Chest scoliosis is a dangerous curvature of the spine in either direction relative to the frontal plane. It often manifests itself at a fairly young age, and then progresses as the body grows directly. In medicine, there are two main types of disease. It is simple scoliosis, characterized by one bend, and complex scoliosis, which has several bends at the same time.
Chest scoliosis is recognized when the curvature of the spinal axis reaches more than 10 ° C. A curvature of more than 20 ° C and a dangerous progression of 5 ° C per year is an indication for X-ray examination at least three times a year. In this case, no special treatment is prescribed. Experts recommend a corset if the chest scoliosis is between 35 and 40 ° C. Surgical treatment is necessary if the reading is over 40 ° C.
Also, several types of the disease should be noted, subdivided according to the specific age. Infantile scoliosis is diagnosed in young children under three years of age. The second type - juvenile scoliosis is detected at the age of three to ten years. The third type is adolescent, which is typical for 10-15 years old, and dangerous adult scoliosis, revealed after the termination of the main growth of the spine. The vertebral column is known to include vertebrae and discs.
Normally, the spine of each person should have certain physiological curvatures, which include thoracic kyphosis. It represents a special bend in the human thoracic spine. With even a slight deformation in the chest, pathological curvature and serious asymmetry of the nearby muscle tissues are diagnosed. This ailment not only leads to an uneven volume, but also has an extremely negative effect on the internal organs.
In thoracic scoliosis, curvatures are right- and left-sided. Thoracic scoliosis can be presented in its pure form, or it can be a combined pathology, in which the cervical or lumbar region is involved in the process. In cervicothoracic scoliosis, the apex of the curvature is localized at the level of 4-5 vertebrae. This type of scoliosis is dangerous because the patient develops early deformities in the chest area. Pronounced changes in the facial skeleton are possible.
Lumbar-thoracic scoliosis is also distinguished, in which the apex of the primary curvature is concentrated at the level of 10-11 thoracic vertebrae.
Combined scoliosis should be considered separately. Such scoliosis always has an S-shape, and the patient is diagnosed with two primary curvature arcs. The apex of the first is concentrated at the Th8-Th9 level of the thoracic vertebrae, and the apex of the second at the Th1-Th2 level of the lumbar vertebrae.
- Reasons for the formation of scoliosis of the chest
- Symptoms of scoliosis of the thoracic spine
- Chest scoliosis treatment
Reasons for the formation of scoliosis of the chest
A variety of factors can lead to the appearance of scoliosis of the chest. These include improper posture, underdevelopment of an important musculo-ligamentous apparatus, scoliosis of a neurogenic etiology, little physical exertion, as well as all kinds of injuries and age-related changes.
During the phases of accelerated growth, idiopathic scoliosis is not uncommon in children. Preventing the onset of the disease is much easier than treating it later.
Since scoliosis of the chest is always classified according to certain degrees of severity, first of all, experts recommend an X-ray of the spine. Often, the first signs of the disease are not visible to the naked eye.
Symptoms of scoliosis of the thoracic spine
The clinical picture of scoliosis will differ, depending on how badly the spine is curved:
- First degree symptoms. In the first degree of scoliosis, the curvature angle will be in the range of 5 to 10 ° C. A person will not be able to detect the disease on his own, he will not be disturbed by any health problems. It is possible to identify this stage of the development of the disease only with the help of an X-ray examination.
Symptoms of the second degree. With the second degree of scoliosis, the bend in the thoracic region becomes more noticeable. A compensatory arch appears in the lower back. During examination, a muscular ridge and a rib hump are visible.
- Symptoms of the third degree. With thoracic scoliosis of the third degree, the deformity becomes even more pronounced, the costal hump acquires impressive dimensions, the chest is deformed.
- Symptoms of the fourth degree. The fourth stage of scoliosis of the thoracic spine is expressed in the distortion of the trunk. The pelvis is deformed, the upper body is strongly deflected. Human movements are constrained, the chest is undergoing permanent changes. The rib hump is formed not only at the back, but also at the front.
The main danger of scoliosis is that the disease can develop rapidly. Scoliosis progresses during periods of child growth: at 6-8 years old and at 10-12 years old.
Thoracic scoliosis, as it develops, is accompanied by deformities of the chest, the formation of a rib hump, and dysfunction of external respiration. The patient's circulatory system also suffers.
