The T7 vertebra is one of the 12 thoracic vertebrae found in the middle region of the back. For many reasons, the thoracic vertebrae play an especially important role, not only in the protection of the spinal cord, but also in the protection of the body’s vital organs.
The T7 vertebra is located between the T6 vertebra and the T8 vertebra. Together with the other thoracic vertebrae, this region of the spine stretches from the base of the neck to the bottom of the rib cage. The thoracic vertebrae attach to the rib cage via transverse processes, which are bony protrusions on either side of each thoracic vertebra. This section of the spine stabilizes the entire thoracic cage, which in turn protects the lungs and heart.
The thoracic vertebrae, including the T7 vertebra, and their intervertebral discs are not as susceptible to injury as the lumbar vertebrae and the cervical vertebrae for several reasons, including:
- The thoracic vertebrae have the added protection of the rib cage.
- Because the thoracic vertebrae are stabilized by the rib cage, they have a much narrower range of movement than the lumbar or cervical regions; the result is that they experience less wear and tear.
- The thoracic vertebrae, including the T7 vertebra, become larger as they go down the back, which means their ability to support more weight also increases.
If you’ve spoken to your physician about pain around the T7 vertebra or anywhere along the spine, you should consider beginning a regimen of non-invasive, conservative treatment, like mild exercise, pain medication and/or steroid injections.