Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine: symptoms and treatment

symptoms of thoracic osteochondrosis

Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine- This is a degenerative-dystrophic process of the thoracic spine, as a result of which pathological changes occur in the bone and cartilaginous tissues of the spine, intervertebral discs, joints and ligaments of the spinevertebral are destroyed.

Manifestations of osteochondrosis in the thoracic spine are usually not as acute as in cervical or lumbar osteochondrosis. The fact is that the thoracic spine is less mobile, and the joints of the vertebrae, ribs and sternum form a fairly strong structure, less susceptible to injury due to external influences. Therefore, the clinical manifestations of this disease are much less likely to lead the patient to consult a doctor, and therefore it seems that this type of osteochondrosis is less common. But it's not. Almost everyone who is forced by the nature of their work to sit continuously at a desk or drive a car for years, there are changes in the spine. And in the presence of risk factors (poor posture, scoliosis, injuries, weak back muscles), thoracic osteochondrosis is practically inevitable.

Causes of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine

The causes of pain syndromes in osteochondrosis of the thoracic region, as well as in other types of osteochondrosis, are pathological changes in the intervertebral discs (thinning of the disc due to degeneration of the nucleus pulposus, protrusion; intervertebral hernia) andjoints of the spine (destruction of cartilaginous surfaces, formation of osteophytes).

As a result of these changes, compression of the root structures of the spinal nerves (radiculopathy), compression of the spinal cord (chest compression myelopathy), damage to the spinal cord due to insufficient blood supply due to clamping, a narrowing of the supply arteries and veins (vascular compression myeloischemia) can occur.

Symptoms of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine

The main symptoms of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine are:

  • chest pain, aggravated by prolonged stay in one position and during physical exertion;
  • dull pain in the interscapular space;
  • pain when raising the right or left arm;
  • pain with tilting movements of the body, with rotational movements of the upper part of the body;
  • increased pain with deep inspiration and expiration;
  • pain in the intercostal spaces that appear when walking;
  • a feeling of tightening the chest or back (as with a hoop);

Signs of thoracic osteochondrosis can also be:

  • a feeling of crawling all over the body, numbness of certain areas of the skin;
  • itching, burning and coldness of the lower extremities;
  • increased fragility of the nails and peeling of the skin (a sign of vascular disorders);
  • causeless disorders of the digestive tract: constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, nausea.

Symptoms of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine are often very similar to symptoms of other diseases - in particular, angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, gastric diseases, pneumonia. Therefore, it is very important to carry out differential diagnostics using additional instrumental and laboratory methods of examination.

Dorsago and dorsalgia as manifestations of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine

Symptoms of osteochondrosis of the chest region depend on the degree of changes and their localization in the spine. Thoracic osteochondrosis is characterized by two vertebral syndromes - dorsago and dorsalgia.

Dorsagois a sudden sharp pain in the thoracic spine. It is usually observed in people whose work is associated with prolonged sitting in one position, being in an uncomfortable position, performing monotonous monotonous work. A dorsago ("thoracic lumbago") attack is a sharp attack of "dagger" pain between the shoulder blades. During an attack, the muscles are so tense that it may even be difficult to breathe. In this case, pain from the thoracic spine may spread as intercostal neuralgia (along the ribs) to the sternum, sometimes to the shoulder blade. These symptoms are similar to those of a myocardial infarction. But unlike myocardial infarction in the back, the patient's electrocardiogram is within the age norm, and taking nitroglycerin or other similar drugs does not lead to an improvement in the condition. Also, the pain intensifies with rotational movements of the upper body, and palpation (palpation) of the thoracic spine in patients with osteochondrosis can cause pain at the exit site of the spinal nerve (nerve root).

back painbegins gradually, imperceptibly and lasts up to two to three weeks. Not very pronounced pain in the affected spine and various discomforts are characteristic. The pain is made worse by deep breathing and tilting forward or to the side. Muscle tension and limitation of joint amplitudes in the cervico-thoracic (upper dorsal) or lumbo-thoracic (lower dorsal) regions are determined. Muscle spasms are also very pronounced, so patients also have a feeling of lack of air. Unpleasant sensations are aggravated by the lateral and forward tilt of the torso, which limits any movement in adjacent sections of the spine. The pain usually gets worse at night, after waking up the pain goes away on its own with a short walk. The pain is aggravated by deep breathing, prolonged forced position of the body.

Assign: upper back pain, accompanied by pain in the cervico-thoracic region and lower back pain, in which there is pain in the thoraco-lumbar region. Back pain can last up to 3 weeks.

