The thoracic spine consists of 12 vertebrae. All the vertebrae are joined to the ribs through the joints. Front edge attached to the sternum, forming a rigid skeleton, which serves as a receptacle for the internal organs of the chest. Intervertebral discs in the thoracic spine are a little high. Spinous processes of thoracic vertebrae are long enough and are arranged one above the other in the form of shingles. This limits the mobility of the thoracic spine.
Intervertebral discs are injured in traffic load and to a lesser extent than the more mobile cervical and lumbar. Therefore, degenerative-dystrophic changes in the thoracic spine are developing slowly. Physiological kifozirovanie (convexity of the thoracic spine ago) facilitates load balancing so that the heavy workload experienced front and side sections of vertebrae. The front and sides of the vertebrae and osteophytes begin to grow. Since there is no nerve root and spinal cord membranes of pain often does not occur. Osteophytes on the back of the vertebrae develop less frequently.
Pain in the thoracic spine tend to occur during the propagation of degenerative process in the intervertebral joints, in the event spondylarthrosis, and the development of osteoarthritis in the edge-vertebral joints and the cross-rib joints (joints that are adjacent ribs are attached to each other). This process can lead to narrowing of the intervertebral foramen. Then there is compression of the nerve roots of the spinal cord and sympathetic nerve fibers. In this case, developed pain in the area of innervation of the affected nerve. And with compression of sympathetic nerve fibers that regulate the function of internal organs, there are various disorders of the function of these organs.
Typically, patients complain of pain in the interscapular region or in the course of the thoracic spine. Often the pain worse with movement and breathing. When compression of the nerve root pain is girdled, usually on one side along the affected intercostal nerve. In the area of innervation of this nerve is disturbed sensitivity.
There is a numbness, formication, or, conversely, burning and increased sensitivity. With regard to disorders of internal organs, you may experience pain in the heart of the type of angina, pain in the liver, disruption of the stomach and intestines, may disrupt urination and sexual function. To clarify the diagnosis is carried out X-rays in two projections. The pictures can be found height reduction of intervertebral discs, bony growths of the vertebral bodies. However, such changes often occur in people who have pain and other complaints of the thoracic spine is not.
Treatment of osteoarthritis of the spine conservative. Assigned to an exacerbation of bed rest for 2-3 days, analgesics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Used sosudoreguliruyuschie means venotoniki, drugs, relaxing muscles - muscle relaxants, diuretics. When signs of destruction of one of the roots of the spinal cord perform paravertebral procaine blockade.
Good results are obtained when applying traction. Various physiotherapy treatment (diadynamic currents inductothermy, laser, sinusoidal-modeled currents, electrophoresis of drugs). Necessarily assigned to physical therapy with specific exercises aimed at improving the mobility of the spine and strengthen the muscular system. We recommend a spa treatment. Surgical treatment may be necessary in rare cases, a roll of herniated disc compresses the spinal cord.