Thoracic Pain Maps

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Thoracic ZA Joints

Thoracic ZA Joint pain patterns in normal volunteers. From Dreyfuss 1994 [1]

Thoracic facet joint pain is felt in the parasagittal region and doesn't cross the midline.

Thoracic Costotransverse Joints

Composite diagram of costotransverse joint pain patterns in normal volunteers..[2]

Costotransverse joint pain is felt in the parasagittal thoracic spine. It does not or only rarely causes midline or arm pain. It does not cross the midline.

Thoracic Interspinous Ligaments

Kellgren in 1939 produced the original referred pain maps from noxious stimulation of the interspinous ligaments. Kellgren’s findings were reproduced by Feinstein et al. 1954 who produced similar maps. Pain patterns are not identical between studies, and vary between individuals.

Referred pain patterns from noxious stimulation of the thoracic interspinous ligaments. Kellgren (1939).

See Also


  1. Dreyfuss, Paul; Tibiletti, Claire; Dreyer, Susan J. (1994-04). "Thoracic Zygapophyseal Joint Pain Patterns: A Study in Normal Volunteers". Spine (in English). 19 (7): 807–811. doi:10.1097/00007632-199404000-00014. ISSN 0362-2436. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  2. Young et al.. Thoracic costotransverse joint pain patterns: a study in normal volunteers. BMC musculoskeletal disorders 2008. 9:140. PMID: 18922181. DOI. Full Text.