Osteochondrosis of the thoracic region - symptoms in women by which the disease can be accurately determined

Thoracic osteochondrosis in a woman

Damage to the thoracic spine is often mistaken for a pathology of internal organs. The lungs, heart, as well as the mammary glands and stomach located here can also provoke pain in this location. Because of this, it is often difficult for doctors to diagnose osteochondrosis of the thoracic region: symptoms in women are mistaken for mastopathy.

Thoracic osteochondrosis - symptoms and sensations

To begin with, it should be noted that osteochondrosis is the most common pathology of the spine. By its nature, it is a degenerative, dystrophy-related lesion of the discs between the vertebrae. Such processes lead to irreversible changes in the vertebral structure, which affects the functionality of the spinal column as a whole.

Given the dense innervation and the presence of a large number of nerve roots, patients with osteochondrosis experience strong, 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 pathology of the mammary glands, heart, and stomach.

The first signs of osteochondrosis in women

Painful sensations come to the fore among all possible signs of spinal damage. Severe, aching pains that intensify at night, when staying in one position for a long time, are often the first to attract attention. Increased pain is also observed during physical activity with:

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

Some patients complain of a feeling of squeezing in the chest area. If osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine is suspected, symptoms in women may be supplemented by a number of signs, these are:

  • numbness of certain areas of the epidermis;
  • feeling of coldness in the lower extremities;
  • pain in the projection of the stomach and esophagus;
  • disruptions 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 the degenerative changes. Taking them into account, the corresponding stages of the disease (degree) are distinguished:

  • 1st degree - fixed when changes are observed in the very core of the disk.Excessive load leads to dehydration of the nucleus, which causes a decrease in the height of the disc and the development of cracks in the area of the fibrous ring. There is no pain, some women complain of slight discomfort with prolonged static.
  • 2nd degree – due to a decrease in the height of the disc, the distance between the vertebral bodies is reduced.The spinal ligaments eventually sag. The vertebrae acquire greater mobility, which is not typical for the thoracic region as a whole. As a result, the risk of displacement increases. Pain occurs mainly during work. It is directly at this stage that osteochondrosis of the thoracic region is detected, and the symptoms in women become obvious.
  • Grade 3 – formation of intervertebral disc prolapses is observed.These phenomena are accompanied by subluxations and the development of arthrosis of the intervertebral joints. Mobility decreases, and numbness and tingling sensations appear in the limbs. Painful sensations are recorded in the back, neck, and thoracic region.
  • 4th degree - the body tries to compensate for the hypermobility of the vertebrae and adapt to dysfunction of the spine.Where the vertebral bodies come into contact with each other, osteophytes are formed, 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 generally do not differ from those recorded in men, occurs less frequently 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 the pathology with diseases of the chest organs.

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

How to distinguish thoracic osteochondrosis from heart pain?

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

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, and has a wave-like course, subsides and appears again. With angina pectoris, an attack of pain lasts 10-15 minutes, subsides after nitrates.
  2. The appearance of pain in osteochondrosis does not occur against the background of physical activity, unlike angina pectoris.
  3. Neurological pain due to spinal injury can be relieved with analgesics, but for patients with heart pathology these drugs are ineffective.

Thoracic osteochondrosis and VSD

Fixed signs of thoracic osteochondrosis in women must be differentiated from manifestations of VSD. Unlike spinal injuries, diseases of the cardiovascular system are characterized by a number of symptoms that need to 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 with thoracic osteochondrosis is always normal).
Unlike thoracic osteochondrosis, VSD is accompanied by pain in the heart

Thoracic osteochondrosis and stomach pain

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

  • aggravated by movements that involve the spine;
  • discomfort does not subside 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 have osteochondrosis.

In cases where degenerative changes occur in the spine, pain changes its location 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, in contrast to cases when breast pathologies develop. Similar signs of osteochondrosis in women help differentiate the disease.

What to do with thoracic osteochondrosis?

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

Diagnosis of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine

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

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

Treatment of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine

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

  1. Elimination of pain- use NSAIDs.
  2. Strengthening the spine– moderate, balanced physical activity, physical therapy.
  3. Surgery– when intervertebral hernias occur.