Neuralgia of the thoracic spine is characterized by the appearance of a severe pain attack, the pathological process in this disease involves the nerves located between the ribs. The symptomatology of the disease often resembles the signs of myocardial infarction and acute pneumonia, so it is important to correctly differentiate these diseases.
Causes of the development of thoracic neuralgia
In neuralgia, a pathological nerve impairment occurs at the site of its passage, with chest disease this occurs in the intercostal spaces. Nerve can be compressed by a tumor, inflammatory swelling of surrounding tissues, a violation in the blood supply and nutrition of this area, a hernia of the spine.
The main causes of the appearance of thoracic neuralgia are:
- Congenital and acquired diseases of the thoracic spine, including osteochondrosis, pathological bends.
- Injury of the thoracic spine. In this intercostal neuralgia can manifest as soon after the injury, and after a few years.
- Long-term supercooling of the body and the thorax itself.
- Forced, prolonged position of the body when performing a certain type of professional activity.
- Excessive and abrupt exercise.
Neuralgia of the thoracic region may also occur after respiratory illnesses accompanied by a cough.
Characteristic signs and symptoms of
The main symptom of neuralgia is pain, it has its own characteristics, which allows an experienced doctor to distinguish neuralgia of the thoracic region from the acute phase of pancreatitis, angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, and pneumonia.
- Attack of sharp pain. The appearance of pain is noted in the intercostal spaces.
- A painful attack can appear abruptly, against a background of complete health and at rest. But most often the pain appears with a sharp change in the position of the body - the slopes, corners .Pain appears and when sneezing, paroxysmal coughing, it can be triggered by rapid breathing after exercise, running, and training. Soreness can be manifested only by probing the intercostal spaces entering the pathological process.
- The duration of a painful attack is determined by several minutes, as well as by hours and even by days.
- There is numbness in the area of the body located above the inflamed nerves.
- At the time of an attack, the patient tries to reduce painful sensations by holding his breath and taking a sparing position of the body, that is, in which pain is less intense.
In the event of a sudden attack of pain in the chest, the patient can connect the appearance of symptoms with the pathology of the heart. To distinguish these diseases can be on such signs - with neuralgia soreness increases with breathing, coughing, changing the position of the body, for angina it is not a characteristic feature.
At the time of the onset of cardiac pain, there may be a disturbance in the rhythm of the heart, a drop in blood pressure, and there are no such symptoms in the thoracic neuralgia.
Self-conducted diagnostics will help distinguish one disease from another, but the appointment of a therapy regimen must be entrusted to the doctor.
Symptoms of the thoracic neuralgia are often recorded with a disease such as shingles, the disease is characterized by the appearance of bubbles along the nerve. Shingles, despite the name, is not a contagious disease, but requires the appointment of other drugs compared with the treatment of intercostal neuralgia.
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Diagnosis of thoracic neuralgia is made on the basis of characteristic complaints, the use of methods of palpation. To clarify the diagnosis, the following examinations are prescribed:
- Radiography of the thoracic spine of .With the help of pictures you can identify osteochondrosis, the presence of a hernia, traumatization of the spinal column, ribs, curvature. Radiographic pictures show the state of the lungs, that is, the presence or absence of signs of inflammation, pneumothorax.
- With left-sided pains, it is necessary to remove the ECG to exclude heart disease.
- A blood test by which you can see signs of inflammation and changes that affect the symptoms.
- CT and MRI allow you to find out the causes of the pathology of the spine.
Treatment of thoracic neuralgia
Once the diagnosis is determined, treatment should be directed to the removal of soreness and the removal of inflammation.
In case of neuralgia of the thoracic region, it is necessary to treat the underlying disease - osteochondrosis, trauma, curvature of the spine.
A positive effect is achieved by including in the treatment scheme non-drug ways of physical effects, medicines, folk recipes.
For non-medicamentous effects on the thoracic area, the symptoms of neuralgia include:
- Physiotherapy - electrophoresis with the use of anti-inflammatory and analgesic pharmaceutical preparations.
- Acupuncture .Acupuncture influence on biologically active points allows to normalize blood circulation, to lower or completely remove the pain syndrome.
- Acupressure massage .Professionally made massage enhances the blood supply and nutrition of the inflamed area, which helps to restore nerves faster.
- Therapeutic gymnastics .The use of special gymnastics is indicated with concomitant diseases of the spine. The complex of exercises should be selected by the doctor, based on the severity of the disease and the presence of lesions of the thoracic spine.
The main groups of medicines used in the treatment of neuralgia of the thoracic department are:
- Medications that relieve the attack of pain - spazgan, sedalgin. They are prescribed in tablets or injections.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs - ibuprofen, diclofenac, indomethacin, voltaren, piroxicam. Assign them in the form of tablets, injections, ointments. Their use should take place under the supervision of a doctor, as long-term use can exacerbate the aggravation of digestive tract diseases.
- Muscle relaxants effectively remove muscle spasm, which is one of the causes of a painful attack. This group includes baclofen, clonazepam.
- Vitaminotherapy. The course appointment of group B vitamins is shown, their deficiency can affect the deterioration of the nervous system.
- Sedative medications help the body to relax, which is necessary to calm the patient and improve the quality of night sleep.
If the anesthetics are ineffective, the attending physician can prescribe a blockade of the intercostal spaces using novocaine or lidocaine. This procedure should be performed only by a doctor.
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Possible complications of
Neuralgia of the thoracic region at the first stages is quite successfully treated and passes without consequences.
With a prolonged course of the disease with frequent seizures, the nerve root can disappear, the pain disappears, but the disease passes to another stage, which is characterized by the appearance of heaviness in the chest, periodic or persistent shortness of breath.
To prevent these consequences, timely treatment and preventive measures will help.
In order to prevent the development of intercostal neuralgia or to prevent the onset of another attack, the following recommendations should be supported:
- In time to treat diseases of the spine;
- Do periodic interruptions when doing a monotonous job;
- Avoid overcooling;
- To increase the state of immunity;
- Alternate physical effort with rest.
Neuralgia of the thoracic spine is a disease with unpleasant symptoms, worsening the comfort of everyday life and reducing professional activity. The effectiveness of treatment depends on a well-designed treatment regimen using medication and non-medicament methods.