T Nation

Thoracic and Cervical Disc Herniations

Enyone here experieced thoracic and cervical disc herniations if so how do or did you guys managed this problems,I have a T11 T12 HENIATION left side among others in the upper region of the back that are giving me alot of pain in the back rib chest and left arm and some tingling.

Doctors dont realy have any options but surgery.it started last year after deadlifting the wrong way i started having back pain went to doctors,useles treatments.they sayd i souldnt lift or do any other demanding activities.i folowed their Crapy advice and didnt do alot of phizical activities.months went by i got weaker and weaker and my back was geting wourse bacause of that.And here i am in this SHIT hoping for a way out.

Hey man I just underwent discectomy for my t11-t12 disc about a month ago as well (fyi thoracic herniations represent less than 1% of spine herniations, most are in the lumbar/cervical areas). Doc said the same: no high impact/weight activities for the REST OF MY LIFE, I feel hopeless to say the least. Can any expert/thoracic disc veteran please chime in and let us know if there are any exercises/sports that could keep people with our condition strong/fit/having fun the rest of our life?

Thanks much!!

I see the thread has aged some, but FWIW I have a T5-T6 mild herniation from lifting way too much snow with my bad-ass arms. Stupid thing to do. My doc is a non-surgical type who wants me to remain active as much as I can which includes lifting weights.

In October during my second relapse of nerve irritation I finally had to stop lifting for four weeks to let the irritation calm down while I was waiting to be able to get another epidural cortisone shot. I have been lifting again for about four weeks. I get the shot tomorrow! I am searching for a surgeon who does arthroscopic thoracic work. I have found one, possibly two but they are both not in my insurance plan.

I mainly try to avoid any activities that have much twisting, and the weights bother the injury very little unto themselves. It mainly gets bad by accumulation of activities. Swimming and biking are not too bad for it. Running is a little worse. My biggest complaint is that the shots only seem to last about 3 months tops so they are like a band-aid. I really do want arthroscopic surgery if it has a reasonably good chance at success. I do not want open back surgery as recovery is too long, and I don’t want someone cutting through my back muscles.

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Bushido Bad Boy, is there a particular book of Dr. McGill’s that you would recommend?

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

Yea, i should have worded that differently. lol Thanks. Cheers :slight_smile:

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:

[quote]Kenshin88 wrote:
Bushido Bad Boy, is there a particular book of Dr. McGill’s that you would recommend? [/quote]

Well he’s only got 2 of them :wink:

More techinical: Low Back Syndromes
More paractical: Ultimate Back Fitness


Ultimate Back Fitness is a great read. Lots of good info in there.

Derek Poundstone, Dave Tate, Bret Contreras, and every other guy who was nearly paralyzed due to spine injury or disk hernia and now deadlifts 500+.

(i.e. see how you rehab it and get back to training; weak muscles will only aggravate the condition)

(this is encouragement, not medical advice)

[quote]bushidobadboy wrote:
Get books by Stuart McGill. He will educate you on the spine, modes of injury and what to do (in the gym and out of it) to promote recovery.

Any doctor who applies the blanket statement “thou shalt NOT lift”, is doing the patient a dis-service. The spine relies on movment to keep it nourished. It relies on loading to keep it strong.


Bushidobadboy, so are you saying that if done safely and without pain, load-bearing exercises like squats will actually keep the spine strong?