Bilateral arm pain, numbness that wont go away? T4 Syndrome is more common than you think.

Where is T4?

The spine is made up of three sections; seven cervical vertebrae in the neck, twelve thoracic vertebrae in the mid back and five lumbar vertebrae in the lower back.

T4 is the fourth thoracic vertebra in the midback.


What is the significance of T4?

Location! Location! Location! T4 is situated right in between the shoulder blades, many muscles attach to it, making it a crucial landmark of tension in the back. It also plays a big role in the tension held in the autonomic nervous system. The sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous system’s control centres (ganglia) lie along the rib attachments of the thoracic spine. The sympathetic network interacts with the nervous supply that effects the heart, abdominal organs, skin, muscles and tissues of the upper/ mid body and the head.

What are the symptoms of T4 Syndrome?

Symptoms include:

  • Numbness in either one or both hands (usually all five fingers)
  • Numbness in the forearm
  • Coldness in the hands and arms
  • Hand clumsiness
  • Heaviness in the upper limb
  • Hands may feel or be swollen
  • Pain in Hands with or without upper back/ neck pain
  • Pain between the shoulder blades

T4 syndrome is often missed or misdiagnosed resulting in incorrect treatment; leaving sufferers with reoccurring symptoms.

Who does T4 Syndrome affect?

Any occupation or hobby that has prolonged stooping, working on computers, bending forward and looking down can predispose you to T4 syndrome. A study showed the prevalence is high in electricians, surgeons, assembly line workers and office workers.

What can City Osteopathy do for you?

Osteopathy is very beneficial for T4 syndrome. Our Melbourne osteopaths offer a variety of safe, effective and therapeutic manual techniques that will provide you with relief. We can assess your posture to ensure that the root of the causative problem is addressed and resolved. Book in with our amazing team of Osteopaths today!


Dr Stephanie Norton-Smith (Osteopath)

City Osteopathy

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