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 relatively rare. Chest osteochondrosis is similar in symptoms to other diseases and is difficult to diagnose. For this, it is called "chameleon disease. "

How does osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine occur?

Thoracic osteochondrosis occurs due to violations of metabolic processes and increased load on the intervertebral disc. The intervertebral disc consists of a fibrous annulus, which serves as the hard shell for the semi -fluid nucleus pulposus.

Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine disrupts the normal structure of the intervertebral disc. In case of disease, the core becomes dry and loses its shock -absorbing properties, and the fibrous rings become thinner and crack. As a result, the spinal nerve roots are violated 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 the increase in pressure on the intervertebral disc may vary. This includes:

  • the effects of prolonged vibration on the spine (e. g. , on drivers who frequently drive vehicles);
  • physical stress;
  • physical inactivity, also known as an inactive lifestyle;
  • smoking;
  • overweight, obesity;
  • individual anomalies in the structure of the spine;
  • congenital manifestations of narrowing of the spinal canal;
  • somatic or spondylogenic muscle pain;
  • joint space asymmetry in the intervertebral joint;
  • psychosocial factors.

Classification of types of thoracic osteochondrosis

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

Classification is carried out based on the nerve endings affected by the damaged spinal structure. It is common 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 parts of the spinal cord, nerve roots or blood vessels, which leads to undesirable consequences.

Symptoms of thoracic osteochondrosis

Chest osteochondrosis is less pronounced than other types of osteochondrosis. There are the following signs of thoracic osteochondrosis:

  • chest pain aggravated at night, with prolonged stay in one position, cooling, twisting, bending to the side, heavy physical exertion;
  • pain between shoulder blades, when raising right or left arm, bending;
  • increased pain with inhalation and deep breathing;
  • pain between the ribs while walking;
  • sensation as if the chest and back were squeezed into a loop.

Pain during exacerbation of the disease can last several weeks.

There are additional symptoms of thoracic osteochondrosis:

  • numbness in some areas of the skin, a feeling of "chills";
  • itching, burning, cold feeling in the feet;
  • peeling skin, 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, "chest lumbago". It usually occurs after tedious work in the same position. During such an attack of pain, it is difficult to breathe. The pain worsens with rotation of the upper body.

Dorsalgia-mild pain in the affected area of the intervertebral disc, begins gradually and lasts up to 2-3 weeks. The pain is aggravated by deep breathing and bending over. The patient may be short 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 on a computer;
  • always driving;
  • receiving a spinal cord injury;
  • have weak back muscles;
  • have scoliosis and other postural disorders.

Thoracic osteochondrosis is less common than other types of 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.

Is chest osteochondrosis dangerous

Without timely 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 of the duodenum, intestinal motility, gallbladder dyskinesia;
  • intercostal neuralgia - compression or irritation of the intercostal nerve.

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 have certain problems with it, we strongly recommend that you immediately contact a clinician and perform it as soon as possible.treatment of the thoracic spine.

What can be confused with chest osteochondrosis

The symptoms of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine are varied, easy to confuse with the following diseases:

  • angina, heart attack. Differences: after taking heart medication, chest pain did not disappear, the patient's cardiogram was normal;
  • appendicitis, cholecystitis, renal colic;
  • gastritis, ulcers, colitis;
  • other diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (including diverticulitis, chronic pancreatitis or large bowel syndrome);
  • neoplastic process;
  • inflammatory processes;
  • diseases of the genitourinary system (pyelonephritis or urolithiasis);
  • mammary gland pathology;
  • pneumonia. Pneumonia 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 diagnose osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine.

Methods for diagnosing thoracic osteochondrosis

A professional clinician will distinguish thoracic osteochondrosis from other diseases and make an accurate diagnosis using the following diagnostic methods:

  • MRI. Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Ultrasound examination
  • Densitometers
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Daily ECG monitoring
  • Comprehensive medical examination (examination)
  • Body bioimpedance analysis as part of the "Smart Weight Loss" program.
  • Laboratory research

Onthoracic osteochondrosis of the spine treatmentcan be supplemented with a leg or back massage. Also, conservative maintenance drug therapy with the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics is prescribed periodically. In some cases, patients 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 is not felt in the future.

Treatment of thoracic osteochondrosis in specialized clinics provides a versatile therapeutic effect:

  • improve blood circulation and nutrition of the intervertebral disc;
  • stop the destruction of the disk, restore its structure;
  • relieves nerve root inflammation;
  • relieves tense back and chest muscles;
  • restore spinal biomechanics;
  • prevent complications in the form of protrusions and hernias;
  • normalize blood pressure;
  • strengthen the back muscles, 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 yourself. The doctor will advise you how to adjust your lifestyle so that chest pain does not bother you anymore.


We recommend for disease prevention:

  • 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 some tilt in different directions, stretch, straighten your shoulders;
  • engaged in water sports: swimming, diving, water aerobics;
  • don’t be too cold, keep your back warm;
  • do the following exercises regularly: lie on your stomach, place your hands on the floor and bend backwards. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds. Repeat the exercise 8-10 times.

It is also highly recommended to maintain weight at the proper level and quit 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 nutritional principles:

  • use jelly, jelly, fish jelly, jelly more often. They contain chondroprotectors involved in cartilage synthesis;
  • your diet should be 1/3 protein. They can be obtained from meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, soybeans, seeds, beans, peas, 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 of sunflower seeds, nuts, avocados, raw spinach, nuts - they are rich in magnesium;
  • cook dishes from lobster, oysters, crabs, mushrooms, cereals - they contain B vitamins;
  • season salad with olive oil;
  • is recommended to eat whole grains of wheat, cereals, corn, buckwheat, barley;
  • limit the use of grapes and vegetables from the legume family, concentrated soups;
  • reduce salty foods, smoked foods, flour products, sugar, hot spices.