Thoracic osteochondrosis: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment

symptoms of thoracic osteochondrosis

Thoracic osteochondrosis is a disease of the intervertebral discs of the thoracic spine. The disease is quite rare. Osteochondrosis of the chest is similar in symptoms to other diseases and is difficult to diagnose. For this, it is called the "chameleon disease. "

How does osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine occur?

Thoracic osteochondrosis occurs due to a violation of metabolic processes and an increased load on the intervertebral discs. The intervertebral disc consists of the annulus fibrosus, which serves as a hard shell for the semi-liquid nucleus pulposus.

Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine disrupts the normal structure of the intervertebral disc. In case of illness, the core dries up and loses its shock-absorbing property, and the fibrous ring becomes thinner and cracks. As a result, the roots of the spinal nerves are infringed and inflamed, causing pain. The disease destroys the intervertebral discs, joints and ligaments of the spine.

The general principle is always the same, but the factors that cause increased stress on the intervertebral discs may vary. These include:

  • prolonged vibration effect on the spine (for example, in drivers who often drive a vehicle);
  • physical stress;
  • physical inactivity, also known as a sedentary lifestyle;
  • smoking;
  • overweight, obesity;
  • individual anomalies in the structure of the spine;
  • congenital manifestation of narrowing of the spinal canal;
  • somatic or spondylogenic muscle pain;
  • asymmetry of the joint spaces in the intervertebral joints;
  • psychosocial factors.

Classification of varieties of thoracic osteochondrosis

There are several types of osteochondrosisthoracic spine - symptoms and treatmentthey can vary markedly.

The classification is carried out on the basis of which nerve endings are affected by the damaged structures of the spine. It is customary to distinguish the following types of pathology:

  • Reflex. It is based on reflex muscle tension, as well as vascular or dystrophic disorders.
  • Myoadaptive. It is also known as "overload".
  • Compression. The cause of its development is usually deformation, tension or compression of a part of the spinal cord, nerve root or blood vessel, which leads to undesirable consequences.

Symptoms of thoracic osteochondrosis

Osteochondrosis of the chest is less pronounced compared to other types of osteochondrosis. There are the following signs of thoracic osteochondrosis:

  • chest pain that worsens at night, with a long stay in one position, cooling, turning, bending to the side, heavy physical exertion;
  • pain between the shoulder blades, when raising the right or left arm, bending over;
  • increased pain with deep inhalation and exhalation;
  • pain between the ribs while walking;
  • sensation as if the chest and back were squeezed by a hoop.

Pain during an exacerbation of the disease can last several weeks.

There are additional symptoms of thoracic osteochondrosis:

  • numbness of some areas of the skin, a feeling of "goosebumps";
  • itching, burning, feeling of coldness in the legs;
  • peeling of the skin, brittle nails;
  • pain in the pharynx and esophagus;
  • disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.

Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine is characterized by two symptoms - dorsago and dorsalgia.

Dorsago and dorsalgia - manifestations of the disease

Dorsago is a sharp sharp pain in the chest, "chest lumbago". It usually occurs after monotonous work in the same position. During an attack of such pain, it is difficult to breathe. Pain is aggravated by rotation of the upper body.

Dorsalgia - mild pain in the area of the affected intervertebral discs, begins gradually and lasts up to 2-3 weeks. Pain is aggravated by deep breathing and bending over. The patient may be out of breath. The pain worsens at night and disappears after a short walk.

Causes of osteochondrosis of the chest

Thoracic osteochondrosis most often occurs in people who:

  • work at a computer;
  • are constantly driving;
  • received spinal injuries;
  • have weak back muscles;
  • suffer from scoliosis and other posture disorders.

Thoracic osteochondrosis is less common than other types of the disease - cervical and lumbar osteochondrosis. The reason is that this part of the spine is the least mobile and the most protected thanks to the ribs and muscular corset. There are more discs in the thoracic region than in the cervical and lumbar regions combined.

What is dangerous chest osteochondrosis

Without timely proper treatment, thoracic osteochondrosis can cause the following diseases:

  • protrusion and hernia of the thoracic spine;
  • spinal cord compression;
  • problems with the heart, intestines, liver, kidneys and pancreas;
  • disorders in the duodenum, intestinal motility, gallbladder dyskinesia;
  • intercostal neuralgia - compression or irritation of the intercostal nerves.

