Thoracic disc herniation... are these symptoms normal?

Posted , 5 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

I recently found out I have a bulging small herniation at T7-8 with slight cord flattening. There is also a small left-sided disc / osteophyte at T5-6 with effacement central thecal sac. I found this out about 2 weeks ago, and I get pretty bad anxiety as it is... so I'm wondering if these side effects are similiar to anyone else's or if anyone can relate to how I'm feeling? I have been getting burning neck pain, headaches (I get chronic migraines so that's actually somewhat normal for me), some rib pain on the left side where the herniation is, chest pain and sometimes it feels difficult to breathe in...like shallow breathing, muscle pain in the arms and just weird feelings like heat almost, and shocks, weakness. Before I got the MRI that showed what's going on, I was only getting some neck pain and mostly chest pain (which is why I got the MRI to begin with), and some random muscle pains in my arms but nothing like how I feel it now. Since I found out about the herniation, I feel as if everything has heightened. I don't know if it's because I am hyper aware of what is going on and it's my anxiety? Or if this is completely normal when you have a herniation in your spine. Since I've never dealt with this before, I obviously don't know. But what if the herniation is getting worse and will end up in paralysis? These feelings are so bizarre to me. I am seeing a physical therapist and really concentrating on my posture and have been getting help from my cousin who's a PT, so I feel I am doing the best I can at this moment. Do I just wait this out?

Anyways, I realize this is very long...but if anyone can relate, please comment. I need some opinions...I feel like I'm going absolutely bonkers.

0 likes, 13 replies

Report

13 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi there 

                 the bulge at T5-6 creates a tightness around the chest ( just under the nipple ) and in some cases can feel like indigestion or even a heart attack,but the difficulty breathing is due to the intercostal muscles being pulled due to the disc herniation 

                another cause is the nerves in the intercostal muscle which can radiate the discomfort/pain more widespread than the actual problem.. its a bit like a toothache which hurts all one side of your face allthough the actual problem nerve is less than 1mm

               i was prescribed "pregablin" which has worked wonders ... granted i still feel some discomfort but its 80% less than i was and i can now have a better quality of life 

               pregablin are nerve painkillers than simply shutdown the part of the brain that deals with nerve signals ... they also have a marked "anti-anxiety" property thats helpful when dealing with any anxiety thats associated with these conditions ... and as your anxious then pregablin may be ideal to A) cure the anxiety and b) stop any nerve pain 

               physio is also helpful but not ideal for everyone ...and surgery is also a option but after everything else has failed 

                i hope this helps 

    Report
    • Posted

      This helps me so much! Were you getting these same symptoms as well? It makes me feel a lot better to know I'm not a lunatic feeling these things and that the herniations and nerves are absolutely a cause! These stabbing pains in my chest area have been relentless...on and off but absolutely ongoing. Luckily the arm pain and tingling has gone away, I think PT is helping me for sure. It's almost as if the pain just travels to random spots...it's the weirdest thing! Perhaps because my spine and nerves are all screwy basically, like you said 😂 I do get anxiety! Unfortunately.

      I am glad you feel good! It is nice to hear some good news on this site!

      Report
    • Posted

      Hi there 

                    sorry its been a while since i last posted .... no your not alone ....and unless you have these symptoms people ( and doctors ) dont understand 

                    essentially each disc has a nerve coming from it and these come from the brain via the spinal cord ... however this is were it gets interesting ... each nerve from each disc goes ( and affects ) specific organs and area,s of the body ... for example T5/T6 affects the stomach,solar plexis and liver ....and these can include dypepsia ( stomach pain ) and indegestion ..... they can even ( when undiagnosed ) cause stomach ulcers ( allthough this is rare ) 

                 im attaching a image which will show you how each disc can affect certain parts of the body ...

                  anxiety is normal with disc problems .. however i came off methadone ( after taking it for 8 years ) while having undiagnosed thorasic disc herniations,so as you can imagine i was pretty anxious and also had to put up with having to come off one of the strongest painkillers around and then the associated anxiety that comes with it 

                  i am now on 600mg of gapapentin daily and 750mg of naproxen daily which seem to be doing the job ... i also take 30mg to 40mg of buscopan which relaxes the stomach ( you can buy these over the counter however your gp should be able to prescribe these if you ask ) 

                  does the pain move when you have a meal or snack ... this would be interesting to know 

