Spinal osteochondrosis is a degenerative dystrophic disease characterized by damage to joint surfaces, intervertebral discs, and muscle-ligament devices. The disease has a chronic course and is full of serious consequences.
The treatment of osteochondrosis is complicated. Diagnosing the disease in time is important-the sooner you start treatment, the higher the likelihood of a positive result. It is almost impossible to reverse the degradation process, but you can stop it at the beginning. Progressive osteochondrosis can lead to protrusions, herniated discs and neuropathy.
General information about diseases
Osteochondrosis is the most common disease in the spine and one of the most commonly diagnosed human pathologies among all existing diseases. This disease can be seen as a retribution to the upright posture of our species and the benefits of civilization. In animals, because the vertebrae are placed horizontally, osteochondrosis does not occur.
If you have recurrent or frequent back pain, in 75-80% of the cases, these are manifestations of osteochondrosis.
In the thoracic region, degenerative disease occurs less frequently than in the back bone and cervical spine. Usually, osteochondrosis in the chest area occurs 40 years later. The predisposing factor is not only excessive pressure on the spine, but also a sedentary lifestyle. In the latter case, blood circulation and nutrition of cartilage and bone structure are disturbed, causing them to gradually degenerate.
In recent decades, doctors have noticed a widespread "resurrection" of the disease. Osteochondrosis can be diagnosed even in people between 25 and 30 years old, which is related to changes in ecological conditions on the earth and changes in modern people's diet and lifestyle. Owning your own car, working in an office, resting your computer passively rather than actively-all these factors are not conducive to the health of the musculoskeletal system.The danger of thoracic (and any other) osteochondrosis is that it is almost impossible to restore intervertebral disc tissue: this means that the segments affected by malnutrition and degenerative transformation are doomed to slow but insurmountable destruction. The goal of osteochondrosis treatment is to prevent the destruction of hard and soft tissues and minimize the risk of complications.
Features of sternal osteochondrosis
Chondrosis of the sternal area will negatively affect people's active exercise ability. The progression of the disease is also full of pin shrinkage of spinal cord nerve endings, which inevitably affects the functional state of internal organs. In advanced clinical situations, sternal osteochondrosis can cause the heart to rupture and breathing difficulties.
The chest area has low mobility; it is not as burdensome as the neck and back. Anatomically speaking, the thoracic spine is connected with the ribs and sternum to form a sedentary and strong structure, free from injury and external influence. Therefore, osteochondrosis of the breast is rarely manifested in the initial stage. The same situation determines that the diagnosis of "sternal osteochondrosis" is relatively rare.
The predisposing factors for the disease are usually injuries, abnormal posture, scoliosis and other anatomical abnormalities. Signs of sternal osteochondrosis appear very late, usually at the stage of nerve root compression.
How does chest rickets appear?
The first manifestation of this disease is pain between the shoulder blades. Pain worsens during fatigue, or vice versa, appears in the morning after staying in one position for a long time. Usually, pain is transmitted along the intercostal nerves and occurs when sneezing, coughing, and running fast.
Pain may occur in the heart area, similar to the appearance of angina pectoris and heart failure. The similarity between symptoms and heart disease often leads to misdiagnosis. Sometimes symptoms resemble signs of bladder inflammation, ulcers or gastritis. In order to determine the true cause of the pain manifestations, a comprehensive clinical diagnosis is necessary.
Other signs of breast rickets, except pain:
- Nervous system symptoms-"chicken skin bump" sensation on the skin of the chest and abdomen;
- Skin numbness and impaired sensitivity;
- Diseases of the heart and pelvic organs (with the development of spinal cord compression);
- Back pain-body stiffness and pain when inhaling/exhaling;
- Reflex muscle tension (the body tries to relieve the pain caused by the physical fixation of the diseased spine).
The longer the disease lasts, the more obvious its symptoms. It is important not to try to eliminate pain with painkillers and other drugs, but to use clinical methods to determine the cause. Self-medication for osteochondrosis is meaningless at best, and dangerous and full of complications at worst.
Doctors have not yet fully understood the mechanism that triggers the process of tissue degeneration. It is assumed that osteochondrosis will cause incorrect distribution of weight on the spine, and the back muscle corset is also weak. The conditions that increase the likelihood of disease onset have been elaborated.
