Thoracic osteochondrosis is a disease in which the intervertebral discs in the thoracic spine are destroyed. Because this department is the most inactive, it is less susceptible to disease.
Chest osteochondrosis is characterized by cramps and pain in the chest, below the ribs, shortness of breath, sting, cutting, acute pain behind the sternum. The symptoms and manifestations of the disease may be similar to other diseases.
Spinal pain is the most common and superficial symptom. Of course, they do not always talk about the development of osteochondrosis in a person. Therefore, attention should be paid to other feelings in the body:
- Discomfort and chest pain. Often with a sedentary lifestyle, you may not notice it. But as soon as you start doing any physical activity that speeds up breathing, you will notice that the pain intensifies. The nature of this pain can be called a girdle.
- In addition, you can feel pain in completely unexpected places - the heart, stomach, liver. This is due to the fact that thoracic osteochondrosis tends to be "masked" as a special disease. For example, many may confuse it with gastritis, ulcer, or angina pectoris.
- If you notice that you occasionally have a "shiver" in the chest area, then in combination with other manifestations it may indicate thoracic osteochondrosis.
- In some cases, there may be a loss of sexual function, for example, impotence in men.
Pain in thoracic osteochondrosis
One of the main characteristics of this type of pain is the girdle. But it is not always possible to recognize this pain by this. Here’s another way this can be felt and characterized:
- most often manifested in the dark, behind the sternum;
- a feeling that can be described as a "stake in the chest";
- discomfort in the hypochondrium, both right and left;
- feeling as if there is a foreign body behind the sternum;
- if the lesion affected only the upper thoracic region, then the person may feel pain in the esophagus and pharynx.
Since these symptoms are still very vague and may indicate a number of other diseases, the doctor recommends an additional ECG test.
Impact on organs
In the process of development, this disease can negatively affect the internal organs, ie the lungs and heart. Here's what thoracic osteochondrosis can mean:
- heart effect. It mainly causes pinching of the nerve roots in the chest area. After all, that's where the nerve plexuses of the heart go. It is these plexuses that regulate the work of the heart. The main alarm bells are regular heartbeats (extrasystoles), arrhythmia, tachycardia. Effects on the circulatory system, therefore, may occur in one or all of these symptoms;
- effect on the lungs. It is most often manifested by shortness of breath and painful feelings at the same time.
Why does thoracic osteochondrosis occur?
Despite the fact that osteochondrosis as a holistic disease is quite common, thoracic osteochondrosis is less common. Preconditions for the development of this disease can already be found in schoolchildren who grimace sitting at their desks. Therefore, children can develop scoliosis, and in adulthood - osteochondrosis. Most other causes of development are closely related to scoliosis:
- violation of posture;
- violation of metabolic processes affecting the integrity of intervertebral discs;
- sedentary lifestyle;
- hereditary causes;
- spinal cord injury;
- static work and prolonged stay in an uncomfortable, distorted position.
How to treat?
After an accurate diagnosis is made during the examination, the doctor prescribes a special medicine. In the case of thoracic osteochondrosis, it may include the following drugs, depending on the severity of the disease and the characteristics of its manifestation:
- First of all, medications are prescribed that "remove" the pain and alleviate the discomfort. They are called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory or glucocorticosteroid drugs.
- Papain is used to avoid a lack of fluid in the intervertebral disc.
- Prescribe medications called "chondroprotectors". With their help, there is a general strengthening of cartilage tissue.
- Medicines that relieve muscle cramps around the spine can also be added to the list.
- If the development of an inflammatory process is detected, then special anti-inflammatory therapy is prescribed.
But, of course, drugs alone cannot cure. Be sure to follow a healthy lifestyle, proper nutrition. These actions will be useful not only for the treatment, but also for the prevention of this and many other diseases.
Exercises for thoracic osteochondrosis
Since lack of physical activity is one of the root causes of disease development, the role of exercise in this case is great. In addition, by supplementing your medication with exercise, your body will return to normal and stabilize much faster.
There are a number of special exercises for the thoracic part. When performing them, follow the basic rules: without jerking, act slowly, smoothly, without trying to overload the body. Increasing the amplitude is allowed, but only if you do not feel pain. So, what are the most effective exercises provided by physical therapy?
- Lie on the floor on your stomach. The arms are along the body. We bend in the thoracic part - smoothly, gently. Raise your arms and head as much as you feel, but try to avoid pain. It is recommended to perform at least 5 approaches.
