Welcome, Friend!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Veritas-Health LLC has recently released patient forums to our Arthritis-Health web site.

Please visit http://www.arthritis-health.com/forum

There are several patient story videos on Spine-Health that talk about Arthritis. Search on Patient stories
Protect anonymity
We strongly suggest that members do not include their email addresses. Once that is published , your email address is available to anyone on the internet , including hackers.

All discussions and comments that contain an external URL will be automatically moved to the spam queue. No external URL pointing to a medical web site is permitted. Forum rules also indicate that you need prior moderator approval. If you are going to post an external URL, contact one of the moderators to get their approval.
Attention New Members
Your initial discussion or comment automatically is sent to a moderator's approval queue before it can be published.
There are no medical professionals on this forum side of the site. Therefore, no one is capable or permitted to provide any type of medical advice.
This includes any analysis, interpretation, or advice based on any diagnostic test

Thoracic Disk Protrusions


Long story short, I have been having mid-upper back and neck pain for two years. It started as an "annoying" pain, turned into a burning ache, and then turned into intermittent periods of agony (which I am experiencing at the moment). I feel like I constantly need to crack my back, and can not get comfortable.

My MRI Results indicate mild disk height lost at T6-7, T7-8, and T8-9 with multilevel mid and lower thoracic Schmorl's node deformities; a left paracentral disk protrusion at T6-7, which effaces the ventral thecal sac and results in mild central canal narrowing, and smaller left paracentral disc protrusions at T7-8 and T8-9.

My physical therapist pretty much told me there is nothing he can do for me. Given my condition, can anyone tell me if there are certain exercises/movements I should and should not be doing? Whether anyone has had any luck with a back brace and/or postural support mechanism? I have been athletic all my life, and just had a baby. I know I am not going to be able to fix this, but am desperately looking for approach that will help me live a normal, happy, healthy life.

I meet with neurosurgeons this week.


  • I am sure that you will find your time on Spine-Health very rewarding. This site is a powerful and integrated system that is dynamic and continues to grow.
    Here are just some of the highlights:

    - Detailed medical libraries of Articles and Videos that address almost every Spinal Conditions and Treatment

    - The Wellness section contains articles, tips and videos to help patients after surgery and also to help people avoid surgery.

    - Under the Resource tab, there is a section Doctor Advice Health Center which can be invaluable.

    - As a bonus, Spine-Health provides these patient forums. Here is where you can meet thousands of other people who understand and can relate to your situation. You will soon become part of the Spiney family who provide comfort and the advantages of a Support System. You are now part of this family that is approximately 20,600 International members and growing daily.

    - It is very important to understand the Forum Rules to make sure all of your posts do not violate any of the rules.

    - As a new member, it is helpful to understand the 'makeup' of these forums, how to make posts, tips on adding images and much more. You should read Forum FAQ

    Here are some you should take a look at:
    Read before you post
    Tips for Newcomers
    Understanding the rules

    All of this will help make your threads better and improve the times and quality of responses you will receive.

    If you have any questions or need assistance, you can use the Private Message facility to contact any one of the Moderators on my team:





    I would definately talk to the surgeon and ask him about any restrictions that he might feel would be best for your condition. In fact, I would make a list of questions or concerns that you have and bring it with you, and then ask. I have always found that writing down what I want/need to ask helps me to make sure that I don't forget or get nervous when I get there.
  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 07/07/2013 - 1:08 PM
    Have a look at the disks above the damaged ones to see if they are in place. This worked for me as the disk above was trying to compensate for the ones below. A magnetic underlay helps me. Make sure your hips are in line, if not, get built up shoes. Putting a pillow between your knees helps me to wake up in not so agonising pain. It is supposed to take the pressure off your spine, and I know the agony of thoracic. It is where the spinal cord is at its narrowest.

    If I put my arms above my head it's hurts later , so watch washing your hair or changing clothes too many times. Try not to hang up much washing, vacuuming is a killer so I have a robobot, it's great only trouble is you do have to move the furniture so it can get around. But it just keeps going while I do other stuff. I know it's slack but I use the dryer for most things now. Take breaks when you do things instead of finishing everything. I have trained myself to only carry one bag of shopping at a time. I know it's slow but you have to do it.

    If you are on painkillers take a muscle relaxant combined with them otherwise your muscles spasm so much trying to protect your spine.

    I wear a soft brace, in the car and when I do housework, to remember not to twist. I sold my car and bought a new one where the seats were firmer and I could raise them to strap myself in more tightly. Only realised the car was agony after the pain diary. When it's bad every bump in the road hurts. If you broke your arm and twisted it it would never heal.

    Sandi is right - take a list of the things you need to ask to the surgeon and try and take someone else with you as when you are in pain it's really hard to explain as the pain takes over. It's easier if someone else can explain how much pain you are in. read the intractable pain manual on this site - wish I had read it years ago then I would have known what I was in for.

    It is your central nervous system - that is why it is so painful. Back surgery is very dangerous, especially thoracic, so if you are contemplating it see if it will alleviate some of the pain. They normally won't do your thoracic just for pain as it is dangerous to operate there. Also some doctors still don't believe thoracic is painful so it depends who you go to. Have a look at the dermatone chart to see where the pain radiates.

    If you can't sleep, this is the time your body heals itself, you need to get something for sleep. Don't worry about taking drugs that might be addictive if you need them, I fought them for years, went through more pain than was necessary, but if you need them, take them. I think most people on this site were active before this happened and were over achievers. You can't do everything you used to, know it's hard to swallow but you will end up in so much pain it's not worth it, so don't worry about not being able to be a perfectionist. Thoracic pain sucks so much.

    Keep a pain diary to see what makes your pain worse. I kept one every 30 minutes for a week. Just needs to be Activity then pain level 1-10. you will be surprised by what causes you pain and you can tell when the pain kicks in and what you were doing beforehand.

    Also learnt from this site to try and take the medication before the pain sets in. Seems to work better. Thoracic damage is not as common as cervical or lumbar. Just remember when the dr examines you he needs to take into account your rib cage as well as your thoracic joins to your rib cage. Sometimes pressing on your ribcage, slightly upwards motion as you see in the dermatone chart, helps - you can feel when your rib cage is out and that can cause lots of pain.

    That's nearly 7 years in one hit. Had to do most of the research myself and go on sites like this, to find out any real information from other people.

    Hope some of this helps.
  • Thank you for your detailed feedback. I have a myleogram scheduled for next week. The nuerosurgeon felt that the disk protrusions on the MRI weren't significant enough to be causing so much pain, so now they want to take a look at my neck. You mentioned you wear a brace to keep from twisting. Are there certain movements that someone with a thoracic injury should avoid? My PT has not been very helpful.
Sign In or Register to comment.