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Thoracic Degenerative Disc Disease

About Thoracic Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease can be painful and debilitating, as you lose your range of motion. Since it strikes in your thoracic spine, somewhere between the bottom of your ribcage up to the base of your neck, it can cause you pain every time you twist, turn or even move forward. Since it’s degenerative, your symptoms get worse over time. Seek the medical guidance and treatment from the Spine & Rehab Group in Manhattan and northern New Jersey. Call today for a consultation to get degenerative disc disease thoracic spine treatment.

What Is Thoracic Degenerative Disc Disease?

Your thoracic spine is composed of the 12 vertebrae, stretching from just beneath your neck to the bottom of your rib cage. It’s considered your upper back and mid-back. The intervertebral discs consist of a tough outer casing with a soft inner core. These spinal discs provide cushioning between the bones of your spine, giving you flexibility to move, bend and twist.

Degeneration disc disease can result as your vertebral discs gradually wear out over time. The disease can also result from an acute spinal injury. The wear and tear on your joints creates a form of arthritis that tends to concentrate on your spinal cartilage. While the reason your discs deteriorate over time is not well understood, it may result from a combination of factors, such as:

  • Years of heavy lifting
  • A spinal injury
  • A hereditary history of spine problems

If you’re suffering from upper back pain that’s often associated with thoracic degenerative disc disease, seek medical attention from Dr. Amr Hosny and the other expert physicians at the Spine & Rehab Group. They have decades of experience treating patients like yourself with back pain and other spinal problems. With eight locations in New York City and northern New Jersey, there’s an office close to you.

What Are the Symptoms of Thoracic Degenerative Disc Disease?

If your degenerative disc disease has resulted from arthritis of the spine, you may not necessarily experience any symptoms. In this case, the damage to your spine has happened so slowly, you didn’t even notice. Severe cases of spinal arthritis usually do cause neck pain and pain in your shoulder blades. Advanced cases may even affect the nerves exiting your spine, causing tingling and numbing in your arms or fingers.

Pain concentrated in your neck and the muscles surrounding your neck is normally due to arthritis. When your neck becomes irritated, it can affect your nerves and radiate pain down through your hands. Sometimes, instead of pain, the numbness and tingling travels through a pinched nerve into your fingers. This is called paresthesia. In rare instances, the pain and numbness can travel even further, reaching your:

What Are the Treatments for Degenerative Disc Disease, Thoracic Variety?

The Spine & Rehab Center thoracic degenerative disc disease treatment that’s right for you depends on the severity of your symptoms. The medical practice specializes in non-invasive, minimally invasive and non-surgical treatments that emphasize pain management, while addressing root cause of your pain.

If you have a mild case of thoracic degenerative disc disease, you may not experience anything much: maybe just some mild pain and stiffness. In this case, your doctor may prescribe nothing more than simple remedies, such as:

  • Heat or ice pack applications throughout the day
  • A gentle stretching program for your neck and upper back, guided by a physical therapist
  • Medication for pain relief and inflammation reduction

How Do I Know if I Have a More Severe Case of Thoracic Degenerative Disc Disease?

If your symptoms are more severe, your doctor reviews your medical history and examines you for signs of numbness. You may undergo some range of motion exercises to determine if you’re limited. In some instances, Dr. Hosny or his team may take x-rays of your spine to look for bone spurs or collapsed discs.

If mild treatments don’t help your symptoms or they worsen over time, you may be suffering from progressive nerve damage. If your doctor suspects a pinched nerve, you may need more extensive diagnostic testing for your neck and back, including:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • A computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • A nerve conduction study (NCS)

In the MRI and CT scans, your doctor gets a close look at the condition of your discs. The EMG and NCS tests check the muscles and nerves from your spine to your arms to verify that they’re carrying signals properly. These tests can often determine the exact location of your pinched nerve.

What Are the Treatments for More Severe Degenerative Disc Disease?

Fortunately, 98 percent of disc problems improve without surgery. The doctors at the Spine & Rehab Group rely on the latest medical technology, as well as the most advanced medical practices, to relieve your pain and begin your healing process. Your spine specialist focuses on what you need to get pain relief. The treatment options available to you include:

The specialists at the Spine & Rehab Group want you to get well with the most conservative treatment possible. Contact the practice nearest you today to schedule an initial consultation and begin your journey to a healthier back and a happier life.

This page was published on Aug 23, 2021, modified on Aug 26, 2021 by Dr. Hosny (Interventional Spine Specialist) of The Spine & Rehab Group
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