Chest osteochondrosis: symptoms, causes and methods of treatment

examination by a doctor for osteochondrosis of the chest

Osteochondrosis is one of the most diagnosed pathologies of the spine. This pathology has degenerative-dystrophic origin, affects the intervertebral discs, which leads to their structural and external modifications. Doctors prescribe three types of disease: cervical, thoracic and lumbar osteochondrosis, depending on the location of the disorders in the spine. If we talk about the statistics of identified pathologies, it is believed that thoracic osteochondrosis is less common than other types. This is due to the peculiarities of the structure of the human spine in the thoracic region: the intervertebral discs of this part of the spine have limited mobility, which significantly reduces the possibility of their traumatic injury.

What is thoracic osteochondrosis

Identifying the disease is difficult, as its symptoms are often similar to pathological changes in other organs: heart, stomach, etc. Thoracic osteochondrosis is dangerous in its consequences, therefore its early detection gives more opportunities for timely correction and prevention of unwanted consequences. The disease is diagnosed just as often in patients of both sexes of different ages, including children. Let us dwell in more detail on the causes of osteochondrosis of the chest, its symptoms, methods of treatment with medication and at home.

Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine manifests itself as degenerative-dystrophic disorders in the structure of bone, cartilaginous tissue of the vertebrae, which provokes the development of destructive processes in them. In addition to the vertebrae themselves, the intervertebral discs suffer: they stratify, shrink in size, due to which the nerve endings in the space between the ribs are constricted. All this together affects the normal functioning of the spine. Treatment started at the wrong time aggravates the situation, which is then resolved exclusively with the help of a surgical operation, which can not always be resolved by the patient for various reasons.

Chest osteochondrosis can provoke the development of quite serious and dangerous diseases and conditions. It is often the cause of pneumosclerosis, narrowing of blood vessels, dysfunctions of the genitourinary system, carcinogenic pathologies, etc. If osteochondrosis progresses rapidly, it usually limits a person’s physical abilities: it is difficult for him to walk, work, and perform his work freely. usual activities.

With the development of osteochondrosis in patients, first the bony component of the vertebrae is affected, then the cartilage and, finally, the connective tissue and adjacent muscles.

If the signs of osteochondrosis appear in childhood or adolescence, adolescence, then this is a dangerous situation because it indicates that the person's musculoskeletal system began to age without being fully formed and developed. Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine in a child is rarely diagnosed. But the detected disease often indicates that there is some other dangerous disease.

The pathology is found approximately as often in both men and women. There are no age-specific priorities either. But it is worth noting that women are prone to the disease more often during the period of hormonal changes in the body - menopause.

If you start treating osteochondrosis of the spine in the early stages, then there is a much better chance that the therapy will give a positive result.

The degree of the disease and the characteristic symptoms

The development of thoracic spine osteochondrosis is gradual, several stages are different. For the correct organization of the treatment process, it is necessary to understand the mechanisms of its development and progress.

  • The initial stage of degenerative-dystrophic processes occurring in the spine is characterized by a slight decrease in the size of the intervertebral discs. Small cracks begin to appear on the surfaces of the annulus fibrosus of the intervertebral discs. The disc may be slightly outside the spine. At the same time, first-degree thoracic osteochondrosis does not appear as a painful sensation, often a person is unaware of a dangerous initial disease. With the help of computed tomography the elongation of the discs (their slight loss) is detected.
  • If a person has grade 2 thoracic osteochondrosis, then painful manifestations begin to appear in the back in the chest area. This is explained by the fact that the nerve fibers are tight. Musculoskeletal system of the spine, d. m. th. muscle corset, provides optimal support of the spine in the right anatomical shape. To prevent spinal instability, it is extremely important to form the muscular structures of the spine symmetrically. Otherwise, there is not only a violation of posture, curvature of the spine, but also excessive mobility of its individual elements. It is due to the increased mobility of the vertebrae that the nerve fibers leaving the spine through the intervertebral space are constricted. How is osteochondrosis manifested in the second stage? Back pain in the second stage of thoracic osteochondrosis necessarily appears. It has different characteristics: it can be withdrawal for a long period of time or short-term, in the form of crises. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that nerve endings are compressed directly into muscles, which are regularly in an increased tone.
  • The morphological signs of thoracic osteochondrosis of the third degree are very pronounced, they affect all the anatomical structural components of the spine. The patient has this pathological appearance: there are hernias and extensions of the intervertebral discs, the muscles and ligaments become inflamed, tears appear on them, the vertebrae move, signs of osteoarthritis of the vertebral joints appear. The clinical picture of spinal disease in the third stage is very diverse. In addition to the fact that a person actually has pain in osteochondrosis of the chest, the patient loses the tangible reaction of the part of the body where the damaged nerve passes; there are disorders of the autonomic nervous system, which are associated with dysfunctions of the respiratory and circulatory systems. It becomes difficult to breathe, there is pain in the heart, arrhythmia, shortness of breath. In addition, the patient develops osteoarthritis of several joints at once, and pathological disorders begin in the functioning of organs located in the chest area. Similar symptoms appear when the intervertebral fissure shrinks by two-thirds of its height. Its size is estimated with a chest radiograph, which is performed in two projections: straight and lateral.
  • With the development of degenerative processes in the spine up to the fourth degree osteochondrosis, the intervertebral fissure narrows to a minimum distance, dangerous conditions such as spondylosis, spondyloarthrosis (characterized by pathological changes in the intervertebral joints), spondylolisthesis (vertebrae aredisplaced) takes place. The body mobilizes its compensatory abilities to reduce static and dynamic load on the spine, to prevent damage to the anatomical elements, due to which the vertebrae grow, flatten and grow together with each other. The damaged area of the annulus fibrosus is replaced by a bony structure, osteophytes are formed (bone growth), due to vertebral disc prolapse, the spinal cord narrows, the nerve endings are tightly compressed, the motor activity of the chest. the spine is noticeably limited, the person constantly aches in the chest region from the back.
  • As a result of the progression of the disease, the patient has lumbago pain in the lower back (lumbago), legs are completely or partially paralyzed, the person loses the ability to work, becomes disabled.

