condition, evaluate past treatments and discuss new treatment options to build a plan that is right for you.
Please come and meet Daniel Heller, M.D.
Thursday May 9th, 2013
6:30PM Presentation REGISTER TODAY TO WIN A $250 GIFT CARD!
Holiday Inn MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN!!!
111 Hospitality Drive
Front Royal, VA 22630
PLEASE RSVP TO
540.347.9298 ext 270
The physicians and staff of Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center would like to say “Thanks” to you, our patients for voting three of our doctors in Excellence and Compassionate care for the 2012 Compassionate Doctor Award!
The Compassionate Doctor Award is given to select physicians every year in recognition of exceptional patient care, services and compassion, and is granted based on actual patient reviews.
More than 200,000 patients across the United States provide online feedback about their medical care every month. Patients rate their physicians based on the care they receive, including bedside manner, doctor-patient face time, follow-up care and the courtesy of the office staff. Hundreds of thousands of these individual patient reviews were written and shared over the course of 2012. Only physicians with the highest patient rating for their compassion and bedside manner are selected to receive the Compassionate Doctor Award.
Of the nation’s 870,000 working physicians, only three percent were awarded the Compassionate Doctor Award in 2012.
Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center is proud of its award-winning physicians:
Dr. David Kim, director of pain management, specializes in medical acupuncture, pain management and interventional procedures. Dr. Kim is fellowship-trained in interventional pain management and is the founder of Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center’s interventional pain clinic. He holds privileges at Fauquier Hospital, is a diplomate of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and is American Medical Association board-certified in pain medicine. Dr. Kim is a two-time recipient of the Compassionate Doctor Award (2011 − 2012).
Dr. Robert Smith, orthopaedic surgeon, specializes in sports medicine and serves as the team physician for Fauquier High School. He is fellowship-trained in sports medicine, and helped care for the Baltimore Ravens and regional college teams. Dr. Smith is a first-time recipient of the Compassionate Doctor Award.
Dr. Jeffrey Wise, orthopaedic surgeon, specializes spinal care, joint replacement and general orthopedics. He holds privileges at Fauquier and Fair Oaks hospitals, is a diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery, a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery, and a member of the North American Spine Society. Dr. Wise serves as the team physician for Kettle Run High School and is one of the physicians for Virginia Gold Cup. Dr. Wise is a two-time recipient of the Compassionate Doctor Award (2011 − 2012).
Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center (BROAVA) offers world-class orthopedic services, including expert diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation. Our practice features nine centers of excellence staffed with eight highly accomplished physicians, a dedicated team of assistants, and subject-matter experts in physical therapy, massage therapy and medical nutrition. The staff and service offerings combine to make BROAVA unrivaled in the region as a provider of comprehensive, multidisciplinary orthopaedic and spine services.
Please contact one of our experts @ 540.347.9220 for more information.
- Trigger point injections – Sometimes, putting pressure on a certain spot in the back (called a trigger point) can cause pain at that spot or extending to another area of the body, such as the hip or leg. To try to relieve pain, a local anesthetic, either alone or combined with a corticosteroid, is injected into the area of the back that triggers pain (trigger point injection).
- Facet joint injections –A local anesthetic or corticosteroid is injected into a facet joint, which is one of the points where one vertebra connects to another.
- Epidural injections –A corticosteroid is injected into the spinal canal where it bathes the sheath that surrounds the spinal cord and nerve roots.
How It Works
Local anesthesia is believed to break the cycle of pain that can cause you to become less physically active. Muscles that are not being exercised are more easily injured, so the irritated and injured muscles can cause more pain and spasm disrupting sleep. This pain, spasm, and fatigue, in turn, can lead to less and less activity.
Steroids reduce inflammation. A corticosteroid injected into the spinal canal can help relieve pressure on nerves and nerve roots.
Why It Is Used
Injections may be tried if you have symptoms of nerve root compression or facet inflammation and you do not respond to nonsurgical therapy after 6 weeks.
How Well It Works
Research has not shown that local injections are effective in controlling acute or chronic low back pain that does not spread down the leg.
The physicians at Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center are board certified and fellow-ship trained.
This means you will be seen and treated by a physician with the most advanced training and certifications. Our mission at Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center is to deliver the highest quality of service and medical care to our patients. We offer inpatient and outpatient, surgical and non-surgical, as well as minimally invasive cutting edge solutions for patients with acute or chronic pain.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists please call 540.347.9220.
Our Goal – Get YOU back to GOOD health!
Poor posture, trauma, improper lifting, and aging – all of these factors can injure your spine and cause pain. Whether caused by injury or the normal wear and tear of time, spine-related ailments require the best care available.
Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center’s board certified physicians have extensive experience treating nearly every kind of condition, including spinal trauma of the neck and back, tumors and infections, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, herniated discs, and adult degenerative conditions of the neck and back.
Blue Ridge Orhopaedic & Spine Center offers a range of non-operative treatments as well as minimally invasive treatments –
- Physical Therapy
- Pain Management
- Sympathetic Block Procedures
- Interspinous Process decompression (X-STOP, ILIF)
- Limited Approach Discectomy
- Spinal Stenosis Surgery
- Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion
- Posterior Cervical Laminectomy
- Lumbar Interbody Fusion (PLIF, TLIF,XLIF)
Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center offers the best comprehensive musculoskeletal care available for a wide variety of spine-related ailments. To schedule an appointment with our spine specialists or simply for more information please call (540) 347-9220.
