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 semiliquid nucleus pulposus.

Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine disrupts the normal structure of the intervertebral disc. In disease, the core dries up and loses its shock-absorbing property, and the annulus fibrosus becomes thin and cracks. As a result, the spinal nerve roots 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 drive a vehicle often);
  • physical stress;
  • physical inactivity, also known as a sedentary lifestyle;
  • of smoking;
  • overweight, obesity;
  • individual abnormalities 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 treatmentcan vary markedly.

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

  • Reflection. It is based on reflex muscle tension, as well as vascular or dystrophic disorders.
  • myoadaptive. Also known as "overload".
  • Compression. The cause of its development is usually the 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 prolonged stay in one position, cooling, turning, tilting to the side, intense physical exertion;
  • pain between the shoulder blades, when raising the right or left arm, when bending over;
  • increased pain with deep inhalation and exhalation;
  • pain between the ribs when walking;
  • Sensation as if the chest and back were squeezed by a hoop.

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

There are additional symptoms of thoracic osteochondrosis:

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

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, "thoracic lumbago. "It usually occurs after monotonous work in the same position. During an attack of such pain, it is difficult to breathe. The 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. The pain is aggravated by deep breathing and bending over. The patient may be breathless. The pain is worse at night and goes away after a short walk.

Causes of osteochondrosis of the chest

Thoracic osteochondrosis occurs most often in people who:

  • work on a computer;
  • they are constantly driving;
  • received spinal injuries;
  • have weak back muscles;
  • suffer from scoliosis and other postural 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 the muscular brace. There are more discs in the thoracic region than in the cervical and lumbar regions combined.

What is dangerous thoracic osteochondrosis?

Without timely and 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 and lungs. But the heart is still at the highest risk of this disease, so if you have already had certain problems, we strongly recommend that you immediately contact the specialists at the clinic 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 diverse, it is easy to confuse them with the following diseases:

  • angina, heart attack. Difference: after taking heart medicine, chest pain does not go away, 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:

  • magnetic resonance magnetic resonance imaging
  • Ultrasound exam (ultrasound)
  • densitometry
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Daily ECG monitoring
  • Full body medical exam (checkup)
  • Bioimpedance analysis of the body as part of the "Smart Weight Loss" program
  • laboratory research

InThoracic osteochondrosis of the spine treatmentIt can be complemented with a foot or back massage. In addition, conservative maintenance drug therapy with the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics is periodically prescribed. In some cases, the patient may be prescribed a 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 provides 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 tight muscles in the back and chest;
  • restores the biomechanics of the spine;
  • prevents complications in the form of protrusions and hernias;
  • normalizes blood pressure;
  • strengthens the muscles of the back, shoulder girdle, respiratory muscles;
  • correct posture;
  • stimulates the immune system.

After completing the course, the doctor will give you a manual with exercises that you need to do on your own. Your doctor will advise you how to adjust your lifestyle so that your chest pain no longer bothers you.


We recommend for the prevention of the disease:

  • lie down for 40-50 minutes during the day; this will relieve the load on the spine;
  • if you work a lot at the computer, change your position, get up from the chair every 2 hours, make a couple of bends in different directions, stretch, straighten your shoulders;
  • practice water sports: swimming, diving, water aerobics;
  • don't get too cold, 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 keep your 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. Comply with the following nutrition principles:

  • use jelly, jelly, jellied fish, jelly more often. They contain chondroprotectors that intervene 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, bell peppers, broccoli, celery;
  • boiled and steamed dishes, gray bread, rye bran are welcome;
  • osteochondrosis requires calcium. Contains dairy, almonds, nettles, watercress, rose hips;
  • include in the diet sunflower seeds, walnuts, avocados, raw spinach, bean pods, which 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.