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Help! Are These Symptoms Possible From T9-10 Herniation and/or T4-9 Disc Bulges?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,578
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:24 AM in Upper Back Pain, Thoracic
First of all, I want to thank whoever is managing this forum, as it is a huge relief to find others who are experiencing thoracic issue (not that I would wish this on anyone!).

I am 35 years old and I have had symptoms that MIGHT be related to a T9-10 herniated disc or "mild disc narrowing and minimal posterior disc bulges" in T4-9. I have tried physical therapy for 2.5 years a with Thorasic Outlet Syndrom (TOS) diagnosis but it doesn't seem right based on my symptoms and the physical therapy hasn't helped. I actually had a labral tear in my shoulder and I had shoulder surgery 2 weeks ago with the hope that it might address these symptoms but it clearly didn't. Here are my symptoms:

- All right side of my body
- Pain in front right side of my neck halfway down
- Muscle inflammation down right side of my neck from jaw to base
- Pain just behind my right ear (feels muscular)
- Pain in back of my head (lower-middle part - feels muscular)
- Pain at right base of my neck that extends across my trap.
- Muscle inflammation below my shoulder "wing" bone around the T4-5 level.
- Muscle inflammation just to the right of my spine between base of neck and T9-10.
- Occassional nerve referral pain on right hip right in-line with T9-10 (this can be replicated or made worse by pressing on T-10).
- Muscle inflammation typical starts in neck and goes down to trap and back.
- Muscle inflammation is usually initiated by either sitting on a sofa, lying in bed watching TV, or sitting on a soft chair.
- Muscle inflammation is PREVENTED or not made worse by sitting in a 90' rigid chair.

As you can see, I have a lot of muscle inflammation in my neck, trap, and upper and mid back. Is it actually possible that my T9-10 herniation and/or the T4-9 problem I described above is causing ALL of this or is it more likely being caused by a Cervial Spine issue? I had a C-Spine MRI done 1-2 years ago with nothing at all noted.

Thanks in advance for everyone's help. I am desparate to find the cause of the pain so that I can attempt to treat it better. It's driving me nuts and keeping me awake, especially since I can't take Ibuprofin due to a previous Ulcer...

Thanks again,


  • Hi Jeremy,welcome to S~H :H

    I can't help a lot..but some(not all) of what you mention is similar to my symptoms,which are cervicle.I used your list,but changed some wording to show the differences...keep in mind I have more symtoms such as bicep and tricep pain and spasms,numbness and tingling in (left)thumb and some fingers(it changes)

    - Pain just behind my left ear
    - Pain in back of my head
    - Pain at right base of my neck that extends across my trap.
    - Muscle inflammation below my shoulder "wing" bone around the T4-5 level.
    - Muscle spasms on both sides of my spine between base of neck and shoulder blades.

    These symptoms are similar to mine,but on my LEFT side...and there are a lot of differences as well.My MRI & X-rays showed cervicle DDD and I'm using only conservative treatments.IE:pain medications,muscle relaxers,sleep aids(once in a while),topamax,TENs unit,meditation&relaxation techniques.

    It's interesting to me that you have had shoulder surgery.I've dislocated my shoulder several times,but have not had surgery on the shoulder (left-lol)

    There are a lot of supportive people here that can help with your questions,but I wanted to say welcome :)
  • Robin,

    Thanks for your quick reply. I have a bad feeling that the pain might be due to my Cervical spine but the last MRI in Jan 2007 showed nothing at all. I have DDD in my T and L areas so I suppose its possible that it might happening up in the C area as well.

    At this point my doctor wants me to wait several more weeks for my shoulder to heal prior to pursuing the next steps. But it's good to know that our symptoms match so I can at least consider the C area when speaking with my doctor next.

    Thanks again for your feedback and for taking the time to reply - I sincerely appreciate it. It sounds like your situation is relatively under control, which is great.

    Have a good day,
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  • stace83sstace83 Posts: 1
    edited 06/13/2015 - 6:13 AM
    New to this page, how do i ask a question?


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  • itsautonomicitsautonomic LouisianaPosts: 2,561
    As someone with thoracic herniations and past injury , the issues above that level should not be caused by the thoracic normal pain distribution. That should be below the damaged level, but compensation occurs with any injury and maybe this might be a reason some issues with other areas of spine above thoracic level.
    Now maybe the thoracic outlet syndrome has to do with that, but that is a notoriously hard thing to diagnose. Who diagnosed this?
    I had torn labrum in my right shoulder and hip repaired, hip was easy , shoulder took a while to get back to normal. Often, I am assuming you had injury to tear labrum, the rotator cuff can be torn in the same injury, has that been ruled out?
    With all the pain on right side from neck down, a new cervical MRI may help to rule out issue there as that can affect everything below it. When you are treating something for years with no improvement its always time to step back and regroup and see if your treatment is in the best hands. I was treated 2 years for bursitis that was actually the torn labrum in hip. Happens everyday to patients.
    Do your due dilegence, trust you know your body and question everything if it does not fit. Advocate for yourself and you will be suprised what will be revealed trusting your body and instinct.
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