Does anyone have thoracic disk herniation? It is the first time I participate in the forum but I've been reading it and I see that it is all very useful. Well, I summarize my case: 6 months ago I had a rear end car accident and I was diagnosed whiplash. Since that time I started with a lot of pain in the middle of my back. The doctor said it was a just muscle pain and that it was normal signs of cervical sprain. After 4 months with the same pain (it is like a knife stuck in the back) I was made MRI and it turned out that I had a thoracic slipped disc. I have done over 40 sessions of rehab, I swim 4 days per week and do gymnastics regularly. I also went to Physiotherapist, private osteopathic and chiropractor and yet I have not noticed any improvement. Due to my work I need to be sitting more than 8 hours ahead of a computer and cannot do so ( I am not working right now). As the T herniated discs are very rare, I would like to know if someone has one and what your experience is, what can be the perspective and if you can recommend me something that does not involve surgery. Thanks a lot!!!
Hi, in your post you ask about herniation, there is a large dfference between a herniation and slipped disk. Did the doc mention herniation to you? Also, was your MRI with contrast or without? With contrast would show if it is pressing on any blood vessels. A slipped disk should have improved by now as I have had many over the years. It sounds like something may have been missed or you may have been misdiagnosed. It took all this time for the doc to listen to you to even do an MRI, then tell you about the disk, so I would try to go to a pain management doc if you can. You could very well be trying to fix the wrong problem. PM docs specialize in treating pain, but they also get to the bottom of the cause first. When docs do not listen, we get misdiagnosed. I found out the cause of my long term pain was missed because my first MRI was not with contrast. I was getting worse, went to new PM doc, she ordered MRI with contrast, I finally have an answer. Good luck to you, this would be my suggestion.
Thanks! This is very helpful! I will ask about the MRI with contrast. I have changed to a specialist in spinal cord now. I had thought about the PM also, but was postponing it a bit to see the opinion of the new doctor and also if I was getting better with the pilates/swimmig that I am doing now (around 1 and ½ hour day).
The report says “herniation”; well, a very similar word as I come from Spain (I have tried a local boards but I think this one is much better and useful!).
Last edited by 111maria111; 04-20-2010 at 02:49 PM.
Hi again, I am glad you are now going to see a spinal cord specialist. This is exactly the type of doc you should be seeing. A herniation can be difficult to treat. I only had surgery after 6 months of physical therapy, and 2 epidural injections, my herniation was very large. Sitting is very hard when you have one. Please come back and keep us updated on your treatment and progress.
Hi again, I had surgery 10 years ago. It did help immensely, no more pain and limping. At the time, I was also told I had stenosis, but they didnt know if it was caused by the herniation, or I just had it. I had quit my job of 6 years because I really couldnt do anything, sit, stand, etc. I attempted to go back to work 4 times months later, and found I could not stand long before I was in horrible low back pain. This was the stenosis. But my back problems are hereditary, so I have many things going on that have come on slowly over the years. Bulging disks right now pressing on a nerve, and facet joint arthritis, so now I am being treated for those. Thankyou for your concern!
I am 23 years old and I was also in an MVA which caused me to develop reverse curvature of the neck and a disk herniation of the thoracic spine, T11-T12. I have been dealing with this for 4 years now. A lot of doctors strongly feel that thoracic disk herniation's do not cause pain, however, I bed to differ. It may not help my back though that I have a rare bowl disorder, which causes my intestines to swell and put pressure on the nerves on my back. None of the doctors that I have seen will do surgery on the thoracic spine. Stress and not eating right doesn't help. I can say, that the the pain has gone away since I have changed my diet and watch what I do. Strenuous activity that involves your back doesn't help with it. But, a slipped disk and herniation is different. I also sit for more then 8 hours a day, a new chair had to be bought to help with my back pain.
If you are able to do this much activity & exercise, I would highly caution against surgery. I had a herniation at T6-7 that had symptoms much like you describe from a sports injury.
If I were you, I'd look into pain management. Maybe an injection would help, or meds, or ice, or ???. But, I had a surgery that was failed and had 3 subsequent surgeries. I'm in far worse condition now than before I had the first. If I were to do it again, I'd try for managing the symptoms and avoid surgery at all cost. It is unpredictable and without guarantees. I started this at age 33, good weight, good life, etc. Now, I'm 36 and essentially disabled with chronic pain and nerve damage.
I wish you the very best of luck. Thoracic is rare and difficult to find informed medical professionals. Persist!
I have tried countless modalities for help. The best has been Aston Patterning. Wonderful for working on functional movement without triggering pain, spasm, etc. I highly recommend seeking this type of therapy.
I completely agree when you say “...A lot of doctors strongly feel that thoracic disk herniation's do not cause pain, however, I bed to differ”. I was describing this stabing symptoms before knowing I had an hernation and the pain is situated just where then hernation is ...so what would be the cause of the pain in their views then?
I will get some information about the Aston Patterning therapy.
Currently my main concern is that I can't sit down for a “long” time. I know that this compared to other types of pain seems not to be very important, but it limits my normal life a lot, and I can't see the end of the tunnel as have had the same pain since the accident. I would like to go back to work as son as possible, but I am afraid it could worse my condition.
Does anyone one know if this “sitting&stabbing” pain can go away at any time???
I also can't take any weight at all, can't walk for a long time (I get tired, it is like being 8 months pregnant permanently) but I think I could cope with those a bit better.
Hi, Maria. I do hear your call for remedy to your condition. Taking a multi-modal tack is probably the best in being efficient to find what works for you. Again, I've had such nice success with Aston Patterning, I think it could provide some concrete strategies for sitting, walking, posture, etc. Really I do! It's been wonderful for me and I wish I had found it PRIOR to the 4 surgeries I've had. It's not necessarily going to cure structural situations. But, it may help you deal and go forward with what you have in a less-painful and less-damaging way.
I wish you luck. Please keep an open mind to trying all the recommendations or ideas that come your way. You just never know what may help you. Believe me, my well wishes are from my thoracic spine and heart!
Thanks again!! I have tried to look for the Aston Patterning and it looks interesting but I haven’t been able to find a specialist in my country. I wonder how many sessions you need. If it was very few I could have them if I travel abroad (when/if I go back to work).
A friend have told me about,
- Tecar therapy
- Axial decompression
and they are both available where I live, but I don’t have any reference of them at all. Anyone could help with this?
Also, one of the problem is the pain is mainly when I am sitting down. Have any of you had a MRI sitting down?
Thanks for your answer Kasey. I just saw there is a hospital is Spain with this possibility and will try to have one done. I think it is important to know where the pain comes from and this could be helpful as my pain is mostly present when I am sitting down. I will need to ask the doctor first.
there are not too many people here who have thoracic problems...I am one of them lol. I have compression fractures at T6, T7, T8, collapsed, dessicated, and herniated discs all throughout thoracic spine. I have had many epidural steroid injections in thoracic spine and none of them ever helped and a few even made it worse... it is a very difficult area especially if you are considering surgery, it is one of the worst... I am at that point now where after 8 years of horrible, constant pain I am really considering having complete fusion of entire thoracic spine...but I am terrified to do it! I really, really hope that you can find someone to help you because I definitely know how horrible it is!!! good luck!!! ~Jen
Hi thoracic friends; thank again for your answers.
My spine doctor have prescribe a now a strong medication treatment that will last for a month. Things seems to be better regarding my pain. I'll let you know if the effects persist after the treatment.
I have not tried the therapies mentioned above yet (will wait to see if this treatment work first!!). Any opinion or other ideas are welcome!!