The different symptomatic manifestations of the disease depend on various reasons, including a person’s genetic predisposition. The same symptoms of thoracic spine osteochondrosis fail in different patients in different ways. There is an objective explanation for this: various causes, conditions of occurrence and general state of human health lead to osteochondrosis. Symptoms of thoracic osteochondrosis in men appear somewhat earlier than in women. The main reason for this phenomenon lies in the physiological structure of the female body: the hormone estrogen protects the intervertebral discs, therefore, conditions particularly favorable for the disease arise during changes in the hormonal background (during pregnancy, menopause).

Many are interested in whether they have dealt with osteochondrosis in the military. If the recruiter has first-degree osteochondrosis, he will be drafted into the military. In case a young person has a pronounced symptomatology of the disease, it is noticed by a neuropathologist, then there is likely a delay, in a neglected condition (if there is polysegmental osteochondrosis of the thorax), they may not callfare.

Reasons for submission

Thoracic osteochondrosis at the beginning of its appearance is practically not manifested in anything. However, you need to know why it can show up. The following reasons provoke pathology:

  • Regular static or dynamic spinal overload due to active training and strength in professional athletes or people involved in sports without the necessary load control.
  • Traumatic damage to the bones, articular elements of the spine often leads to the fact that they do not join properly, they collapse rapidly. Any damage to the spine is exacerbated by pathological changes in the functioning of the structures of the nervous system and blood circulation. The necessary supply of bones with nutrients is often restored for a very long period of time.
  • Poor posture, congenital or acquired curvature of the spine, leading to an unbalanced effect on the intervertebral discs.
  • Sharp weight lifting, when the bulk of the load falls on the chest region of the back. If a person constantly performs such movements, then the probability of developing chest osteochondrosis is high.
  • posture disorders as a cause of thoracic osteochondrosis
  • Disorders of the endocrine system. In case the metabolic processes are disturbed in the body, all the organs and other tissues do not receive the necessary nutrients and their regeneration is also wrong.
  • Genetic preconditions for possible pathological processes in vertebrae, intervertebral discs. In this case, thoracic osteochondrosis manifests itself in absolutely every age category.
  • Insufficient physical and physical activity of a person, sedentary work. The muscular frame of the spine in this situation weakens, tissue nutrition deteriorates, spinal flexibility decreases, and the risk of developing thoracic osteochondrosis increases significantly.
  • Underdevelopment of all tissues of the musculoskeletal system, which causes degenerative disorders in the spine. The cause is an unbalanced, excessive load on the spine.
  • Various pathological changes in the intervertebral discs. They can become thinner or, conversely, grow, on them osteophytes can appear, interfering with the functioning of the joints, as well as damaging blood vessels and exerting compression on nerve fibers. The development of intervertebral hernias often provokes the progression of osteochondrosis.
  • Inflammatory processes in the spine or nearby muscles often cause signs of thoracic osteochondrosis in both women and men.
  • Impaired blood supply to the spinal cord, due to the fact that the veins and arteries are narrowed or squeezed.
  • The consequences of infectious diseases are the development or worsening of osteochondrosis.
  • Hypothermia, abuse of bad habits, food imbalance.
  • Separately, psychosomatics are distinguished, i. e. constant stress, nervous excitement can also cause osteochondrosis.

There are many reasons for the development of thoracic osteochondrosis, therefore, to prevent its development, you should pay attention to prevention.

Common symptoms

The symptoms of breast osteochondrosis in women and men are similar. Usually, a progressive disease during a worsening is manifested by the following symptoms.

  • Severe chest pain. They arise from a long stay in an uncomfortable position during physical work.
  • Radicular syndrome, as a result of compression of nerve endings.
  • Intercostal neuralgia.
  • The appearance of spasms in the muscles of the back.
  • An altered condition of the heart muscle, in which the pain is not relieved by taking special medications.

