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What is the structure of your back?

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You have 12 vertebrae in your upper and middle back. You may hear a doctor refer to them as T1 through T12. The T stands for “thoracic.”

Between the vertebrae are spongy discs. You might think of them as shock absorbers for your body. They cushion the bones when you move around. Ligaments and muscles hold the spine together. The entire area is called the thoracic spine.

It works with your ribs to keep your body stable and protect vital organs such as your heart and lungs.

SOURCES:

UK National Health Service: “Back Pain Guide.”

University of Michigan Health System: “Upper and Middle Back Pain.”

Johns Hopkins Health Library: “Facts about the Spine, Shoulder and Pelvis.”

NorthShore University Health System Health Encyclopedia: “Upper and Middle Back Pain.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Diseases and Conditions -- The Basics of Back Pain.”

Mayo Clinic: “Diseases and Conditions -- Osteoarthritis,” “Diseases and Conditions -- Myofascial pain syndrome,” “Diseases and Conditions – Gallstones,” “Diseases and Conditions -- Back pain.”

National Institutes of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: What is Back Pain?

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on October 18, 2018

SOURCES:

UK National Health Service: “Back Pain Guide.”

University of Michigan Health System: “Upper and Middle Back Pain.”

Johns Hopkins Health Library: “Facts about the Spine, Shoulder and Pelvis.”

NorthShore University Health System Health Encyclopedia: “Upper and Middle Back Pain.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Diseases and Conditions -- The Basics of Back Pain.”

Mayo Clinic: “Diseases and Conditions -- Osteoarthritis,” “Diseases and Conditions -- Myofascial pain syndrome,” “Diseases and Conditions – Gallstones,” “Diseases and Conditions -- Back pain.”

National Institutes of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: What is Back Pain?

Reviewed by Tyler Wheeler on October 18, 2018

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What are symptoms of upper and middle back pain?

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