Thoracic osteochondrosis is diagnosed in many people who lead an unhealthy lifestyle. Localization in this area of \u200b\u200bthe spine is less common than in other departments, since here the mobility of the vertebrae is limited and injuries are extremely rare. The disease is manifested by acute pain syndrome, a characteristic change in posture, so it never goes unnoticed. If earlier people suffered from it at a respectable age, then in recent decades the pathology has developed significantly "younger", that is, it is recorded in people under 50 years old.
characteristics of the disease
Breast osteochondrosis is a pathology of the bones, the peculiarity of which is the occurrence of degenerative changes in the tissues themselves. Due to its localization in the middle section of the spine, it poses a serious danger, provoking the development of a number of complications. The disease leads to disruption of normal metabolism, a decrease in the elasticity of the cartilage and the destruction of the fibrous ring. The characteristic features of the pathology are:
- The symptoms do not appear immediately, but as the process progresses.
- Degenerative processes are extensive as they affect cartilage, muscle, connective tissue and roots.
- The musculoskeletal system and nervous system are affected.
- The first signs are often confused with diseases of the cardiovascular system or the respiratory tract, since the clinical picture is similar.
Osteochondrosis in women is as common as in men. The pathology begins with the impact of negative factors on the intervertebral disc. Gradually, it becomes thinner, and the distance between the segments of the ridge becomes smaller. This provokes compression of the nerve roots, a decrease in the mobility of the column and the growth of bone processes (osteophytes). That is why patients feel so much pain.
Thoracic chondrosis is less common than other types of pathologies (lumbar cervical spine), since the vertebrae in this area are inactive. They do not work separately from each other, and when a physical exercise is performed, they all turn on at the same time. But there are negative factors that contribute to the development of the disease. Today, experts identify the following main reasons:
- scoliosis. The curvature of the spine often contributes to the deterioration of the entire musculoskeletal system.
- Physical activity. Even strenuous training sessions without the control of a trainer or constantly lifting weights with only one hand lead to the beginning of deformation and degeneration of bone tissue.
- injuries. The appearance of damage in this department leads to the development of a degenerative process.
- Obesity. Excessive body weight puts additional stress on the spine, which leads to poor nutrition of bone tissue, stagnation in the body and the inability to move normally.
- Hormonal imbalances or metabolic disorders. Most often this happens against the background of other diseases, for example, diabetes mellitus, adrenal pathology, endocrine problems.
- lack of substance. Unhealthy diet, lack of calcium, vitamin D and other healthy components in the diet provokes the destruction of bone tissue. As a result, the bones become brittle and the entire musculoskeletal system suffers.
- Pregnancy. The process of bearing a child requires tremendous expense on the female body, while the burden only increases as the fetus grows. Therefore, this period can become a provoking factor in the appearance of problems with the comb.
In addition, indirect factors are heavy physical labor or low mobility during the day, hereditary predisposition, wearing high heels, frequent stress, bad habits and hypothermia. The treatment of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine almost always begins with clarification of the cause. This allows you to choose the tactics of the fight as accurately as possible and get an excellent effect of the drugs.
Stages of development of osteochondrosis
Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine develops slowly, but due to the lack of pronounced symptoms in the early stages, it often goes unnoticed until the deformity becomes the cause of serious complications. The pathology proceeds in several stages.
- 1 degree. At this stage, the intervertebral disc loses moisture, gradually deforms, becomes more brittle and cracks. It has practically no effect on well-being. The pain occurs intermittently, but quickly passes with rest.
- 2 degrees. The condition of the intervertebral disc worsens, its height decreases. Muscles in the damaged area are almost always in good shape. At this stage there are unpleasant sensations, back pain, which does not allow you to easily carry out your usual work. The spine is no longer as flexible, it begins to lose stability, which increases the risk of a hernia.
- 3 degrees. The pain syndrome at this stage will only intensify if measures are not taken in a timely manner. Tears in the intervertebral disc become larger, the nucleus pulposus begins to protrude outwards. Doing physical labor is difficult, although self-service is maintained, it is difficult, especially for the elderly.
- 4 degrees. If you do not start treatment of osteochondrosis in the earlier stages in time, then the intervertebral discs will be damaged, which will lead to the growth of connective tissue. Fibrosis causes blockage of adjacent segments of the spine. The body tries to compensate for what is happening by compensating for the bone structure, which is covered in spikes.
It is better to start therapy for chondrosis of the thoracic spine at the earliest stage, this increases the chances of successful treatment and full recovery of the patient. Therefore, it is not worth ignoring even the most insignificant pain that occurs in the chest during exercise or work. Regularly undergoing examinations by a doctor for prevention will help not to start the disease.
The insidiousness of the disease is that the signs of thoracic chondrosis in many respects resemble the clinical picture of heart disease. This greatly complicates the diagnosis. Primary symptoms are observed only during physical activities. Pathology is recognized by the following manifestations:
- Pains. It can be painful or persistent and can be felt in the heart area, in the pit of the stomach, between the shoulder blades, or in the hypochondrium. It disappears as soon as the patient lies down or sits comfortably. It is made worse by twisting, bending, or raising your arms while taking deep breaths. The degree and intensity of the syndrome can vary.
- constriction in the chest. May be accompanied by back pain and an inability to take a full breath.
- Decreased feeling in the limbs. When touched, the hands and feet become noticeably colder, tingling or "goose bumps" occur regularly.
- Increased sweating, occurrence of anxiety or panic attacks.
- Injury to the digestive tract. Patients often suffer from bloating, exacerbation of gastritis, abdominal pain and constipation.
If, in addition to chest pain, intoxication is observed, as well as an increased heartbeat, it is necessary to drink a nitroglycerin tablet and call an ambulance. It could be a heart attack. In addition to those described above, dizziness, fainting, swelling of the extremities, reduced sensitivity in the area of \u200b\u200bthe lesion, general malaise and a drop in performance can be distinguished as characteristic symptoms of osteochondrosis of the thoracic region.
For reference! In women, the symptoms are more pronounced than in men, especially of a vegetative nature.
Patients often complain of pain in the gastrointestinal tract, heart. In addition to the main symptoms, dorsago (brief, painful sensations accompanied by stiffness) or dorsalgia (slight unpleasant phenomena in the spine) can also be observed. They sag in the hypochondrium, causing muscle stiffness or a lump in the throat, which is especially worse after staying in an uncomfortable position for a long time.
With the appearance of pain in the sternum, patients rush to contact the local therapist. The doctor interviews the patient, conducts a visual examination and studies the anamnesis. An accurate diagnosis is carried out after the tests. In addition to donating blood and urine, a person must undergo the following hardware methods:
- X-ray of the thoracic spine.
- MRI or CT.
- EKG or treadmill test.
You must also consult an orthopedist and register with that specialist when the diagnosis is confirmed. Women over 40 years of age are additionally assigned a mammography to exclude diseases of the mammary glands, the symptoms of which are similar to osteochondrosis.
It is easiest to get rid of pathology at the initial stages when exercises and lifestyle corrections are very effective. If it is already running, then the tactics of battle are selected by the doctor individually, taking into account the patient's age, the stage of the disease and the severity of the symptoms. In the acute period, bed rest and minimal activity are recommended, the treatment regimen is gradually adjusted, exercise therapy and massage are added. The impact is carried out in a complex and usually includes several approaches at once.
It includes taking drugs to relieve pain, muscle spasms, improve the condition of bone tissue, protect and stimulate regeneration. The complex usually consists of the following drugs:
- muscle relaxants.
- B group vitamins.
The form of the drug is determined by the doctor. In the acute period, painkillers are prescribed in the form of injections, as the condition normalizes, ointments and tablets can be used. The effectiveness of therapy directly depends on the correctness of the selected drug and dosage.
Various procedures help to enhance the effect of drugs. They are prescribed only when an acute attack has ended, and the patient's condition in general has returned to normal. Proven in the treatment of osteochondrosis of the chest:
- Electrophoresis with anesthetics. Improves local blood circulation, increases the effectiveness of the use of the drug due to the impact of small current discharges on the back tissues.