Moreover, during an attack of thoracic osteochondrosis, the patient may experience atypical symptoms: tachycardia, dizziness, heartburn, increase or decrease in blood pressure. Body temperature, as a rule, does not change.

Diagnostic techniques

If the doctor assumes that the patient has osteochondrosis, then he will propose to undergo the following studies to diagnose the pathology.

  • X-ray examination, during which the following are determined: the borders and size of the intervertebral discs, the existing bone growths, the changes in the shape of the vertebrae, etc.
  • Radiography with a contrast agent allows you to assess the degree of disc destruction in the diagnosis of osteochondrosis of the chest region.
  • MRI as a method for diagnosing thoracic osteochondrosis
  • CT or MRI shows a layer after layer of altered structures. These techniques are used in the most difficult situations.
  • With the help of electromyography differentiate the neurological signs associated with a disease in the chest region.

The main rules of treatment

During the treatment of osteochondrosis of the chest region, the following main points are noticed:

  1. With the initial manifestations of the signs of osteochondrosis, you can prevent its further development by correcting your posture.
  2. Every symptom, even minor, of the disease requires conservative therapy.
  3. To achieve a positive result in treatment, a long-term and systematic application of additional techniques for drug therapy is required.
  4. If the disease is neglected, then surgery is required.

When deciding how to treat osteochondrosis of the chest region, the doctor will take into account the stage of development of the disease, the individual characteristics of the patient, as well as possible side reactions of the body.

Drug treatment

Conservative therapy involves the use of the following groups of drugs.

  • To reduce the manifestation of pain and inflammation, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers or glucocorticosteroids are prescribed. They are available in various pharmacological forms (tablets, solutions for injection, ointments), therefore, what exactly should treat the disease, the doctor will advise.
  • Chondroprotectors are used to stimulate the restoration of cartilage tissue.
  • To relieve muscle spasms, antispasmodics and muscle relaxants are used.
  • To relieve excruciating back pain, the patient may be offered injections for osteochondrosis - to perform a blockade with the help of anesthetic medication.

As a combined treatment for thoracic osteochondrosis, the possibilities of the following additional treatment methods are widely used.

  1. With the help of acupuncture, you can quickly get the result - pain relief. The advantages of the technique include: high efficiency in a short time, a rare occurrence of side effects of the body, an insignificant list of contraindications, a painless technique. Acupuncture is not practiced if a person is diagnosed with the presence of malignant neoplasms, has mental disorders, during an exacerbation of inflammation and pregnancy. The duration of treatment is chosen individually.
  2. Through the possibilities of manual therapy, the blood supply to the damaged areas of the body is improved, the intensity of the pain is reduced, the muscle spasm is eliminated, the ligaments are restored, the development of osteochondrosis is slowed down.
  3. Treatment of osteochondrosis with the help of physiotherapy is practiced everywhere, because, using them, medicines are injected at the injured site. Thus p. sh. , electrophoresis with NSAIDs, glucocorticosteroids, etc. . In addition to electrophoresis, UHF, magnetotherapy, and vacuum are often prescribed. The main goal, which is achieved with physiotherapy techniques, is to improve blood circulation to the painful area.
  4. To relieve spasms in the back muscles, a massage course is often prescribed. Classic massage is used during forgiveness, and vibrating massage - in an acute period. If the patient has an intervertebral hernia, then the use of massage techniques is not recommended.
  5. Physical therapy is of great importance in treatment. The specific set of exercises in each case is chosen by the doctor individually.
  6. When treating osteochondrosis, diet is important. In the patient's diet, it is necessary to include protein in the required amount, chondroitin (for this you need to eat jelly, jelly meat, aspic dishes), vegetables, fruits. You can not eat too much; exclude the use of fried and fatty foods.

How to treat chest osteochondrosis at home

Treatment with folk remedies can also be practiced, but before using any of them, you should consult your doctor. The following recipes are popular.

  • To prepare an infusion from the root of celery, take 3-4 g of raw material, grind, pour 1 liter of boiling water. After 8 hours, filter the infusion, drink up to three times a day with a dessert spoon.
  • To prepare the juice, take 2-3 sunflower roots, cut them into pieces about 1 cm, pour three liters of boiling water and boil for another 3 minutes. The medicine is used as a tea.
  • At home, you can prepare an ointment to rub the sore spots. 150 g of lard is mixed with 2 tablespoons. l. wax, heat for 20 minutes in a water bath, then add 1 tbsp. l. fir oil, continue to heat the same amount, then add 1 tbsp. l. ammonia. The product is stored in a glass container in a cool place.

Treatment of osteochondrosis of the chest at home is usually used in the mild period or as an adjunct to medications during an irritation.

Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine is a disease that should be taken seriously to avoid negative consequences. For its successful treatment, you should carefully consider the doctor's advice and follow them in a disciplined manner.