A Key Link in the Locomotor System: The Upper-Thoracic Spin

A Key Link in the Locomotor System: The Upper-Thoracic Spin

A Key Link in the Locomotor System: The Upper-Thoracic Spine

By Craig Liebenson, DC and Brett Winchester, DC, FASBE(C), DAAPM, DAAMLP

With chiropractic backgrounds rooted in motion palpation and functional rehabilitation, we have observed that the upper-thoracic spine may be the most commonly restricted area in the locomotor system.

This restriction of multiple segments (C7-T5) is likely related to cervical disc herniations; degenerative changes at the lower cervical spine; shoulder impingement and rotator-cuff pathologies; and low back pain.

In Len Faye’s classic text, Motion Palpation and Chiropractic Technique, the distinction between primary and secondary fixations is made. Primary fixations usually present the most significant restrictions in the locomotor system and should take priority over other fixations, no matter where patients express pain.1 We conclude, based on our years of treating patients, that primary restrictions frequently show up at the cervical-thoracic joint and other transitional areas of the spine. All editions of Karel Lewit’s text Manipulative Therapy in Rehabilitation of the Locomotor System support this view.

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