Osteochondrosis of the thoracic region: description, symptoms, treatment

Thoracic spine injury in osteochondrosis

A sedentary lifestyle, injuries or excessive physical activity cause diseases of the musculoskeletal system. To avoid complications, it is important to start treatment early in the process. To do this, you need to know about the causes and symptoms of the pathology.

Description of the disease, what is its danger

Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine is a chronic disease in which dystrophic changes begin in the cartilage located in the intervertebral space. The pathology is expressed by a decrease in the height of the discs and compression of the intercostal nerve endings.

Thoracic osteochondrosis goes through several stages of progression.

The first is characterized by desiccation of the intervertebral disc, decreased firmness and elasticity, and the appearance of cracks. The pain is mild and disappears after the person rests for a while.

In the second stage, the disc decreases in height, the niche in the vertebra is filled with the nucleus pulposus, but does not extend beyond its borders. Muscles experience constant tension. A person complains of severe pain, which disappears after being at rest.

The third stage is characterized by the exit of the nucleus pulposus beyond the borders, the fissure reaches the vertebral border. As a result, an intervertebral hernia is formed. The pain becomes constant.

In the fourth stage, an overgrowth of connective tissue is found, which puts pressure on nearby vertebrae. To compensate for the reduced layer, bone tissue growth begins. More and more growths (osteophytes) appear.

Types of thoracic osteochondrosis and complications

According to the nature of the pain, there are two types of thoracic osteochondrosis:

  • dorsago, which is characterized by sharp, sharp pain in the form of lumbago, located in the thoracic spine. The condition is accompanied by muscle tension, movement problems in the neck and thoracic region;
  • back pain, where the pain slowly increases. Inhalations and twists of the trunk, as well as a long stay in one position, increase discomfort. At night, the discomfort deepens and disappears while walking.

In the absence of adequate therapy, nerve endings are increasingly compressed. As a result, osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine can cause complications:

  • kidney pathology;
  • diseases of the digestive system;
  • immobility;
  • persistent pain;
  • interruptions in cardiac activity;
  • intervertebral hernia;
  • decreased ability to conceive;
  • violation in the work of the lungs, caused by the growth of connective tissue.

Why does thoracic spine pathology occur?

This section of the column has average load and limited mobility. However, the pathology is common. The disease can be caused by one of the reasons or a combination of them:

  • injuries and damage;
  • excessive load in the department, including in childhood;
  • age-related changes associated with a decrease in nutrition of the tissues of the discs between the vertebrae;
  • diseases of the endocrinological profile, mainly in menopause;
  • age-related violation of calcium absorption;
  • excess body weight;
  • problems with blood vessels, atherosclerotic deposits in the vessels of the thoracic region;
  • weak muscular corset.

How the pathology manifests itself

Symptoms of thoracic osteochondrosis are represented by pain and increased muscle tone. The pain can be short-lived with lumbago and long-term pain. The recoil can be felt in the anterior region of the chest, under the ribs and in the shoulder. The pain is aggravated by long standing in one position.

A characteristic sign of the pathology is tenderness to palpation of the spinous processes of the thoracic vertebrae.

Symptoms of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine are similar to those of other conditions and include:

  • discomfort in the region of the heart, reminiscent of pain in angina pectoris;
  • pain during breathing, shortness of breath, also manifested in pneumonia, tuberculosis, obstructive lung disease;
  • pain in the epigastric region, under the ribs, similar to signs of gastrointestinal disease.

Methods of treatment of thoracic osteochondrosis

If you complain, you should contact a neurologist. Therapy includes medication, physical therapy, exercise therapy and massage.

Of the drugs, doctors prescribe:

  • means to eliminate the focus of inflammation in the spine;
  • drugs to reduce muscle tone and the risk of squeezing the sensitive roots of the spinal cord;
  • neuroprotectors designed to help restore nerve fibers.

The choice and dosage are selected by the physician, who will take into account the drug's tolerance, comorbidities, and the patient's weight.

It is important to observe the recommended duration of treatment to avoid relapses. You can buy prescription drugs cheaply from the online store. Information on pricing, in-stock medications, current promotions and discounts is available 24 hours a day on the website.

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Physiotherapy includes:

  • diadynamic therapy, ie treatment with electrical current to relax muscles and reduce pain;
  • electrophoresis with analgesics;
  • magnetic therapy to relieve discomfort and swelling.

Massage should be done carefully, using friction techniques. The area under the shoulder blades and between the ribs must be carefully treated. For the appearance of the effect, at least 10-15 sessions are required.

During physical therapy exercises, the emphasis is on exercises that strengthen the muscular corset, neck, and lower back.

Ointments and gels prescribed locally with anti-inflammatory action, heating patches, needle applicator.