What the different types of bulging discs?
What causes a bulging disc?
What are the symptoms of a bulging disc?
How is a bulging disc treated?
When might surgery be needed?
What Are Thoracic Bulging Discs?
A disc in the mid-back (thoracic) region of the spinal canal that has weakened and developed a balloon-like bulged outside it’s normal shape can be called a Thoracic Bulging Disc.
Any of the twelve spinal discs (T1-T12) between thoracic vertebrae can develop a bulge, but statistics show it is a relatively rare condition.
For those with a thoracic bulging disc, pain and discomfort may be localized at the mid-back and shoulder area, in the thoracic region. Sometimes pain, numbness, and tingling may radiate from the nerves being pressed upon the bulging disc to the neck, arms, and the fingers. On some occasions thoracic bulging disc pain can travel to the legs, buttocks, and feet.
Since the thoracic vertebrae are actually connected to the ribs, pain and discomfort can even radiate to the chest. This pain is caused by an intervertebral disc that is bulging into the spinal canal, squeezing or pressing on the nerve roots or spinal cord located there.
Doctors often treat most thoracic bulging disc symptoms with conservative therapies such as adopting good posture, avoiding sitting for long periods of time, bulging disc exercises and, possibly anti-inflammatory medication. Other treatments are prescribed as well, so see your doctor if you think you may suffer from this condition.
As the disc remains unbroken, it will be called a thoracic bulging disc. However, if the bulge breaks open and leaks, it is then called a thoracic herniated disc.
Widely Used Disc Terms.
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In the United States, some 450 cases of herniated disk per every 100,000 require surgery.
The average age for surgery is 40-45 years old.
Men are twice as likely to need surgery as women.
More than 95% of disk operations are performed on the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae.