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 region of the 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 chest form a rather strong structure that is less susceptible to damage from external influences. Therefore, the clinical manifestations of this disease are much less likely to bring the patient to the doctor, and as a result, it seems that this type of osteochondrosis is less common. But it is not. Almost everyone who, due to the nature of their work, is forced to sit at a desk or drive a car for years, has changes in the spine. And in the presence of risk factors (bad posture, scoliosis, injuries, weak back muscles), thoracic osteochondrosis is practically inevitable.

Causes of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine

The causes of pain syndrome in osteochondrosis of the chest 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 in the joints. Spine (destruction of cartilage 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 tension due to disruption of blood supply, narrowing of the supply arteries. and veins (constriction-vascular myeloisemia) may occur.

Symptoms of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine

The main symptoms of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine are:

  • pain in the chest, aggravated by staying in one position for a long time and during physical exertion;
  • dull pain in the interscapular space;
  • pain when raising the right or left arm;
  • pain with bending movements of the body, rotational movements of the upper part of the body;
  • increased pain with deep inhalation and exhalation;
  • pain in the intercostal space, which occurs when walking;
  • a feeling of tightness in the chest or back (as if with rings);

Signs of thoracic osteochondrosis can also be:

  • A feeling of crawling over the whole body, numbness of certain areas of the skin;
  • itching, burning and coldness of the lower limbs;
  • increased weakness of nails and skin peeling (a sign of vascular disorders);
  • Unexplained disorders of the digestive tract: constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, nausea.

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

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

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

DorsagoThere is a sudden sharp pain in the chest. It is usually observed in people whose work is related to sitting for a long time in one position, being in an uncomfortable position, monotonous monotonous work. Dorsago attack ("chest lumbago") is an acute attack of "dagger" pain between the shoulder blades. During an attack, the muscles are so tense that even breathing is difficult. In this case, pain in the chest can spread like intercostal neuralgia (along the ribs) to the chest, sometimes to the shoulder blade. These symptoms are similar to myocardial infarction. But unlike the myocardial infarction in Dorsago, the electrocardiogram of the patient is within the age norm, and taking nitroglycerin or other similar drugs does not improve the condition. In addition, pain is aggravated by rotational movements of the upper body, and palpation (palpation) of the thoracic spine in patients with osteochondrosis can cause pain at the exit site of the spinal nerve (nerve root).

DorsalgiaIt starts gradually, imperceptibly and lasts for two to three weeks. It is characterized by dull pain in the affected spine and various discomforts. The pain worsens with deep breathing and bending forward or sideways. Muscle tension and limitation of range of motion in the cervical (upper dorsalgia) or lumbo-thoracic region (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 bending the torso to the side and forward, which limits any movement in the adjacent sections of the spine. The pain usually worsens at night, after waking up the pain disappears by itself with a little walking. Pain is aggravated by deep breathing, prolonged forced position of the body.

They distinguish: upper dorsalgia, which is accompanied by pain in the cervical area, and lower dorsalgia, in which there are pains in the chest area. Dorsalgia can last up to 3 weeks.

This type of dorsalgia should be distinguished from pneumonia, which also has similar symptoms, but pulmonary symptoms are added to them: cough, shortness of breath, fever.

Other characteristics of symptoms of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine

During 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 area, which usually increases in the afternoon after physical work and disappears (or completely disappears) after a good night's rest. Its appearance and intensification are practically not related to seasonality (as it is known, gastritis, peptic ulcer, rare autumn and spring pass without serious exacerbation), food quality and diet. These features of the syndrome help to establish the correct diagnosis.

During osteochondrosis, the intervertebral discs at the level of the 7-11th vertebra suffer, the pain - 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, kidney prolapse, pancreatitis, colitis, urolithiasis. And only as a result of a detailed medical examination, it is possible to establish the correct diagnosis -Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine.

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

Often, osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine is complicated by intercostal neuralgia. The pain spreads along the ribs into the chest. Any movement increases the discomfort, including coughing, sneezing, even breathing. Sometimes the pain is also noticed in the front wall of the abdomen. 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 relapses. Factors provoking such an attack of intercostal neuralgia can be weight lifting, prolonged uncomfortable posture, hypothermia, cold and stress.

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

About causes and symptomsOsteochondrosis of the chest regionThe spine and new treatment methods are told by a professional doctor and professor.

Treatment of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine

Medical treatment of osteochondrosis

In the case of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine, the usual symptomatic treatment is carried out to relieve pain: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, analgesics, as well as anesthetic ointments and gels. If necessary, muscle relaxants, antidepressants are prescribed.

Treatment of osteochondrosis at any stage 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 drugs:

  • gymnastics during thoracic osteochondrosis (performed daily several times a day);
  • physiotherapy;
  • massage
  • exercise therapy;
  • Acupressure (tactile effect on acupuncture points, which has an exciting and relaxing 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.

Exercise therapy for osteochondrosis of the chest region is aimed at strengthening the back muscles, shoulder girdle and respiratory muscles, restoring the physiological curves of the spine and forming a correct posture.

Massage helps relieve muscle hypertonicity, pain, improves blood supply to paravertebral tissues and cartilage nutrition. Massage combined with exercise therapy for thoracic osteochondrosis gives the 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 a patch

Treatment of osteochondrosis with plaster

Drugs prescribed for the treatment of osteochondrosis of the spine, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, etc. Sh. Long-term use can harm the body. And in the presence of certain diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, many of these drugs are generally contraindicated.

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

The medical patch has shown high effectiveness in the treatment of various diseases of the spine, including thoracic osteochondrosis. 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.

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