Pain in the mid back or chest is a frequent complaint treated in chiropractic clinics. While many individuals think of heart failure as being the most common cause of chest pain, only 5-8% of patients seen at acute emergency hospital departments have any findings of heart disease.
Recent research carried out by 2 Danish chiropractors at the University of Southern Denmark with advanced research degrees, Drs Henrik Wulff Chritensen and Mette Jensen Stochkendahl, have shed much light on this subject and provided explanations as to how spinal problems can create / mimic heart-like symptoms that would lead to chest pain and furthermore demonstrated that chiropractic care can be most effective in the treatment of these conditions.
Tissues in the posterior (back) of the chest wall have traditionally been under-diagnosed as a cause of musculoskeletal chest pain. In these cases, pain caused by joint dysfunction of the lower neck area as well as the upper mid back region and adjoining structures can cause both local pain in the back as well as pain referred to the sides or front of the chest wall.
The 12 pairs of ribs also attach to the spine at the back and the sternum at the front of the chest wall.
Disturbances to function at the back of the chest wall may cause local as well as referred pain laterally and towards the front of the chest wall along the ribs and the intercostal muscles.
While it must be clear that any patients experiencing frontal chest wall pain should initially consult their physicians many will experience that advanced investigations do not reveal any findings. These patients should consider consulting a chiropractor who may well find a mechanical problem which is the source of their pain and treat these problems successfully.