This type of back pain must be differentiated from pneumonia, which also has similar symptoms, but they are supplemented by pulmonary symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, fever.

Other features of symptoms of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine

With osteochondrosis of the chest region, a gastrological syndrome is often observed, which is often defined as a disease of the gastrointestinal tract. The main complaint of patients who often turn to a gastroenterologist is pain in the epigastric region, which, as a rule, increases in the afternoon after physical labor and disappears (or completely disappears) after a good night's sleep. rest. Its occurrence and intensification is practically not related to seasonality (as is known, in real patients with gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, rare autumn and spring passages without severe exacerbations), the quality offood and diet. These features of the manifestation of the syndrome help to establish the correct diagnosis.

With osteochondrosis, the intervertebral discs at the level of the 7th-11th vertebrae suffer, the pain - either sharp, paroxysmal, or dull, aching - spreads to the right hypochondrium. During an attack, patients often come to the hospital with a variety of diagnoses: acute calculous cholecystitis, renal prolapse, pancreatitis, colitis, urolithiasis. And only as a result of a detailed medical examination it is possible to make the correct diagnosis -osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine.

Vascular disorders caused by osteochondrosis can be suspected if, for no apparent reason, the skin peels off, the nails become very brittle, and the legs often feel cold.

Often, osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine is complicated by intercostal neuralgia. The pain along the ribs extends to the sternum. Any movement increases discomfort, including coughing, sneezing, even inhaling. Sometimes the pain can also be felt in the anterior abdominal wall. An attack of intercostal neuralgia caused by thoracic osteochondrosis can last from several hours to several weeks. It may disappear without treatment, but later there are long-term relapses. Factors provoking such an attack of intercostal neuralgia can be weight lifting, prolonged awkward posture, hypothermia, colds and stress.

What is thoracic osteochondrosis? What are its symptoms and how to treat it?

About causes and symptomsosteochondrosis of the chest regionthe spine and new treatment methods are told by a professional doctor and teacher.

Treatment of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine

Medical treatment of osteochondrosis

With osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine, the usual symptomatic treatment is carried out to relieve pain: NSAIDs, painkillers, as well as anesthetic ointments and gels. If necessary, muscle relaxants, antidepressants are prescribed.

At any stage of osteochondrosis, treatment involves the appointment of chondroprotectors (drugs that restore cartilage tissue), vitamins and minerals (to increase the strength of ligaments and restore the structure of bone tissue).

Drug therapy should be combined with other treatments:

  • gymnastics for thoracic osteochondrosis (performed daily several times a day);
  • physiotherapy;
  • massage;
  • exercise therapy;
  • acupressure (tactile effect on acupuncture points, which has an exciting and calming effect on the body)
  • acupuncture (or acupuncture) - the introduction of special needles for therapeutic purposes into biologically active points.

Acupressure and acupuncture lead to a decrease in pain, normalize blood pressure, stimulate the immune system.

Exercise therapy for osteochondrosis of the thoracic region is aimed at strengthening the muscles of the back, the muscles of the shoulder girdle and the respiratory muscles, restoring the physiological curves of the spine and forming the correct posture.

Massage helps relieve muscle hypertonicity, pain, improves blood supply to paravertebral tissues and cartilage nutrition. Massage in combination with exercise therapy for thoracic osteochondrosis gives the maximum positive effect.

Very good results in the treatment of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine showed a therapeutic patch.

Treatment of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine with a patch

treatment of osteochondrosis with a bandage

Medications prescribed in the treatment of osteochondrosis of the spine, such as NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, etc. , in case of prolonged use, can harm the body. And in the presence of certain diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, many of these drugs are usually contraindicated.

To minimize the side effects of drugs and increase the effectiveness of the treatment of osteochondrosis, a new generation drug - a therapeutic analgesic anti-inflammatory patch - helps.

The medical patch has shown great effectiveness in the treatment of various diseases of the spine, including the treatment of osteochondrosis of the chest region. It allows you to relieve pain and inflammation, improve blood circulation in the affected area and reduce the dose of painkillers and anti-inflammatories.

To relieve acute symptoms in the treatment of thoracic osteochondrosis of the spine, a medical patch is used for 3-5 days. Duration of course treatment - from 9 days. It is generally recommended to use the medical patch in the morning for 12 hours, but it is possible to apply it in the evening.

High efficiency, unique composition, long-term therapeutic effect (up to 12 hours! ), ease of use and affordable price make the patch the choice in the treatment of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine.