T4 Syndrome Treatment

T4 Syndrome refers to a condition affecting the joints within this area of the spinal column, causing pain, parathaesia, reduced mobility and discomfort.

At Vitalis Physiotherapy, we specialise in T4 syndrome treatment to:

What is T4 syndrome?

Within the thoracic spine (mid-back), there are 12 vertebrae which facilitate spinal movement and provide support. Facet joints and vertebral discs comprise the vertebrae joints.  Dysfunction, general wear and tear or traumatic injury of these bones can pinch or irritate nearby nerves, causing pain and discomfort. This pain is usually felt in the upper body, typically down the arms, and in the head, neck and chest area. Specifically, if nerve compression or joint dysfunction occurs at the fourth thoracic vertebra, it can be classed as T4 syndrome.

Question mark

What are the causes?

T4 syndrome is what’s known as a ‘diagnosis of exclusion’ as it will only be diagnosed if symptoms and its presentation do not match with other spinal conditions, sort of like a last resort diagnosis. It is a relatively uncommon condition, and diagnosis is even rarer due to the complexities and other potential sources of pain in the back which need to be ruled out.


Despite this, some of the main risk factors include:

  • Underlying thoracic dysfunction
  • Change in routines which involve novel movements
  • Sudden movement which may or may not overload/overextend the spine
  • Heavy lifting or strenuous movement/activity
  • Poor posture
  • Hypermobility

What are the symptoms?

As a diagnosis of exclusion, T4 syndrome is mainly identified through pain presentation, pattern and response to muscle relaxants and other medications. Associations between the clinical presentation and the specific range of restricted movement is important.


Symptoms include:

  • Back pain which worsens:
    • With applied pressure/when touched (palpated)
    • At night
    • With activities with movements involving the thoracic spine (e.g., sitting, lying on a bed)
  • Soreness, tenderness or numbness in the back
  • Tingling or pins and needles sensation
  • Poor reflexes or sensory problems
  • Difficulty with movement
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Gait, posture and balance issues
Wry Neck

Treatment for T4 Syndrome

If you have back pain, it is important to have it assessed by a GP or physiotherapist. A physiotherapist will then be able to rule out any other conditions. They may also refer you for scans to better understand your condition (X-ray, MRI and/or CT).


At Vitalis Physiotherapy, we tailor a treatment plan to best fit your recovery goals through:

  • Soft tissue mobilisations (massage)
  • Stretching exercises
  • Strengthening, conditioning and balance techniques
  • Restoring range of movement
  • Postural improvement
  • Dry needling
  • Taping
  • Shockwave Therapy
  • TENS treatment
  • Home exercise and self-management techniques
  • Graded Exposure to load program

Your physiotherapist may also advise heat or ice application, rest and if necessary, pain medication. Additionally, they might recommend for you to use spinal support (braces) or a Therapeutic Pillow.

How to book an appointment?

If you have T4 syndrome, or you’re looking for a ‘physiotherapist near me’, our physios at Vitalis Physiotherapy can assess your condition to tailor a unique rehabilitation plan to aid in your pain relief and recovery. They may also refer you to get scans in some severe cases to better understand your needs.

All you need to do is just give us a call on 0410 559 856 and request an initial appointment. Please let our friendly reception staff know the background and severity of your condition.

You can visit our FAQs for more information about appointments at Vitalis Physiotherapy.


Need Help?

Are you in pain caused by T4 syndrome, or you’re looking for a physiotherapist around me? Contact Vitalis Physiotherapy now to book in your treatment.

Call our friendly team on 0410 559 856. We’d love to help.

Contact us for more information on treatment

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Sinnamon Park Village

3/58 Oldfield Road, Sinnamon Park Qld 4073


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