Dysplastic scoliosis is accompanied by a sharp torsion of the vertebrae, the formation of a pronounced rib hump. The rib hump is represented not only by twisted ribs, but also by spinous processes. The chest is disfigured, respiratory function is impaired, the vital capacity of the lungs decreases.
With scoliosis of the thoracic region, all organs located in the chest are affected.
Therefore, the disease is associated with the risk of developing the following complications:
- Pinched nerve endings.
- Vertebral artery syndrome.
- Displacement of internal organs.
- Disruption of metabolic processes.
- Development of various diseases of internal organs.
If the consequences of scoliosis of the first and second degrees can still be leveled, then the complications of scoliosis of the 3 and 4 degrees are often not amenable to correction at all.
All systems of the body suffer with scoliosis of the thoracic region. Starting from the second stage of the development of the disease, the person shows signs of respiratory failure. Then heart failure joins. The fact is that the ribs have strong connections with the spine. With the curvature of the thoracic region, they are also deformed and begin to put pressure on the lungs. The person will not be able to take a full breath. With lateral deformity of the chest, the risk of developing pathology of the heart muscle increases, with disturbances in the work of its right section.
It is not possible to notice disruptions in the functioning of the lungs or heart immediately, pathological symptoms increase gradually. The first signal of a malfunction in the body is shortness of breath, which occurs even against the background of minor physical efforts. Blood pressure rises, heart rate increases. During the examination about the work of the heart, it is possible to identify signs of myocardial damage.
People with thoracic scoliosis are prone to coronary heart disease. High blood pressure cannot be corrected with medication. Therefore, cardiologists should pay attention to the condition of the spine of those people who do not respond to antihypertensive therapy.
Severe curvature of the spine contribute to a decrease in the volume of the pleural cavity, violation of the mechanics of respiration, and deterioration of external respiration. As a result, arterial blood does not receive enough oxygen, which affects all body tissues. In medicine, there is even such a concept as "kyphoscoliotic heart". It combines the pathological symptom complex of pulmonary and heart failure, which develops against the background of scoliosis of the thoracic spine.
Chest scoliosis treatment
Scoliosis can be completely cured up to a maximum of 14 years in girls and up to 16 years in boys. In the future, it will not be possible to achieve complete disposal of the disease. It is important not only to treat a patient for scoliosis, it is necessary to try to establish the cause of the pathology.
The main directions in the conservative treatment of scoliosis of the thoracic spine are:
- Swimming. Swimming allows you to strengthen the muscles of the back and the whole body, but at the same time the spine does not experience serious stress. If it is not possible to train in water with a trainer, then you just need to perform as many different movements as possible in it.
- Schroth therapy.
- Wearing corrective devices.
Surgical intervention is indicated for patients with grade 3-4 scoliosis.
Massage for scoliosis of the thoracic region
The massage helps to strengthen muscles and tendons.
The principles of its implementation for scoliotic disease:
- Tense and shortened back muscles require relaxation and stretching. From the side of the bulge, tonic and stimulating techniques are implemented (in these places the muscles are stretched).
- It is imperative to work out not only the back muscles, but also the abdomen, buttocks, upper and lower extremities.
- Muscles are subjected to acupressure, which are in the form of strands and knots.
The massage therapist must know the patient's medical history, be familiar with the results of the research. Only if the massage therapist cooperates with the treating orthopedist will it be possible to achieve positive results. The massage course involves the use of a variety of procedures that are constantly repeated.
If at the very beginning of the treatment the massage will be more intensive, with the study of surface tissues (the goal is to increase the general tone of the body), then the stage of deformity correction and consolidation of the achieved result is characterized by deep and prolonged muscle development.
The massage therapist must take into account the level of the patient's physical development, his general health. It is unacceptable that the patient has hematomas on the skin, or that he suffers from pain during the massage.
A patient with thoracic scoliosis must undergo 2 massage courses per year, which include at least 20 procedures. If at the initial stages of treatment the massage lasts an average of a quarter of an hour, then in the future its duration is increased to 40 minutes. This happens by about 10 procedures.
Exercise therapy for scoliosis of the thoracic region
The physiotherapy complex for scoliosis is selected on an individual basis. Its main purpose is to strengthen the muscles of the back, which must support the spine in a normal physiological position. Exercise therapy is also designed to correct the existing deformity of the spinal column, correct posture, and normalize the functioning of the lungs and heart.
Do not count on a miracle that after a few sessions a person's scoliosis will be completely cured. Physical therapy alone is not enough to achieve this goal. An integrated approach is required with physiotherapy, massage courses, aqua aerobics, etc.
