Acute or chronic abdominal pain can be mimicked by thoracic spine dysfunction. However, it is comparatively rare and there is frequently a delay in its diagnosis that may lead to unnecessary surgery, or the patient's symptoms being undiagnosed or labelled psychosomatic. The failure to associate thoracic spine dysfunction with abdominal pain persists, despite it being first recognised over 80 years ago. 2 recent such cases are presented. The clinical presentation and diagnostic tests are described, with clear explanation of the treatment and outcome. The case for including the thoracic spine examination in the assessment of patients presenting with acute abdominal or postappendectomy pain that is of unexplained origin is made.
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