Q. Why is my mother experiencing a narrowing of space between her disc spaces?

Answered by
Dr. Manav Gupta
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 13, 2021

Hi doctor,

My mother just had an x-ray, and the impression is mild narrowing of T1-T2, and T2-T3 disc spaces and straightening of the normal thoracic kyphosis is seen. The pain is on the upper right side of my back. The feeling is numb and sore. The first doctor referred her to an orthopedic and gave her medicine for pain. But she is still experiencing on and off the pain. I have attached the reports.



Welcome to

The x-ray findings you have posted (attachment removed to protect the patient's identity) are consistent with a degenerative disc that is a normal phenomenon. So there is nothing to worry about. The straightening of the spine could mean weak, strained muscles which have gone into spasm. I would like to know certain more information. Is there a history of weight loss? Any history of night sweats, fever? Is your mother diabetic or hypertension, or hypothyroid? Also, it would be better if you attach the x-ray pic instead of the report. I am asking you further questions so as to rule out other issues, which could be anywhere from tuberculosis to osteoporosis. Also, comorbidities like hypertension and diabetes are to be known to give you a specific treatment chart as certain medications are not to be given in the above-mentioned diseases. Stay safe, and hoping for your mother's speedy recovery.

Hi doctor,

My mother has no diabetes, hypertension, nor hypothyroid, and she is not experiencing weight loss or night sweats, or fever. The doctor mentioned to her that there is a narrowing of spaces between her disc spaces. Hence, the pain radiated to her right upper back. There is an on and off the feeling of pain, numbness, and soreness on her upper back depending on her position.



Welcome back to

As I pointed out earlier, it is due to a degenerative disc problem. You need to understand that it will take time for the nerves which are currently getting irritated due to narrow passage to recover (edema to subside). It would help if you get relative bed rest and not lifting heavyweight. She needs a muscle relaxant like Thiocolchicoside for five days, local application of analgesic gel, also anti-inflammatory with enzymatic preparation like trypsin, bromelain to reduce the edema. Get her vitamin D3 tested. CBC (complete blood count), ESR (erythrocyte sedimentation rate) needs to be done (baseline).

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