Thoracic or Lumbosacral Neuritis

Neuritis can occur at a variety of sites along the spine, including the thoracic and lumbosacral regions. The condition involves inflammation of the nerves along the spinal canal. This inflammation may result from irritation to the nerve fibers caused by infection, inflammation, compression (e.g., from a bone spur or small spinal tumor), or an endocrine condition such as diabetes. Many neuritis cases arise due to a herniated disc. Those suffering from lumbosacral neuritis often present with low back pain and shooting pains down the leg. Patients also may experience muscle fatigue or weakness along with a strange sensation in the skin on the leg. Thoracic neuritis, on the other hand, can cause pain in the upper abdominal region, chest, neck, and shoulders—particularly the area between the shoulder blades. In both cases, the pain often becomes worse with certain movements or body positions. It can be difficult to diagnose this condition—especially the exact site of the injury—based on examination and patient history alone. Some patients may have to undergo X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs to identify spinal column alignment abnormalities, narrowing of disc spaces, bone spurs, osteoporosis, or fractures and tumors. Nerve conduction studies also may be used for diagnosis. Treatment can range from simple physical therapy with lifestyle changes to surgery, depending on the site and severity of the issue.