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Spine and Back Health

T8 Disc - Can It Cause Heart Problems

02/09/2009

Question:

I hurt my back in 1984 in the Air Force. I have been to a lot of doctors and had an MRI, so I know I have a bad T8 disc. I am wondering if this disc could cause my vaso depresser sycope and can it be pinching nerves that would act like a heart attack? I have also noticed problems with my vision -- when it hurts a lot I can`t see well, but when it`s not hurting I see fine. Could it be that another disk is bad? Well thank you for your time.

Answer:

Hello, thank you for your question. I’m not aware of any mechanism by which this problem would cause syncope. It certainly could produce some lower chest pain, usually radiating along the chest wall, but would not generally produce the same symptoms of “crushing pressure” that heart attack victims often feel, nor would it radiate to the left arm like many heart attacks do. It should not have anything at all to do with your vision, in fact none of the spinal disks can affect your vision unless you’re having some kind of stress reaction to pain or something like that. Good luck.

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Response by:

David J Hart, MD David J Hart, MD
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University