Osteochondrosis of the thoracic region - a description, causes, symptoms and treatment

Thorax osteochondrosis is a degenerative-dystrophic disorder that affects the thoracic spine. Diseases in this part are not uncommon, such as the cervix and lumbar, this is due to the fact that the thoracic area is immobile and more protected than other parts of the spine. People over the age of 30 are more prone to this pathology.

Osteochondrosis is a degenerative change that occurs in different parts of the spine. Statistics show that the disease is getting younger, if older people suffer from this pathology, then today more and more of this disease is diagnosed in the younger generation. The disease became the third most common disease after cardiovascular and oncological pathology.


  • Injuries;
  • Excessive physical activity;
  • Age-related changes in the spine;
  • Hereditary predisposition to degenerative changes;
  • metabolic disorders;
  • Excessive equipment;
  • A lifestyle in which one moves a little;
  • Scoliosis - curvature of the spine;
  • Severe concomitant illness.

As a result of changes in the thoracic spine, nerve roots are pinched and the function of internal organs is disrupted.

Osteochondrosis is capable of disguising itself as many cardiovascular diseases, therefore, a person may experience shortness of breath and tachycardia and may not immediately recognize the disease.

The disease can be confused with various pathologies of the respiratory system and pathologies of the abdominal cavity. There are no specific signs and it depends on the severity and localization of the process.


The main symptoms of thoracic osteochondrosis are:

  • Pain in the sternum, aggravated by hypothermia, twisting, bending, at night;
  • Intersapula pain;
  • Numbness in the arms and interscapular area;
  • Pain during breathing and strong inhalation;
  • Chest tightness;
  • Muscle tension in the upper back and in the chest;
  • In severe cases, pelvic dysfunction.

If chest osteochondrosis occurs simultaneously with the cervix, dizziness and nausea are added to the symptoms.

There are three types of pain:

  1. Dorsagois ​​a very severe sudden pain that restricts movement. Such pain can occur when straightening the back after being in one position for a long time and can last up to several weeks.
  2. Dorsalgiais ​​a mild pain that does not go away for a long time, it is often accompanied by stiffness of movement. Such pain is not immediately recognizable, as it develops over time and can rarely feel a mild painful sensation.
  3. Pectalgiais ​​a mild pain in the front of the chest.


The most common method of diagnosing chest osteochondrosis is radiography. These methods are financially cheaper, but do not always show a complete picture of the disease, and X-rays also have ionizing radiation on the human body.

It is best to do an X-ray on an empty stomach and follow a diet for some time before the examination (do not use gas-forming products)

Contraindications to X-rays are: pregnancy (radiation has a negative effect on fetal development), a condition in which the patient is unable to move in one position, with obesity, the diagnosis is also difficult, because the picture is blurred. X-rays are taken while lying on your back or on your side.

However, medications do not stop and specialists are increasingly using newer technologies to diagnose osteochondrosis, such as:

  • CT (computed tomography)
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)

Computed tomography

diagnostic options for chest osteochondrosis

This is a type of diagnostic using X-rays, where scans are performed at different depths, and the results are processed using a computer. If CT is performed without a contrast agent, no preparation is required, but if a CT scan is performed with the introduction of a contrast agent, you should refuse a meal 4 hours before the examination. All jewelry and hairpins must be removed before the exam.

CT scan contraindications:

  • Pregnancy;
  • Mental disorders;
  • Allergy to injected substances as a contrast (if CT is done using it);

Magnetic resonance imaging

A very informative diagnostic method that uses magnetic fields and radio frequency radiation. This is a relatively new diagnostic method, but has taken its rightful place in medicine, as it is harmless and very informative.

Such examinations do not require preparation, however, specialists must be warned of body characteristics, allergies, if the examination is performed with the use of contrast agents. All metal objects are removed prior to diagnostics.

This procedure is performed by lying on your back, not causing a painful sensation, except for a slight discomfort from the sound of the instrument.

Contraindications for MRI:

  • Chronic renal failure;
  • Allergy to materials used as contrast;
  • Pregnancy;
  • Presence of metal elements in the human body (pacemakers, etc. );
  • Claustrophobia.


The methods used in the treatment of thoracic spine osteochondrosis are complex and are prescribed by doctors individually, depending on medical history and concomitant diseases.

This includes:

  • Medicine;
  • Physiotherapy training;
  • Massage and manual therapy;
  • Physiotherapy;
  • Traditional treatment methods.


Treatment aims to eliminate inflammation and reduce pain. Specialists prescribe special ointments, analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs to patients.

After using medications aimed at relieving pain, doctors prescribe medications to patients that help normalize microcirculation and blood circulation, as well as vitamin complexes.

exercise therapy

Physiotherapy exercises can help reduce muscle cramps and pain. Exercise helps improve muscle tone and improve blood circulation. All exercises must be done smoothly so as not to cause severe pain. With thoracic osteochondrosis, the complex also includes exercises that help support the back muscles.


Used in combination with other treatment methods. Massage has a quick effect during treatment, relieves pain, improves blood circulation, tightens muscles, relieves cramps. Massage courses can be started only when the level of excitement has subsided.

It is best to give a massage to a qualified massage therapist and combine it with manual therapy and physiotherapy training.

Manual therapy

Treatment is the hand effect of the therapist on the spine.

Contraindications to manual therapy:

  • pregnancy;
  • hernia;
  • arthrosis;
  • spinal cord injury;
  • increased blood pressure;
  • tumor;
  • severe scoliosis;
  • inflammatory process.

Manual therapy should be performed only in the early stages of thoracic spine osteochondrosis, as determined by a doctor and strictly by a qualified specialist, otherwise this procedure can cause serious complications.


The advantages of physical therapy are a minimum of side effects and the achievement of rapid effects. During treatment, magnetotherapy, amplipulse, ultrasound, electrophoresis, iontophoresis, diadynamic currents are used.

In each case, the doctor selects the procedure individually. Contraindications: oncology, pregnancy, skin diseases, severe cardiovascular disease.

Traditional medicine

Consists of color, scrub, ointment, bath.

Before starting treatment with folk remedies, you should consult your doctor and remember about possible allergic reactions to various herbal ingredients.


The main component of the prevention of thoracic osteochondrosis of the spine is an active lifestyle that helps keep the spine in good condition and maintain proper posture. It is also important that the sleeping area is not too soft or hard. It is best to eat foods high in calcium and magnesium, to consume vitamin complexes.