Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine: symptoms and treatment

Osteochondrosis is called damage to the bones and cartilages of different parts of the spine. In this article, we will discuss the features of this defect, the situation when it occurs in the chest area, its main symptoms and treatment.

Thoracic osteochondrosis - degenerative-dystrophic lesions of the spine

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

Due to the peculiarities of the location, osteochondrosis in the chest area has less pronounced symptoms and is unlikely to be caused by external influences. The main risk of the development of pathology is a sedentary lifestyle, which significantly weakens the muscular skeleton of the back. The main causes of the disease are:

  • Overloading the back, which can occur both due to lifting heavy objects and wearing heels, as well as due to special physiological conditions, for example, pregnancy, or congenital foot defects - flat feet;
  • Immobility, sedentary work, insufficient physical activity;
  • scoliosisand other types of curvature of the spine in the chest area;
  • back injury
  • presence of incorrect posture;
  • heredity factors;
  • severe stress.

Thoracic osteochondrosis ends with severe thinning of the intervertebral discs, formation of intervertebral hernias, formation of protrusions from the connective tissue and protection of the cartilaginous structures forming the vertebral joints.

The results of the pathology often cause additional symptoms when, for example, compression of the spinal canal or blood arteries occurs. As well as various other manifestations that require additional complex treatment.

Symptoms of osteochondrosis of the chest region

With the thoracic manifestation of the disease, the onset of symptoms often occurs during the loading of the spinal column and also becausesudden movements- When turning or bending the body.

Most often, there is a feeling of aching dull pain, which is localized between the shoulder blades, accompanied by a feeling of chest compression. In the presence of displacement of the lower ribs, they talk about the syndrome of the posterior ribs, during which pain appears in the area of the lower chest and scrotum. In addition, painful sensations often appear if you try to feel the spine where the pathology exists.

Such painful manifestations usually belong to one of two types:

  • Strong, piercing and sharp pain in the intercutaneous area, as well as in the ribs. He is calledDorsagoand is characterized by increased turns and changes in body position. As a rule, such pain is characteristic during exacerbation, symptomatic treatment is required to alleviate it.
  • DorsalgiaIt is called a gradually appearing pain syndrome that lasts 7-20 days. The nature of the pain in this case is dull and soft, the place of manifestation is in the spine at the level of the chest. An increase in intensity can be noticed if you take a deep breath or bend over. In addition, shortness of breath may be felt, as well as muscle spasm around the affected area. The appearance of the symptom is usually provoked during a long stay in one position, for example, after a night's sleep.

Additional pathological conditions accompanying thoracic osteochondrosis will depend on the depth of their manifestation. For example, in a situation where they are strongly compressednerve endingsThrough the vertebrae, there will be a loss of sensation that can affect tendon reflexes. In addition, during osteochondrosis of the thoracic region, the nerve endings responsible for the liver, heart, kidneys, lungs and gastrointestinal organs are often stretched, as a result of which certain loss of functionality of these organs and systems is possible. Appearance of corresponding symptoms of heaviness, tightness, pain.

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

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

Treatment of thoracic osteochondrosis

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

  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs;
  • Analgesics;
  • local anesthetics, i. e. creams, ointments, patches;
  • muscle relaxation with strong spasm;
  • vitamins
  • Antidepressants.

To stop the progression of the disease, various physiotherapeutic procedures are used, as well as diet correction and vitamin intake. Some doctors supplement the treatment with medicines e. yearChondroprotectors. They are credited with the properties of restoring damaged cartilage and bones. However, the effectiveness of such funds does not have serious evidence, at the same time, their course lasts from 6 months and can be quite expensive. Based on this, taking these drugs should be agreed with the doctor, but it is better to get advice from several specialists.

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

  • Shock wave, laser and magnetic therapy, as well as ultraviolet and electrophoresis.
  • Complexes of physiotherapeutic exercises. Osteochondrosis is very effectively treated with the help of gymnastics exercises. Usually, the whole set of exercises is repeated several times a day, which helps to strengthen the back and chest muscles and restore the mobility of the vertebrae. With the help of gymnastics, disease treatment and prevention are carried out, a specific complex is chosen by the attending doctor. It should be remembered that you can start training only after the pain symptoms have stopped, and if any pain occurs during the procedure, its intensity should be reduced.
  • Massages that help stretch the spine increase 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 with the aggravation?

Osteochondrosis of the chest region is a chronic disease, so it is characterized by periods of exacerbation. This usually happens after serious physical exertion in the gym or at work, severe stress, accumulated fatigue. Additional symptoms are possible at this stage:

  • headache bordering on migraine;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • dizziness;
  • severe weakness;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • Movement restrictions.

Acute spinal pain associated with dorsago, with exacerbation, can hardly be stopped by itself. In addition, the independent choice of a strong painkiller is fraught with serious side effects, additional complications and treatment. Therefore, it is important to seek medical help in such a period, if it is not possible to go to the neurologist yourself, then you need to call an ambulance. Pain symptoms disappear well in the hospital with intramuscular injection of analgesics and simultaneous use of local anesthesia.

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

  • It is necessary to be in bed, to unload the spine as much as possible;
  • Acceptable medications should be taken only as prescribed by a doctor;
  • You can go to physiotherapy only with the doctor's permission;
  • The diet should be adjusted.

In the presence of disc herniation, additional drug therapy is prescribed, as well as wearing a corset. If the hernia is large, then the only effective method of therapy will be surgery, which is prescribed individually according to the results of the diagnosis.


Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine often occurs in people of certain professions, so everyone who, on the one hand, is engaged in heavy work related to lifting weights, on the other hand, is very inactive during work, should be careful. Their posture periodically strengthens the back muscles and provides useful motor activity to the vertebrae. Thus, the prevention of osteochondrosis involves physical exercise several times a day. Do not be redundant and independent massage.

In addition, it is important to changedietexclude products whose components cause degenerative processes and wear of cartilage and bones. Salty, sweet, spicy, spicy, fried foods should be minimized in the diet. Food should be selected natural, in which there are no preservatives and dyes. Priority is given to vegetables, fruits, cereals, lean meat 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 avoid excessive body weight, which increases the load on the spine.

Another factor that helps prevent osteochondrosis of the chest region is healthy sleep. By "healthy" in this case, we mean the position the body is in. To reduce discomfort during sleep, it is better to use individually selectedPillow and orthopedic mattress.

Implementation of these measures will help prevent symptoms of thoracic osteochondrosis and prevent long-term treatment.