Thoracic Spine Nerve Damage Symptoms & Treatment

Symptoms and treatment of a thoracic spinal cord injury or vertebral compression fracture depend on the type of nerve damage. Learn here more about the thoracic spine nerve damage symptoms and treatment.

Thoracic Spine Nerve Damage
Thoracic Spine Nerve Damage

Thoracic Spine Nerve Damage Symptoms and Treatment

The thoracic spine has 12 nerve origins (T1 to T12) on each side of the spine that stem from the spinal cord and manage motor and sensory motions for the human body's upper back, chest, and stomach.

All the thoracic spinal nerves follow its name for the vertebrae attached to it. For example, the T3 nerve root lives between T3 and T4 while the rest of the 12 thoracic spinal nerves pairs make their way starting from vertebral level T1-T2 reaching T12-L1.

Some people might be unaware of the fact that other than prescribed medicines, a professional physical therapist also can relieve spinal cord dysfunction and pain.

Thoracic Nerves Placement

The thoracic nerve happens to be located in between the upper and middle sections of the back. This is how each section fit with the nerves of the spinal cord:

T1 to T5 Nerves:

These nerves stimulate muscles, upper chest and middle back, and stomach muscles. These muscles are responsible for controlling the rib cage, lungs, breathing muscles, and diaphragm.

T6 to T12 Nerves:

These nerves are mainly responsible for the stomach and back muscles. Their primary role is to provide balance and posture while helping you cough as well.

To be precise, the thoracic spine helps with stability while keeping the cervical spine, neck, and lumbar spine connected.

Thoracic Nerves Can Be Painful But How?

Any of the inflamed thoracic nerve resulting from a herniated disc or a foramen shortening, thoracic radiculopathy may produce signs of pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the nerve root. These symptoms move along the pattern as the thoracic nerve roots are located and functioning. As an example, T3 root can lead to pain in the chest and radiate other symptoms to the connected area using the intercostal nerve that is running with the route between the fourth and third ribs. However, if the inflamed thoracic nerve is going to the back, then the pain and other symptoms could possibly appear in the back near the inflamed location.

The intercostal muscle that is located between ribs has the intercostal nerve that can be inflamed and result in pain and difficulty breathing.

Thus, this is how an inflamed thoracic nerve root and its travel can be painful to various parts of the body connected to that nerve. Reasons may vary of why a thoracic nerve becomes inflamed and cause so much pain. Nevertheless, all this pain can go away by visiting a good physical therapy center, and together with medicines, physical therapy can give you total relief.

Body Parts Connection with Thoracic Nerves

The job of a thoracic nerve is to transmit information from the spinal cord to the different parts of the body. This part is all about showing how the 12 thoracic nerves are connected to the body and responsible for the pain and inflammation.  

Thoracic Nerves

Body Parts


Hands and fingers

T-2 to T-5

Chest muscles

T-6 to T-8

Chest and abdominal muscles

T-9 to T-12

Abdominal muscles

Symptoms of Thoracic Spine Nerve Damage

It's clear by far that the injury symptoms explain in which nerve the issue is. The visible damage and movement of the limb can help recognition of the nerve and the severity of the damage. The pain from the spinal nerve can travel to the arms, from the back to the anterior chest, legs, or around the ribs. There can be significant symptoms associated with spine nerve damage but sometimes, the inflammation and pain appear a long time after the injury. But mostly, a severe injury that requires immediate action is clear and visible in its symptoms. You must visit a physical therapist in such a situation.

  • Substantial leg weakness or loss of feeling
  • Loss of sensation in genitals or rectal area
  • No control of urine and stool
  • Fever and lower back pain
  • A slip or limb damage that drove the pain

Prognosis and Treatment of Thoracic Nerve Damage

 The recovery and treatment of thoracic nerve damage may vary from person to person. The treatment is not difficult; however, it may take some time to get fully recovered from the injury. Injuries have different levels of severity and pattern that might need a varied prognosis and treatment.

Before suggesting any diagnosis and treatment, the patient's health needs to be considered and cannot be ignored. This might be responsible for the future independence of the patient. These conditions include existing medical conditions, body type, and previous spinal injury history. There are many treatment options available and some of them are mentioned below that a patient with thoracic spinal cord injury can select.

  • Decrease daily life activities.
  • Prescribed Medicines.
  • Visit a physical therapy clinic.
  • Chiropractor sessions.
  • Physical therapy and prescribed exercises.

The Scientific World

The Scientific World is a Scientific and Technical Information Network that provides readers with informative & educational blogs and articles. Site Admin: Mahtab Alam Quddusi - Blogger, writer and digital publisher.

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