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The Ultimate Back Pain Relief Tips Blog

Thoracic Bulging Disc Pain and Symptoms

Posted by Dr. Jeff Winternheimer D.C. on Wed, Feb 05, 2014 @ 02:06 PM

thoracic bulging discA thoracic bulging disc is an intervertebral disc located in the mid-back or thoracic area of the spinal column that has incurred an odd expansion or protrusion. All of the spinal discs between the 12 thoracic vertebrae are capable of developing a bulge; however, it is a comparatively uncommon condition.      

Hurting and discomfort linked with a thoracic bulging disc might be positioned in the mid-back and shoulder area, in the area of the T1 to T12 vertebrae. At times pain, lack of sensation, and tingling may spread out from the thoracic bulging disc to the neck, arms, and fingers. Sometimes, the condition can travel to the legs, buttocks, and feet. Moreover, the pain and uneasiness can extend to the chest and stomach as well.  

Pain and Symptoms of Thoracic Bulging Disc

A damaged intervertebral disc causes pain due to its protrusion into the spinal canal. When this protrusion pushes itself into minute spaces in the spinal canal, it can squash or push on the nerve roots or spinal cord positioned there.  

The initial symptom of a thoracic disc herniation is normally pain. The pain is frequently felt in the back, right above the aching disc. Pain can also spread around to the front of the chest. Pressure or tenderness on the nerves in the thoracic region can cause symptoms as well. Occasionally, depending on which nerve is afflicted, the pain from an injured thoracic disc can feel as though it is coming from the heart, stomach, or kidneys.    

On occasion, this type of herniated disc sometimes presses against the spinal cord. When this occurs, symptoms may consist of:  

      • Muscle weakness, loss of feeling, or a prickly feeling in one or both legs
      • More reflexes in one or both legs causing spasticity
      • Difference in bowel or bladder function
      • Loss of movement from the waist down  

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The majority of bulging disc symptoms can be treated without complication with traditional therapies by avoiding sitting for long periods of time, good posture, carrying out bulging disc exercises, and sometimes taking an anti-inflammatory medication.   

Bulging disc symptoms can be intensified by:

-Poor posture
-Lifting, particularly lifting thing that include a twisting motion
-Coughing for sneezing
-Performing a task that requires using the arms in the front of the body for extended periods of bending forward, such as driving or ironing
-Bending forward to pick up something
-Sitting and leaning forward for extended periods


Diagnosing a thoracic bulging disc starts with a full history of the problem and a physical exam. Your physician will forewarn you that urination and a bowel movement will be required, if there is any strain or difficulty, it could mean that a herniated disc in the thoracic spine is pressing against the spinal cord.

Most Common Diagnostic Tests:

-CT Scan

Conventional Treatment

Treatment for a thoracic herniated disc depends on the symptoms. If the symptoms are improving, your doctor may recommend watching and waiting to see if the condition will clear up on its own.  Most people who initially had problems because of a herniated disc, find their symptoms completely clear up over several weeks or months. If the condition is getting gradually worse, your doctor will probably suggest physical therapy, medication or even surgery. At the Illinois Back Institute our revolutionary treatment, Functional Disc Rehydration™ is a non-invasive, non-surgical, and drug-free back pain treatment that has proven success with tens of thousands of patients. The treatment works to giving you a healthier, stronger back without medications, surgery, or painful injections.

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Topics: thoracic bulging disc, symptoms bulging disc, bulging discs symptoms, bulging disc, bulging disc treatment