Thoracic osteochondrosis is diagnosed quite rarely, since this part of the spine lends itself to minimal stress. The symptoms of this pathology are similar to other diseases. If you do not start treatment in a timely manner, then protrusions are formed first, and then hernias and malfunctions in the work of internal organs.
Definition of thoracic osteochondrosis
With thoracic osteochondrosis, there is a strong and sharp pain in the chest area. However, this symptom may also indicate pneumonia, ischemic conditions, gastritis or pancreatitis. This makes it difficult to diagnose the disease.
Note!In the chest area, the displacement of the vertebrae is very rarely observed, since this area of the spine is inactive.
Most often, osteochondrosis of the thoracic region occurs in people with a passive lifestyle. The patient has dystrophic and degenerative changes in bone and cartilage tissue. Against the background of osteochondrosis, other dangerous diseases may occur. For example, pneumosclerosis, atherosclerosis, or the formation of a malignant neoplasm.
A feeling of sharp pain in the chest and back occurs as a result of an intervertebral hernia.
Initially, the bones are affected, over time, the pathology affects the cartilaginous, connective and muscle tissue. If such a clinical condition occurs in a child or adolescent, then his musculoskeletal system begins to age even before it is fully formed. The disease has no age restrictions and occurs in men and women with the same frequency.
Chest osteochondrosis has the following symptoms:
- pain between the shoulder blades;
- paresthesia in the neck, abdomen and chest;
- sleep problems;
- violation of the emotional state;
- high or low blood pressure.
Such signs of damage occur against the background of narrowing of the spinal canal due to dystrophic changes in the intervertebral discs, edema and the development of the inflammatory process.
Degrees of thoracic osteochondrosis
Osteochondrosis of the thoracic region develops gradually. Each stage has its own symptoms. The following degrees of damage are distinguished:
- The first- there is no pronounced symptomatology. Protrusions begin to appear, the intervertebral discs become less elastic.
- The second- the elasticity of the intervertebral discs becomes less. The thoracic region becomes unstable, there is a risk of hernia formation. Pain syndrome and neurological signs of damage are observed.
- Third- the pain is constantly increasing, a hernia is forming.
- Fourth- the intervertebral discs become completely inelastic. The destruction of the bone tissue of the vertebrae begins. Neurological disorders are more intense.
It is impossible to completely get rid of the disease, especially in the last stages. With the right treatment, you can relieve pain and eliminate neurological disorders.
Causes of occurrence
The main reason for the development of pathology is a nutritional deficiency of the intervertebral discs and an uneven distribution of the load. As a result of such processes, the course of metabolic processes slows down, and this leads to the development of degenerative lesions.
Symptoms of chest osteochondrosis are aggravating in the late afternoon. In the morning, as a rule, the pain becomes much less.
Common causes of breast osteochondrosis:
- improper posture;
- permanent sedentary work;
- spinal injury;
- weak back muscles.
At risk are people who lead a sedentary lifestyle. Such reasons provoke not only osteochondrosis, but also a number of other diseases of the spine. For example, protrusion of the thoracic region.
To diagnose the disease, you should contact an orthopedic surgeon. He conducts not only an external examination, but also prescribes a number of diagnostic examinations that will help to make an accurate diagnosis.
In most cases, an x-ray of the thoracic spine is prescribed. If necessary, the doctor sends the patient for an MRI or CT scan. If you suspect a malfunction in the heart, an ECG is performed. Tests may be ordered depending on the patient's condition.
It is quite difficult to make a correct diagnosis in case of chest osteochondrosis. It can be easily mistaken for malfunctions of the gastrointestinal tract and nervous system. Based on the results obtained, the doctor makes a diagnosis and prescribes therapy.
Therapy for osteochondrosis of the thoracic region should be comprehensive. It begins with taking medications, physiotherapy and exercise therapy. During the period of exacerbation of the disease, the patient should adhere to bed rest.
The doctor prescribes drugs that activate the regeneration processes of bone tissue. The following groups of drugs are taken:
- analgesics- relieve acute pain in the thoracic region, improve the functioning of the respiratory system and eliminate discomfort during movement;
- antispasmodics- effectively relieve muscle spasm;
- natural remediesthat allow you to keep fluid in the intervertebral discs;
- vitamin complexes- preparations that contain a large amount of B vitamins.
For treatment, drugs are used for external use. They have analgesic, warming and anti-inflammatory effects. Preparations in the form of an ointment are applied to the chest area and rubbed in in a circular motion. Such ointments should not be applied to the heart area.
To warm up the muscles and relieve acute pain, the use of warming ointments is recommended.
The duration of treatment and the exact dosage of drugs are prescribed by the doctor, depending on the patient's condition. Self-medication can provoke deterioration and development of complications.
To maintain normal spinal function, patients are advised to attend physiotherapy procedures. Most often assigned:
- Electrophoresis.The impact is carried out with the help of a constant weak electric current. The procedure activates the movement of medicinal particles.
- Ultra-high-frequency therapy.Ultra-high frequencies penetrate deeply into bone, connective and nervous tissue. They are exposed to heat.
- Magnetotherapy.The procedure allows you to slow down the progression of the pathological process. The therapeutic effect is provided by an alternating or constant low-frequency magnetic field.
- Electrotherapy.For its implementation, low-frequency, pulse and high-frequency currents are used. It is recommended to combine pulse electrotherapy with electrophoresis and mud therapy.
- Shock wave therapy.Acoustic impulses penetrate the body to a depth of 6 cm.
- Ultrasound treatment.The impact occurs due to ultrasonic vibrations that create micromassage.
- Ultraviolet radiation.It can be regenerative, bactericidal, analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
All types of physiotherapy treatments have a point effect and do not cause side effects. Such procedures are painless and, in combination with taking medications, give a good result.
REFERENCE!There are special devices that allow you to carry out physiotherapy at home.
Before using them, you must consult a specialist.
To improve the patient's condition, the doctor prescribes physiotherapy exercises and massage of the thoracic region. The simplest exercises can be performed regardless of the form of the disease. Effective Exercises:
- alternately lifting each shoulder up;
- turning the head in different directions with fixation;
- head tilts to the left and right shoulder;
- head tilts forward and backward;
- circular movements with the shoulders.
In the process of performing the exercises, the patient must monitor his health. If you experience sharp and severe pain, you should stop exercising. All movements should be smooth.
During the treatment of osteochondrosis, it is recommended to carry out classical or acupressure massage. The therapeutic effect of the procedure:
- elimination of pain in the affected area;
- increased muscle tone;
- improvement of lymph flow and blood circulation in the chest area;
- increased trophism of intervertebral cartilage;
- elimination of pathological muscle tension.
Massage improves local metabolism. Manual sessions should be held regularly. They will help prevent recurrence and prevent further tissue degeneration.
A chiropractor can significantly improve your condition for a certain period of time and slow down the progression of the disease, but this is rather a temporary measure.
Sometimes alternative medicine methods are used to treat thoracic osteochondrosis. For example, acupuncture. Acupuncture involves the use of thin needles on active points. This procedure normalizes blood circulation, has an anti-inflammatory effect and activates the process of tissue regeneration.
The patient feels relief after the first acupuncture session. To consolidate the result, it is recommended to undergo 10 procedures. In the process, there is slight discomfort, and after removing the needles, red dots remain.
There are a number of traditional medicines that can be used as adjuncts. Before using them, you must consult with a specialist for their effectiveness and safety.
REFERENCE!One of the most effective home remedies for chest osteochondrosis is rubbing.
To prepare it, you will need vodka, iodine, analgin and ointment. The crushed tablets must be mixed with the rest of the ingredients. The medicine is infused for 2 days. It should be used to rub the affected areas. The procedure is recommended to be carried out daily, until the negative symptoms disappear.
To reduce pain, you can use a homemade ointment based on pork fat, fir wax and ammonia. Cooking algorithm:
- The fat is melted in a water bath and mixed with wax.
- The mixture is heated for 20 minutes.
- Fir oil is added to the mass and warmed up for another 20 minutes.
At the end of cooking, ammonia is added. The finished ointment is transferred to a glass jar. It is recommended to store such a product in the refrigerator. The affected area should be rubbed every day before bedtime.
Honey, potatoes, garlic, horseradish and herbs can be used to treat chest osteochondrosis. Before using the home remedy, you must make sure that there is no allergic reaction.
Prevention of osteochondrosis of the thoracic region consists in regular physical activity and proper nutrition. For prolonged sedentary work, it is recommended to periodically take breaks to warm up. This can be a simple exercise or a walk. It is recommended to change positions as often as possible and try not to overextend the spinal column.
You should eat right and monitor your weight.
REFERENCE!Obesity can cause back problems.
A fractional power plan is recommended. It is necessary to monitor the amount of fluid you drink. Its lack in the body is dangerous by the dehydration of the intervertebral discs and the development of a pathological process in the cartilaginous tissue.
The diet should be rich in protein. They can be obtained from fish, nuts, legumes, and meat. Foods high in calcium, manganese and phosphorus will help strengthen and maintain bone structure. For normal absorption of calcium, it is recommended to eat foods with vitamin D. These can be eggs, sea fish and butter.
For preventive purposes, back massage is recommended. It improves blood circulation and metabolic processes. Due to regular manual exposure, muscle spasms are eliminated and the body's performance increases. As a result, the muscles of the spine become stronger, which in turn relieves unnecessary stress on the intervertebral discs.