Dorsal Spine Region
Preceded by the cervical vertebrae, we find the thoracic region, which is made up of 12 vertebrae. It is therefore the longest region of the spine and runs from the base of the neck to the abdomen.
Interestingly, it is the only region of the spine attached to the rib cage, which protects vital organs such as the lungs and heart. Moreover, while the other regions of the spine are characterised by providing mobility, the thoracic region and its structure helps more to keep us stable.
The thoracic region is made up of the following vertebrae:
- T1: The T1 vertebra is the first vertebra of the thoracic spine, as well as the smallest vertebra in this region (as the vertebrae increase in size as you move down the spine to support the increased weight). This vertebra is located at the bottom of the neck and is where the first rib connects.A subluxation of this vertebra caused by different types of stress can lead to numbness in the limbs, as well as pain in the neck or upper back.
- T2:The second thoracic vertebra is related to the functions of the heart, as it is where some of the heart arteries are located. Symptoms related to T2 may include chest pain, as well as heart problems, alterations in blood pressure or heart rhythm.
- T3:The T3 vertebra controls the lungs and bronchi, as well as other muscles in the thoracic region. Therefore, this vertebra is related to possible health disorders such as breathing difficulties, asthma, cough, among others.
- T4:The fourth vertebra controls the nerves related to the gallbladder organ (located below the liver), so a subluxation in this particular vertebra can result in bile or gallbladder-related problems.
- T5, T6, T7 and T8:These four thoracic vertebrae are related to the abdominal part, so a subluxation in one of these vertebrae will usually be expressed with digestive problems (e.g. heartburn). In addition, the eighth thoracic vertebra can also present problems related to fatigue, anaemia or other circulatory problems.
Thoracic vertebrae transitional to the lumbar region:
- T9: This vertebra controls the functions of the adrenal glands – the WHAT?! Two small glands on top of each kidney that are vital for maintaining stress control (by regulating cortisol, among other functions).
- T10, T11 and T12: This last section of thoracic vertebrae is mainly related to the lower abdominal muscles, so a subluxation or misalignment of these vertebrae can lead to muscular problems (e.g. numbness or pain) in the lower muscles and limbs.
Symptoms of neck problems and pain
As we have just seen, the thoracic vertebrae are closely related to organs in our body that regulate vital functions such as breathing, digestion, circulation… Therefore, if the thoracic vertebrae are subluxated (i.e. displaced vertebrae that affect the functioning of the nervous system) we can find symptoms of health problems related to:
- Digestive problems
- Respiratory problems
- Heart problems
- Liver problems