Chest osteochondrosis: symptoms, diagnosis, treatment

symptoms of thoracic osteochondrosis

Thoracic osteochondrosis is a disease of the intervertebral discs of the chest. The disease is quite rare. Thoracic osteochondrosis is similar in symptoms to other diseases and is difficult to diagnose. This is why it is called "chameleon disease".

How does osteochondrosis of the chest occur?

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

Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine disrupts the normal structure of the intervertebral disc. In the case of disease, the core dries out and loses its shock-absorbing property, and the fibrous ring becomes thinner and cracks. As a result, the roots of the spinal nerves become damaged 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 can vary. They include:

  • prolonged effect of vibration on the spine (for example, in drivers who often drive a vehicle);
  • physical stress;
  • lack of physical activity, also known as a sedentary lifestyle;
  • 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 the types of thoracic osteochondrosis

There are several types of osteochondrosischest - symptoms and treatmentthey can vary considerably.

The classification is based on which nerve endings are affected by the damaged structures of the spine. 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 reason for its development is usually deformation, tension or compression of part of the spinal cord, nerve root or blood vessel, which leads to side effects.

Symptoms of thoracic osteochondrosis

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

  • chest pain, which worsens at night, with a long stay in one position, cooling, turning, leaning aside, heavy exercise;
  • pain between the shoulder blades, when lifting the right or left arm, bending;
  • increased pain on deep inhalation and exhalation;
  • pain between the ribs when walking;
  • feeling as if the chest and back are pressed by a hoop.

The pain during the exacerbation of the disease can last for several weeks.

There are additional symptoms of thoracic osteochondrosis:

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

Chest osteochondrosis is characterized by two symptoms - dorsago and dorsalgia.

Dorsago and dorsalgia - manifestations of the disease

Dorsago is an acute acute chest pain, "lumbago of the chest". It usually appears after monotonous work in the same position. During an attack of such pain it is difficult to breathe. The pain worsens when turning the upper body.

Dorsalgia - mild pain in the affected intervertebral discs, begins gradually and lasts up to 2-3 weeks. The pain intensifies with deep breathing and bending. The patient may be out of breath. The pain worsens at night and disappears after a short walk.

Causes of osteochondrosis of the chest

Thoracic osteochondrosis is most common in people who:

  • computer work;
  • constantly driving;
  • received spinal injuries;
  • have weak back muscles;
  • suffer from scoliosis and other posture 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 most protected thanks to the ribs and the muscular corset. There are more discs in the thoracic region than in the cervical and lumbar regions combined.

What is dangerous osteochondrosis of the chest

Without proper treatment in time, thoracic osteochondrosis can cause the following diseases:

  • bulge and chest hernia;
  • spinal cord compression;
  • problems with the heart, intestines, liver, kidneys and pancreas;
  • disorders of the duodenum, intestinal motility, dyskinesia of the gallbladder;
  • intercostal neuralgia - compression or irritation of the intercostal nerves.

Also, the consequences of this pathology include diseases of the stomach, esophagus, gallbladder, lungs. But the heart is still at greatest risk of this disease, so if you have already had certain problems with it, we strongly recommend that you contact the clinic immediately and apply it as soon as possible. treatment of the thoracic spine.

What can go wrong with osteochondrosis of the chest

The symptoms of osteochondrosis of the chest are varied, it is easy to confuse it with the following diseases:

  • angina, heart attack. Difference: after taking cardiac drugs chest pain does not disappear, the 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 differs from osteochondrosis in 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 chest.

Methods for diagnosing thoracic osteochondrosis

Specialists of an occupational clinic will distinguish thoracic osteochondrosis from other diseases and will make an accurate diagnosis using the following diagnostic methods:

  • NMR. Magnetic resonance
  • Ultrasound examination (ultrasound)
  • Densitometry
  • electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Daily ECG monitoring
  • Comprehensive medical examination of the body (control examination)
  • Bioimpedance analysis of the body as part of the "Smart Weight Loss" program.
  • Laboratory researches

INtreatment of thoracic osteochondrosis of the spinecan be supplemented with foot or back massage. Conservative maintenance drug therapy with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics is also periodically prescribed. In some cases, the patient may be prescribed novocaine paravertebral block. Each case is individual, so the approach to each patient must be special so that the therapy is effective and the problem is not felt in the future.

The treatment of thoracic osteochondrosis in a specialized clinic gives a universal therapeutic effect:

  • improves blood circulation and nutrition of the intervertebral discs;
  • stops the destruction of disks, restores their structure;
  • relieves inflammation of nerve roots;
  • relaxes tense muscles of the back and chest;
  • restores the biomechanics of the spine;
  • prevents complications in the form of bulges and hernias;
  • normalizes blood pressure;
  • strengthens the muscles of the back, shoulder girdle, respiratory muscles;
  • adjusts posture;
  • stimulates the immune system.

After completing the course, the doctor will give you a guide with exercises that you must perform yourself. Your doctor will advise you on how to adjust your lifestyle so that chest pain no longer bothers you.


For disease prevention we recommend:

  • lie down for 40-50 minutes during the day - this will relieve the load on the spine;
  • if you work a lot in front of the computer, change your position, get up from the chair every 2 hours, make several inclines in different directions, stretch, straighten your shoulders;
  • engage in water sports: swimming, diving, water aerobics;
  • do not overcool, keep your back warm;
  • do the following exercise regularly: lie on your stomach, rest your hands on the floor and lean back. Hold this position for 5-10 seconds. Repeat the exercise 8-10 times.

It is also highly recommended that you maintain your body weight at the right level and give up bad habits (including smoking).

Nutrition for thoracic osteochondrosis

In osteochondrosis of the chest it is recommended to eat 5-6 times a day in small portions. Adhere to the following principles of nutrition:

  • use jelly, jelly, jelly fish, jelly more often. They contain chondroprotectors that are involved in the synthesis of cartilage;
  • your diet should be 1/3 protein. They can be obtained from meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, soy, seeds, beans, nuts, eggplant;
  • eat more fresh fruits and vegetables - cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, onions, beets, parsley, cauliflower and white cabbage, peppers, broccoli, celery;
  • cooked and stewed dishes, gray, rye bread are welcome;
  • osteochondrosis requires calcium. Contains dairy products, almonds, nettles, watercress, rose hips;
  • include in the diet sunflower seeds, nuts, avocados, raw spinach, bean pods - they are rich in magnesium;
  • cook dishes of lobster, 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;
  • limiting the use of grapes and vegetables from the legume family, concentrated broths;
  • eat less salty, smoked foods, flour products, sugar, hot spices.