How to recognize thoracic osteochondrosis: symptoms and treatment

A disease such as thoracic osteochondrosis is quite common, but it is much less common than other forms of this disease. At first, it proceeds without pronounced symptoms, so it is most often diagnosed in a complicated form, when the pain becomes palpable.

The onset of thoracic osteochondrosis

In modern medicine, the reasons that provoke osteochondrosis of the chest have not yet been established. Although there are factors, the influence of which is considered indirect causes of the event. Are the following:

  1. Inheritance. If close relatives were susceptible to such a disease, it is very likely that sooner or later it will make itself felt. For this reason, when collecting the medical history, doctors ask about genetic diseases passed on by relatives.
  2. The changes that the body undergoes due to growth and aging. The intervertebral discs inevitably undergo metamorphosis, depending on the reduction of hydrophilic tissues, a decrease in the synthesis of chondroitin sulfate.
  3. Back injuries, received once or transformed into a chronic form. The latter option is inherent in professional athletes or people whose activities are associated with intense physical exertion.
  4. Disorders of microcirculation in the spine. It can be complicated by atherosclerosis.

Osteochondrosis of the thoracic region has many different symptoms. Due to the fact that all internal organs "rely" on the spine, a neglected disease can cause damage to the liver, kidneys, pancreas, heart and intestinal diseases. Most often, osteochondrosis of the chest makes itself felt when pain occurs between the ribs, painful sensations when exhaling and inhaling, discomfort when moving the arms up and bending the body.

The form of osteochondrosis is often determined by pain between the ribs, which makes breathing difficult. The pain is felt much stronger at night, with hypothermia, vibration, when bending and turning the body. Often such symptoms are referred to as heart disease, the differences are that with diseases of the spine, painful sensations occur that are longer in time, they are not eliminated by nitroglycerin. Diseases of the heart can lead to the fact that the pressure begins to "jump", which does not occur with osteochondrosis.

Dorsago and back pain

reflex back pain with thoracic osteochondrosis

Dorsago is a sudden onset of chest pain. Most often it manifests itself in those people who have been in an inclined position for a long time.

You can observe it with a sharp rise after a long sitting. The painful sensations are very intense, so much so that breathing becomes difficult. There is an increase in muscle tension, which leads to a reduction in movement in various parts of the spine.

Dasalgia does not have particularly pronounced manifestations for 3 weeks. It is accompanied by sensations that are more unpleasant than painful. Severe pain can only be with deep sighs, twists and turns. There may be an increase in muscle tension and stiffness in the upper and lower back.

As with back pain, the pain sensation is exacerbated during the night.

To get rid of the pain, you need to walk a little.

Symptoms can also occur that make it difficult to make a correct diagnosis. With a disease of the upper chest segment, pain in the pharynx and esophagus may appear. With the defeat of the central part of the spine, sensations arise in the area of the right hypochondrium, which is also a symptom of pancreatitis, cholecystitis and other diseases. With osteochondrosis of the lower thoracic region, symptoms similar to intestinal pathology occur.

Over the course of the study, specialists established connections between pain sensations and physical activity. Most often, the pain occurs after lunch, intensifies towards the night, but subsides after restful sleep. It is not worth delaying the treatment of this ailment, as it can lead to more serious pathologies of other organs and systems. The most dangerous of these is cardiovascular pathology, as well as dystrophic changes of the heart muscle. Thoracic osteochondrosis can cause malfunctions of the duodenum, intestinal motility disorders.


The main diagnostic method used to identify the pathology of osteochondrosis is X-ray examination. This pathology is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • degenerative movements;
  • reduction of the spinal canal;
  • reduction in the height of the intervertebral discs, the formation of uneven contours;
  • bone growths;
  • the spine significantly changes its shape.

In some particularly difficult cases, the use of computed tomography is acceptable. But there is a great risk of radiation exposure during this procedure, and in this regard, if there is no urgent need for it, then it is better to refrain from such a diagnosis.

MRI as a method for diagnosing thoracic osteoconrosis

The neuropathologist also conducts some research in order to determine possible disorders of the nervous system. Procedures include electroneuromyography and observation of tendon reflexes. Cardiographic observations are made to track the degree of influence of the disease on the work of the heart. Such studies can predetermine the appearance of ischemic pathology, it will be possible to control the pressure.


After diagnosis, the doctor may prescribe the following drugs:

  1. NSAIDs. They are prescribed to eliminate pain.
  2. Corticosteroids can be taken, but only in severe pain. If the painful sensations do not have sufficient intensity, their elimination is limited to the use of non-steroidal drugs.
  3. Diuretics to relieve swelling.
  4. B vitamins are used to stimulate blood circulation.
  5. Chondroprotectors are prescribed for the regeneration of the affected cartilage.

Ointments in the treatment of this form of osteochondrosis do not have the right effectiveness and are more suitable for other types of diseases. For those who do not trust or are simply not advocates of pharmacological methods of treatment, there are many other methods that exclude the use of drugs. These include acupuncture, electrophoresis, laser, cigar, vacuum, manual therapy, traditional massage, and cupping. For such treatment to be effective, it is imperative to contact specially trained specialists with experience in this area. Correctly selected treatment methods will help stimulate blood circulation, relieve muscle spasm and relieve pain. Proper physical activity is required, including remedial gymnastics and swimming. Proper nutrition is an important factor in recovery.

Osteochondrosis of any form and of the thoracic region in particular is a very unpleasant pathology. When the first symptoms appear, it is important to consult a specialist in a timely manner so that he chooses the appropriate treatment. Delay can lead to worsening of the disease.