Anatomy And Biomechanics Of The Thoracic Region: The thoracic spine is the longest part of the spinal column and is considered a transitional zone between the cervical and lumbar spine. The region is unique because of the size and extent of the region and the articulations with the rib cage. The articulations with the rib cage lead to regional variations in movement patterns and function (Willems JM, Jull G 1996). The thoracic region has least mobility, prime reason being the presence of the vital visceral organs and the thinness of the Intervertebral discs in the thoracic region.
Thoracic region comprises of 12 vertebrae, they are intermediate in size between those of the cervical and lumbar regions; they increase in size as one proceeds down the spine, the upper vertebrae being much smaller than those in the lower part of the region. They are distinguished by the presence of facets on the sides of the bodies for articulation with the heads of the ribs, and facets on the transverse processes of all, except the eleventh and twelfth, for articulation with the tubercles of the ribs ( Fig.1).
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