Thoracic Degenerative Disc Disease
Thoracic degenerative disc disease is a medical condition in which the intervertebral discs of the thoracic spine gradually wear down to cause pain and discomfort.  Thoracic degenerative disc disease is considered an age-related illness.

Symptoms of Thoracic Degenerative Disc Disease
Thoracic Degenerative Disc Disease affects the back, shoulder blades, and the ribs. It can cause the patient to experience the following symptoms:

  • Chronic pain in the thoracic region; the pain may extend to the ribs.
  • Patients may experience sensory deficits; their shoulders may feel numb. They may also experience a tingling sensation.
  • Patients may experience motor deficits; patients may not be able to move properly while turning and bending.
  • Patients may experience difficulty when lifting objects over the head.
  • Patients may experience muscle spasms.
  • A patient may experience weakness in lower extremities and a loss of coordination if the disc degeneration has caused spinal stenosis or radiculopathy.

 

Treatment of Thoracic Degenerative Disc Disease
Luckily, effective non-operative and operative treatments are readily available. If Thoracic Degenerative Disc Diseases is in the initial stage, your doctor may recommend non-surgical treatments. These include:

  • RICE Therapy – Rest, Apply Ice, Elevate, and Compress. Giving your intervertebral discs some rest and care can restore their health in a few weeks.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs and other pain medications.
  • Physical Therapy exercises to reduce pain, restore movement, and improve healing.
  • Medical aids such as braces, collars, and bands to keep the spine immobile and assist healing.
  • Epidural injection to treat pain and inflammation. Some epidural injections may inject a gel-like substitute into the discs to give them a new life.
  • Steroidal medication for symptomatic treatment.

 

If non-surgical treatments fail to bring an improvement in the symptoms or if the disease continues to worsen, then your doctor will recommend surgical intervention. Depending on the level of degeneration, surgical operations may vary. The most common surgical treatments for thoracic degenerative disc disease are:

  • Thoracic Fusion Surgery.
  • Thoracic Laminectomy.
  • Endoscopic Decompression.
  • Endoscopic Foraminotomy.
  • Percutaneous Decompression.
  • Thoracic Discectomy.
  • Spinal Cord Stimulator.

 

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FAQ’S

What Are the Symptoms of Thoracic Spine Nerve Damage?

The most common symptoms associated with thoracic spine nerve damage include:

  • Chronic pain in the thoracic region; the pain may extend to the ribs.
  • Patients may experience sensory deficits; their shoulders may feel numb. They may also experience a tingling sensation.
  • Patients may experience motor deficits; patients may not be able to move properly while turning and bending.
  • Patients may experience difficulty when lifting objects over the head.
  • Patients may experience muscle spasms.
  • A patient may experience weakness in lower extremities and a loss of coordination if the disc degeneration has caused spinal stenosis or radiculopathy.

What Causes Thoracic Degenerative Disc Disease?

  • Aging is considered one of the most important factors that plays a pivotal role in the degeneration of the thoracic discs.
  • The fluid of the discs starts to lose and result in the dehydration of the discs.
  • This condition ultimately results in wear and tear or thickening of the disc walls.

Can You Become Paralyzed From Degenerative Disc Disease?

  • Yes, in case if the nerve damage is getting serious, then disc herniation may occur.
  • The herniation of the disc may get serious and result in the paralysis of the body.

Does Walking Help Degenerative Disc Disease?

  • Walking is a good option to allow the movement of the body in a balanced manner.
  • But try to avoid lifting heavy weights as overloading and placing extra pressure can worsen the situation.

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