Thoracic 12 or TH12 is the last of the vertebra in the thoracic section sitting superior to Lumbar 1. As we have gathered from information in the previous units, each vertebra has a specific shape designed to protect the spinal cord from injury. The basic form is the same i.e. a vertebral body, vertebral arch, transverse processes and spinous processes, facets, articular processes (connect to the vertebra above and below) and pedicles. However, the size, shape, depth and width of these sections differ depending on the role and requirement of that particular vertebra in relation to the movement of the body.
For example, the articular processes on the bottom of TH12 are like the lumbar section providing less movement and more stability than the ones on the top of this vertebra which connects to TH11 allowing more flexibility. In short they permit a slight flexion, extension and rotation of the spine, while preventing peculiar and potentially damaging movement of the vertebrae relative to each other.
The thoracic section is made up of 12 vertebrae which connect to our ribs. One pair of ribs extend from either side of each vertebra. All ribs from TH1 to TH10 curve round to connect to the sternum at the front of the body. TH11 and TH12 ribs do not attach to the sternum but do provide protection for the kidneys at the back of the body. As you can imagine this is prone to more problems due to its lack of stability in comparison to the other 10 thoracic vertebrae.
The thoracic section of the spinal cord controls muscles in the abdominal region, therefore we will find quite a few similarities in issues and blockages as we travel up the thoracic vertebrae. Specific to TH12 physical issues are related to problems with the small intestine, wind, rheumatism, disruption in growth, infertility and erectile dysfunction.
Emotional and Psychological Issues
The emotional and psychological issues are comparable to L1 in that making a new start and setting goals is a struggle due to feelings of powerlessness and being overwhelmed by other people’s energies Deep seated emotions are surfacing from the past and you may be struggling to address them or feel you may lose control and be rejected or feel less of a person by being honest with yourself about them and getting support. The ability to advocate for oneself is then depleted and anger usually ensues, which just maintains the cycle.
Research into the metaphysical aspects of Rheumatism indicates a link to early unresolved issues at a younger age where influential people in your life may not have respected your boundaries and the only way you were heard was in anger. As an adult your anger may be seen by others as confidence and this is what you have grown to believe, however it is only a symptom of poor boundary setting as your care givers may not have shown you how to get your needs met in a loving, thoughtful and appropriate way when you were younger. Even though this behaviour as an adult may be sabotaging your opportunities and growth, you may not be willing to change this as it gives you the illusion of strength and confidence.
Realigning this vertebra may help open the opportunity not only to correct the immediate physical discomfort but also assist the individual to regain a feeling of self -mastery and authority. Thus enabling the individual to confidently take the next step.