Thoracic herniated discs are caused by disc degeneration or by injury/trauma. When a disc herniates the inner core of the disc which can be likened to a hard gel matter, leaks through. This hard gel then puts direct pressure onto the spinal nerve.
The thoracic part of the spine refers to upper and middle part of the back: T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, T6, T7, T8, T9, T10, T11, T12
Symptoms of a Thoracic herniated disc:
A pinched nerve in this area can cause direct pain or radiating pain that feels to be in the chest or belly.
The pain worsens with coughing or sneezing. If the disc herniates and compresses the spinal cord, this can cause serious neurological problems. This can cause numbness below the level of compression, difficulty with balance and walking, lower extremity weakness, or bowel or bladder dysfunction.
In severe cases and especially without timely treatment this can lead to paralysis below the injury level.