Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine: symptoms and treatment

symptoms of thoracic osteochondrosis

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

The manifestation of osteochondrosis in the thoracic spine is 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 rather strong structure, which is less susceptible to damage due to external influences. Therefore, the clinical manifestations of this disease are much less likely to lead the patient to a doctor, and as a result, this type of osteochondrosis seems to be less common. But it isn't. Almost everyone who, due to the nature of their work, sits at a desk for years or drives a car, has changes in their 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) and joints of the joints. spine (destruction of cartilaginous surfaces, formation of osteophytes).

As a result of these changes, compression of the radicular structures of the spinal cord nerves (radiculopathy), compression of the spinal cord (thoracic compression myelopathy), damage to the spinal cord due to blood supply disturbance due to entrapment, narrowing of the supplying arteries and veins (compression-vascular myeloischaemia) can occur.

Symptoms of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine

The main symptoms of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine are as follows:

  • pain in the chest, aggravated by prolonged stay in one position and physical exertion;
  • dull pain in the interscapular space;
  • pain when raising the right or left arm;
  • pain with oblique movements of the body, rotating movements of the upper body;
  • increased pain with deep inhalation and exhalation;
  • pain in the intercostal spaces that occurs when walking;
  • feeling of tightness in the chest or back (as if with a hoop);

Signs of thoracic osteochondrosis can also be:

  • crawling sensation in the whole body, numbness of certain areas of the skin;
  • itching, burning and coldness of the lower limbs;
  • increased fragility of nails and peeling of the skin (a sign of vascular disorders);
  • unexplained digestive system disorders: constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, nausea.

Symptoms of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine are often very similar to symptoms of other diseases - especially angina pectoris, heart attack, stomach diseases, pneumonia. Therefore, it is very important to carry out differential diagnosis with additional instrumental and laboratory testing methods.

Dorsago and dorsalgia as a manifestation of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine

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

Dorsagosudden sharp pain in the thoracic spine. It is usually observed in people whose work involves sitting in one position for a long time, in an uncomfortable position, doing monotonous monotonous work. A dorsago attack ("thoracic lumbago") is an acute attack of "dagger" pain between the shoulder blades. During a seizure, the muscles tense up so much that even breathing can be difficult. In this case, the pain of the thoracic spine can spread as intercostal neuralgia (along the ribs) towards the sternum, sometimes towards the scapula. These symptoms are similar to those of a heart attack. But unlike Dorsago myocardial infarction, the patient's electrocardiogram is within the age limit, and taking nitroglycerin or other similar drugs does not lead to an improvement in the condition. In addition, 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 point of the spinal nerve (nerve root).

Back painit starts gradually, imperceptibly and lasts for two to three weeks. Not sharply expressed pains and various discomforts of the affected spinal column are characteristic. The pain is aggravated by deep breathing and bending forward or sideways. They determine muscle tension and limited movement in the cervical-thoracic (upper dorsalgia) or lumbo-thoracic regions (lower dorsalgia). The muscle spasm is also very pronounced, so patients also feel a sense of lack of air. The discomfort is aggravated by tilting the trunk to the side and forward, which limits the movement of the adjacent sections of the spine. The pain usually increases at night, after waking up the pain goes away by itself with a short walk. The pain is aggravated by deep breathing and prolonged forced posture of the body.

It is divided into: upper dorsalgia, accompanied by pain in the neck and chest region, and lower dorsalgia, in which there are pains in the chest region. Dorsalgia can last up to 3 weeks.

This type of dorsalgia must be distinguished from pneumonia, which is also associated with similar symptoms, but with the addition of lung symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, fever.

Other features of the symptoms of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine

With osteochondrosis of the thoracic 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 consult a gastroenterologist is pain in the epigastric region, which usually increases in the afternoon after physical work and decreases (or disappears completely) after a good night's rest. Its appearance and intensification are practically not related to seasonality (as is known, patients suffering from true gastritis and gastric ulcers rarely go through autumn and spring without serious exacerbations), food quality and diet. These characteristics of the manifestation of the syndrome help to establish the correct diagnosis.

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

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

Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine is often complicated by intercostal neuralgia. Pain along the ribs extends to the sternum. Any movement increases the discomfort, including coughing, sneezing, even inhalation. Occasionally pain is also 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 go away without treatment, but long-term relapses occur later. Provocative factors for such an attack of intercostal neuralgia are weight lifting, prolonged uncomfortable posture, hypothermia, colds and stress.

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

About the causes and symptomsosteochondrosis of the chest regiona professional doctor and professor tells about the spine and new treatment methods.

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, pain relievers, as well as anesthetic ointments and gels. If necessary, muscle relaxants and antidepressants are prescribed.

At any stage of osteochondrosis, treatment includes the appointment of chondroprotectors (medications to restore cartilage tissue), vitamins and minerals (increasing the strength of ligaments and restoring the structure of bone tissue).

Drug treatment must be combined with other treatments:

  • gymnastics for thoracic osteochondrosis (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 into biologically active points for therapeutic purposes.

Acupressure and acupuncture reduce pain, normalize blood pressure, and stimulate the immune system.

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

Massage helps relieve muscle hypertonia and pain, improves blood supply to the paravertebral tissues and cartilage nutrition. Massage combined with exercise therapy for thoracic osteochondrosis has a maximum positive effect.

Therapeutic patch showed very good results in the treatment of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine.

Treatment of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine with plaster

treatment of osteochondrosis with plaster

Medicines prescribed for the treatment of osteochondrosis of the spine, such as NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, etc. , they can damage the body with long-term use. And in the presence of certain diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, many of these drugs are generally contraindicated.

In order to minimize the side effects of drugs and increase the effectiveness of the treatment of osteochondrosis, a new generation drug - a therapeutic pain-relieving anti-inflammatory patch - helps.

The medical plaster has shown great effectiveness in the treatment of various diseases of the spine, including the treatment of osteochondrosis of the thoracic region. It makes it possible to relieve pain and inflammation, improves blood circulation in the affected area, and reduces the dose of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs.

In the treatment of thoracic osteochondrosis of the spine, a medical patch is used for 3-5 days to relieve acute symptoms. Duration of treatment - 9 days. The use of the medical patch is usually recommended for 12 hours in the morning, but it is also possible to apply it at night.

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