Today, a disease such as osteochondrosis of the chest and cervical spine is considered a fairly common disease among people of all ages.
Sedentary lifestyle, poor posture and wearing uncomfortable shoes can lead to a very serious disease that is almost impossible to diagnose in the early stages.
Features of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine
Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine, most commonly called thoracic chondrosis, is a disease of the intervertebral discs of the chest. Also, degenerative chest disease is called "chameleon" because the symptoms are not detected immediately and can be confused with a completely different disease.
Most often the disease occurs due to metabolic disorders, as well as excessive stress on the intervertebral discs. Thoracic chondrosis disrupts the normal functioning of the intervertebral disc.
Unlike other types, thoracic osteochondrosis is less pronounced and has the following symptoms:
- Chest pain,stronger at night, as well as in sharp turns or hypothermia.
- Pain between the shoulder bladeswith a sharp lifting of the limb or sharp bends.
- Acute pain with sighand chest tightness.
The above symptoms refer to the initial stage of the disease.
The following symptoms may occur with a long course without medical intervention:
- Numbness of small areas of skin.
- Itching or burning in the legs.
- Severe peeling of the skin.
- Mild sore throat or esophagus.
- Poor gastrointestinal function.
Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine
Cervical osteochondrosis or cervical chondrosis is a disease that weakens the intervertebral discs, leading to a change in the structure of the discs themselves and the cervical joints. Nerve endings can become inflamed by destructive intervertebral discs.
According to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), it has the code M42. 02.
The following sensations of pain are inherent in the disease:
- Recurrent headaches.
- Periodic pain in the neck, back, shoulders.
- Short-term visual impairment.
- Reduces the sensitivity of the collar.
Symptoms of cervical chondrosis
The second degree is characterized by the appearance of small spinal hernias and the following symptoms:
- Pain in the cervical spine, strong crunch with a sharp turn of the head.
- Periodic loss of sensation in the arms and shoulders.
- Visual impairment and intermittent ringing in the ears, sleep problems.
- Numbness of the face and neck, weakening of the upper limbs.
- Periodic acute pain in the shoulder blades.
The third stage of cervical osteochondrosis is difficult to treat. The intervertebral hernia increases in size, there is a deformity of the spine.
For the third stage, the following symptoms will appear:
- Severe neck and heart pain.
- Loss of sensitivity of the scalp, arms, shoulders.
- Paralysis of the upper limbs.
- Hernia of the cervical spine.
The fourth stage is characterized by exacerbation of all the above symptoms.
Symptoms of cervicothoracic osteochondrosis
Quite a common disease that immediately affects the cervical and thoracic region. It can start at any age due to back injuries, sedentary lifestyle and overweight. Hereditary factors and work in hazardous production (excessive vibration) play an important role.
According to ICD-10, this type of osteochondrosis has code M 42. 02.
Symptoms of cervicothoracic osteochondrosis include:
- Sudden dizziness.
- Neck and shoulder pain.
- Pain in the right hypochondrium.
- Blood pressure drops and tachycardia.
Osteochondrosis with radicular syndrome
The disease got its name due to dysfunction in the roots of the intervertebral nerves.
When the roots are affected, a number of rather disordered symptoms develop, including sharp "shooting" pains in the lumbar region and neck.
Symptoms also include:
- Short-term loss of ability to perform any movements.
- Loss of sensation in the limbs.
- Muscle malnutrition.
- Changes in neurological reflexes (found on examination by a neurologist).
The following factors are associated with the onset of radicular syndrome:
- Uneven load on the spine during overweight, pregnancy, wearing uncomfortable shoes.
- Asymmetry of the lower limbs, flat feet.
- Injuries, sharp loads on the spine.
If the disease is detected early, no surgery is required.
Causes of cervical osteochondrosis
The main reasons for the development of osteochondrosis:
- Heavy weight and sedentary work, sedentary lifestyle.
- Previous spinal injuries and spinal curvature.
- Stress and nervous tension.
- Lack of physical training.
- Lack of healthy eating.
Degrees of osteochondrosis of the chest and neck
The development of cervical osteochondrosis is characterized by the following stages of the disease:
- The first stageis characterized by changes in the intervertebral discs. The changes begin to occur due to the disappearance of fluid reserves from the nucleus of the intervertebral discs. The pain is still not noticeable.
- In the second stagethe intervertebral discs become flatter. As a result, there are strong loads on the ligaments and muscles, which due to the constant heavy load begin to tingle. Constant dizziness is characteristic.
- The third stageis characterized by significant changes in bone and cartilage tissues, the appearance of osteoarthritis.
- Stage IVis characterized by the appearance of bony growths on the vertebrae.
To diagnose osteochondrosis, the first step is to perform a complete examination of the spine. The signs of osteochondrosis in the initial stage can be confused with a number of other diseases. It is necessary to perform a diagnosis by a highly qualified specialist.
To diagnose the disease, it is necessary to contact your doctor, who will refer you to a specialist with a narrower profile. The earlier the patient seeks medical help, the faster and safer the treatment will be.
In fact, osteochondrosis is not treated by one specialist, but by several:
- Radiologist.After receiving the results of the X-ray, the picture of the disease will be clearer.
- Chiropractor. Determines the exact location and stage of the disease.
- The doctor is an osteopath.The method of treatment is very similar to manual therapy.
- Physician - neurologist.Osteochondrosis is closely related to diseases of the nervous system. The doctor will help in the treatment of the disease, both in the first stage and in the second.
- Physician - physiotherapist.He is a specialist in physiotherapy exercises. Physical education helps only in the early stages of the disease.
It is believed that a sharp exacerbation of the disease is quite common. In such cases, you should consult a neurologist immediately. Osteochondrosis of the cervical, thoracic and lumbar region is closely related to nerve diseases. The neurologist will prescribe a course of special medications that relieve pain.
Osteochondrosis during pregnancy and lactation in women
Osteochondrosis during pregnancy is a common phenomenon, because during pregnancy a woman undergoes a global restructuring and a very heavy load on the whole body. The disease has no effect on the fetus, but can cause a number of serious problems during birth.
A breastfeeding period is also recommended to be observed by a doctor and to wear corrective corsets to reduce tension in the spine.
Causes of osteochondrosis during pregnancy include:
- Gaining weight and severe stress on the spine and wearing uncomfortable shoes.
- Pressure of the uterus on adjacent organs.
- Change in hormone levels.
- Deficiency of useful vitamins and minerals.
- Lack of rest and sleep, various types of stress.
To prevent the disease, you should consult a doctor at the first sign of concern. You do not have to wait for the end of pregnancy. After birth, the disease can progress and will be much more difficult to cure.
If a disease is detected, the pregnant woman will be assigned to wear a prenatal bandage, a course of vitamins and minerals, and special gymnastics.
First aid for exacerbation of osteochondrosis at home
The duration of exacerbation depends on the type and degree of neglect of the disease. Most often, the exacerbation can last from 1 week to 1 month.
Attention! In case of exacerbation of the disease is prohibited: heating in a bath or other heating, massage and self-medication.
If a sudden attack occurs before the doctors arrive, you must do the following:
- Provide the patient with maximum rest.
- If possible, place the patient on a hard surface.
- Apply a cool compress to the affected area.
- Apply anti-inflammatory ointment on the affected area.
If a visit to a specialist in the near future is not possible, then you should resort to the following actions:
- Take a warm, relaxing shower.
- Do not make sudden movements.
- Do not lift weights.
- To avoid further pinching, keep the neck stable.
Dorsago and Dorsalgia
Dorsagois the name of one of the symptoms of chest inflammation. Dorsago is characterized by sharp pain in the heart, most often occurring in people performing monotonous sitting work, or after a long stay in an awkward position. In case of sudden movement, short-term breathing difficulties are possible.
Dorsalgiais a pain syndrome that occurs with a sharp exacerbation of the disease lasting about 2 weeks. In dorsalgia, the pain increases gradually. The pain is especially severe when you lean forward or breathe deeply. The most common pulling pains occur in the shoulder blades, lumbar region.
Methods of treatment of cervical and thoracic osteochondrosis
In the case of disease, various methods are used to treat osteochondrosis.
The most common are considered to be:
- Physiotherapy- paraffin compresses, magnetic therapy, laser therapy.
- Therapeutic gymnasticsgymnastics and massage.
- Reflexology- treatment is performed using needles acting on the affected areas. Before starting treatment it is necessary to consult a specialist, as there are a number of contraindications.
- Folk remediesand diet.
- Medicine- prescribed only after a complete examination by a specialist.
To relieve back pain, doctors usually prescribe medication. When the stage is advanced, medications relieve the pain for a short time. Therefore, to relieve pain and further inflammation, doctors prescribe NSAIDs in the form of tablets or capsules.
Chondoprotectors- another type of medication prescribed for osteochondrosis. The drugs are designed to protect and strengthen bone and cartilage tissue from destruction.
In case of a strong inflammatory process that occurs in the muscle tissue, the patient will be prescribed drugs to relieve muscle spasms.
Dosage should be determined by your doctor. The course of medication is not more than 3 weeks.
Also one of the effective methods of drug treatment is the use of injections that can relieve pain.
In case of complex treatment the patient may be prescribed to wear special fixing corsets and bandages.
Exercises for osteochondrosis
Exercises prescribed in a physiotherapy room can not only relieve pain, but also strengthen the muscles of the spine, which further prevents the development of various complications. And also after a few courses of physiotherapy exercises the posture improves significantly.
The famous doctor Bubnovski has developed a set of exercises for the treatment of osteochondrosis that can be used at home.
The most common exercises are:
- Walking, smooth lifting of arms and legs.
- Rotate the shoulders in different directions, bring and unfold the blades.
- Slow head tilted to the side.
- Stretching exercises for the muscles of the spine and neck.
- Flexion of arms and legs.
In the case of cervical osteochondrosis, head rotation is prohibited as it may cause a complication of the disease.
Physiotherapy is mainly aimed at reducing back pain. The procedure improves blood circulation, enriches the muscles with oxygen.
Today, the most common physiotherapy procedures are:
- Vibration massage- helps to get rid of pinched nerves in the intervertebral discs. Contraindication - pregnancy, high blood pressure.
- Acupuncture- relieves pain. It also helps to relax the muscles of the back. Contraindication is epilepsy.
- Electrotherapy- the method consists in using a weak effect of current on the affected areas of the spine. Contraindication is the presence of heart disease.
- Ultraviolet- enriches the body with vitamin D, thanks to which calcium is absorbed faster. It also has an anti-inflammatory effect on the affected area. Contraindications to the procedure are the presence of blood diseases, allergic skin reactions, cancer.
Treatment of osteochondrosis with folk remedies
In the complex treatment of the disease, some doctors also recommend the use of folk remedies to eliminate the disease. In complex treatment it is especially important to follow the correct dosage and method of treatment.
Folk remedies for home use relieve pain in muscles and joints, as well as restore joint mobility:
- Fir and turpentine fur.150гр. Melt each animal fat in a water bath 1 tbsp fir oil and turpentine. After 20 minutes, remove the ointment from the heat, allow to cool and apply exclusively on the affected areas of the spine.
- Mustard compress.Combine mustard powder, vodka and camphor alcohol in equal amounts. After mixing thoroughly, add 4 egg whites. Allow the mixture to boil for 4 hours. Apply a compress on the affected areas.
- Turpentine bath.Shake the vial well with the solution. Then pour 5 ml of emulsion in a warm bath. In subsequent times, the solution can be increased to 10-15 ml. You should spend 20 minutes in such a bath. The water temperature should not exceed 40 degrees. It is also necessary to ensure that the water does not reach the heart area.
Method for treatment of osteochondrosis according to Valentin Dikul
This technique is quite common in the treatment of the disease. Valentin Ivanovich Dikul, first, tried his method on himself. The Dikul technique is indicated for diseases of the spine and intervertebral hernias.
The following principles must be followed during the exercise:
- Observe the order of the exercises.
- Gradually load your body with exercise.
- Regular performance.
- Turn off fast exercises, the technique involves smooth and slow movements.
Principles of nutrition in osteochondrosis
In case of complex treatment, a special diet must be followed, which includes:
- Drinking lots of water.
- Adequate amount of vitamins and minerals in food.
- Eating foods rich in protein and calcium.
The diet suggests an exception:
- Fried, fatty and spicy foods.
- Refusal of fast food (sandwiches, fast food).
- Avoid eating for a few hours before bed.
In order to prevent the development of the disease or to stop its development, it is necessary to use the following prophylaxis:
- Always watch your posture, do yoga or do morning exercises.
- Limiting sudden loads on the spine.
- Limit sudden movements.
- Avoid uncomfortable shoes as well as shoes with high heels.
- Evenly distributes the load on the spine when performing any work.
With proper compliance with all the above recommendations, as well as timely referral to specialists, almost any disease can be cured. Treatment for osteochondrosis takes much more time and money, but advanced disease can lead to a wheelchair.