Thoracic disc herniations are the least common disc herniations. The majority of pain that occurs with this injury is in the upper back. Sneezing, coughing, or awkward bending can exacerbate the pain in this area. Pain can also radiate in the chest and belly. Without diagnosing this injury it could very well be mistaken with other medical conditions such as lung, heart, gastrointestinal, and kidney disorders. Its important to rule out these other false conditions so that you may begin a herniated disc recovery program. If the disc herniates into the spinal cord area you may also experience trouble with balancing and walking. Lower body weakness and bladder dysfunction may also be evident.
As with other disc injuries, symptomsÂ depend upon location and the extent of the disc herniation. There are 3 types of herniations that can occur. Most of the protrusions have a central component.
Central disc Protrusion- OccursÂ in the upper back and/or myelopathy. A thoracic herniated disc can lead to paralysis from the waist down in extreme cases.
Lateral disc herniation- Radiating pain in the chest wall or abdominal pain is caused by a pinched nerve on the exiting nerve root.
Centro-lateral disc herniation- Will show a combination of radiating pain in the upper back or myelopathy.