- For the next exercise, we need a chair with a small, strong back. We sit right on a chair. We exhale, bend backwards, and move our arms backwards. Then we return to the starting position. We repeat 10-12 times.
- We stand upright. Hands at the seams, legs together. Take a deep breath and raise your arms. As you exhale, slowly bend back and lower your arms. We return to the starting position. It is recommended to do 7-9 series at a time.
- Lie on the floor on all fours. Slowly bend your back as you inhale, as you exhale, return to starting position. Repeat the exercise 7-10 times.
- We lay on the floor on our stomachs. Hands on the seams. Your task is to tear your body off the floor, stretch your head to your heels. We pull the whole body, we exercise the chest. The required number of approaches is 7-8.
- We work with the upper part of the thoracic part. Starting position - arms at the seams, feet shoulder-width apart. We work with the shoulders. We raise them first together and then each one separately. We twist our shoulders back and forth, forward and backward. For each task we perform 10-15 approaches.
- Also, for the upper thoracic region, you can perform circular hand movements. Starting position, as in the previous task. Stretch your arms out to the sides, clench your palms into fists. We perform the rotation of the hands forward - backward, then the rotation of the arm from the elbow - back and forth, then the whole arm back and forth. We perform each part of the exercise 4-6 times, generally we repeat the exercise 2-4 times.
Exercise in the morning and evening, give it at least 15-20 minutes. Dilute it with a set of exercises for other muscle groups by inserting several of the options described above.
Massage is also a very good tool in the fight against osteochondrosis. There is a therapeutic massage here, which is prescribed by a specialist after a thorough examination of the patient. You can also do it at home - here are some options on how to do it.
Honey massage. We will need 2-3 tablespoons of honey, preferably not candied, warm. Dip your palms into the honey so that they are covered with a thin layer. Apply it in the area behind the sternum and tear off abruptly, repeat several times, moving the palms from place to place.
This massage should not be done for too long, because it causes pain. Enough 10-15 minutes for one session. The skin will then turn red, "burning".
Classic massage. It consists of several steps, which include: caressing, kneading, vibration, rubbing. It is recommended to perform a massage with a cream or ointment against osteochondrosis - a specialist can recommend it.
The duration of this massage should not exceed 20 minutes, and the total course of treatment in this way should not include more than 11-13 sessions. It is preventively recommended to knead the neck, arms, shoulders, buttocks, and even the legs.
In addition, there are alternative methods for treating thoracic osteochondrosis. For example, rubbing is very good, the base of which can also be used when performing a massage. The basis is usually lilac flowers, horseradish root, garlic, onion, potato, ficus. Honey, vegetable oil, and sometimes cologne or alcohol are added. Mix everything well into a homogeneous mass and rub the damaged area. For example, according to the following recipe, you can prepare a rub from ficus leaves:
- Ficus leaves in the amount of 6-8 are passed through a grater or cut into small pieces. They are placed in a bowl, into which they pour 2 bottles of triple cologne. Mix. 2 weeks of rubbing should be in a dark place. Then it should be used at least 2 times a day until the heat appears on the skin.
Working at a computer is one of the main causes of osteochondrosis. With a longer stay at the computer, it is recommended that the exercises be done at least every two hours.
Doing computer activities on a daily basis without physical activity can lead to poor posture. This happens because a person performs static work for a long period of time, not allowing the muscles and spine to rest and not performing warm-ups or breaks. In the future, without correcting this problem, osteochondrosis of the thoracic region may develop.
To prevent this from happening, experts advise performing so-called office charging, designed especially for those who work at a computer most of the time.
For example, the following exercises are very good:
- Bend your back by stretching your arms upward, tilting your head back. Feel a comfortable weight in your back. Perform at least 3-4 times after each hour of computer work.
- Perform circular rotations of the head. Look left and right, tilt your head back and forth.
- Raise your arms up - sideways - forward - sideways. Repeat several times.
- Stand next to your workspace, if you can, and switch from foot to foot.
Don't forget to change your position while working at the computer, then you will preserve your health, spine and posture for a long time!
Strengthening the back muscles in osteochondrosis
Strengthening the back muscles is a very important part in the treatment and prevention of osteochondrosis. To do this, it is enough to perform physical activity - exercise, attend fitness classes or gym. Choose the option that suits you best. For example, swimming strengthens muscles well, so you can not only enjoy it, but also improve your body.