Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine - symptoms, treatment, prevention

Reasons for the appearance of

The thoracic spine is less mobile than the cervical and lumbar region, therefore the pathological processes in this area are less noticeable, mainly due to the sturdy construction of the joints of the ribs, sternum and vertebrae. However, it occurs no less frequently than other types of osteochondrosis. Most people permanently residing in a sitting position at home or at work have a predisposition to weakness of the dorsal muscles, scoliosis, trauma of this department, poor posture and, consequently, chest osteochondrosis.

As mentioned above, the main cause of the disease is considered to be pathological deformations in the intervertebral discs and joints of the structure. Cartilaginous surfaces are destroyed, discs become thinner, osteophytes, protrusions, hernias are formed, the pulpous nucleus is significantly reduced and, in the final analysis, the radicular structures of the spinal nerves are damaged, compression myelopathy and vascular myelo-ischaemia occur.

Symptoms and early signs of chest osteochondrosis

Symptoms of osteochondrosis are not as pronounced as in other types of this disease, and unqualified doctors periodically confuse them with the symptoms of other diseases. The above-mentioned problem induces the development of pain in the thoracic and interblade area, which is greatly enhanced during movements and physical work. The pinched nerve fibers provoke conductive unpleasant sensations in the heart and even the liver, and also form pathologies of the work of a number of other organs.

Pain sensations in osteochondrosis of the thoracic region are of two types.

  1. Dorsalgia is a long, moderate pain syndrome in the area of ​​the affected area, with unpleasant sensations accompanied.
  2. Dorsago - paroxysmal severe pain, intense and, as a rule, short-term. In this case, the patient may be difficult breathing and motor ability in the area of ​​damage.

Common symptomatology

  1. Pain sensations of the interblade area. They are accompanied by "lumbago" intercostal nerves in the affected area and the corresponding neuralgia.
  2. Pain syndrome in the left side of the chest, similar to ischemia.
  3. Tinea in the chest, significantly increasing with high motor activity.
  4. Limited activity / mobility of the thoracic region. This symptom, characteristic of osteochondrosis of the thoracic region, is often confused with manifestations of scoliotic deformities, as well as Bechterew / Forestier / Sheerman-Mao disease.
  5. "Giving away" pain in the gastrointestinal tract, heart and liver.
  6. Sexual dysfunction.
  7. Partial numbness of the chest.

Treatment of osteochondrosis of the thoracic part

The osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine is treated exclusively by complex long-term therapy, which includes exercise complexes, various physio-and manual procedures, as well as medication.

How to treat?

The treatment process consists of several stages. The very first is the elimination of pain symptoms. Along with this, rehabilitation and preventive therapy is used, which includes a number of techniques and approaches - from acupuncture to therapeutic physical training. The last stage is maintenance therapy. Duration of treatment of the disease varies within very wide limits and depends both on the medical methods used, and on the current state of the patient, as well as the stage of osteochondrosis itself.

Popular medications for chest osteochondrosis

  1. Painkillers. NSAIDs and analgesics based on combinations of analgin, paracetamol, ibuprofen and ketorolac.
  2. Hodoprotectors. It is necessary to catalyze the restoration of damaged cartilage, the most popular are glucosamine and chondroxide.
  3. Vitamins. Most often, complete vitamin complexes or drugs with a B-group of elements are prescribed.
  4. External means. Creams or ointments based on glucocorticosteroids, - Hydrocortisol and Prednisolone. In addition, local remedies are used to relieve inflammation in the affected area and facilitate the symptoms of the disease - Fastum-gel, Dolobien.
  5. Injections and injections. Most often, they are performed in a hospital and are complexes of a paravatetebral block with an anesthetic of prolonged action. In addition, such drugs improve blood circulation, and also contribute to the restoration of cartilaginous tissue. A popular complex is pantoxifylline + trental + lidocaine with novocaine.


Massage not only weakens the severity of the symptoms of the disease but also helps a person recover, efforts of positive effects from other elements of complex therapy. It is prescribed, individually based on the clinical picture of the osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine, the presence of chronic diseases and contraindications.

Manual therapy removes pain syndromes of different etiology, prevents atrophy of the spine, normalizes blood circulation and nutrition of intervertebral discs, relaxes static muscles in the affected area, triggers natural regeneration of cartilage tissue.

The main types of massage for osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine:

  1. Spot.
  2. Healing.
  3. Hardware-canned.
  4. Reflector-peristal.
  5. Connection-woven.

Gymnastics and exercise therapy

Therapeutic physical culture and complexes of gymnastic exercises are one of the most important stages of spine recovery after osteochondrosis. Naturally, it should be appointed taking into account the stage of the disease and the patient's condition by a purely professional doctor.

The basic task of exercise therapy / gymnastics is the systemic development of cartilage, as well as the strengthening of the dorsal muscles. In Russia, with the appropriate diagnosis, a set of exercises on P. Popov is often prescribed: his system includes both general restorative procedures and methods of direct exposure to the most problematic area, as well as exercise indicators that make it easy to track the effectiveness of treatment.

In private practice, also use the variable sets of exercises by the method of Evminov with the help of special adaptations. The stages of treatment in this case:

  1. Elimination of spasms and combat sensations.
  2. Therapeutic load on short dorsal muscles.
  3. Normalization of circulation in intervertebral discs.
  4. Restoration of the basic structure of the spine.

Physiotherapy and Alternative Therapy

This method of treatment of the osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine may include hardware and alternative therapies, as well as various physiotherapy procedures. The most famous and popular methods:

  1. Electrophoresis. A well-known non-operative method of influencing the spine, used since the 70's of the Great Dane of the last century.
  2. Straight stretching. This method is a relatively safe and effective method of straightening the spine, unless of course it is conducted by a qualified specialist. It is held on a massage-traction couch.
  3. Vacuum Therapy. A variation of the active effect on the affected area with the help of vacuum cans.
  4. Acupuncture. Classical acupuncture is made by special thin needles, which are immersed in a certain depth of the epithelium at the acupuncture points on the back.
  5. Laser puncture. A similar acupuncture measure, only produced with the help of a laser beam.
  6. Magnetopuncture. Influence on problem zones by an alternating magnetic field.
  7. Osteopathy. Complex method, which includes elements of massage, chiropractic and orthopedic techniques.
  8. Electrostimulation. Use of electrical current to normalize the operation of the spine.
  9. Shock Wave Therapy. The technique is based on the use of acoustic waves of infrasound in the treatment of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine.
  10. Tractive engine decompression. Automated analog of direct stretching.


The rules for the prevention of this disease are simple and unambiguous:

  1. Regular exercise under the supervision of an orthopedist.
  2. Weight normalization.
  3. The use of products and preparations rich in magnesium and calcium.
  4. Correct posture when working in a seated position.
  5. Discarding bad habits.

Useful video

Complex of exercises for the treatment of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine.