Osteochondrosis of the thoracic region, how it is manifested and treated

chest pain with osteochondrosis

Pain, restriction of movement are characteristic manifestations of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine. But the insidiousness of this pathology also lies in the fact that the internal organs are affected both at the level of the chest and below, so that no one, except the doctor, can understand what is happening. Osteochondrosis arises as a result of degenerative-dystrophic processes in which discs, joints, ligaments and spinal roots are affected.

Symptoms of the disease can appear at a very early stage. But spinal disease can be influenced, the main thing is to know the causes and laws according to which it develops. Doctors are more or less clear about the reasons, but the mechanism of development somehow remains in the "shadow".

Causes and development of the disease

Any part of the column is constantly under load, both static and dynamic. Constant pressure leads to the fact that the integrity of the intervertebral disc is violated. It is damaged, the internal component starts to bulge out.

The disc is nourished, like any other cartilage, in a special way: when pressed, it releases fluid from itself, and when pressure is released, like a sponge, it absorbs all the nutrients. This mechanism does not work during prolonged static postures or during exercise when constant pressure is applied to the disc. Daily morning exercise has a positive effect on nutrition.

stages of degeneration

To better understand the symptoms, you need to understand what stages the intervertebral disc goes through and what happens to it. As, however, throughout the spine.

In the first stage, there is no pain, and the attack does not manifest at all, but the process has already started, the inner part is already moving freely.

In the second stage, an attack of pain is already felt completely, radicular symptoms come together, a person actively uses ointments, but the cause is not resolved. The disc gradually protrudes and begins to squeeze the spinal cord. In the third stage, an attack of pain, which mainly manifests itself in osteochondrosis of the thoracic region, becomes brighter and more intense, ointments do not help. The disc gradually protrudes, its protrusion occurs.

The last step leads to the appearance of signs of damage outside the disk components. The clinical picture is characterized by compression of the roots, blood vessels and the spinal cord itself. As a result, an attack of considerable intensity pain develops.

The body tries its best to reduce pain, as a result, characteristic growths, osteophytes, appear on the spine. The spinal cord roots are compressed as a result of the narrowing of the intervertebral foramina. The pressure leads to the fact that the rest of Organs internal organs are affected. Its treatment does not bring results, which sometimes confuses the doctor.

disease symptoms

Often, the cause of the defeat of this particular section of the spine is in a sedentary lifestyle, clarifying this circumstance, the diagnosis is greatly facilitated. Typically, pressure is exerted if a person sits at a computer or in a chair for a long time. The pain is mostly dull in nature, then it becomes aching and burning. It is located in the middle, between the shoulder blades, some compression in the chest area worries.

If you try to feel the region of the spinous and transverse processes of the spine, the pain will increase significantly.

The diagnosis is simplified by the tension of the paravertebral muscles. The signals intensify if you ask the patient to take a deep breath, do body turns.

Some patients notice pain in the scapula or lower thoracic spine. This is called posterior costal syndrome and occurs as a result of dislocation of the lower ribs. The pain may suddenly disappear, but it may intensify during shifts.

The signs are manifested by pain in the waist along the intercostal spaces, which is where the nerve passes. Sensitivity is impaired in the area where the damaged nerve branches off. Concerned about paresthesia, deep and superficial sensitivities are reduced. Signs are accompanied by a violation of the function of the abdominal press, knee and heel reflexes are reduced.

Damage to internal organs

In parallel with pain, there is a violation of the function of internal organs. In the region of the thoracic spinal cord there are centers responsible for the work of the heart, pulmonary system, liver, intestines and kidneys, pancreas. Difficulty in breathing, pain and interruptions in the heart's work, resembling angina pectoris, can be disturbing. The mammary glands may hurt, or everything is located in the region of the right or left hypochondrium, resembling an attack of cholecystitis or pancreatitis.

