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Disc Herniation Found, Yet No Pain

Well they found something in the latest MRI... A 'significant' disc herniation in my Thoracic Spine, the one place I don't have ANY pain at all lol. Just my luck, here my chest, neck and lower back hurt like all ****, but scans show nothing more than a little wear and Disc Degeneration, yet the one place I have no pain they actually find something on the scan! Has this happened to anyone before?

My Dr. was a bit excited to show me the scan as he thought it possibly could have been causing my chest pain but upon examination, other than a little tenderness I have literally no pain in my mid-back. So there goes another diagnosis out the door... Getting an injection into my ribs next week and if that doesn't works will probably be getting botox into my muscles for the constant muscle spasms.


  • thoracic spine painthoracic spine pain Posts: 566
    edited 05/15/2014 - 11:28 AM
    There are a lot of people who don't suffer from thoracic pain when they have a thoracic disc herniation. But some people have incredible pain. You have to be really unlucky to have severe thoracic pain.

    Sometimes the vertebrae and discs above take more pressure than normal because you have a herniation. has he checked the ones directly above and below the herniation. That is kind of what happened to me. The damaged vertebrae was not causing my pain, it was the one above which was slipping out of place. Guess it also depends on the way you are herniated - if it is to the side or to the front. Many people with damage to the front don't seem to present pain.

    Has he checked for referred pain? Have you looked at the dermatone chart to see where your pain radiates and what level could be causing the pain?

  • Okay good to know. The whole reason for the MRI was to check for referred pain in chest but he said that the herniation should at least cause slight pain in order to cause the extreme amount of pain over a large area in my chest.
  • I have had a chest pain coming from lower neck/upper thoracic before, and so has another back pain sufferer I know. I thought I was having a heart attack at one point! So, there is some connection.
    L4-L5 fused at birth (congenital malformity). L-5-S1 bulge/degeneration, L3-L4 bulge/degeneration. Permanent nerve damage L5-S1 and L3-L4. Fused C5-C7.
  • Did you have pain in your Thoracic area in addition to the chest pain?

    Because my Dr, said that he would expect me to at least have mild thoracic pain to have this amount of pain/muscle spasms in chest. I have neck pain and low back pain in addition to chest pain but virtually no mid-back pain where the herniation is.

    Yeah it can be extremely scary! When I first had the pain after backpacking it literally felt like I couldn't breathe. I kept going to the ER/Urgent Care for what I thought was an 'asthma attack' since I used to get them when I was younger.

    It's very frustrating too b/c when it's not your heart or lungs Dr.'s have no idea how to treat chest pains since muscoloskeletal chest pains seem very uncommon compared to other injuries/illnesses/symptoms, which is making it almost impossible to get a diagnosis. My Dr. right now, who is a renowned Spine Specialist is still baffled at my conditions and says he's never seen anything like it. He said he's seen it in very bad scoliosis but I have very mild scoliosis.
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