A Normal Human Thoracic Spine

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Maggie Roman
MED 2047
Instructor Michelle-Earixson-Lamonthe

A normal human thoracic spine begins at the first vertebra (T1) and ends at the twelfth (T12). When viewed laterally (side), the thoracic spine presents a normal forward curvature, which ranges from twenty to forty-five degrees in roundness (Scoliosis Research Society, 2015). Excessive curvature that exceeds forty-five to fifty degrees causes an abnormal slouched posture known as kyphosis. According to Kamiah A. Walker (2011), “The vertebrae stack one on top of each other and are supposed to be rectangular” (para. 11). However, Walker adds that kyphosis “causes the vertebrae to become triangular or wedge shaped” (2011, para. 11). This results in an inward and forward postural change of the upper spine.
Kyphosis can manifest at any age, but the most common type is age-related. Older adults are especially at a greater risk for kyphosis. Particularly those with weakened thoracic spinal bones and compressed vertebrae caused by osteoporosis. Other types of kyphosis are congenital or adolescent, known as Scheuermann’s disease (Mayo Clinic, 2014). Aside from osteoporosis, other causes of a kyphotic deformity are: poor posture, long-term use of steroids, or spine tumors (Kraus Back and Neck Institute, 2015). In mild cases of kyphosis, signs and symptoms can be asymptomatic. In severe cases, patients complain of back pain and stiffness. An experimental study assessed the effects
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