What is degeneration of the thoracic spine?
Thoracic degenerative disc disease refers to the degeneration, or breakdown, of the shock-absorbing intervertebral discs that cushion the vertebrae in the upper and middle back (called the thoracic spine). It develops most frequently in middle-aged people or young adults with active lifestyles.
What causes degeneration of the thoracic spine?
Aging is the most common cause of disc degeneration. As the body ages the discs start to lose fluid and dehydrate. The discs start to narrow and lose their height, compromising their ability to absorb shock and stress. The outer fibrous annular rings may begin to crack and tear, weakening the disc walls.
What are the symptoms of thoracic spinal degeneration?
These degenerative changes may include decreased disc height, disc bulging, loss of joint cartilage, bony spurring (osteophytes) and thickening of bone. This condition is known as spinal degeneration.
What are the effects of degeneration of the spine?
Over time, wear and tear to the discs, joints and bones can occur resulting in degenerative changes to the spine. These degenerative changes may include decreased disc height, disc bulging, loss of joint cartilage, bony spurring (osteophytes) and thickening of bone.
Why does the thoracic spine have less degeneration than the neck?
The thoracic spine has less movement and experiences less stress than any other part of the spine. Because of this fact, it generally has less degeneration than the neck and low back, according to MDguidelines.com. Degenerative changes that do occur here can lead to symptoms of pain, numbness and tingling, and restricted motion.
Can a degenerated thoracic disc cause upper back pain?
The disc acts like a cushion and also allows flexibility in your spine. The disc can wear over time as we age or earlier if it is injured. As it wears, or degenerates, the space between the vertebral bodies is reduced. Thoracic disc degeneration can be a cause of upper or mid back pain.
What is the treatment for mild degenerative changes in spine?
How to Treat Degenerative Changes in the Spine Method 1 of 3: Seeking Medical and Therapeutic Treatment. Go to physical therapy to learn movement and exercise techniques. Method 2 of 3: Managing the Spine at Home. Apply hot and cold compresses for pain relief. Method 3 of 3: Doing Strengthening Exercises.
What is mild hypertrophic changes in the thoracic spine?
Hypertrophic changes in the lumbar spine are associated with the “wear-and-tear” variety of arthritis . This condition goes by several names, including osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease and spondylosis . Common findings on x-ray images include narrowing of the disc spaces between the spinal bones and bony outgrowths near the spinal joints.
What is spurring in the lower thoracic spine?
Spurring refers to the growth of osteophytes, also called bone spurs, on the various surfaces of the vertebrae. These osteophytes are often implicated in enacting spinal stenosis or foraminal stenosis, depending on where they actually occur in the spinal anatomy.
What is intervertebral disc degeneration, and what causes it?
Intervertebral disc disease can be caused by one of two types of damage to the spinal cord: compression and concussion. Compression is usually the result of gradual degeneration, causing the central gel of the disc to lose its fluid and become more susceptible to general wear and tear.