Sore throat or esophagus. Symptoms are located in the left hypochondrium region or abdomen, resembling the symptoms of gastritis or intestinal inflammation (colitis, enteritis). Violations can be from the kidneys and reproductive system.


Establishing a correct diagnosis based on symptoms alone can be difficult. That's why diagnosis involves the production of an x-ray. It is here that the characteristic changes are visible, which manifest osteochondrosis of the thoracic region in the form of decreased disc height, sclerosis of the end plates and formation of osteophytes.

Also, a CT scan is done if the x-ray does not work. The study is complemented by magnetic resonance imaging, which shows soft tissue, thus the diagnosis of herniated disc is established.

Differential diagnosis requires special attention, it is not performed only on the basis of complaints and clinical manifestations. Thus, pain in the heart area is not affected by the medications used for angina pectoris. Pain in the epigastric region is not affected by food intake and there is no seasonal manifestation of symptoms. Everything appears at night and completely disappears after a night's sleep.


Treatment involves taking all kinds of drugs, they are pills and injections. They start with medications that relieve the inflammatory process, traditionally non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used for this. By eliminating pain and inflammation, they help to relax the muscles. Only a doctor should prescribe them, otherwise there is a high risk of complications and there are contraindications to their use. Pills are taken, as recommended, often after meals, but your doctor may also prescribe injections. Locally, this group of drugs is applied in the form of an ointment, which is applied about three times a day.

Analgesics can complement the group of drugs described above, with severe pain, injections are prescribed by the doctor, if all is not so bad, pills are also suitable. With pain of considerable intensity, blocking with the drug can be performed directly at the focus of pain, allowing the attack to be quickly removed. Special anesthetic ointments can also complement the treatment.

Chondroprotectors allow you to restore the cartilage structure, but you need to take drugs in this group for a long time. The doctor prescribes, at his discretion, injections or pills that are taken in courses. Recently, preparations of this group are presented in the form of an ointment, which is applied externally.

Complement the complete treatment with drugs from the antispasmodic group. The action aims to relax the muscles that are pinched from arteries and nerves. The pressure decreases, the patient's condition is eased.

Ointments are actively used, they act locally, helping to relieve an attack of pain. Ointments are applied to the painful area, where they warm the skin. Also, ointments are used along the nerves so they can more effectively relieve an attack of pain. Supplement, in addition to the ointment, the treatment is capable of mustard plasters

Hormone-based medications are also used, mainly injections. They are prescribed as a last resort when it is necessary to relieve an attack of intense pain. Paraverbal blockade of the affected area of the nerve or root is often used, drugs are used on the basis of hormones.

Complement all vitamin-based preparations, injections are made into the muscle. Medicines can be represented by bioactive supplements, the pills of which improve cartilage nutrition and relieve pressure.


All sorts of techniques are actively used to help pacify even a strong attack. With procedures, you can use medications that work as a kind of blockade. The list of procedures can be represented as follows:

  • Shockwave Therapy. Due to the shock wave, it restores nutrition and blood supply to the spine, eliminates an attack of pain and allows you to get rid of inflammation.
  • Ultraviolet radiation. Promotes better absorption of calcium.
  • vibration therapy. Exposure to high frequency sound improves blood flow, relieves pressure and pain.
  • Magnetotherapy. Exposure to a magnetic field improves the vital processes of cells, accelerates regeneration. Darsonval acts in a similar way.
  • Electrophoresis. The impact of the current, which contributes to the fact that drugs penetrate deeper into the tissues.
  • Diodinamik. The impact of variable frequency current effectively reduces pain.
  • Swimming. Allows muscles to relax. It is recommended to swim only in a pool with warm water.
  • Balneotherapy. Use for the treatment of mineral waters and sludge. Minerals contribute to the healing process, pressure on the roots is reduced.
  • Acupuncture. Predicts the impact of fine needles on the body's active points.
  • Manual therapy or massage. You can also use ointments that help relax muscles and free up blood vessels and nerves.

Methods are strictly individually selected by a physician. The main thing is not to start the disease.