What is the T1 Vertebra?
The T1 vertebra is the first of twelve vertebrae of the thoracic spinal column. Since each descending vertebra is larger than the one before it to support the greater weight, thoracic vertebra T1 is the smallest vertebra of the thoracic region.
What is the T2 Vertebra?
The T2 vertebra is the second vertebra in the thoracic spinal column. It is slightly larger than the T1 vertebra, but smaller than the T3 vertebra. The T2 vertebra has faceted sides that allow the vertebra to press up against the ribs.
What is the T3 Vertebra?
The T3 vertebra is the third segment of the twelve thoracic vertebrae. Since it descends from the T2 vertebra, it is slightly larger than the two previous thoracic vertebrae.
What are the T4-T8 Vertebrae?
The T4-T8 vertebrae make up the rest thoracic vertebrae before the thoracic vertebrae T9 - T12. With the exception of T4, which affects both the chest and abdomen, these vertebrae primarily control abdominal muscles. The T4 and T5 vertebrae are the most commonly injured thoracic vertebrae.
Where is the T1 Vertebra Located?
The thoracic vertebrae T1 is located in the upper part of the back. It’s the first section of the thoracic vertebrae, so it is located between the seventh cervical vertebra (C7) and T2.
Where is the T2 Vertebra Located?
The T2 vertebra is a member of the thoracic vertebrae column, located between the cervical vertebrae and the lumbar spinal vertebrae. As the second descending thoracic vertebra, the T2 vertebra is located below T1 and above T3.
Where is the T3 Vertebra Located?
The T3 vertebra is located between the T2 and T4 vertebrae. Approximately, the distance between the skull and the T3 vertebra is one-third of the way down the spinal column.
Where are the T4-T8 Vertebrae Located?
The T4 - T8 vertebrae are located between the T3 and T9 vertebrae and help to make up the thoracic vertebrae column. The thoracic vertebrae region slopes inward between the cervical and lumbar vertebrae regions. The T8 vertebrae can be located in the middle of this inward slope. The T8 vertebrae is at the same level as the xiphoid process — i.e. the small projection of the sternum.
Causes of Thoracic Spinal Cord Injuries
The most common causes of thoracic spinal cord injuries are:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Birth defects
T1 Vertebra Pain Symptoms
A T1 vertebra injury may result in moderate to severe neck pain and upper back pain. If the first rib is injured, there may be difficulty breathing.
Additional T1 vertebra pain symptoms may include numbness in the forearm or hand, or weakness in the hands, fingers and wrists.
T2 Vertebra Pain Symptoms
Since the T2 vertebra helps control the heart, T2 vertebra pain symptoms may include chest pain, as well as heart trouble and a disruption in cardiac rhythm.
T3 Vertebra Pain Symptoms
The T3 vertebra controls the lungs and bronchial tubes, as well as other chest muscles. Symptoms of a T3 vertebra injury include breathing difficulties, asthma, cough, as well as ailments such as bronchitis, influenza, and pneumonia
T4-T8 Vertebrae Pain Symptoms
The T4 vertebra has nerves controlling the gallbladder and common duct, though it does affect the lungs and bronchial tubes additionally. As a result, T4 pain symptoms can show themselves through gallbladder trouble, gallstones, and jaundice.
Since the T5 - T8 vertebrae control abdominal muscles, pain symptoms for one of these vertebrae will manifest themselves through abdominal pain. The T5 and T6 vertebrae pain symptoms include digestion problems such as ulcers and heartburn. While T7 pain symptoms also include digestive ailments, the T7 and T8 vertebrae injury symptoms include fatigue, anemia, circulatory weakness, weakened immune system, and low blood, among others.
T1-T8 Differences Defined
The T1-T8 vertebrae have similarities such as each of these thoracic vertebrae being directly attached to the rib cage and containing nerve roots that exit the spinal column at each vertebral level of the spine. However, the nerves of each thoracic vertebra level communicate with different sections of the body.
The T1-T4 thoracic sections control primarily chest muscles and organs, such as the heart and lungs. The T5 - T8 vertebrae affect the abdominal muscles, as well as some of the chest.
T1-T8 Other Known Names
The T1-T8 vertebrae are also known as part of the twelve segments of the thoracic vertebrae region. Each can be referred individually as:
- T1: First thoracic vertebra
- T2: Second thoracic vertebra
- T3: Third thoracic vertebra
- T4: Fourth thoracic vertebra
- T5: Fifth thoracic vertebra
- T6: Sixth thoracic vertebra
- T7: Seventh thoracic vertebra
- T8: Eighth thoracic vertebra
T1-T8 Spinal Cord Injury Types
Injuries to the spinal cord tissue or nerve roots impact physical function according to their vertebral level. The cord and nerve tissues correlating to the upper thoracic vertebrae levels regulate the following:
- T1 vertebrae: the medial side of the forearm, and flexes the wrist
- T2 vertebrae: the posterior aspect of the upper arms
- T3 vertebrae: the pectoral area in the chest
- T4, T5, T6, T7, & T8 vertebrae: the remaining muscles in the chest and trunk of the body
Spinal cord injuries in the thoracic region are rare due to the rib cage protecting the spine. Much like cervical spine injuries, damage to the thoracic spine may be characterized as complete or incomplete, and may affect one or both sides of the body. The completeness of the spinal cord damage will determine how severe the injury truly is and how the patient can expect to recover.
Fractures & Breaks
Fractures of the thoracic spine generally occur towards the bottom of the thoracic region. Vertebrae T11 and T12 are more likely to be fractured than vertebrae T1-18. However, the T4 and T5 vertebrae are the most commonly injured thoracic vertebrae.
A fracture occurs when the vertebra collapses and causes the bone to break or splinter. This can be a result of trauma to the spinal vertebrae, which could result from a fall, violence, a car accident, or any event that will stress the spine out until it collapses. A thoracic fracture can also be the result of osteoporosis.
Misalignment, also known as subluxation, is when a vertebra is out of alignment. This can put pressure on spinal cord nerves, which can cause severe pain symptoms. Having misaligned thoracic vertebrae will produce the pain symptoms corresponding with the areas that each vertebra controls.
T1-T8 SCI Vertebrae Treatment
Treatment for thoracic spinal cord injuries is aimed at strengthening the body as a whole and preserving any remaining function that remains after the injury.
Current treatments available for spinal cord patients are:
- Drugs: Anti-inflammatory drugs are used immediately upon diagnosis of a spinal cord injury. This is to aid in lessening the inflammation in the affected area and encourage motor and sensory function.
- Surgery: Patients may need to have decompression surgery to relieve pressure from the spine and surrounding nerves. Fusion may also be done in order to stabilize the damaged area to ensure further damage does not occur.
- Therapy: Physical and occupational therapy are an important part of recovery from a spinal cord injury.
- Stem cell therapies are in the early stages of use to aid in reducing inflammation around the injury and potentially regenerate the spinal cord
Thoracic SCI Recovery
An important part of the recovery and rehabilitation stage for thoracic spinal cord injury patients is physical therapy. Patients with T6-T12 spinal cord injuries should have a good ability to control their torso while sitting. Physical therapy will be crucial part of strengthening this ability, including using gait training and walking devices to help retain the strengthen any lower body function.
Psychiatrists are also important in the recovery journey for spinal cord injury patients. Mental health is a crucial part of rehabilitation, so these therapists are used to keep the patient in the best mind frame for recovery.
Additional Information about the Thoracic Spine
Thoracic spinal cord injuries are rare and only account for 10 - 15 percent of all spinal cord injuries. The thoracic spine is surrounded by the rib cage and it is much harder to damage the spinal cord in this area. Thoracic spinal cord injuries are typically less severe than injuries to the cervical spinal cord. The further down the spine the injury occurs, the greater chance for at least partial recovery.
What happens if T8 is damaged? ›
The spinal vertebral and cord segmental levels become increasingly discrepant further down the spinal column. For example, a T8 vertebral injury will result in a T12 spinal cord or neurological level. A T11 vertebral injury, in fact, will result in a L5 lumbar spinal cord level.What happens in T1 spinal cord injury? ›
A T1 vertebra injury may result in moderate to severe neck pain and upper back pain. If the first rib is injured, there may be difficulty breathing. Additional T1 vertebra pain symptoms may include numbness in the forearm or hand, or weakness in the hands, fingers and wrists.What is a T8 paraplegic? ›
Areas of the spinal cord that result in paraplegia are the thoracic, lumbar or sacral regions. An injury to the upper thoracic (T1 to T8), which is approximately adjacent to the chest, often results in poor trunk control. This can include impairment in breathing.What is the function of T8? ›
The primary role of T8-lymphocytes (T8-Cells; CD8+ Cells; Cytotoxic T-Lymphocytes) is to kill infected cells and tumor cells by inducing apoptosis of those cells.What does T1 vertebrae control? ›
T-1 through T-5 nerves affect muscles, upper chest, mid-back and abdominal muscles. These nerves and muscles help control the rib cage, lungs, diaphragm and muscles that help you breathe.What are the symptoms of T8 nerve root compression? ›
Pain, which can start in the lower neck and travel to the posterior shoulder, back and chest. Numbness or paraesthesia (tingling) may be experienced from the neck to the posterior shoulder, back and thorax or chest. Muscle weakness may occur on any muscle that is innervated by the pinched nerve.How long does it take for a T8 fracture to heal? ›
A spinal fracture takes between six and 12 weeks to heal. During the healing process, spinal bones don't return to their normal shape. They heal in their new compressed shape. This can lead to height loss and a curved spine.What is the most serious spinal cord injury? ›
Cervical spinal cord injuries affect the head and neck region above the shoulders. It is the most severe level of spinal cord injury.What type of paralysis would occur at T1? ›
Paraplegia is diagnosed at T1, which means arm and hand function is intact, but trunk and legs have limitations. Individuals who have sacral level injury will be able to walk with assistive devices but will have limitations in bowel, bladder and sexual function.What part of the spine can paralyze you? ›
The seven vertebra in the neck are called the cervical vertebra. The top vertebra is called C-1, the next is C-2, etc. Cervical spinal cord injuries usually cause loss of function in the arms and legs, resulting in quadriplegia and spinal cord paralysis. The 12 vertebra in the chest are called the thoracic vertebra.
Can you walk after t10 spinal cord injury? ›
The qualified answer to this question is yes, a person can walk again after suffering a spinal cord injury. This is possible because the spinal cord is capable of reorganizing itself and making adaptive changes through a process known as neuroplasticity.What does T8 innervate? ›
T1 and T2 (top two thoracic nerves) feed into nerves that go into the top of the chest as well as into the arm and hand. T3, T4, and T5 feed into the chest wall and aid in breathing. T6, T7, and T8 can feed into the chest and/or down into the abdomen.What muscles attach T8? ›
Thoracic vertebrae provide attachment points for numerous muscles: erector spinae, interspinales, intertransversarii, latissimus dorsi, multifidus, rhomboid major, rhomboid minor, rotatores, semispinalis, serratus posterior superior/inferior, splenius capitis, splenius cervicis, and trapezius.What level of spinal cord injury impairs breathing? ›
A patient with a complete injury above C5 will typically have impaired diaphragm function and is likely to require a period of endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation . A C5 injury level may also involve diaphragm weakness but is more likely to be associated with the ability to breathe independently.What part of the body does T8 affect? ›
T2-T8: The Typical Vertebrae
The T2-T8 section of spine are known as "typical" vertebrae because of their relatively similar appearance and size. The ribs connect in the spaces between each thoracic vertebra and so these play a role in rib articulation.