The doctor selects the complex for each patient individually.
Below are some of the exercises that are recommended for patients with thoracic scoliosis more often than others:
- You must lie on your stomach. The left arm is bent at the elbow joint, the outstretched right arm and left leg are lifted and held in weight for several minutes. Then the position of the arms and legs is changed. As they train, they take weights in their hands.
- You need to lie on your stomach, stretch your arms and legs. At the same time, you should raise your arms and legs, giving your body the shape of a "boat". In this position, you need to withstand a few seconds.
- Get on all fours, raise and pull your right hand forward and your left leg back. The limbs should be parallel to the floor. They remain in this position for 3-5 seconds, after which the arm and leg are changed.
- Pull-ups on the bar will strengthen all your back muscles. If at the initial stages of training you cannot raise your body up, then you can try to simply hang on the horizontal bar, bending your arms as much as possible.
- Lie on your back. Bring your knees and head to your chest. In this position, you should roll on your back forward and backward. You need to perform the exercise at least 5 times.
Surgery for scoliosis is required if the patient is worried about severe pain. It is carried out only if the deformation angle exceeds 40 ° C. Surgical intervention is mandatory if the curvature progresses rapidly. An acute need for surgery arises in patients with scoliosis at 60 ° C or more. Otherwise, it will not be possible to avoid severe disturbances in the work of the heart and lungs.
Sometimes the operation is performed in order to eliminate a cosmetic defect, although the patient has no other indications for its implementation. Surgical intervention can be of two types: staged and one-step. A staged operation involves the installation of a metal structure designed to support the spine for a certain time. Then it is lengthened and corrected. Such operations are indicated for children who continue to grow. In a one-stage operation, a solid metal structure is immediately installed, which will hold the vertebrae in one position.
It should be understood that any surgical intervention carries the risks of complications, therefore, before deciding on it, you should carefully study all the possible pros and cons of various techniques.
The early stages of scoliosis development in childhood can be successfully corrected using simple methods. Sometimes it is enough to correct the posture of the child in order to prevent the development of the disease.
The spine will be healthy if all the conditions are created for this, namely: the person sits correctly, lies and stands.
People in the modern world are forced to spend a long time in a sitting position. Moreover, this statement is true not only for adults, but also for children. Therefore, if this cannot be avoided, then at least one must learn to sit correctly.
The back of the chair should be firm and straight. The buttocks should be placed as close to her as possible. The lower back is slightly pressed against the back, the stomach is pulled in, the back is kept straight. The shoulders should be slightly straightened and lowered slightly. Shoulders cannot be kept in tension, they must be relaxed. It is important to ensure that the head is not tilted forward, it must be kept in a natural position. The feet are placed on the floor without waving them in the air.
It is important to get up from the chair periodically, making small "walks". This relieves tension from the back muscles, in which they are located during a static position.
You should also pay attention to the quality of the night's rest. The mattress should not be too hard or too soft. It is designed to support the body, slightly springing under it. The best today is recognized as a pillow in the shape of a roller. It allows you to maintain the cervical vertebrae at the required level, while the thoracic spine will not be bent. For sleep, it is best to choose the embryo position when the legs are slightly bent, and the person himself lies on his side.
It is important not only to sit correctly, but also to stand. The shoulders should be horizontal, the shoulder blades should be pressed against the back. It is important to ensure that the belly does not protrude forward, and the left and right half of the body remain symmetrical.
So, the prevention of scoliosis is reduced to compliance with the following recommendations:
- A pregnant woman should take folic acid and vitamin B12 to prevent fetal neural tube defects.
- The child should not be seated or woken up early. Everything should be done according to age standards.
- It is important to monitor your posture during dynamic and physical activity. The child should be taught from childhood to keep his back straight.
- It is important to observe the work and rest schedule. You should take breaks every 40-60 minutes, unloading your back.
- It is useful to do gymnastics, swimming, walking more and spending time in the fresh air.
- Any diseases of the spine and muscle tissue should be treated promptly.
Prevention of scoliosis should be carried out in children from the first days of life. If you have risk factors, you should visit the orthopedist more often, or be registered with him.
Article author: Mochalov Pavel Alexandrovich | d. m. n. therapist
Education: Moscow Medical Institute. IM Sechenov, specialty - "General Medicine" in 1991, in 1993 "Occupational Diseases", in 1996 "Therapy".