Several studies depicted that more than 80 percent of the population is experiencing thoracic spondylosis in the US. This mostly includes elderly people. We suggest you keep reading to know some fascinating insights on thoracic spondylosis.
- Thoracic spondylosis is a type of osteoarthritis in the thoracic spine, which causes spinal canal narrowing. The targeted area is usually the upper and mid-back region.
- One of the primary reasons behind the occurrence of spondylosis is the wear and tear of the vertebrae.
- Some of the most common symptoms may include joint locking and clicking and loss of coordination.
- Spine specialists use X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs for an appropriate diagnosis of spondylosis.
- Your doctor might suggest a decompression operation if the condition led to the herniated discs.
What Is Spondylosis?
Spondylosis is a degenerative process that causes the gradual breakdown of the vertebral discs of the spine. It starts appearing with aging as the bones progressively wear down from continued use, resulting in bone spur formation.
What Is Thoracic Spondylosis?
It is a type of osteoarthritis in the thoracic spine. It causes the spinal canal narrowing in the upper and mid-back region. This condition leads to the compression of the spinal cord and nerve roots, damaging these structures if not treated timely.
What Can Cause Thoracic Spondylosis?
It usually occurs due to wear and tear of the vertebrae and shock-absorbing discs between the bones of each vertebra. This condition usually appears with age as the discs dry out, leading to irritation in some spine structures.
In some cases, it may happen if you had undergone a spine injury when you were younger.
What Are the Symptoms of Thoracic Spondylosis?
If you have developed the condition of thoracic spondylosis, you may experience stiffness and pain in the upper back region. This happens especially when you try to perform activities like turning around and reaching out for objects. If a nerve becomes irritated, neurological symptoms may also appear, making it hard for you to carry out your daily routine activities.
Some of the most common symptoms may include:
- Shooting pain
- Joint locking and clicking
- Loss of muscle coordination
- Numbness/tingling in the upper and lower parts of the body
Diagnosing Thoracic Spondylosis
Your spine specialist will be looking for the signs of degeneration and spinal damage. This condition will be diagnosed after the detailed imaging study. That typically includes an X-ray, but your doctor may suggest CT scans or MRIs in some cases.
Treatments for Thoracic Spondylosis
Treatments for thoracic spondylosis depend upon the severity of your condition. Most cases can be effectively treated by utilizing conservative therapy or non-surgical options.
Some of the most common and efficient spondylosis treatments include:
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories
- Heat-pack or Ice-pack
- Physical therapy
- Muscle relaxers
- Electrical stimulation
- Spinal fusion
- Cortisone injections
- Aqua therapy
Your doctor might recommend combining the treatments mentioned above to reduce the symptoms. Practicing these treatments in time prevents the condition from getting worse. Surgery is never the best option for treating thoracic spondylosis. But if the disease led to the herniated discs or tissue compression, your doctor might suggest a decompression operation.
Can Thoracic Spondylosis Have Any Long-Term Effects?
If you do not seek professional help timely, your symptoms are prone to worsen over time, causing chronic pain and stiffness in your upper back. Do not ignore the problem and get appropriate treatment before it leads to certain neurological symptoms. Weakness or a pins-and-needles sensation in parts of the body such as your back, stomach region, or arms are more persistent.
If you are experiencing Thoracic Spondylosis, it is time to see a professional spine specialist. Our specialists are here to make an accurate diagnosis and suggest you the best treatment plan. Please don’t stay in pain; liberate yourself from it.