Our Goal – Get YOU Back to GOOD Health
Our physicians are Fellowship-Trained and Board Certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties in pain medicine. We have the most advanced training and certifications available for pain medicine interventions and treatments.
- Manage chronic pain through prescription medicines or alternative practices including acupuncture and therapeutic massage.
- A full range of spinal interventions including diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.
- Suffering from knee pain or arthritis? We offer a range of diagnostic and therapeutic joint injections.
You may be asking yourself “What is Pain Management?”
Pain management is a branch of medicine that applies the latest in treatment methods to reduce or control pain. Our physicians specialize in a variety of solutions including pharmacological, interventional and alternatives to reduce or control pain.
At Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center, our pain management group offers a variety of options tailored to address all of our patients’ pain management needs. We offer inpatient, outpatient, surgical and non-surgical services, as well as cutting-edge, minimally invasive pain management treatment for patients with acute or chronic pain.
No matter what you’re dealing with, our pain management group works closely with the surgeons and therapists at Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center in a multidisciplinary approach to develop a unique treatment plan that best suits each of our patient’s needs. To schedule an appointment with the pain management specialists at Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center please call (540) 347-9220.
Arthritis is a disease that affects the joints (the parts where bones meet and move.) It can affect any joint in your body. There are over 100 types of arthritis. The most common is osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease) and can be caused by trauma, infection or age. Osteoarthritis may affect the larger and smaller joints in the body. Osteoarthritis begins in the cartilage and eventually causes the two opposing bones to erode into each other.
- Joint swelling, pain, and stiffness. Pain and stiffness get worse with long periods of rest or using a joint too long or too hard
- Joints that have lost normal shape and motion
- Tender, inflamed joints. They may actually look red and feel warm
- Feeling fatigued all the time
- Poor sleep
- Weight loss
- Loss of flexibility
While osteoarthritis is not curable you can prevent it from getting worse. Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center offers many non-surgical and surgical options to treat your condition. Our team of Physical Therapists will work with you to improve muscle strength and provide relief from the pain. If the disease is too far advanced and you are experiencing pain all the time, joint replacement surgery may be needed to replace damaged or infected joints.
If you are experiencing joint pain or suffer with any of the symptoms listed above our board certified, fellowship trained physicians and professionals will provide you with the best diagnoses and treatments available in musculoskeletal care. Please call (540) 347-9220 to schedule an appointment or simply get more information. Our goal: Get you back to good health!
While we can’t stop the snow from coming, we can certainly prepare ourselves and keep our backs healthy! We all know snow shoveling can be a hassle. It can also be a pain in the neck. Literally! Every year, thousands of people seek medical attention at emergency rooms after injuring themselves while snow shoveling. Follow these spine saving tips while shoveling.
- Start early. If the forecast calls for a lot of snow, start shoveling before the storm is over. It’s easier to clear small amounts of snow. And, you’ll be less likely to strain your back lifting shovelfuls of heavy, wet snow.
- Dress for the weather. Hats and gloves and coats will keep you warm. Layers will help, since you’re likely to warm up once you’ve started. But the most important piece of clothing is what you wear on your feet. Choose rugged boots or shoes with soles that grip slippery surfaces well.
- Stretch and warm up. It may seem silly, but a quick stretch to warm up your muscles will help prevent injuries.
- Choose the proper snow shovel. A shovel with a curved handle or an adjustable handle will minimize painful bending, try slightly bending your knees and flex your back 10 degrees or less.
- Avoid tossing snow over the shoulders. Try pushing the snow rather than lifting. If you must lift the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends: “Lift it properly.” Squat with your legs apart, knees bent and back straight. Do not bend at the waist!
- Keep your loads light and manageable. One full shovel can weigh as much as 25 pounds.
- Pace Yourself. Shovel small amounts of snow. Take a break from shoveling every 10-15 minutes. Use this time to continue stretching your muscles.
If you do pull a muscle, strain your back, or slip and fall Blue Ridge Orthopaedic and Spine Center can help. Some injuries can be treated at home with rest and ice. Others may require medical care. When in doubt – or, if you’re still hurting several days after an injury – call us at (540) 347-9220. Our team of physical therapists and orthopaedic surgeons will work with you to diagnose your injury, plan your recovery and get you back to good health!
Are you experiencing lower back pain? You might be suffering with the painful condition known as “degenerative disc disease” or “degenerative disc disorder.” Disc degeneration is a natural part of the aging process and for most people does not represent a problem, for certain individuals a degenerated disc can cause serious chronic pain if left untreated. Disc degeneration may also be caused from an injury.
Signs to watch for –
- Low back pain when bending, twisting, or lifting
- Back pain radiates to the hips, or pain in the thighs or buttocks occur while walking
- Back pain increases while sitting. Walking and even running feels better than extended periods of sitting
- Tingling or numbness to the legs and or buttocks
- Difficulty walking
If you are experiencing lower back pain, Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center can help. There are many non-surgical and surgical options for you to explore. Our board certified spine specialists will ensure your experience at Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center is comforting, respectful and to your complete satisfaction. Our providers will provide you, our patient, with the best in musculoskeletal care.
To schedule an appointment, or simply for more information, please contact our spine specialists at Blue Ridge Orthopaedic & Spine Center @ (540) 347-9220.