Main influencing factors:Hemodynamics (statics, tend to passively rest);
The risk of this disease is athletes, loaders, truck drivers, builders, office workers. Most commonly, the disease has a multifactorial nature-multiple internal and external factors contribute to its development.
It is generally believed that the development of osteochondrosis due to "salt deposition" is incorrect. Calcification of the intervertebral disc and cartilage does occur in degenerative spinal diseases, but this is not the root cause, but the result of pathology.
Disease detection begins with the initial examination of the patient, the study of symptoms, the patient's lifestyle, eating habits, and information about the accompanying disease. Palpate the affected area.
The following diagnostic procedures are assigned:
- General clinical analysis of blood and urine;
- Ultrasound, MRI and CT;
- Myelography is the introduction of contrast agent into the spinal canal to study its structure.
The most indicative diagnostic method is X-ray. A targeted X-ray examination is usually performed on specific parts of the spine. The images show atrophy (decreased thickness) of the intervertebral disc, the presence of osteophytes-bone growth, changes in the shape of the spine.
To rule out other pathologies with similar symptoms, it may be necessary to consult cardiologists, gastroenterologists and other experts (and appropriate research-ECG, gastroscopy). The main treatment is performed by an orthopedist or a vertebral surgeon-specialist in spine diseases.
Modern treatment of breast osteochondrosis
The effect of treatment begins with determining the root cause of the disease. If it is an infection, antibiotic treatment should be given, and if the muscle equipment is weak, measures should be taken to strengthen it. Except for clinically difficult situations, in most cases, the outpatient treatment is performed.
The main goal of treatment is to minimize the degradation process and its consequences. Each specific case requires preparation of a separate treatment plan, including drug exposure, physiotherapy techniques and further rehabilitation methods. They mainly use conservative treatments and rarely perform surgical operations.
Experienced doctors will never provide treatment based on isolated technology or pure drug effects. Treating spinal diseases with analgesics is a practice without a therapeutic perspective and is a sign of an unprofessional approach. However, complete absence of drugs is impossible-especially in the acute phase of the disease.
The following types of drugs were used:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs;
- Muscle relaxants can relieve cramps;
These drugs are mainly used in the initial stage of treatment. They can relieve acute pain, eliminate inflammation (if any) and stimulate metabolic processes. Most commonly, the drug is used externally (in the form of ointment) and in a lesser form inside the tablet. In even fewer cases, injections into the affected area are required-this method is called "Novicaine Blockade".
Physical therapy methods play a major role in thoracic spine degeneration. These methods eliminate pain, inflammation, and restore nutrition to the affected tissues. Used hardware and other public methods:
- Laser treatment;
- Magnetic therapy;
- Amplipulse treatment;
- Exposure to ultrasound;
- Balneotherapy (water treatment);
- Paraffin therapy;
- Mud therapy;
- Hypothermia-cold therapy;
- Electrophoresis and vocalization.
The advantage of physical therapy lies in its absolute safety. Due to health reasons, this method has no contraindications. Even in the most difficult situations, skilled use of physical techniques can provide healing.
An independent physical therapy method-reflexology: the effect on body acupoints. The most famous method of reflexology is acupuncture. Moxibustion and acupoint massage are also performed. It has been proven that effective effects on certain areas trigger self-repair mechanisms and eliminate pain.
Exercise therapy is a method used to treat osteochondrosis and prevent complications. This group of physical exercises is individually selected. The purpose of exercise therapy is to reduce the pressure on nerve roots, strengthen ligaments and muscles, and prevent protrusions and hernias.
The gymnastics field should be conducted under the guidance of a qualified coach or strictly in accordance with safety rules. Muscle overload is dangerous, so exercise must be accompanied by rest periods.
Bone disease is a separate manual treatment. The method includes diagnosis and therapeutic manual operations performed by experts. The characteristics of this massage are soft and physiological. Bone disease excludes tissue damage, and there is no age limit.
In modern clinics, surgery for sternal osteochondrosis is extremely rare. Surgery is only required when the complications are in the form of persistent radioneurotic syndrome. Interventions can be prescribed for the development of protrusions and hernias.
Preventing disease is much easier than long-term (and sometimes long-term) treatment. The prevention of osteochondrosis should start from childhood. Degeneration can be prevented by: correct posture, dose load on the spine, following safety precautions when participating in sports, balanced nutrition, and sleeping on the flattest surface. It is important to detect the first symptoms of the disease in time and strictly follow the doctor's advice.