The T8 vertebra is toward the lower (caudal) end of the twelve (12) thoracic vertebrae within the central, torso section of the spine. Like the other similar T2-9 thoracic vertebrae, the T8 consists of a larger, heart-shaped centrum (ventral body) and an increasingly large vertebral arch.Is T8 better than T12? ›
The smaller the lamps the more energy efficient they are. T8 bulbs use about 35% less electricity to produce the same amount of light as a T12. T5 bulbs use about 45% less energy than T12s.What part of the body does T1 affect? ›
The functions of your thoracic spine nerves include: T1 and T2 nerves: These nerves go into the top of your chest and into your arms and hands. The T1 nerve is also part of the brachial plexus, a network of nerves in your shoulders that carries movement and sensory signals from your spinal cord to your arms and hands.How do you fix T1 pain? ›
- Neck brace. ...
- Medication. ...
- Physical therapy. ...
- Therapeutic injections: Depending on the source of pain, image-guided spine procedures including but not limited to epidural steroid injection and/or facet blocks can provide symptomatic relief.
The study showed that reduced relative mobility at levels C7-T1 and T1-T2 significantly predicted neck-shoulder pain and the symptom weakness in the hands.
Does nerve root compression require surgery? ›
Nerve root compression that is severe enough to cause weakness in the arms or legs requires prompt diagnosis and surgical treatment because compression leads to death of the nerve cells and can permanently affect the function of the sensory and motor nerves downstream from the point of compression.Can you get disability for nerve root compression? ›
Qualifying for Disability Due to Spinal Nerve Root Compression. The Social Security Administration (SSA) recognizes that severe nerve root compression can be debilitating, and as a result, the agency has created an official impairment listing in its "Blue Book" of impairments.What causes a t8 compression fracture? ›
A common cause of compression fractures is the disease osteoporosis. This disease thins the bones, often to the point that they are too weak to bear normal pressure. The thinning bones can collapse during normal activity, leading to a spinal compression fracture.Can you walk with a fractured vertebrae? ›
Depending on what caused your spinal fracture — and which type of fracture you have — you'll still be able to walk with a broken back. It might be painful (or make your pain worse), but if your fracture wasn't caused by sudden trauma, it's likely you'll still be able to move.Is a fractured vertebrae the same as a broken back? ›
A “broken back” is another term to describe a spinal fracture — a break in one or more vertebrae, the 33 bones that form your backbone and protect your spinal cord. A broken back injury can be worrying, but it doesn't necessarily mean that there's damage to the spinal cord.Do muscle relaxers help a compression fracture? ›
The brace is intended to limit activities such as bending and twisting which could cause more pain and could affect the healing of the bone. Medications such as narcotics or muscle relaxers may be prescribed to help with managing the pain while the fracture heals. In some patients, a kyphoplasty may be offered.What is the life expectancy of someone with a spinal cord injury? ›
The life expectancy for a person aged 20 years who suffers a high tetraplegia spinal injury and survives at least one year is around 33.7 years. This statistic shows the life expectancy for spinal cord injuries in the U.S. for those who survive at least one year post-injury, as of 2021.Which spinal cord injury has the best prognosis? ›
The prognosis is much better for the incomplete cord syndromes. If some sensory function is preserved, the chance that the patient will eventually be able walk is greater than 50%. Ultimately, 90% of patients with spinal cord injury return to their homes and regain independence.Which spinal cord syndrome has the poorest prognosis? ›
Anterior Cord Syndrome
This syndrome is characterized by paraplegia and a dissociated sensory loss with loss of pain and temperature sensation. Posterior column function (position, vibration, and deep pressure sense) is preserved. This syndrome has the poorest prognosis of the incomplete injuries.
Results: Clinical and EMG findings revealed T1-dominant innervation of the flexor digitorum superficialis, flexor digitorum profundus of the index finger, abductor pollicis brevis, and flexor pollicis longus muscles, and C8-dominant innervation of the flexor carpi ulnaris, flexor digitorum profundus of the little ...
