Symptoms and treatment of arthritis of the thoracic spine

Arthritis of the thoracic spine is a rare pathology whose symptoms are not as potent as diseases of other departments of the back. It is not an independent disease.

It develops on the background of osteoarthritis or injury. Most patients with this diagnosis will be aged 50 years and older, so you can blame age-related degenerative processes.

The destruction of the cartilage occurring at the same time, can be considered a natural process. When the cartilage between the vertebrae is completely destroyed, the vertebrae begin to RUB together, causing inflammation.


In the thoracic vertebrae of the back suffer from rare for several reasons, but the most important of them – the almost complete immobility of this part of the back.

There are several varieties of this disease. At first is rheumatoid arthritis which is difficult treatable and easily diagnosed.

Develops after a traumatic back injury. But it is not immediately, but only after a few weeks or months after the incident.

Infectious mostly happens when TB infection. Complications are abscesses and ulcers of the soft tissues.

Ankylosing spondylitis is an autoimmune disease genetic nature. The cartilage tissue are exposed to attacks their own cells, resulting in complete destruction of cartilage. In their place grows the bone tissue. The spine becomes completely immobile.

How does

The symptoms of arthritis of the thoracic spine can be very different. First and foremost is the severe pain and stiffness in the movements. After a long stay in one position or when the load on the back the pain is worse at some times and persists even after long periods of rest.

The pathology develops gradually, sometimes it takes up to 5 – 6 years. Also slow growing and pain. There are other cases, when the disease manifests itself in the form of attacks. Depending on where the inflammation will depend on the discomfort. The pain may radiate to the neck or, conversely, in the lower parts of the back.

The bladder and bowel is not broken, but there may be disturbances in the heart that will remind angina and even myocardial infarction. To distinguish these diseases alone is very difficult, so be sure to consult a doctor.

When driving in the back may be feeling the crunch, crackle or clicks. In the initial stages they are expressed not so strongly, but as the disease progression can be heard even at a distance.

The patient tries to move as little as possible, as any movement may cause severe pain. This greatly reduces the quality of life.

Due to the compression of nerve endings may appear numbness or tingling in the hands. In the legs no such feelings as the nerves responsible for them, are in the lumbar. In addition to numbness in the hands may appear noticeable weakness, not allowing to perform usual work.


To diagnose the disease at an early stage is possible only with the help of MRI. X-rays will not show a complete picture of the defeat of the thoracic. Only when the lesion of the vertebrae will be in full swing, there may be the changes that you can easily distinguish on radiographs.

Diagnosis of arthritis of the thoracic must do the doctor a neurologist. You may also need the consultation of a traumatologist, neurosurgeon or physician, and sometimes a cardiologist and a rheumatologist.

How to get rid of

Treatment should begin as early as possible. Also it must be comprehensive and include the use of those medicines which are prescribed by the doctor.

For pain used painkillers, mostly ketorol. To relieve inflammation used drugs from the group of NSAIDs ortophenum, diclofenac, voltaren, and others. In the first few days it is advisable to use a cure in the form of solution for injection, and then to go on the pill. Ointments and creams severe be completely ineffective.

The physician should wear a corset, which will help immobilize the affected part of the back. To remove it only for sleeping. Your doctor may prescribe b vitamins, which normalize the nervous system and positively affect the General state of the nerve endings.

Physical therapy, massage and physiotherapy are recommended only after the removal of inflammation. With active pain such treatment is contraindicated.

6 thoughts on “Symptoms and treatment of arthritis of the thoracic spine

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