Nothing good ever comes with back pain. It affects every part of life and leaves you depressed. Trying to self-medicate to cure a hurt back can exacerbate the problem as you mask the pain then cause further injury. Only a doctor can pinpoint the cause of your back pain because of the number of possible causes and similar symptoms.
Three areas where hernias can occur:
Herniated discs, for example, can occur in one of three regions along your spinal column. Treatments vary depending on which section of the spine the injury affects. Doctors separate the spine into three sections and your symptoms can indicate:
- A lumbar herniation
- A cervical herniation
- A thoracic herniation
Cervical and lumbar hernias happen most often. The symptoms of a thoracic herniated disc can deceive patients and doctors can misdiagnose the problem because the pain radiates through your chest, stomach and lower abdomen.
How a disc becomes herniated:
A fall in which you land hard in a sitting position causes your spine to compress putting pressure on your vertebrae causing the fibrous outer wall (annulus) of the disc to tear. The soft material held inside the disc leaks out and into your spinal column. The disc moves and pokes out from between the vertebra. Doctors call this a herniated thoracic disc.
Herniated discs in the thoracic region most commonly happen to people between the ages of 40 and 60. Rupturing a disc can happen when you:
- Fall hard into a sitting position
- Bend to lift objects too heavy for you to handle
- Re-injure already weakened annulus
The symptoms of a thoracic herniated disc:
The symptoms of a herniated thoracic disc begin as pain in the upper back. This pain normally begins over the ruptured disc and can radiate around to your chest. Doctors often check for heart problems because the pain feels like a heart attack. You may also feel pain in your kidneys or abdomen.
If the fluid from the disk leaks into your spinal column, it can affect the nerves and cause tingling or numbness depending on which nerves become involved.
The symptoms of a thoracic herniated disc worsen if it presses against the spinal column and cause you to have:
- Stimulated reflexes in your legs, which cause exaggerated movement
- Muscle weakness
- Tingling in your legs
- Changes in bowel or bladder behavior
- Paralysis in your lower body
Treating a herniated thoracic disc:
Treatments for ruptured discs involve pain medications including epidural injections. Medications have side effects and lead to addictive behavior. All surgery comes with certain health risks.
At the Illinois Back Institute we use the revolutionary treatment Functional Disc Rehydration! This treatment has also proven effective for herniated disc treatment. Disc Rehydration introduces no medications into the body and works as an alternative to invasive back surgeries.