What vertebrae controls legs? ›
The lumbar spinal cord is the lower area of the back. Nerve roots coming from the spinal cord in the lumbar spine control the legs.Are spinal cord injuries permanent? ›
A spinal cord injury — damage to any part of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal (cauda equina) — often causes permanent changes in strength, sensation and other body functions below the site of the injury.Where are most spinal cord injuries located? ›
The most common sites of injury are the cervical and thoracic areas. SCI is a common cause of permanent disability and death in children and adults.Can a T10 paraplegic? ›
T10 Vertebrae Pain Symptoms
A minor injury will result in minor symptoms such as weakness, numbness, as well as partial or complete lack of muscle control over only one side of the body. Severe damage to this vertebra can result in complete paraplegia.
Avoid moving the head or neck.
Provide as much first aid as possible without moving the person's head or neck. If the person shows no signs of circulation (breathing, coughing or movement), begin CPR, but do not tilt the head back to open the airway. Use your fingers to gently grasp the jaw and lift it forward.
The longer a spinal cord injury goes undiagnosed and untreated, the worse the injury may become. Paralysis does not always occur the instant a spinal cord injury happens. Symptoms may slowly manifest as the damaged area of the spinal cord bleeds and swells.What is T8 level spine? ›
T8. T8 vertebra is toward the lower (caudal) end of the twelve (12) thoracic vertebrae within the central, torso section of the spine. Like other spinal vertebrae, the T8 primarily protects and encases the spinal cord. The T8 is also at the same level as the xiphoid process.What is T8 Dermatome? ›
T8: upper abdomen and mid-back. T9: upper abdomen and mid-back. T10: abdomen (area of belly button) and mid-back. T11: abdomen and mid-back.What 3 parts of your spine help you bear weight and keep balance? ›
The cervical, thoracic and lumbar parts of the spine are composed of articulating vertebrae and when viewed from the side, these segments form “c-shaped” curves. It is these curves that allow us to stand upright and maintain balance. When these curves are too large or too small, there is a deformity in the spine.What is the big back muscle called? ›
Latissimus dorsi (lats), the largest muscle in the upper part of your body. It starts below your shoulder blades and extends to your spine in the lower part of your back.
What muscles are used when bending over? ›
Flexor muscles. Attached to the front of the spine, these muscles include the abdominal muscles. They allow us to flex, bend forward, lift and arch the lower back. When the abdominal muscles are weak, the muscles that allow us to bend at the hip get tighter, increasing the curve at the lower back.What are the symptoms of T8 vertebrae injury? ›
While T7 pain symptoms also include digestive ailments, the T7 and T8 vertebrae injury symptoms include fatigue, anemia, circulatory weakness, weakened immune system, and low blood, among others.Does a T1 spinal cord injury affect breathing? ›
A total of 65 % of patients with injuries at levels from T1 to T12 may have severe respiratory complications (8). Oedema or haemorrhaging in the spinal cord may cause the loss of up to one ASIA level in the course of the first few days.How is a T8 fracture treated? ›
The most common treatments for a thoracic compression fracture are: pain medications, decreasing activity, and bracing. In rare cases, surgery may also be necessary. Mild pain medications can reduce pain when taken properly.What muscles attach to T8? ›
Thoracic vertebrae provide attachment points for numerous muscles: erector spinae, interspinales, intertransversarii, latissimus dorsi, multifidus, rhomboid major, rhomboid minor, rotatores, semispinalis, serratus posterior superior/inferior, splenius capitis, splenius cervicis, and trapezius.What is the function of T1 nerve? ›
The functions of your thoracic spine nerves include: T1 and T2 nerves: These nerves go into the top of your chest and into your arms and hands. The T1 nerve is also part of the brachial plexus, a network of nerves in your shoulders that carries movement and sensory signals from your spinal cord to your arms and hands.How long does nerve root compression take to heal? ›
So how long does a pinched nerve cause pain and discomfort? In most cases, symptoms improve and nerve function resumes to normal within 6 to 12 weeks of conservative treatment. Conservative treatment options include physical therapy, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen.