The thoracic spine is in the middle of the spine at the upper back. There are 12 vertebrae that make up the thoracic spine. The ribs attach to each vertebrae and connect at the sternum to the spine. The thoracics and rib cage protect vital life sustaining organs including the heart and lungs, as well as provide movement, flexibility and range of motion to the upper back. The costovertebral joints attach the spine to the ribs and allow for movement of the rib cage as one breathes.
A costovertebral block involves administering medication to the costovertebral joints. Many conditions and injuries can cause pain and inflammation of the joints. This pain can vary from mild to severe and due to the immense workload of the torso can be debilitating. Those suffering from costovertebral joint pain often are unable to enjoy their favorite activities such as exercise, sports, even sitting and sleeping can be effected!
A way to remedy this condition is through a block to the area. This is done through an injection of a combination of steroids or other anti inflammatory medications and local anesthetics. Many patients experience immediate relief following a costovertebral block!