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 cartilaginous tissue of the spine, intervertebral discs, joints and ligaments of the spine are destroyed.

The 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 rather strong structure, which is less susceptible to injury as a result of external influences. Therefore, the clinical manifestations of this disease are much less likely to bring the patient to a doctor, and as a result, it appears that this type of osteochondrosis is less common. But not that. Almost everyone who is forced by the nature of their job 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 virtually inevitable.

Causes of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine

The causes of pain syndromes in osteochondrosis of the thoracic region, 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 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 impaired blood supply due to impingement, narrowing of the supplying arteries and veins (vascular myeloischemia compression) may occur.

Symptoms of Osteochondrosis of the Thoracic Spine

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

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

Signs of thoracic osteochondrosis can also be:

  • crawling sensation throughout the body, numbness of certain areas of the skin;
  • itching, burning and cold in the lower extremities;
  • increased nail fragility and skin peeling (a sign of vascular disorders);
  • uncaused disorders of the digestive tract: constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, nausea.

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

Dorsago and dorsalgia as manifestations of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine

The symptoms of osteochondrosis of the thoracic region depend on the degree of changes and their location in the spine. Thoracic osteochondrosis is characterized by two vertebral syndromes - back and back pain.

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 attack ("chest lumbago") is an acute attack of "dagger" pain between the shoulder blades. During an attack, the muscles are so tense that it can even be difficult to breathe. In this case, the pain in the thoracic spine can spread as intercostal neuralgia (along the ribs) towards the sternum, sometimes as far as the shoulder blade. These symptoms are similar to those of a myocardial infarction. But, unlike dorsal myocardial infarction, 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. 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 spinal nerve exit site (nerve root).

back painstarts gradually, imperceptibly and lasts up to two to three weeks. Unaccentuated pain in the affected spine and various discomforts are characteristic. Pain is aggravated by deep breathing and leaning forward or to the side. Muscle tension and limited range of motion in the cervicothoracic (upper back pain) or lumbothoracic (lower back pain) regions are determined. Muscle spasm is also very pronounced, so patients also have a feeling of shortness of breath. Unpleasant sensations are exacerbated by tilting the trunk sideways and forward, 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. Pain is aggravated by deep breathing, prolonged forced position of the body.

Allocate: upper back pain, accompanied by pain in the cervicothoracic region and lower back pain, in which pain occurs in the thoracolumbar region. Dorsalgia can last up to 3 weeks.

This type of back pain must be distinguished from pneumonia, which also has similar symptoms, but are complemented by pulmonary 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 frequently turn to a gastroenterologist is pain in the epigastric region, which, as a rule, increases in the afternoon after physical work and decreases (or disappears completely) after a good night's rest. Its appearance and intensification are practically unrelated to seasonality (as is known, in true patients with gastritis, peptic ulcer, rare passage of autumn and spring without severe exacerbations), food quality and diet. These features of the syndrome's manifestation help to establish the correct diagnosis.

With osteochondrosis, the intervertebral discs at the level of the 7th to 11th vertebrae suffer, the pain - sharp, paroxysmal or dull - spreads to the right hypochondrium. During an attack, patients often arrive at 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 -thoracic spine osteochondrosis.

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. Pain along the ribs extends to the breastbone. Any movement increases the discomfort, including coughing, sneezing, and even inhaling. Occasionally, pain may 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 go away without treatment, but then there are long-term relapses. The triggering factors of such an attack of intercostal neuralgia can be heavy lifting, prolonged uncomfortable posture, hypothermia, colds and stress.

What is Thoracic Osteochondrosis? What are its symptoms and how to treat it?

About causes and symptomsosteochondrosis of the thoracic regionthe spine and new treatment methods are told by a medical professional 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, analgesics, 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 aims to strengthen the back muscles, the shoulder girdle muscles 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 adhesive.

Treatment of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine with a patch

treatment of osteochondrosis with plaster

Medications prescribed in the treatment of osteochondrosis of the spine, such as NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, etc. , with 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 drug side effects and increase the effectiveness of osteochondrosis treatment, a new generation drug - a therapeutic analgesic anti-inflammatory patch - helps.

The medical adhesive has shown high efficiency in the treatment of several diseases of the spine, including the treatment of osteochondrosis of the thoracic region. It allows to relieve pain and inflammation, improve blood circulation in the affected area and reduce the dose of analgesics and anti-inflammatories.

To relieve acute symptoms in the treatment of thoracic osteochondrosis of the spine, a medical patch is used for 3 to 5 days. Duration of course treatment - 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 adhesive the choice in the treatment of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine.