Thoracic pain is a general term and it is usually used for any discomfort felt inside or outside thorax. The cause of pain can be of muscular or visceral (organ) origin and depends on the area of complaint (front, side, back). Common causes include conditions a) respiratory: pleuritis, bronchitis, common infections of respiratory system etc., b) gastro-oesophangeal: dyspepsia, gastric reflux etc., c) cardiological: coronary heart disease, myocarditis, myocardial embolism, pericarditis etc., d) neurological: herpes zoster etc., e) musculoskeletal: scoliosis, kyphosis, arthritis, osteoporosis, osteochondritis, costochondritis (Tietze’s syndrome), intervertebral disc pathology, rib fracture etc.
The clinician will explore the individual’s condition by taking a full medical history (e.g. symptoms, family history, X-rays, MRIs, blood tests etc.) and performing a thorough clinical evaluation (clinical tests: pain, auscultation, blood pressure, reflexes etc.) so as to exclude any serious pathological condition. He will then proceed to the analysis of the biomechanics mainly of the thorax and the thoracic spine, and will follow a treatment protocol of manipulative techniques*, exercises (exercise rehabilitation), acupuncture, hydrotherapy and nutritional supplements to diminish inflammation if demanded. In the following sessions the clinician will treat other regions and systems of the body in order to create a physical, a biochemical and a psychological balance, and he will look more into the dietary habits or food intolerances of the patient.
Note: In the suspicion of bone fracture or metastasis the patient is immediately referred.