The spondylosis of the thoracic spine: symptoms and treatment

Signs and treatment of spondylosis of the thoracic spine

The spondylosis of the thoracic spine is a type of osteoarthritis.

The condition affects structures involved in the formation of the joint, namely:



  • cartilage surface;
  • capsule;
  • ligaments surrounding the joint;
  • muscle to strengthen it;
  • subchondral areas of the bone, located directly under the cartilage.

The spondylosis in the thoracic spine can lead to injury as the joints between bodies of vertebrae, and joints between arcs.

Clinically the two States differ little, and their treatment has no difference.

The types of disease localization

A spondylosis can affect any part of the spine.

With this in mind, there are three main types of this disease:

  • cervical spondylosis;
  • breast (disastros);
  • lumbar-sacral (most common).

Causes and risk groups

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At risk for developing this disease are those over the age of 55-60 years. They have, it is diagnosed with a frequency of from 85 to 90%.

However, this does not mean that the spondylosis can develop in young people. So, at the age of 25 to 30 years may show early changes of this disease that are still not clinically apparent.

Risk factors for spondylosis in young are:

  • increased motility of the joints;
  • family history;
  • injury of the spine;
  • abnormal structure of the spine;
  • obesity.

This disease develops degenerative lesions of joints. They are based on not only the constant trauma, but some predisposition of connective tissue.

It turns out that the occurrence of this disease is necessary the combined impact of these two factors. Individually, they can cause pathological process.

Different loads will result in depletion of the nucleus pulposus, located between the bodies of the vertebrae and performing the role of a shock absorber. Therefore, the articular surface is much easier to become corrupted under the influence of minor precipitating factors.

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This leads to reactive inflammatory changes of the articular surfaces, and supports the pathological process (so closes the «vicious circle»).

In parallel, the involved ligamentous and muscular system, which also develop inflammatory changes. Against this background, muscle spazmiruyutsya, which leads to a curvature of the spine.

The extent of the disease

The degree of disease are a sign of disease progression. They can be identified as morphologically and radiographically.

The first degree is characterized by the following features:

  • a slight narrowing of articulate cracks;
  • minimal destruction of cartilage;
  • reduction of the nucleus pulposus;
  • erasing the intervertebral discs and cartilage.

In the second stages of the disease, the destruction of the cartilage becomes more pronounced. This leads to a further narrowing of the space between the articular surfaces.

And in the third degree of spondylosis appear osteophytes – bony growths that cause reactive inflammation.

The fourth degree is a complete fusion of the articular surfaces, so on the radiograph are defined by the following characteristics:

  • the disappearance of the gap between the joints;
  • the presence of osteophytes;
  • the blurred outlines of the vertebrae due to inflammatory changes.

Symptoms depending on the stage

Spondiloarthrosis klassificeret in four stages, the first is characterized by such symptoms:

  • in the spine movement is limited;
  • ligaments become less elastic;
  • periodically there are crosses in the back (thoracic spine).

The second degree of the disease manifests more pronounced changes, which include:

  • severe pain, which can be both while sleeping and while performing different movements;
  • the feeling of stiffness, which takes place only after exercise (this symptom is associated with spasm of the muscles in the affected Department);
  • swelling in the inflamed site.

In the third degree of the disease there is one of the complications, referred to as spondylolisthesis.

Clinically it is manifested by the following symptoms and a more pronounced destruction of the cartilage:

  • persistent pain, acquiring burning character;
  • pronounced muscle spasm;
  • the pain is localized, but may be given in the hand while compression of the nerve roots.
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With the progression of the disease to the fourth degree completely stop any movement in the thoracic spine. The articular surfaces are fused with each other. This condition is called ankylosis.

The growth of bone tissue leads to a reactive inflammation and compression of the nerve roots. Therefore, the patient feels pain in the back and violated movement and sensitivity in the hand on the affected side.

Diagnostics of deformation

Diagnosis of degenerative disease of the vertebral column involves carrying out the following studies:

  • objective neurological examination;
  • radiography;
  • computed tomography;
  • electromyography, which evaluates the involvement in the pathological process of nearby muscles;
  • angiography is the study of blood vessels and blood flow in the affected area.


The treatment of spondylosis of the thoracic spine in the early stages, conservative methods, and the later also requires surgical intervention.

Conservative therapy involves the appointment of pharmacological drugs and manual stimulation methods.

The goals of treatment

Treatment of degenerative lesions of the spine pursues goals such as:

  • strengthening the muscles;
  • correction of the existing anomalies in the structure of the spine;
  • wrestling with pain;
  • increasing the strength of cartilage;
  • reduction in inflammatory reaction.


When the disease is in remission following treatment methods:

  • massage;
  • therapeutic exercises;
  • swimming.

These procedures strengthen the muscular frame, which reduces the load on the spine. So it keeps its normal movement and prevents the compression of the nerve roots.

To strengthen the muscles of the spine help and physiotherapy.

They are widely used in the elderly, who cannot perform physical exercises.

Pharmacological therapy is conducted in the following areas:

  1. For the relief of pain used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. They also suppress the severity of inflammatory reactions
  2. Chondroprotectors, repair damaged cartilage.

Surgical treatment is indicated in the following situations:

  • abnormal structure of the spine;
  • spondylolisthesis;
  • the second or third stage of the disease.

Traditional medicine

Folk medicine in the treatment of arthritic lesions of the vertebral column is the only addition to the traditional. It allows enhance the therapeutic effect of therapy prescribed by your doctor.

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There are many methods of folk medicine.

Here are some of them:

  • infusion on the basis of birch buds, which is rubbed into the lesion of the thoracic;
  • eucalyptus infusion for topical use;
  • ointment of mustard and salt;
  • a mixture of olive oil and lemon oil applied for massage, etc.

Complications of disease

The main complications of the disease that develop if the patient is not promptly treated, are as follows:

  • spondylolisthesis – slippage of a vertebra;
  • ankylosis – the fusion of vertebrae to each other;
  • curvature of the spine;
  • persistent radicular syndrome.


Currently, there are several General recommendations that reduce the risk of developing pathology.

These include the following:

  • regular exercise;
  • eliminate curvature of the spine;
  • proper nutrition;
  • the prevention of rickets (a long walk in the fresh air, normal sleep duration, tempering);
  • selection of table and chair, taking into account its growth.

The spondylosis may develop at any age, affecting both young and elderly. This disease is a major cause of back pain. Suddenly appeared, it also suddenly disappear in the early stages of the disease.

So patients for a long time do not seek help to the doctor. In the end, the disease progresses, leading to serious complications.

When they have already developed reserves of the treatment of spondylosis are dramatically reduced.

In this regard, the person may completely lose the ability to flick back appears constant pain, and disorders in the upper limbs (muscle atrophy, pain, weakness, etc.).