Also, the consequences of this pathology include diseases of the stomach, esophagus, gallbladder, lungs. But the heart is still at the greatest risk for this disease, so if you already had certain problems with it, we strongly recommend that you promptly contact the clinic’s specialists and implement it as quickly as possible. thoracic spine treatment.

What can be confused with osteochondrosis of the chest

Symptoms of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine are varied, it is easy to confuse it with the following diseases:

  • angina, heart attack. Difference: after taking heart medication, chest pain does not go away, the patient's cardiogram is normal;
  • appendicitis, cholecystitis, renal colic;
  • gastritis, ulcer, colitis;
  • other diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (including diverticulitis, chronic pancreatitis or irritable bowel syndrome);
  • neoplastic processes;
  • inflammatory processes;
  • diseases of the genitourinary system (pyelonephritis or urolithiasis);
  • pathology of the mammary glands;
  • pneumonia. Inflammation of the lungs is distinguished from osteochondrosis by cough, shortness of breath and fever.

It is impossible to make a correct diagnosis on your own. Only a specialist can determine osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine.

Methods for diagnosing thoracic osteochondrosis

Specialists of a professional clinic will distinguish thoracic osteochondrosis from other diseases and make an accurate diagnosis using the following diagnostic methods:

  • MRI. Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Ultrasound examination (ultrasound)
  • Densitometry
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Daily ECG monitoring
  • Comprehensive medical examination of the body (check-up)
  • Bioimpedance analysis of the body as part of the "Smart Weight Loss" program
  • Laboratory research

Atthoracic osteochondrosis of the spine treatmentcan be supplemented with a foot or back massage. Also, conservative maintenance drug therapy with the use of anti-inflammatory nonsteroidal drugs and analgesics is periodically prescribed. In some cases, the patient may be prescribed novocaine paravertebral blockade. Each case is individual, therefore, the approach to each patient must be special so that the therapy is effective and the problem does not make itself felt in the future.

Treatment of thoracic osteochondrosis in a specialized clinic gives a versatile therapeutic effect:

  • improves blood circulation and nutrition of the intervertebral discs;
  • stops the destruction of disks, restores their structure;
  • relieves inflammation of the nerve roots;
  • relaxes tense muscles of the back and chest;
  • restores the biomechanics of the spine;
  • prevents complications in the form of protrusions and hernia;
  • normalizes blood pressure;
  • strengthens the muscles of the back, shoulder girdle, respiratory muscles;
  • corrects posture;
  • stimulates the immune system.

After completing the course, the doctor will give you a manual with exercises that you need to perform on your own. The doctor will advise you on how to adjust your lifestyle so that chest pain does not bother you anymore.


We recommend for the prevention of the disease:

  • lie down for 40-50 minutes during the day - this will relieve the load from the spine;
  • if you work a lot at the computer, change your position, get up from your chair every 2 hours, do a couple of tilts in different directions, stretch, straighten your shoulders;
  • engage in water sports: swimming, diving, water aerobics;
  • do not overcool, keep your back warm;
  • do the following exercise regularly: lying on your stomach, put your hands on the floor and bend back. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds. Repeat the exercise 8-10 times.

It is also highly recommended to maintain body weight at the proper level and give up bad habits (including smoking).

Nutrition for thoracic osteochondrosis

With osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine, it is recommended to eat 5-6 times a day in small portions. Adhere to the following principles of nutrition:

  • use jelly, jelly, jellied fish, jelly more often. They contain chondroprotectors that are involved in the synthesis of cartilage;
  • your diet should be 1/3 protein. They can be obtained from meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, soybeans, seeds, beans, nuts, eggplant;
  • eat more fresh fruits and vegetables - cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, onions, beets, parsley, cauliflower and white cabbage, peppers, broccoli, celery;
  • boiled and steamed dishes, gray, rye bran bread are welcome;
  • osteochondrosis requires calcium. It contains dairy products, almonds, nettles, watercress, rose hips;
  • include in the diet sunflower seeds, nuts, avocados, raw spinach, bean pods - they are rich in magnesium;
  • cook dishes from lobsters, oysters, crabs, mushrooms, cereals - they contain vitamin B;
  • season salads with olive oil;
  • it is recommended to eat whole grains of wheat, millet, corn, buckwheat, barley;
  • limit the use of grapes and vegetables from the legume family, concentrated broths;
  • eat less salty, smoked foods, flour products, sugar, hot spices.