Thoracic herniated disc treatment is a very small part of the total disc therapy sector of the back pain industry. This is because thoracic herniations are generally rare and symptomatic ones are seldom seen in clinical practice.
However, when pathological disc issues do exist in the middle and upper back regions, medical treatment might be indicated.
For patients with verified structural issues affecting thoracic discs, there is a wide range of conservative, moderate and drastic therapy modalities to choose from.
The best news about treatment for thoracic discs is that it is slightly more successful in permanently relieving symptoms, since the thoracic region does not have to perform in the same manner as the lumbar and cervical areas. This limited flexibility seems to reduce the chance for symptomatic recurrence in fully resolved disc herniations.
This essay delves into the treatment options for herniated discs in the thoracic spine and details some location-specific information that every patient must know before seeking care.
Noninvasive Thoracic Herniated Disc Treatment
Conservative care for herniated discs is mostly symptomatic in nature, with the only exception being knowledge therapy. This treatment path stands an excellent chance of providing a permanent cure for back and neck pain syndromes that are incorrectly attributed to disc pathologies, but actually exist due to the mindbody process.
The most common thoracic herniated disc therapies include the following symptomatic modalities:
Chiropractic generally treats with manipulation to align the spine. A majority of patients cite positive benefits from regular chiropractic care, but few herniated disc sufferers report lasting relief.
Massage therapy will not do anything to resolve the herniation, but can relax the patient and relieve pain in surrounding muscular tissues.
Physical therapy and general exercise therapy are surprisingly effective for decreasing symptoms in many patients. In most cases, this is because of a misdiagnosis of the herniation as the actual source of pain. We detail why exercises are so effective for many back and neck pain syndromes in our complete resource section covering exercises for herniated discs.
TENS, ice and heat can both soothe symptoms, although these methods are hit or miss with patients. Some herniated disc patients report excellent, albeit temporary analgesic results, while others cite almost no tangible benefits.
Herniated disc drugs are the most common of all symptom-based therapies. The pharmaceutical obsession continues in the back pain sector, despite its health risks and overall hazards, such as possible addiction, substance interactions and death.
Remember that it is the very nature of symptomatic treatment to make the disc condition more livable, but never to provide a lasting cure.
Symptom-based care is humanitarian, but is not the ideal therapy plan. Instead, finding a treatment that actually acts on resolving the disc problem will have a chance of actually enacting an enduring cure.
Moderate Thoracic Disc Treatment
Moderate thoracic herniated disc treatments are a second line of defense against chronic and treatment-defiant disc pain. These modalities typically center on more costly and invasive methods of care. The most common moderate therapy choices include:
Epidural injections are by far the most widely utilized moderate option for disc pain. Epidurals can attempt to accomplish several different types of treatment goals, including blocking nerve signals, injecting the disc itself with various substances, such as ozone, or flushing away irritating chemicals that might leak from ruptured intervertebral structures. While epidurals are cited as being effective for reducing some degree of pain in many spinal disc conditions, these benefits are short lived and the injections themselves demonstrate a variety of significant risk factors.
Spinal decompression is indicated for treating most types of intervertebral abnormalities, making it an ideal choice for thoracic herniated disc care. Unlike other noninvasive techniques, decompression might actually resolve the herniation, thereby eliminating pain altogether. On the downside, spinal decompression is very costly and is unlikely to be covered under most health insurance policies.
Surgical Thoracic Herniated Disc Treatment
Herniated disc surgery in the middle and upper back is certainly the most seldom seen type of intervertebral procedure. In fact, some surgeons perform hundreds of lumbar and cervical discectomies each year, but only perform one or two identical thoracic operations in the same timeframe.
Disc surgery is known for poor treatment results. Many patients find no relief, while some patients are immediately worsened by the procedure. For patients who do report good results, the majority will suffer a verifiable re-herniation or symptomatic recurrence postoperatively.
However, for thoracic herniations, these results improve somewhat. The percentage of patients who immediately report poor results remains about the same as in lumbar and cervical operations. However, for successfully treated thoracic discs, the citations of re-herniation and symptomatic occurrence are about 20% lower. This is very good news for patients with pathological thoracic disc problems that truly require structural correction via surgery.
Thoracic Bulging Disc Help
Before recommending any particular type of treatment for a thoracic disc issue, a care provider should be absolutely sure that the disc is actually responsible for the pain. While this seems like a given, it is rarely done and statistics prove that misdiagnosis is rampant in the back and neck pain community.
As we continually warn throughout this website, the majority of herniated discs are not symptomatic in any way, and in the case of thoracic herniations, the percentage of innocent and coincidental disc irregularities is even higher.
Make sure to investigate your diagnosis thoroughly in order to avoid being sent on a ridiculous quest for relief, with no possible victory in sight. After all, you can try every kind of treatment, but if the diagnosis is wrong, you will only be wasting time, money and effort for days, weeks, months or years of unnecessary suffering.