Thoracic degenerative disc disease is not as common as cervical or lumbar degenerative disc disease, but that’s not to say it’s any less painful. Because your mid-back vertebrae do not bend or flex as frequently as vertebrae in your neck and lower back, there is less stress put upon those discs. This allows the middle region of your back to avoid years of wear and tear, leaving it healthier longer. To learn more about the causes behind disc degeneration, visit our degenerative disc disease page.
Also referred to as degenerative arthritis of the spine, thoracic degenerative disc disease can manifest as bone spurs (osteophytes) or a herniated disc. Symptoms include:
- Pain upon twisting of the back
- Muscle spasms
- Bowel or bladder dysfunction
- Slumped posture
Thoracic degenerative disc disease is considered a normal part of our body’s aging. However, this disease may be brought on by genetics, trauma, injury or illness. It can also cause a narrowing of the spinal canal. You can educate yourself further by reading our spinal stenosis page.
If you’re experiencing any effects of thoracic degenerative disc disease, contact your health care provider for a consultation and diagnosis. They may prescribe treatments including over-the-counter medication like acetaminophen, hot or cold packs or osteopathic manipulations.