Thoracic Spinal Conditions and How They Affect Your Life

Your cervical spine is the least flexible part of your spine. Though it is not susceptible to injury, a malfunction of the vertebrae in the thoracic region may adversely affect your posture and life quality. The standard conditions likely to affect your thoracic region include kyphosis, spinal infections, and scoliosis. Jeff Pan M.D. and his team are ready to diagnose and treat your condition to prevent it from further affecting your life. 

What are some of the thoracic spinal disorders you are likely to have?


The condition increases your risk of having thoracic spinal fractures. When osteoporosis weakens your bones, you will be at higher risk of having spinal fractures or vertebral compression fractures (VCF). VCF causes your vertebrae to flatten or become wedge-shaped, thus pressing on your nerves. Vertebral compression fractures might result in severe back pain that can make sitting, standing, walking, and lifting objects difficult.


Scoliosis makes your spine curve in one or several places. Though the condition mainly affects children, you can also have the curve as an adult when the arc you had in your youth progresses or when you develop a disease likely to result from degeneration or osteoporosis. Besides the pain resulting from the bulge or compression of your spinal nerves, scoliosis may cause a visible bump on your back, especially at the pain spot.


Your spine’s natural curvature is essential for balance, allowing you to stand upright. However, if any of your spinal curves become too small or too large, you may find it impossible to stand straight, making your posture appear abnormal. You will likely have a kyphosis when you have a reverse ‘C’ curve of the spine in your chest.

What are the various types of kyphosis likely to affect your thoracic spine?

Postural Kyphosis

Your doctor will likely notice postural kyphosis as a slouch or poor posture. Though it is the most common of kyphosis types, postural kyphosis does not result in severe structural abnormalities of your spine. The curve resulting from the condition is smooth and round and is likely to resolve with good posture, especially when you stand up straight. Since the curve is not painful without chances of progression, it may not lead to future complications.  

Scheuermann’s kyphosis 

Like postural kyphosis, the condition is most apparent in adolescent age. However, Scheuermann’s kyphosis is likely to result in severe deformity of your spine, especially if you are a slim individual. A side X-ray of a patient with the condition is expected to indicate several consecutive vertebrae having a triangular shape. The triangular shape forces your bones to wedge closely toward your spine’s front. As a result, you might have decreased disc space, causing an upper back curvature. Scheuermann’s kyphosis may sometimes be painful, especially at the tip of the curve. Activities and extended periods of sitting or standing might also worsen the pain.

Congenital kyphosis

This type of kyphosis is usually present at birth. The condition happens when the child’s spinal column fails to form correctly while still in the uterus. Though the situation is likely to worsen as the child grows, a surgical procedure at an early age may help stop the curve’s progression.

Book an appointment with your doctor to know how thoracic conditions can disrupt your everyday life.

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