                   anyway i wish you well sara and have a wonderful xmas 

                             bri XX

      Report
    • Posted

      Thank you so much for this!!!!! Incredibly helpful info. I'm glad you're now doing OK, coming off of methadone is no joke! I actually am dealing with acid reflux (silent reflux, not the heartburn kind. Where you feel a lump sensation in your throat, mucus as well & it affects your throat mainly) more so than stomach pains as of now but I do have pain that travels randomly. For instance, I will feel it in my back but then also around my chest area and even under my arm sometimes as well. I got everything checked as far as the heart goes, including a chest x-ray which also checked my lungs...and everything in that realm is completely fine. So I assume this is all coming from the spine, just as you had said. & if it affects our brain like that, it makes COMPLETE sense why we would be getting anxiety like this! I really never realized how much it could affect, & thank you for sending me that image! But yes the pain moves, and I have been changing my diet drastically for the reflux but I'm wondering if it's MAIN source is the spine, again. I went to physical therapy and I am done now since insurance won't cover any more visits, and it absolutely helped me. I feel much better than I did MONTHS ago, but I don't feel I am 100% yet. I have tons of exercises to do at home which is helpful, but I'm wondering if I should do other things now to help more. Sorry this is so long by the way! LOL

      Happy holidays!!!!

      Sara

      Report
  • Posted

    Because of where the disc herniating is it affect s nerves in the chest and arms I have it . Will heighten yr anxiety as for me pain a in arms and chest can be quite frightening.
    Report
    • Posted

      That's exactly it!!! Have you been getting stabbing pains in the chest area? It is absolutely scary! And anxiety makes it worse for sure rolleyes

      Report
    • Posted

      Not liking the word normal is what alotof medical professionals use. There is nothing normal about what's going on in are body , while it may be common it certainly is not normal.

      We are all different so wether we have the same health issues as others or not . While most characteristics may be similar we are all affected at different levels. Statistics say this is what should be happening and this is how we should feel . Well that's not reality. I agree sometimes are aniexty heightens due to ill health but it not the main problem. Many put feeling s down to anxiety cause that's an easy answer they then don't need to look for anything else. Well nerve s been compressed or compromised by dodgy back s ect, displays similar feelings to anxiety. Just my opinion

      Report
    • Posted

      Makes complete sense. You're so right. I'm wondering if maybe that's why my anxiety has been so heightened, because of what has really been going on.

      Report
    • Posted

      your so right .. i have 3 slipped discs with the thorasic disc causing me alot of anxiety ... its so easy for doctors to dismiss your anxiety and say simply"live with it " 

                 learning to live with any condition is half the battle ...however from being a healthy person to someone with a health condition is a tough transition period 

                 i also had the problem of coming off methadone during this period which was hell .. however i have that out of the way ( allmost still some post opiate symptoms to deal with ) and i can now come to terms with the physical symptoms i have ....

                 in all my MRI scan showed 3 slipped discs and a problem with my hip ... however due to my previous methadone addiction my gp(doctor) wont prescribe me anything but gabapentin and anti-inflamatorys ( which play havoc with my tummy ) 

                 knowing your not the only one with these conditions is a help however i have bad days and good days but everyday is a battle and will probally continue to be ....

                 in my situation the methadone was masking many of the symptoms which made my doctors job harder ...( you dont feel as much pain when your taking a powerful opioid ) 

                 but dont worry ... see if your doctor can try you with gabapentin which is for nerve pain .. or even better pregablin which is also for nerve pain but is also used for anxiety ( which gabapentin does not ) ...if you can treat the anxiety then in turn this will help physical symptoms 

                  i hope this helps 

      Report
  • Posted

    MRI findings such as you describe them would not normally be expected to cause such severe symptoms. I wonder if your anxiety is getting the better of you. You should see someone to get some specialist advice. I suggest a spinal pain specialist. 
    Report
  • Posted

    How are you doing now saraanne ? ... are you still experiencing the same symptoms ... personally my symptoms reduced after my MRI scan however we are all different ...

                 the symptoms you have are common with thorasic disc herniations .. and to be honest if there were more sinister causes i would imagine they would be causing more severe symptoms now 

                one test i would ask for is a ECG to check your heart ... if thats ok then its probally the thorasic disc herniation thats causing the problems ... ( since the t7 t8 discs are mid way up the spine they cause symptoms to parts of the body in that area ) ..

              finally the headaches may be caused by a problem with one of the discs in the neck ( headaches are common place with neck disc herniations ) 

                   best of luck 

                            bri  XX

    Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up