A person is subject to a continuous life rhythm, in which he experiences physical activity of varying complexity. From this, in the first place, the spine suffers.
In many cases, there is a violation of the functionality of individual segments, pain is observed (including in the sternum), osteochondrosis progresses. The diagnosis is unpleasant, moreover, it often leads to disability. How to treat thoracic osteochondrosis?
What is this disease and what are the main symptoms?
Thoracic osteochondrosis is a pathology in which degenerative-dystrophic disorders occur in the thoracic spine. As a rule, the cervical and lumbar compartment is most often affected. Osteochondrosis of the thoracic region develops much less frequently and this is explained by anatomical features: the vertebrae are much thicker here and, moreover, they are additionally fixed by the sternum and ribs.
At the initial stage of pathology development, characteristic symptoms do not appear immediately. Due to the lack of mobility, in comparison with the cervical and lumbar spine, pain appears at later stages.
Thoracic osteochondrosis is considered the most dangerous and the prognosis becomes more difficult if degenerative disorders of other parts of the spine are present. The disease affects cartilage, connective and muscle tissue, which causes a number of other, no less dangerous pathologies.
|First degree||The patient is usually not worried about anything. Nevertheless, there is a decrease in the IVD height (they lose their elasticity), and there are also changes in the structure of the fibrous ring of the spinal disc and fibrous tissue.|
|Second degree||The height of the intervertebral discs continues to decrease, the spinal column loses mobility, which is a predisposing factor for the development of a hernia. There is soreness in the ribs, lumbago between the shoulder blades, and there is also a slight stiffness in movements.|
|Third degree||The pain syndrome intensifies, at this stage a hernia develops (the nucleus pulposus is displaced with rupture of the annulus fibrosus).|
|Fourth degree||The intervertebral discs completely lose their elasticity and become non-functional. Bone tissue is destroyed. The soreness is very pronounced.|
- Pain in the chest (sharp or compressive) and in the interscapular region (may be dull and constant). The symptom becomes more pronounced during exercise or while in an uncomfortable position.
- Osteochondrosis always leads to impaired blood circulation, and this, in turn, causes numbness in the hands and fingers, a feeling of creeping creeps, and slight itching.
- The occurrence of frequent headaches, dizziness, feeling short of breath, tiredness and drowsiness. Symptoms are often regular in the presence of degenerative disorders in the cervical spine.
Pain can radiate to the shoulder, shoulder blade, mammary gland, heart and peritoneal region. There is often a feeling of a lump in the throat, especially after physical exertion or nervous tension.
Causes of the disease
In many cases, osteochondrosis does not develop on its own, but occurs due to the impact on the spine of negative factors and / or diseases.
- Sedentary lifestyle. Decreased physical activity leads to poor circulation and weakening of the muscles that support the spinal column. Very often this is combined with improper posture and uncomfortable position (leg by leg, support on the arm, etc. ).
- The presence of past injuries, intense physical work (especially if incorrect weight lifting constantly occurs). Thus, the shock-absorbing function deteriorates, changes in the structure of the disc occur ("drying out", decrease in height).
- Curvature of the spine is one of the serious factors leading to osteochondrosis. These include lordosis, kyphosis and scoliosis (see photo below).
- Osteoporosis. This pathology occurs mainly in middle-aged and elderly people (more often in women). Also, osteoporosis can form when there is insufficient intake of vitamins and minerals necessary for the "nutrition" of bone tissue (for example, due to diseases of the digestive tract or if you follow a strict diet).
- Carrying a pregnancy. A woman during pregnancy gains, on average, 16 kg (sometimes more). At the same time, the spine is under serious stress, which, in some cases, leads to osteochondrosis. You can also add here such provoking factors as gait disturbance and a sedentary lifestyle.
Factors causing osteochondrosis are often combined. This significantly complicates treatment and further predictions for recovery.
Modern methods of treatment of chest osteochondrosis
Due to the fact that the disease is initially asymptomatic, patients go to the doctor at later stages of the development of pathology, when degenerative and often irreversible disorders of the intervertebral discs occur. Nevertheless, if you approach the solution of this problem correctly, you can successfully enter into long-term remission.
Today, there are many methods that successfully correct osteochondrosis. The patient needs to set himself up for long-term therapy and daily follow a number of recommendations. So, how to treat osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine.
The patient is prescribed a number of drugs that can not only reduce pain sensitivity, but also restore damaged bone and cartilage structures. We suggest that you familiarize yourself with the table "How to cure thoracic osteochondrosis with drugs. "
|Pharmacological group, drug name||Drug action|
|Proteolytic plant enzyme||The drug has a positive effect on connective tissue, accelerates the regeneration of cartilaginous elements in the intervertebral space.|
|Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs||The drugs are prescribed in the form of tablets, intramuscular injections, as well as ointments and gels, which should be rubbed into the painful area. Medications are not addictive, so they can be used regularly without increasing the dosage. The action of the drugs is based on removing the inflammatory process and reducing pain.|
|Chondroprotectors||Medicines help restore cartilage tissue, stimulate anabolic processes, increase the synthesis of proteoglycans (complex proteins) and collagen.|
|Muscle relaxants||The action is aimed at relieving muscle stiffness, thereby reducing soreness. The drugs eliminate pathological tension in skeletal muscles by partially blocking brain signals from the central nervous system to the affected area.|
|Antispasmodics||The drugs relieve spastic pain from skeletal muscles. When choosing means, it is advisable to take into account that they do not affect the clarity of the mind and the respiratory center.|
|Vitamins of group B||Improve the nutrition of nerve tissues, increase protein metabolism, provide elasticity of cartilage, and increase muscle mass.|
Many patients are interested in how to relieve an attack of chest osteochondrosis? With severe pain, a circular and paravertebral blockade is prescribed.
An injection is made along the midline between the vertebral processes, or the drug is injected into the area where the spinal nerves exit from the intervertebral foramen. The advantage of this method lies in the rapid and pronounced analgesic effect by acting directly on the nerve fibers and endings.
Manual therapy is a system of manual techniques aimed at correcting pathological manifestations that have formed as a result of disorders in muscle, cartilage or bone tissue. The main goal of treatment for thoracic osteochondrosis is to return the intervertebral discs and vertebrae to the anatomical position.
Proper spinal action helps to improve local circulation. This is a very important aspect, since when the blood flow is disturbed, there is a lack of muscle nutrition, which causes spasm and soreness in them.
Manual therapy will have a therapeutic effect only on the first, second or third degree of breast osteochondrosis. In the fourth degree, such treatment will be ineffective.
In addition, when choosing a "manual" exposure, it is important to consult a good specialist. Insufficient practice of a doctor (or pseudo doctor) can lead to such negative consequences as poor circulation, fracture of the vertebral body, rupture of muscles and / or ligaments.
Massage is one of the most effective non-drug methods of treating chest osteochondrosis. The procedure should be carried out in courses, 10-14 sessions in each, after 2-3 months until the general condition improves.
- helps to reduce pain;
- improves lymphatic and blood circulation;
- helps in eliminating muscle spasms and overexertion;
- improves muscle tone and nutrition of the intervertebral cartilage.
The massage is performed in the subacute and chronic stages of degenerative changes in the spine. The procedures are prescribed on the third or fourth day after the started medication.
The first sessions are gentle. This is necessary in order for the muscles to adapt to the forthcoming loads. To increase the effectiveness, it is recommended to combine massage with physiotherapeutic procedures such as electrophoresis, amplipulse, darsonvalization and magnetotherapy.
Physical activity allows most patients to eliminate stagnant processes in the vessels, which reduces the irritability of the nerve roots. Regular exercise therapy will strengthen the back muscles - this is necessary to relieve the spinal column.
How to cope with chest osteochondrosis using gymnastics?
- during physical education, it is forbidden to make sudden movements, as this can increase the pain syndrome and negatively affect the quality of medical measures;
- with exacerbation of osteochondrosis, only the simplest movements should be performed;
- if you experience pain while performing a certain exercise, then you need to stop and move on to the next complex;
- physiotherapy exercises should be carried out with a gradual load - the "beginner" is offered simple exercises, and after a few sessions the movements complicate and increase the training time.
To get good results, you need to exercise at least four months.
- Stand up straight. After inhaling, raise your arms up, as you exhale, lower. Keep your back straight. Repeat 20 times.
- Sit in a high-backed chair. As you inhale, take your shoulders back, try to bring your shoulder blades to each other as close as possible. Bend your lower back slightly. Do the exercise 15 times.
- Get on all fours. Now bend your lower back down and bend up in an arc. Repeat the exercise "kitty" 20 times.
- Stay on all fours. We balance the body: tear off the right arm and left leg from the floor, straighten and take away. Hold in position for up to 15 seconds. Return to the starting position and do the same using your left arm and right leg. Do the set of exercises 20 times.
When the muscle corset gets stronger, the doctor will suggest other, more challenging exercises. Regular exercise of physiotherapy exercises will allow you to get a lasting result.
In the last stages of osteochondrosis, when conservative treatment has not brought the desired result, an operation is prescribed. Surgical intervention is performed in two stages: at the first, the cause of the pain syndrome is removed, at the second, the spine is stabilized.
- Discectomy.During surgery, part or the entire disc of the spine, together with a hernia, causing compression of the spinal cord.
- Foraminotomy.Decompression of the spinal nerves and choroid plexuses leaving the spinal cord between the vertebrae is performed.
- Facetectomy.This is a resection of the intervertebral facet joints in order to eliminate pinched nerve fibers.
- Laminectomy.The operation consists in removing a small process of bone tissue of the vertebra above the nerve root - this helps to restore blood supply and reduce pain.
- Corpectomy.A portion of the vertebra and adjacent discs are removed to decompress the spinal cord and spinal nerves.
After the necessary manipulation, the doctors proceed to the second stage of the operation, the purpose of which is to fix the vertebrae. As a rule, spinal fusion is used.
This method provides for the creation of immobility (fusion) of adjacent vertebrae by placing a graft between them and special biological elements that stimulate the restoration of bone tissue. For details on the operation - watch the video in this article.
Osteochondrosis responds well to treatment in the early stages of development. It is important if pain occurs (especially if there are predisposing factors) in the thoracic region in the coming days to visit a specialist. The doctor, based on the diagnostic data, will select the optimal treatment, which must be carefully followed in order to maintain a healthy back.