The T8 vertebra — conditions and treatment options
The T8 vertebra is the eighth vertebra in the thoracic spine, located in the middle of the back. The three sections of the spine are the cervical (upper) region, the thoracic (middle) region and the lumbar (lower) region.
This vertebra, along with other vertebrae in the thoracic spine, attaches to the rib cage to support the upper body. Because the T8 vertebra is connected to the rib cage, there is limited mobility in this area of the spine. However, some degenerative spine conditions may still develop in the thoracic spine, though it is less common than in the cervical or lumbar spine.
The T8 vertebra, which is located between the T7 vertebra and the T9 vertebra, is one of 12 thoracic vertebrae. Between the vertebrae are protective pads of cartilage, called discs. When people experience back pain related to a degenerative condition, it is most likely due to the deterioration of these discs.
Throughout the thoracic spine, discs like those above and beneath the T8 vertebra can become damaged and cause painful symptoms, including:
- Pain that stays localized in the middle back, close to the area of the damaged disc.
- Pain that travels and feels as if it is radiating from the rib cage, heart, abdomen or kidneys.
- Numbness or tingling, either radiating or stationary, in any of the above areas.
If you are experiencing this type of pain at the level of the T8 vertebra, anywhere else in the thoracic vertebrae or even anywhere in the spinal vertebrae, you should contact your doctor. He or she should perform a full physical exam, ask you questions about the location and severity of your symptoms and order an MRI or CT scan to better pinpoint the exact location of damage.
Your first course of treatment will likely be conservative, including physical therapy and pain medication. If these treatments are not effective after several weeks or months, surgery can become an option. If you have concerns about the risks and difficulties involved with traditional open spine procedures, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more about the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery. Our procedures offer shorter recovery times^ and lower risk of complications compared to traditional open back surgery.
We can provide you with a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures.