Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine does not manifest as often as osteochondrosis elsewhere, but it is as young as the rest of the disease. Today, it is already diagnosed in young people in their 20s, which is associated with both lifestyle and diet.
Thoracic osteochondrosis: what is it?
Thoracic osteochondrosis is a degenerative process that occurs in the spine between vertebrae 8 and 19. These vertebrae form the thoracic spine. And it is between them that changes occur in the vertebral discs when this type of osteochondrosis occurs. But because this part of a person's back is not as mobile as the rest, the changes that occur do not manifest until it is too late and the disease moves to an advanced stage, in which treatment becomes veryproblematic.
Therefore, it is so important that at the first symptoms of the disease, careful attention is paid to them and measures are taken to prevent the development of the disease.
It is worth remembering that the initial stages of thoracic osteochondrosis do not manifest themselves in any way. That is why this type of disease is dangerous. For this reason, it is very important that immediately upon the appearance of the first signs, or at an indication of them, an appeal is made to a doctor and all the necessary tests and examinations are carried out.
Osteochondrosis manifests itself with the following symptoms:
- Feeling of lack of air.
- Sensation of tightness throughout the chest.
- Bending becomes more and more difficult. Also, this condition is progressing.
- Freezing sensation of limbs. This is due to a decrease in blood circulation in them.
- Chest pain.
- A burning sensation may appear in the legs and feet.
- Keratin coatings (nails and hair) become brittle.
- It is accompanied by thoracic chondrosis, whose symptoms are similar to those of osteochondrosis.
- The gastrointestinal tract begins to function intermittently.
- Burning in the chest.
- Burning sensation in the stomach.
- Pectalgia: pain in the front of the chest.
- In men, there is a decrease in potency. The genitourinary system begins to malfunction.
- The person is sick. Furthermore, this condition is also progressing.
- Headaches of varying severity, including migraines.
- Thoracic neuralgia, especially those located in the ribs.
- The left side of the body may experience pain similar to that which occurs with cardiovascular disorders.
- Pain can affect the liver and gallbladder.
- The back and chest are usually reflexes.
- The appearance of herpes zoster (shingles).
- Signs of breast osteochondrosis in women include pain in the mammary glands.
- Discomfort in the throat and difficulty swallowing. Coughing may occur, similar to irritated larynx.
The appearance of several of these symptoms of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine requires an immediate and complete examination to clarify the diagnosis.
Dorsagus and dorsalgia
Most often, symptoms and sensations are manifested in osteochondrosis of the chest, in which the patient feels pain, of different duration and strength. All pain symptoms are classified into two groups:
Dorsago: acute short-term pain. They arise when a person performs a monotonous load, that is, the muscles are in one position for a long period of time. The muscles are overloaded, there is a sharp pain (neuralgia), which, in addition, may be accompanied by shortness of breath. Dorsago is more common in women than men.
Back pain: prolonged pain. They become more pronounced when a person inhales. At first, the discomfort is weak and gradually intensifies. After 4 weeks, they become more pronounced and sharp. The nature of the pain can be pulling, cutting, stabbing, or something else.
Pain in osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine is located in the chest, shoulder blades, ribs, clavicles, sides of the ribs.
What happens at the beginning of the disease
The initial stage of the disease does not manifest itself or it does so very weakly, with minor signs. You should pay close attention to symptoms such as:
- I felt stiff in my movements.
- Decreased range of motion.
- There are signs of discomfort when bending, twisting, bending, or bending.
- Pain in the area between the shoulder blades on the chest.
These are sure signs of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine, omitting them means transferring the disease to the next, more serious stage.
The main symptom that accompanies all stages of the disease is pain. It can be located all over the body up to the waist area. So most of the time the pain affects:
- Part of the back between the shoulder blades.
- The clavicle and the areas under it.
- Ribs and parts of the body under them.
- Heart area.
- Pancreas area.
Because pain affects vital organs such as the heart, thoracic osteochondrosis is confused with other diseases and treatment is not prescribed correctly.
The thoracic spine consists of 11 vertebrae. And each one of them, with damage and degenerative processes, causes certain types of pain or negative changes in various organs. Therefore, in order to distinguish pain in the sternum with osteochondrosis from heart problems, it must be understood how pain sensations differ in two cases. In addition, when chronic diseases appear, a person should be aware that they can be caused by degenerative processes in the spine.
(pain in the thoracic spine)
Nature of pain
The pain has the nature of an attack with the defeat of the thoracic region, but can be both painful and pressing.
Low back pain, burning, aching pain.
The place where the pain occurs
Pain is felt in the back, pain in the chest is localized.
But it can give in all directions, both at the shoulder and below the ribs.
The pain is usually spike-shaped or shingles. But in any case, it is located precisely at the level where the vertebra is affected in the thorax area. It gives pain to the clavicle, scapula, back. Women are more likely to experience discomfort in the chest area.
It occurs spontaneously and lasts for a short period of up to 15-20 minutes, but if it is a heart attack, a longer period of time can occur.
It can last for several moments or, on the contrary, be monotonous in the long term, which is very exhausting for a person.
Reasons for exacerbation of the condition
Stressful situations, increased stress on the heart during physical activity. Prolonged stay in a horizontal position.
Uncomfortable position, sharp turns, bending, bending, palpation of the ribs or those areas where pain is felt.
If your heart hurts, then to know how to determine that it is a cardiovascular problem, you need to take the appropriate medications and see if the symptoms go away. Otherwise, these are the most likely signs of osteochondrosis.
Constriction in the chest
This feeling resembles the feeling that it is impossible to take in as much air as you want. The so-called incomplete inhalation appears. A feeling of tightness in the chest can be accompanied by pain in this area. Shortness of breath occurs with osteochondrosis.
Such compression in the chest can occur with other diseases, for example, with pneumonia or heart disorders. And in order to understand why there was a squeeze, it is worth measuring the number of heart beats per minute. If it is 100 or more, it is most likely lung or heart disorders. But if there are less than 100 strokes, then with almost complete certainty we can say that the cause of incomplete breathing is thoracic osteochondrosis.
As thoracic osteochondrosis develops, additional signs and symptoms of the disease are associated with pain syndromes, such as:
- Tingling in the upper and lower extremities - a running sensation of goose bumps.
- Then numbness occurs. It can appear on one limb or all at once.
- Excessive sweating appears, and is situational, regardless of external conditions.
- Fast heartbeat.
- Cold sweat may appear on the forehead and even on the body. This condition looks like a panic attack.
If this symptomatology manifests itself for the first time, you should definitely take a calm and relaxed posture, drink nitroglycerin and call a doctor. Since these can be symptoms of a heart attack, especially if all of the above is complemented by chest pain. It is worth listening to yourself. If, after taking nitroglycerin, the condition has improved, then heart problems are more likely, and if not, these are most likely symptoms that accompany thoracic osteochondrosis.
Also, symptoms like:
- Disorders of the digestive process: may be irregular stools, accompanied by constipation and diarrhea.
- Pains of unknown etiology often occur in the abdomen.
- Bloating and increased flatulence may also appear.
- Exacerbation of gastritis.
- Nausea appears and vomiting may even occur. All of this can be accompanied by loss of appetite.
In addition to all of the above, symptoms of thoracic osteochondrosis in men include disorders of the genitourinary system, most clearly manifested in decreased potency.
But the peculiarities of the symptoms of breast osteochondrosis in women include pain in breast pathologies. If pain in the mammary glands torments a woman, to exclude diseases of the mammary glands and confirm mammary osteochondrosis, you need to visit a mammologist.
The appearance of pain and the appearance of various diseases in case of damage to different vertebrae of the thoracic region is expressed as follows.
Number of thoracic vertebrae
|1 thoracic vertebra||
When the first thoracic vertebra is damaged or degenerative changes occur in it, numbness of the upper extremities of both one and two at the same time occurs.
The pain extends to the shoulders and forearms. It can be given to the hands.
The muscles in the back of the head tense.
A state of panic attacks can occur, a person is accompanied by a feeling of fear. The heart rate beats.
The pain can spread to different parts of the chest. Coughing often occurs with thoracic osteochondrosis, bronchitis, asthma, and other respiratory tract disorders.
The work of the gallbladder and bile ducts is disrupted. Dyskinesia and gallstones can occur. There will also be pain on the right side in the shoulder and head.
Problems at work with the liver, hematopoiesis failure and blood circulation. Hypotonic conditions and the associated feeling of chronic fatigue. Arthritis.
Alterations in the digestive tract. Often times, problems with the sixth thoracic vertebra are accompanied by heartburn and diabetes mellitus.
Gastrointestinal problems: duodenal ulcer, heartburn, heartburn, hiccups, nausea. General weakness of the body.
The spleen suffers. The malfunction of the body's immune system, manifested by immunodeficiency.
Violation of the water-salt balance and related dysfunctions of the kidneys. The arteries harden, drastically reducing their elasticity.
A wide variety of skin problems ranging from dryness to psoriasis.
What other pain syndromes exist in thoracic osteochondrosis?
It is important to realize that pain is the companion that always accompanies osteochondrosis. It can manifest itself very weakly or lead a person to a state where they will experience constant stress, as the pain is so strong that they cannot even take a comfortable position.
Speaking of pain in general, it is worth considering that it should be divided into:
- Local (local).
Local pain occurs just around the area of the spine where degenerative changes have occurred. When a person is concerned about osteochondrosis of the chest, the pain will be localized in the back and neck. The amplitude of the possible movements decreases, stiffness appears. All of this is accompanied by short-term or permanent painful sensations.
With distant pain, areas of the abdomen, the heart region, arms and even legs are captured. There may be sensations of tightness, burning, and tingling. It is very important that distant pain is accurately diagnosed so as not to confuse its appearance with any other disease.
The neuralgia of thoracic osteochondrosis is characterized by a localization of pain such that even the patient finds it difficult to breathe. Intercostal neuralgia occurs most often precisely due to osteochondrosis in the thoracic vertebrae. But it should be noted that there is no inverse relationship. That is, neuralgia does not lead to osteochondrosis. But neuralgia can be triggered by a broken rib or other type of injury. To understand that neuralgia, however, arose precisely because of osteochondrosis, it is worth understanding how different the sensations are with these changes in the body.
|The main signs of neuralgia and osteochondrosis||
Type of pain sensation
The pain is sharp, piercing. It looks like a flat tire.
Pain, rather painful with burning sensation.
|Along the sides of the body where the ribs meet.||In the area and between the shoulder blades, on the back and in the armpits.|
Moment of onset of discomfort
|The sensation of pain increases with a sigh or when turning.||Pain in thoracic osteochondrosis occurs after prolonged stress on the body, that is, towards the end of the day. It usually decreases or decreases after rest, either during the day or at night.|
Degenerative thoracic disc disease occurs as a result of several of the following reasons:
- Hereditary factor.
- Excessive and excessive physical activity.
- Lifting weights from the wrong position.
- Drowsiness, which deprives a person of sufficient blood circulation to all tissues.
- Defects in posture (curvature of the spine, such as thoracic scoliosis).
- Injury, injury or bruising to the chest of the spine.
- Uncomfortable shoes, especially those that lead to an abnormal position of the spine: high heels.
- Bad habits.
- Frequent stressful situations.
- Exhausting physical labor.
- Disruptions in the blood supply to the spinal cord.
- Degenerative-dystrophic changes in the bone structures of the spine.
- Changes in the cartilaginous tissues of the spine.
- Any change in the intervertebral discs, including vertebral hernias.
The period of pregnancy in a woman can affect the formation of breast osteochondrosis. This is due to the fact that the load on the spine increases along with resource costs. As a result, there is a shortage of micro and macro elements, as well as vitamins.
Excess body weight. In addition, it is enough to have more than 10% of normal mass to increase the load on the entire spine.
Neuromuscular depreciation disorders. This happens when the muscle does not fully compensate for the impact loads that can affect the body. As a result, an intense "blow" falls on the human skeleton, that is, the spine. From this, its damage occurs.
Osteochondrosis can occur only under the influence of various factors, such as, in principle, any disease. Therefore, what can be excluded from the list of reasons should be removed. For example, bad habits, physical inactivity or weight lifting. Take control of stressful situations.
Signs in subacute stage
The subacute stage occurs when the acute stage has passed. During this period, the person no longer experiences shortness of breath. There are no pronounced pain sensations, the symptoms wear out more. A person falls asleep more easily, as it is easier for them to adopt a comfortable position during sleep.
To prevent the subacute stage from returning to the acute stage, you should avoid:
- Incorrect slopes.
- Do not take long-term static positions, especially if they are not natural for the spine. This includes the sitting position.
The subacute stage usually lasts about 2 weeks. If the regimen and the doctor's recommendations were not violated, then most often remission occurs, in which all symptoms disappear. In addition, the patient's task is to prevent an exacerbation of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine through treatment, for example, by exercise therapy, folk remedies, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet.
But if the following sensations arise during the subacute stage, they should be given the greatest attention:
- Resumption of stiffness and inability to raise the arms, even if this is not accompanied by pain.
- Increased pain if not completely gone or for a longer period of painful attacks.
- Dizziness and nausea.
As soon as this happens, the subacute stage may become acute again. You should consult a doctor and describe the entire sensation.
After the manifested symptoms alerted the person and consulted a doctor, a full examination is prescribed. During which, if osteochondrosis of the thoracic region is confirmed, the doctor will determine the degree of the disease.
Grade 1 osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine is characterized by the appearance of changes in the intervertebral disc. As a result, bumps may appear at this stage and the disc protrudes into the spinal canal. But at this stage, there is no rupture of the annulus fibrosus. In the first degree of the disease, pain syndromes do not appear.
In the second stage, uncomfortable conditions appear in the column. Pain, dizziness, and nausea may be evident. In the second stage, the discs protrude into the spinal canal with such intensity that it leads to the rupture of the fibrous ring, which leads to the formation of intervertebral hernias.
The stage of active manifestation of intervertebral hernias with all the consequent consequences, such as pain and limited mobility.
The elasticity of the intervertebral discs is completely lost. In addition to pronounced hernias, destruction of the bone structures of the vertebrae also occurs. Bony growths appear: osteophytes.
Many of those who first experienced the symptoms of this disease are concerned with the question: how to determine osteochondrosis in the thoracic region?
The disease is insidious, as it may not manifest itself for a long period of time or may be disguised as other diseases. In this sense, when a patient seeks a doctor, he is already diagnosed with an advanced progressive stage of osteochondrosis.
Therefore, it is important, as soon as the first suspicions appear with the first symptoms of the disease, immediately consult a doctor and carry out a full examination in order to accurately diagnose, determine the stage and correctly prescribe a comprehensive treatment. Even if the doctor prescribes only drug treatment, it is necessary to ask about exercise therapy, physiotherapy and other therapeutic actions.
When diagnosing, a neurologist can:
- Make an initial diagnosis based on the symptoms described by the patient.
- During the exam, the doctor feels the areas the patient is pointing to and examines the intensity of the pain.
- Certain functional tests help the doctor evaluate how well reflexes and sensitivity are.
- X-rays, CT scans, MRIs may be prescribed.
- A neurologist can prescribe an ECG to eliminate interruptions in the work of the heart.
After conducting a comprehensive examination, the doctor, confirming osteochondrosis, prescribes a treatment designed to relieve symptoms, stop the development of the disease and, if possible, restore the functionality of the body.
In the acute stage of the disease, the following symptoms may appear:
- Cough with osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine.
- Various symptoms of thoracic neuralgia.
- Pain syndrome that can occur in different places in the upper body.
- Upset and discomfort in the chest area and directly in the middle between the shoulder blades.
- The temperature can rise with osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine in a neglected way.
If the correct treatment has been done and the symptoms are eliminated, then the remission stage begins. During this period, it is important to prevent the recurrence of all the above symptoms.
As soon as the condition normalizes, it is necessary to perform feasible exercises of exercise therapy, if the degree of the disease does not allow it, at least do intensive walks.
The disease occurs infrequently, but has very serious consequences with improper treatment, incorrect diagnosis, or a lack of health care. Therefore, the doctor should carefully monitor the entire medical history and draw up a call map, especially if thoracic osteochondrosis cannot be stopped and becomes severe.
Sometimes the disease causes myositis of the chest muscles, when the muscle structure is so weak that it is unable to support the spine, and sometimes even the simplest self-care skills are difficult for the patient to perform.
There is often radiculitis of the chest due to nerve root damage.
A chest fracture may occur. This can be due to bruising and bumps. And it can arise in a completely "empty" place. In this case, the signs of a chest fracture are difficulty and inability to breathe and move. If the fracture has arisen without external influence, special attention should be paid, as it can serve as the first symptoms of cancer and osteoporosis. Breast cancer develops under the influence of many factors, but the main ones include heredity, stressful situations, obesity, unfavorable environmental conditions, etc.
You must carefully monitor your health and lead an active and correct lifestyle without bad habits.
The treatment of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine should be accompanied by a balanced diet. It will allow the body to receive all the nutrients that the tissues of the spine and the muscular corset need.
It is very important to prevent the onset of the disease. To do this, it is enough to lead a healthy lifestyle with adequate food and diet, sufficient but not excessive loads and the elimination of stressful situations.
If the disease has already been acquired, it is important to start treatment as soon as possible. Therefore, you must pay due attention to your body so as not to miss the first bells that signal a malfunction of the spine.
If the diagnosis is made: osteochondrosis of the thoracic region, all doctor's recommendations should be followed and treatment should be taken seriously.
It must be remembered that the process of degenerative changes, most doctors consider irreversible, therefore, for a quality life, it is necessary to stop it as soon as possible.