The thoracic area of our spine consists of twelve vertebrae. In the normal state, the shape of the spine in this department resembles the letter "C", which is directed backwards with its bulge( it is a physiological kyphosis).Do not underestimate this department of the spine: it takes part in the formation of the chest( or rather, its posterior wall);The ribs are attached directly to the bodies of the thoracic vertebrae and to their transverse processes. But it is necessary to take into account that the vertebral canal in the considered area is rather narrow. For this reason, almost all volumetric formations, even the smallest ones, cause the development of compression of the nerve endings, as well as the spinal cord. As a result, there is pain in the thoracic spine( it can occur with inspiration, movements, etc.), which we'll talk about in this article.
- Causes pain
- injury and mechanical damage
- osteochondrosis of the cervical and thoracic spine
- scoliosis, kyphosis, kyphoscoliosis
- degeneration of intervertebral joints
- failures in the functioning of the sympathetic nerves
list of reasons that can cause pain in the thoracic spine,rather long. So, to them carry:
- Metastatic tumors of a backbone;
- Infectious diseases( epidural abscess, tuberculous spondylitis);
- Lesion of nerve trunks in diabetes mellitus, vasculitis, herpes zoster: pain in the chest has a distinctive feature - it is shingles;
- Pains of chronic nature, which are explained by diseases of the organs of the cardiovascular, digestive and respiratory systems. Then, for example, it is hard for inspiration;
- Pains resulting from malfunctions in the functioning of internal organs. Initially, pain sensations arise as angina pectoris, i.e.burning in the chest, general malaise, there is a feeling of squeezing. Subsequently, pain in the thoracic region begins to be supplemented with unpleasant sensations in the liver. In such cases, there may be malfunctioning of the stomach and intestines.
It should be noted that the list of causes that cause the occurrence of pain in the thoracic spine is not limited to these factors. All possible diseases that are somehow capable of provoking the development of pain in the thoracic area( with inspiration, movements, etc.), it is rather difficult to list. So, the list includes:
- trauma of the sternum, thoracic region, and also the ribs;
- aortic aneurysm and its rupture;
- pulmonary embolism;
- gastric ulcer;
- ulcer of the duodenum;
- pancreatic cancer;
- abscess of the diaphragm.
Injuries and mechanical damages
These are the most common causes of pain in the thoracic spine. Injuries, subluxations and dislocations, displacement of the vertebrae are characterized by various symptoms, among which there is also pain in the chest. Quite often, patients underestimate the severity of such injuries, believing that pain and other associated symptoms will disappear. But such a position is wrong and extremely dangerous for human health, because in some cases the damage runs to the spinal cord. This, in turn, can lead at best to a decrease in motor activity, at worst - to paralysis.
Osteochondrosis of the cervical and thoracic spine
The osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine is characterized by a multitude of symptoms, but none of them is strictly specific. Symptomatology largely depends on the localization of the painful process, as well as on the severity of the disease. As a rule, after a long stay in the same position or after physical exertion or with a deep inspiration, the pain intensifies. This forces the patient to change his position, including at night. The pain in the chest is squeezing, it seems to envelop the body. Patients complain of the feeling of "iron mites".When palpating the vertebrae at the level of the chest, the pain intensifies. Quite often the pain sensations from the chest spread further, embracing the internal organs. The occurrence of osteochondrosis and, accordingly, painful sensations in the thoracic spine is explained by the fact that this department is least mobile and does not experience serious loads.
Everything else with the cervical department. This department is maximally mobile, resulting in injuries and degenerative-dystrophic processes. The pain is localized not only in the neck, it extends to the shoulders, back. And quite often the pain covers the interscapular area of the spine.
Scoliosis, kyphosis, kyphoscoliosis
These diseases unite one - in the structure of the spine arise pathologies. In most cases, violations are formed and manifested in childhood and in the period of active growth of the human body. But they can remain invisible for a long time, because of what they often find themselves belatedly when the disease takes a neglected form. In many cases, it is the pain in the chest that makes it possible to recognize the disease.
Dystrophy of intervertebral joints
Transition of the dystrophic process of the joints directly to the intervertebral joints causes the development of a disease such as spondyloarthrosis. In the future, he may begin to accompany osteoarthritis when it comes to lesions of the ribs, vertebrae, and vertebral-joints and their transverse articulations( ie, those places in the joints where the ribs join together).For this reason, the orifices between the vertebrae sometimes narrow considerably, as a result of which the nerve roots are squeezed in the region of the vertebral column. Since the sympathetic fibers of the nerves are under pressure, then the development of severe inflammation begins in this area, which is also accompanied by pain, especially when inhaled.
The pain in this case is unusually strong, it is powerful, it is noted that a person can not breathe freely with such pain.
What else should be noted, touching on the role of dystrophy of the intervertebral joints in the appearance of pain in the chest? Let's pay attention to the fact that the hernias of the discs between the vertebrae in the examined spine also cause pain. However, the percentage of cases in which this happens is unusually low: about 1%, not more than that. The matter is that the intervertebral hernia, as a rule, is located in those four disks that are in the lower part of the spine. But if nevertheless a thoracic hernia was formed, then the spinal cord may be squeezed. We have already pointed out that the canal of the spinal cord in the thoracic region is too narrow. Consequently, the squeezing invariably causes pain.
Failures in the functioning of sympathetic nerves
Sympathetically nerve fibers have one property: they can have a regulatory effect on the work of internal organs. For this reason, any violations affecting the activity of sympathetic nerves do not allow the organs to function normally. In such cases, there is also pain in the chest, and additionally even between the shoulder blades, or at all along the entire vertebral column in the thorax. How is the pain characterized in this case? Patients, as a rule, indicate that pain only increases with deep inspiration or active movements.
But the pain may be different in nature. In some cases, along with a disturbance in the sympathetic nerve, the spine is squeezed. Then it seems that the pain is surrounding, ring, it does not appear when inhaling or moving. But there is such a pain often on the one hand: as a rule, this is the side on which the intercostal nerve passes.
And if the sensitivity of the nerve root is disturbed, the person may experience limb numbness. As an additional sensation, there may be a feeling of creepy crawling all over the body. However, a different situation is possible: the pain becomes a burning sensation, and the sensitivity in the region of the affected nerve is greatly enhanced.
Concluding the consideration of cases in which there is pain in the thoracic spine, we note one more factor. The fact is that the frequent cause of the appearance of pain when inhaling at a youthful, young age is Sheyermann-Mau disease. This disease manifests itself as follows: a sharp increase in thoracic kyphosis is observed, and the bodies of the inferior thoracic vertebrae undergo wedge deformation.
Nevertheless, no matter what the reason for the occurrence of pain in the chest, it is important not to ignore such pain, but to contact the appropriate specialist.
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