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DDD in Thoracic Spine

Miller35MMiller35 Posts: 2
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:59 AM in Degenerative Disc Disease
I was diagnosed with degenerating disc disease in the fall of 2010 and I was 17 years old at the time. I found out in my thoracic spine I have four discs degenerating and I have two discs bulging. The pain is quite significant in the area and I was hoping if anyone out there has any advice or exercises I could do to reduce my pain. I was also wondering if anyone knows how rare it is to have DDD in the thoracic spine and considering my age. Any help would be deeply appreciated.


  • its very rare! the thoracic spine isnt really the "mobile" part of your spine. it doesnt bend and twist and move all around as much like your cervical and lumbar. so as i have come to find out from my many doctors, its very rare. unless you have done gymnastics your entire life, its rare. my 2nd pt was questioning my history and decided that my case HAD to be a genetic issue because there was absolutely no reason to have ddd in the thoracic at my age. and as you already know, im only 19. 20 on the 30th! yay.
  • it is very rare yet here we are. I have a bulge no herniation's and alot of "black" disc's,,, but considering everything else i wish that thoacic's would have spared me. ;)

    i wanted to suggest you ask for a physical therapy referral to get a land plan. it's best to do it this way so u don't hurt yourself. they will teach you how to maintain your core while doing exercise and would be much safer than anyone of us suggessting things.

    you are much too young good luck
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  • I am 39 yo and have had upper back pain since I was 21 yo. It's only bed in the last 5 yrs that MRI's have shown DDD, stenosis and small disc bulge in this area ( each MRI shows it getting worse) it has been miserable over years because of my age and no one believing me. I have had some wonderful chiropractors and now have great spine doctor, though I have numerous other issues that helps (that's sounds horrible,huh!) over years worst part has been sitting , especially without back on chair, like bleachers when daughter cheerleading for over six years at football and hockey games . I have had numerous injections without relief. I did just have a facet block done T8-9 area which was first relief (besides drugs) ever had! I also take lyrica which yes I know is for fibromyalgia which I do have with lupus but it has worked wonders on my back also as it helps with neurological pain. I feel for you and hope and pray that you get more relief than I ever did. Nowadays I believe since it is seen more frequently in younger persons that you are treated better than I was. Don't give up, after numerous injections I did get relief so that may be option for you.
  • Like EMC said PT does help. I did do PT for awhile and it did help, though sick of docs always expecting that it is curative! I used a round, tubelike roll that I laid on to help with exercises and stretching. Really did help until had gallbladder removed and and pulled some muscles stretching.'i still have this roll but am too stubborn to use it! It didn't take away pain but it made it more tolerable
  • not to crush your hopes and dreams of pt, but i did 3 1/2 months of land based and water based PT with abosolutely no result. and as you know, i am now only 20, diagnosed at 19. i believe that i (as well as you) are probably pretty rare cases. based off of our age and area of issue. my issues dont seem to go away with anything doctors try. so next step is to look for rare things!
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  • everyone is different. what didn't work for some works for others. anything is worth a shot when it comes to not having surgery and trying to find what may help. maybe not all the pain but we know that.
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