- magnetotherapy. The action of magnetic fields helps to improve the condition of soft tissues, reduce swelling and relieve pinched nerve endings.
- phonophoresis. It involves the introduction of drugs using ultrasonic waves. Helps to numb the problem area, normalize metabolic processes.
- Acupuncture. By affecting the active points located throughout the body with needles with rounded ends, the work of the spine improves, blood circulation increases.
- laser therapy. Helps relieve muscle tension, improves blood and lymph movement.
Which methods to use, in what quantity and for how many days, the doctor decides individually, depending on the patient's condition and the degree of progression of the pathology. At the last stage of osteochondrosis, many techniques are simply not effective and there is no point in doing them.
A visit to a massage therapist for osteochondrosis is prescribed directly by a doctor. The choice of a specialist must be approached carefully, since experience in working with back pain and qualifications are extremely important. Procedures are best done in courses, usually for 7-10 days. When a pathology appears, it is recommended to sign up for the following types of massage:
- therapeutic hands. It implies the use of only oils or creams. Helps relieve spasms, improve condition, normalize metabolic processes.
- Hardware. It differs from the first in the use of special devices in the process. The impact on the sore back is dosed, which eliminates accidental damage while respecting technique.
- Job. It is carved out manually by artisans by influencing biologically active zones. Helps relieve tension in the back, improves the condition of internal organs.
- cans. Improves muscle tone but hurts a little.
Among other things, the massage makes you perfectly awake, relaxed and increases the body's resistance. Therefore, if the patient's condition is not disturbed, he must be included in complex therapy.
Important information! Charging, massage, acupuncture or other impacts in the acute phase on the affected area are strictly prohibited. It is also not recommended to warm up the back or use compresses with infusions as an independent home treatment. This often leads to rapid progression of the disease and the occurrence of complications.
The stopped acute stage of osteochondrosis goes into a state of remission. During this period, the patient feels well, there are practically no symptoms of the disease, but it is still worth following the doctor's recommendations. A variety of negative factors can provoke an exacerbation. These include hypothermia, excessive physical activity, stress, incompetent massage in the affected area, staying in one position for a long time, bad habits.
If osteochondrosis of the vertebrae of the thoracic region is left untreated, over time the pathology becomes the cause of serious deformities and degenerative changes in the body. The most important are:
- Disorders of the cardiovascular system.
- Pinched veins, arteries, or blood vessels in the back.
- Vegetative-vascular dystonia.
- Violation of the supply of oxygen to the brain, fainting and constant headaches.
- Fatigue, exhaustion, inability to do physical work.
- intercostal neuralgia.
- violation of the digestive system.
It is important to understand how dangerous osteochondrosis is for the timely start of treatment and strict observance of all the recommendations of doctors in the course of therapy.
It is much easier to prevent osteochondrosis than to undergo long-term treatment later. In addition, health counseling is helpful in maintaining the normal functioning of the entire musculoskeletal system and all vital organs. The following preventive measures will help prevent the development of the disease:
- Eating rationally, reducing sugar and salt in the diet, increasing the amount of vegetables, fruits, fresh herbs.
- Exclusion of hypothermia of the body, clothing according to the weather.
- The absence of heavy strenuous physical work or its obligatory alternation with rest.
- The correct position of the back when sitting at the computer, reading or doing other work.
- More walks in the fresh air, especially in the warm season.
- Regular exercise and sport in the morning.
- Timely complex treatment of inflammatory diseases.
- Organization of sleep hygiene, use of high-quality orthopedic mattresses and pillows.
Such simple rules will help maintain spinal health for many years. At the same time, they only require a person to correct his lifestyle and give up bad habits.
Osteochondrosis of the thoracic region is a serious disease that does not reveal itself at the stage when it is best treated. Its symptoms are not specific, which further complicates the diagnostic process. In the absence of properly selected therapy, this leads to the development of dysfunction of internal organs and serious deformities.