Osteochondrosis of the thoracic region - symptoms in women that allow you to accurately determine the disease

Thoracic osteochondrosis in a woman

Damage to the thoracic spine is often confused with pathology of internal organs. The lungs, heart, as well as the mammary glands and stomach located here can also cause pain in this area. For this reason, it is often difficult for doctors to diagnose osteochondrosis of the thoracic region: symptoms in women are confused with mastopathy.

Thoracic osteochondrosis - symptoms and sensations

To begin with, it should be noted that osteochondrosis is the most common spinal pathology. By its nature, it is a degenerative lesion of the intervertebral discs linked to dystrophy. Such processes lead to irreversible changes in the spinal structure, which affect the functionality of the spine as a whole.

Given the dense innervation and the presence of a large number of nerve roots, patients with osteochondrosis experience intense and sharp pain. At the same time, their nature and intensity may change. This complicates the diagnostic process: in order to differentiate thoracic osteochondrosis, symptoms and sensations in women are analyzed, excluding the pathology of the mammary glands, heart and stomach.

The first signs of osteochondrosis in women

Among all possible signs of spinal damage, painful sensations come to the fore. Intense, aching pains that intensify at night, when staying in the same position for a long time, are often the first to attract attention. An increase in pain is also observed during physical activity with:

  • turns;
  • sharp turns to the side;
  • prolonged physical exercise, even at low intensity;
  • deep breathing;
  • raising your hands.

Some patients complain of a feeling of compression in the chest. If osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine is suspected, symptoms in women can be supplemented by a number of signs, namely:

  • numbness of certain areas of the epidermis;
  • feeling of cold in the lower limbs;
  • pain in the projection of the stomach and esophagus;
  • disturbances in the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract.
Increased back pain when moving is a sign of thoracic osteochondrosis

Degrees of osteochondrosis

Symptoms of thoracic osteochondrosis in women largely depend on the nature of degenerative changes. Taking them into account, the corresponding stages of the disease (degree) are distinguished:

  • 1st degree - corrected when changes are observed in the very core of the disc.Excessive loading leads to dehydration of the nucleus, which causes a decrease in disc height and the development of cracks at the annulus fibrosus. There is no pain, some women complain of slight discomfort with prolonged static electricity.
  • 2nd degree – due to a decrease in disc height, the distance between the vertebral bodies is reduced.The spinal ligaments eventually collapse. The vertebrae acquire greater mobility, which is not typical for the thoracic region as a whole. As a result, the risk of displacement increases. The pain mainly occurs during labor. It is directly at this stage that osteochondrosis of the thoracic region is detected and symptoms in women become evident.
  • Grade 3 – prolapse formation of the intervertebral disc is observed.These phenomena are accompanied by subluxations and the development of osteoarthritis of the intervertebral joints. Mobility decreases and numbness and tingling appear in the limbs. Painful sensations are recorded in the back, neck and thoracic region.
  • 4th degree - the body attempts to compensate for hypermobility of the vertebrae and adapt to spinal dysfunction.Where vertebral bodies come into contact with each other, osteophytes form, which can cause pinched nerves and injure the vertebrae.

How to distinguish thoracic osteochondrosis from other diseases?

According to statistics, osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine, the symptoms of which in women usually do not differ from those recorded in men, is less common than lesions of the cervical and lumbar spine. However, this does not make the process of diagnosing the disease easier. Due to the peculiarities of localization, many doctors confuse pathology with diseases of the thoracic organs.

However, experienced specialists who know how to identify thoracic osteochondrosis at the first stage try to exclude diseases of the breast, heart, stomach and lungs. Thus, there is no cough with thoracic osteochondrosis, unlike pathologies of the respiratory system, which are always accompanied by this symptom.

How to distinguish thoracic osteochondrosis from heart pain?

In practice, doctors often face a situation in which a patient complains of regular heart pain, but changes in the cardiogram and ultrasound are not recorded. In such cases, painful sensations in the left chest are associated with neurological disorders due to osteochondrosis. When the space between adjacent vertebrae decreases, the nerve roots are compressed, causing painful sensations mimicking a heart pain attack.

By knowing how to distinguish angina from thoracic osteochondrosis, you can immediately identify myocardial disorders. Among the main differences:

  1. With osteochondrosis, the pain lasts for hours, weeks, follows a wave-like course, subsides and reappears. With angina, an attack of pain lasts 10-15 minutes and disappears after nitrates.
  2. The appearance of pain in osteochondrosis does not occur against the background of physical activity, unlike angina.
  3. Neurological pain due to spinal injury can be relieved with painkillers, but for patients with cardiac pathology, these drugs are ineffective.

Thoracic osteochondrosis and VSD

Fixed signs of thoracic osteochondrosis in women should be differentiated from the manifestations of VSD. Unlike spinal injuries, diseases of the cardiovascular system are characterized by a number of symptoms that should be paid attention to.Among the characteristic signs of VSD:

  • tachycardia, heart pain;
  • the appearance of asthma attacks;
  • unstable blood pressure due to circulatory disorders (pressure in case of thoracic osteochondrosis is always normal).
Unlike thoracic osteochondrosis, VSD is accompanied by heart pain

Thoracic osteochondrosis and stomach pain

Abdominal pain with thoracic osteochondrosis is caused by a violation of the innervation of the vertebrae located on the projection of the stomach. If the patient has stomach problems, shooting pains occur, accompanied by unpleasant sensations such as heartburn. At the same time, painful sensations are in no way related to activity and physical activity.Pain associated with thoracic osteochondrosis in the abdominal region has the following features:

  • aggravated by movements involving the spine;
  • discomfort does not disappear after taking medications that improve digestion;
  • appear regardless of the fullness of the stomach: on an empty stomach, after eating.

Thoracic osteochondrosis and pain in the mammary gland

Mastalgia is a common symptom among women. Many girls experience painful sensations in the chest due to cyclical hormonal changes. However, if there is no cyclical pain, doctors suspect possible changes in the spine. At the same time, women themselves begin to search for the cause on the Internet, trying to figure out how to understand that you suffer from osteochondrosis.

In cases where degenerative changes occur in the spine, the pain changes its localization and appears regardless of the phase of the menstrual cycle. In this case, there is no swelling or engorgement of the breast. The gland itself completely retains its appearance, size and shape, unlike cases when breast pathologies develop. Similar signs of osteochondrosis in women help to differentiate the disease.

What to do in case of thoracic osteochondrosis?

Having suspected thoracic osteochondrosis in women, doctors send patients for an appropriate examination. This diagnosis of the disease and its correct correction allows you to avoid the negative consequences that are inextricably linked with spinal disorders. A thorough diagnosis, based on hardware examination data, is important.

Diagnosis of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine

Chest radiography is the main and often the only diagnostic method. It allows you to diagnose osteochondrosis in women, regardless of the severity of the changes. It all depends on the quality of the photo.In case of osteochondrosis of the thoracic region, the symptoms in women in the photo read as follows:

  • violation of the contours of the discs themselves located between the vertebrae;
  • altered disk shape;
  • the presence of osteophytes (pathological growths);
  • spinous processes with sharp edges, vertebrae irregularly shaped;
  • the presence of an intervertebral hernia.

Treatment of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine

Treatment of this disease is complex. Treatment of thoracic osteochondrosis is carried out simultaneously in several directions:

  1. Elimination of pain- use NSAIDs.
  2. Strengthen the spine– moderate and balanced physical activity, physiotherapy.
  3. Surgery– in case of intervertebral hernia.