I would suggest you read this following forum thread
t8-t9 disc herniation
I'm typing this for my daughter as that motion is difficult for her. She has 7 herniated thoracic discs namely 3,4,5,6,7,8 and 10 with 5 & 6 being the worst. She also has 4 herniated cervical discs, spondylosis, stenosis and arthritis. She is 49 years old. She can really relate to your pain as she's lived it too. The reason that thoracic surgery is not performed except in severe cases is that it's a risky surgery and often not all that successful. To reach the area, it's necessary to enter from the chest, and deflate a lung. Recovery is long and painful. In my daughter's case, she's been out of work for 3 years and did lose her insurance. While worlds better that she was at the onset, still struggles daily and is never without pain, but continues to hope that someday she will be well enough to resume her life again. She has been to a myriad of doctors, months with a pain clinic, had MRI's, CT scans, tests, therapy, injections, TENS. lotions, pillows - everything short of voodoo. The most help she received was from a Chiropractor skilled in the MacKenzie method who taught her some stretching exercises, plus the things she's done on her own. She believes that time is her greatest ally. I truly hope you'll find someone who will be able to help you and give you some relief. Thoracic disc problems are just not that common, I believe the statistics are about 5%, with lumbar and cervical being most.