Thoracic Slipped Disc

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Back Physicians

Michael P. St. Onge
Marc P. Oliveri

A thoracic slipped disc is an informal term used to describe a common degenerative spine condition that may result in various types of disc damage within the thoracic spine (middle of the back), such as a herniated disc, ruptured disc or bulging disc.

“Slipped disc” is a somewhat misleading term because the disc does not actually slip, shift, or fall out of place in any way. Instead, the thick, multilayered outer wall of an intervertebral disc develops a tear or breaks open due to an injury and is forced outside of its normal boundary, putting pressure on the spinal nerves and other surrounding structures.

In most cases, a slipped disc results from the cumulative effects of general wear and tear or spinal degeneration that is part of the natural aging process. Injuries from a forceful blow to the spine may also sometimes lead to a slipped disc.

Certain lifestyle factors, such as poor posture, excessive heavy lifting and high-impact sports activities, as well as occupations that require repetitive lifting, bending, twisting, and long periods of sitting, can accelerate the development of degenerative spine conditions.

At Lancaster Orthopedic Group, our spine specialists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of spine conditions and injuries. Your physician will assess and diagnose your injury or condition and recommend the best course of treatment.

Conservative treatment of a thoracic slipped disc includes rest, modification of activities, ice and/or heat, anti-inflammatory medication, pain medication, exercise, and physical therapy. If you continue to experience severe, limiting pain that persists after conservative treatment, your physician may recommend surgery.

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