Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine: symptoms and treatment

Osteochondrosis is called damage to the bones and cartilage of various parts of the spine. In this article we will consider the features of this defect, in a situation when it occurs in the chest region, its main symptoms and treatment.

Thoracic osteochondrosis - degenerative-dystrophic lesions of the vertebrae

Thoracic osteochondrosis of the spine is called the progression of damage to the degenerative-dystrophic nature of the tissue structures of the vertebrae, due to which they, along with the intervertebral discs and cartilage tissue, are gradually destroyed. There are also other osteochondrosis, for example, cervical or lumbar. Compared with them, the manifestations of chest pathology are rarer, since the spine in this part has less mobility and is additionally fixed due to the ribs. However, in some cases, the disease even ends in disability, this occurs as a result of the formation of intervertebral hernias. The only effective treatment in this case will be surgery. Most often, the disease affects people over the age of 35-40.

Due to the peculiarities of placement, osteochondrosis of the chest region has less pronounced symptoms and is less likely to occur due to external influences. The main risk of developing pathology is a sedentary lifestyle, which significantly weakens the muscular skeleton of the back. The main causes of the disease are:

  • Back overload, which can occur both when lifting heavy objects and wearing heels, and due to special physiological conditions, for example, pregnancy or congenital malformations of the foot - flat feet;
  • immobility, sedentary work, insufficient physical activity;
  • Scoliosisand other types of curvature of the spine in the thoracic region;
  • back injury;
  • The presence of incorrect posture;
  • Heredity factors;
  • Strong stress.

Thoracic osteochondrosis ends with a strong thinning of the intervertebral discs, the formation of intervertebral hernias, the formation of growths from the connective tissue and the wear of the cartilaginous structures that form the vertebral joints.

The consequences of the pathology often lead to additional symptoms, when, for example, compression of the spinal canals or blood arteries occurs. As well as various other manifestations requiring additional complex treatment.

Symptoms of osteochondrosis of the chest region

With the chest manifestation of the disease, the onset of symptoms often occurs when the spine is loaded, and also due tosudden movements– when rotating or tilting the body.

Most often there is a feeling of dull, aching pain, localized between the shoulder blades, it is accompanied by a feeling of compression of the sternum. In the presence of a displacement of the lower ribs, they speak of a posterior rib syndrome, in which pain manifests itself in the lower part of the chest and scapula. Also, painful sensations often arise if you try to feel the spine where the pathology is present.

These painful manifestations are usually attributed to one of two types:

  • Intense, penetrating and sharp pain in the interscapular zone, as well as in the ribs. It is calledDorsagoand is characterized by increased bends and changes in body position. Usually, such pain is characteristic during exacerbations, and symptomatic treatment is necessary for its relief.
  • back paincalled a gradually onset pain syndrome that lasts from 7 to 20 days. The nature of the pain in this case is dull and light, the place of manifestation is in the spine at the level of the chest. An increase in intensity is noted if you take a deep breath or bend over. Additionally, shortness of breath may be experienced, along with spasms in the muscles around the affected area. The appearance of a symptom is usually provoked during a long stay in one position, for example, after a night's sleep.

Additional pathological conditions that accompany thoracic osteochondrosis will depend on the depth of their manifestation. For example, in a situation where they are strongly pressednerve endingspassing through the vertebrae there will be a loss of sensation, which can affect tendon reflexes. Also, with osteochondrosis of the thoracic region, pinching of the nerve endings responsible for the liver, heart, kidneys, lungs and gastrointestinal organs often occurs, which probably leads to some loss of functionality ofthese organs and systems. the appearance of corresponding symptoms of heaviness, tightness, pain.

Among the additional manifestations of the disease, there are often problems with normal breathing, localized pain sensations:

  • In the chest and to the left in the region of the heart;
  • Below the ribs on the right or left, which may raise suspicion of cholecystitis and other diseases;
  • In the cavity of the throat, esophagus, stomach and intestines.

Treatment of thoracic osteochondrosis

With osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine, symptomatic treatment is prescribed, in other words, it depends on the most pronounced symptoms. For this purpose, the doctor prescribes the following drugs:

  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs;
  • Analgesics;
  • Local anesthetics, which are creams, ointments, patches;
  • Relaxing muscles with severe spasms;
  • vitamins;
  • Antidepressants.

To stop the progression of the disease, various physiotherapy procedures are used, as well as dietary adjustments and vitamin intake. Some doctors supplement the treatment with drugs calledchondroprotectors. They are credited with the properties of restoring cartilage and destroyed bones. However, the effectiveness of these funds has no serious evidence, at the same time their course lasts from 6 months and can be quite expensive. Based on this, the intake of these drugs should be agreed with the doctor, but it is better to seek advice from several specialists.

As an additional treatment aimed at preventing pathology in the future, physiotherapy is used to support the treatment of osteochondrosis of the chest region. Most often used:

  • Shock wave, laser and magnetic therapy, as well as ultraviolet and electrophoresis.
  • Physiotherapy exercise complexes. Osteochondrosis is very effectively treated with the help of gymnastic exercises. Usually the set of exercises is repeated several times a day, which helps to strengthen the muscles of the back and chest region and restore the mobility of the vertebrae. With the help of gymnastics, the treatment and prevention of the disease is carried out, a specific complex is selected by the attending physician. It should be remembered that you can start exercises only after the symptoms of pain disappear, and if pain occurs during the procedure, its intensity should be reduced.
  • Massages that help stretch the spine, intensify material metabolism in the vertebrae and their surrounding elements.
  • Special diets to compensate for the lack of substances necessary for the restoration of cartilage tissue structures.

What to do in case of an exacerbation?

Osteochondrosis of the chest region is a chronic disease, therefore it is characterized by periods of aggravation. It usually happens after heavy physical exertion in the gym or at work, intense stress, accumulated fatigue. At this point, additional symptoms are likely:

  • Headache bordering on migraine;
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • dizziness;
  • severe weakness;
  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Movement restrictions.

Severe pain in the spine, related to dorsago, with exacerbation, can hardly be stopped on its own. In addition, the independent choice of a strong painkiller is fraught with serious side effects, complications and additional treatments. Therefore, it is important to consult a doctor during such a period, if it is not possible to visit a neurologist yourself, then you need to call an ambulance. Pain symptoms are well eliminated in the hospital, by intramuscular injection of painkillers and simultaneous use of local anesthesia.

If osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine is in the acute stage, the following treatment rules should be observed:

  • It is necessary to stay in bed by unloading the spinal column as much as possible;
  • Admission drugs should be taken only those prescribed by a doctor;
  • You can go to physiotherapy only with the permission of the doctor;
  • The diet must be adapted.

In the presence of a herniated disc, additional drug therapy is prescribed, as well as wearing a corset. If the hernia is large, the only effective method of treatment will be to perform an operation, which is prescribed individually depending on the results of the diagnosis.


Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine often appears in people of certain professions, therefore, all those who, on the one hand, are engaged in heavy work associated with lifting weights, on the other hand, are very inactive duringthe process of work, should pay attention to their posture, periodically strengthen their back muscles and give useful motor activity to the vertebrae. So, the prevention of osteochondrosis is to perform physical training several times a day. Do not be superfluous and independent massage.

Moreover, it is important to changedietexclude products whose components lead to degenerative processes and increased wear of cartilage and bones. The diet should minimize the amount of salty, sweet, spicy, spicy, fried. Food should be chosen natural, in which there are no preservatives and dyes. Priority is given to vegetables, fruits, cereals, lean meats and fish, dairy products. To speed up salt metabolism, adults should drink at least two liters of fluid per day. It is better to refuse alcohol and coffee. In addition, it is important to prevent the appearance of excess body weight, which increases the load on the vertebrae.

Another factor that helps prevent osteochondrosis of the chest region is healthy sleep. By "healthy" in this case, we mean the position in which the body is. To minimize discomfort during sleep, it is best to use an individually selected product.orthopedic pillow and mattress.

The implementation of these measures will prevent the appearance of symptoms of thoracic osteochondrosis and avoid long-term treatment.