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, intervertebral discs, joints and ligaments of the spine 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, which is less susceptible to injury as a result of external influences. Therefore, the clinical manifestations of this disease are much less likely to lead the patient to a doctor, and as a result, 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 continuously sit 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) and joints of the spine (destruction of cartilaginous surfaces, formation of osteophytes).

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

Symptoms of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine

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

  • soreness in the chest, 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;
  • soreness with inclined movements of the body, with rotational movements of the upper part of the body;
  • increased pain with deep inhalation and exhalation;
  • pain in the intercostal spaces that appear while walking;
  • a feeling of squeezing the chest or back (as if 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 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 the 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 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.

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. An attack of dorsago ("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, pain in the thoracic spine can spread like intercostal neuralgia (along the ribs) towards the sternum, sometimes to the shoulder blade. These symptoms are similar to those of a myocardial infarction. But unlike myocardial infarction in dorsago, 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 may cause pain at the exit site of the spinal nerve (nerve root).

Dorsalgiabegins gradually, imperceptibly and lasts up to two to three weeks. Unsharply pronounced 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 limitation of range of motion in the cervicothoracic (upper dorsalgia) or lumbar-thoracic regions (lower dorsalgia) are determined. Muscle spasm is also very pronounced, so patients also have a feeling of lack of air. Unpleasant sensations are aggravated by tilting the torso sideways and forward, which limits any movement in the adjacent sections of the spine. Pain usually worsens 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 dorsalgia, accompanied by pain in the cervicothoracic region and lower dorsalgia, in which there are pains in the thoracolumbar region. Dorsalgia can last up to 3 weeks.

This type of dorsalgia 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 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 turn to a gastroenterologist is pain in the epigastric region, which, as a rule, increases in the afternoon after physical work and subsides (or completely disappears) after a good night's rest. Its appearance and intensification are practically not related to seasonality (as is known, in true patients with gastritis, peptic ulcer, rare autumn and spring pass without serious exacerbations), food quality, and diet. These features of the manifestation of the syndrome help to establish the correct diagnosis.

With osteochondrosis, intervertebral discs at the level of the 7th-11th vertebrae suffer, pain - either strong, 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, kidney 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. Pain along the ribs extends to the sternum. Any movement increases discomfort, including coughing, sneezing, even inhaling. Occasionally, 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 can go away without treatment, but later there are long-term relapses. The provoking factors of such an attack of intercostal neuralgia can be weight 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 methods of treatment are told by a professional doctor and professor.

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 the ligaments and restore the structure of the 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 back muscles, muscles of the shoulder girdle and 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 plaster

Drugs 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 generally 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 high efficiency in the treatment of various diseases of the spine, including the treatment of osteochondrosis of the thoracic region. It allows you to relieve pain and inflammation, improve blood circulation in the affected area, and reduce the dose of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs.

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