Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine is a common disease that is manifested by a variety of symptoms and interferes with professional activities. Clinical signs of the disease are associated with degenerative changes in the thoracic vertebrae, intervertebral discs and ligaments. The disease is often combined with cervical chondrosis, without treatment, the quality of life decreases.
Causes of thoracic osteochondrosis
The reasons are associated with metabolic disorders, vascular, endocrine diseases, congenital pathologies. Violations negatively affect the nutrition of the intervertebral discs, disrupting their structure and normal functioning. The resulting injury to the intervertebral discs leads to the growth of cartilage tissue on the vertebrae, changes in the ligaments and joints. The spine stops functioning normally during flexion, extension, and other movements, resulting in compression of the spinal cord, blood vessels, and nerve endings.
The following conditions can provoke the occurrence of osteochondrosis:
- Poor posture, lateral curvature of the spine;
- back injury;
- Bad habits;
- nervousness, physical strain, stress;
- overload of the back, spine when wearing high-heeled shoes, during pregnancy, flat feet;
- Physically hard work.
Osteochondrosis of the cervicothoracic spine occurs due to hypothermia, prolonged exposure to a forced uncomfortable position, and infectious diseases. Often the disease is recorded in areas with poor ecology and adverse climatic conditions.
The intervertebral discs of the thoracic vertebrae are equally affected by a sedentary lifestyle and physical activity, which increases the likelihood of injury. The cushioning ability of the intervertebral discs is lost, they do not protect the vertebrae from mutual contact. The result is the growth of cartilaginous tissue, complete disc dystrophy.
The aggravation of the disease is observed with non-compliance with the regime of work and rest, colds, nervous stress. Preventive treatment twice a year reduces the likelihood of exacerbations.
Common osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine is often disguised as another disease. In order to make an accurate diagnosis, it is worth conducting additional examinations.
Symptoms of thoracic osteochondrosis
Osteochondrosis of the thoracic vertebrae masks itself as other diseases - angina pectoris, gastritis, neuralgia, pancreatitis. As a result of a violation of the work of the thoracic vertebrae, the nerve endings leading to these organs are pinched, which affects the appearance of pain in them. If there is pain in these organs, it is worth conducting a full examination. A properly diagnosed diagnosis will help to cure the disease.
Osteochondrosis is manifested by symptoms:
- Severe back pain - between the shoulder blades, in the thoracic spine;
- Exhalation, inhalation is accompanied by pain;
- Heart pain: pressing, aching, squeezing;
- numbness of body parts;
- Pain when bending over, when doing physical work.
The difference between pain in osteochondrosis and angina pectoris is that pain in heart disease is diffuse, in osteochondrosis it is punctate. Pictures of the thoracic spine, ultrasound of internal organs, ECG help to distinguish diseases in the diagnosis. Signs of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine are similar to diseases of the pancreas, liver and lungs. If they experience pain, it is worth seeking advice from a neurologist who will determine the presence or absence of osteochondrosis.
Treatment of osteochondrosis
Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine requires complex drug therapy, lifestyle changes and special exercises. In the acute phase of the disease, bed rest for several days with restricted movement is prescribed. Of the drugs used are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Drugs have a moderate analgesic effect. For pain relief, injectable tablet analgesics are used, sometimes novocaine blockades are shown.
Relief from muscle tension, numbness and pain is possible with the use of medicated anti-inflammatory ointments. In the recovery period, a properly conducted course of massage is important, which will relax muscles and improve blood supply to the spinal cord, spine and internal organs.
Gymnastics is shown in the interictal period - it returns mobility to the vertebrae and helps to establish the work of the ligaments. The neurologist will recommend a series of individual sessions focusing on the symptoms of the disease, the stage of vertebral destruction, age and the presence of other diseases. When doing gymnastics, it is important not to damage the spine further.
The exercises are carried out daily under the control of well-being. After eliminating the signs of the disease, it is important to remember that it can return. Therefore, a balanced diet, the absence of bad habits and moderate physical activity should become the norm of life.