A thoracic herniated disc occurs when a disc between the 12 vertebrae in the thoracic, or middle, spine (T1-T12) becomes ruptured and extrudes into the spinal canal. This often results in the compression of neighboring nerve roots. Depending on the location of the herniated disc, symptoms can vary from localized pain in the back and neck to discomfort radiating down the nerve root to other parts of the body.
In the case of a thoracic herniated disc, the nerve roots in the T1-T12 region are at risk of being compressed. This can result in back and neck pain, but can also be responsible for other symptoms –including numbness and tingling – in the chest and torso. Luckily, most herniated discs, including thoracic herniated discs, can be treated with a conservative treatment plan, including short-term rest, long-term lifestyle changes (exercise and diet), and over-the-counter or prescription medication, among others.
If you believe you are suffering from a thoracic herniated disc, the best course of action is to visit your physician. Typically the physician will:
- Review your medical history and discuss potential causes of the problem
- Complete a complete physical examination and discuss the symptoms in question
- Conduct a medical imagery test, typically an MRI or CT scan
- Confirm the thoracic herniated disc
- Outline a treatment plan, depending on the source, origin and severity of the herniated disc