Intervertebral hernia of the thoracic spine: symptoms and treatment

How often we get scared when suddenly there are pains in the chest: it's terrible to move and breathe in full. Any movement increases pain. Such complaints can indicate trouble in the spine. Thus, the intervertebral hernia of the thoracic region also appears.

What is the disc hernia

There are disks between the vertebrae. These formations consist of cartilaginous tissue and collagen fibers, which form the basis of the fibrous ring. In the center is a gelatinous( pulpous) nucleus, which performs the function of a shock absorber. When exposed to adverse factors, this nucleus begins to bulge into the intervertebral canal, but is retained by the fibrous ring. Appears protrusion. Once the rupture of the ring has occurred, a hernial protrusion is formed.

Factors contributing to the appearance of a hernia:

  • age changes;
  • features of the musculoskeletal system: scoliosis, weakness of the back muscles;
  • excessive loads: lifting weights, sudden movements, uncomfortable poses while working;
  • diseases of the spine: osteochondrosis, transferred infections, injuries.
Stages of formation of a hernia of the spine
Herniated disc is formed gradually

As manifested by

Hernia of the thoracic spine is characterized by complaints of pain along the anterior, lateral surface of the chest and in the interblade area. Pain sensations can be girdling. Any movement: turns, slopes, sneezing, deep breathing - causes suffering. By the nature of pain can be burning, aching, stitching and in the form of lumbago.

But that's not all. Since the hernia extends beyond the intervertebral disc, the surrounding structures are compressed: the nerve roots or the spinal cord. Clinical manifestations depend on where the hernial protrusion goes.

  1. Anterolateral hernia for a long time exist asymptomatically, but when exposed to the anterior longitudinal ligament promote the development of pain syndrome.
  2. Lateral ( lateral hernia) can squeeze the roots, which is manifested by pain in the abdominal area and in the chest.
  3. Rear ( median) hernias are the most dangerous: as you grow, there are signs of compression of the spinal cord. To intense painful sensations is added a violation of the functions of the organs located in the small pelvis, and lower limbs.

How to diagnose

If you have pain in the thoracic spine and precordial area, you should immediately consult a doctor. This is necessary in order to exclude heart disease, which can mimic the intervertebral hernia.

Diagnosis is established based on complaints, examination and data of special research methods. The most informative are:

  • radiography of a specific vertebral column;
  • computed tomography( CT);
  • magnetic resonance imaging( MRI) allows you to determine the location, size of the hernia and the condition of other structures of the spine and soft tissues;
  • myelography is an X-ray study using a contrast medium, which allows you to assess the state of the spinal cord.
MRI of the spine
MRI of the spine - an effective method of diagnosing hernia

Timely diagnosis of the disease can avoid serious consequences.

Therapeutic measures

The methods of medical treatment are divided into conservative and surgical. Conservative measures include drug and non-pharmacological treatment.


  1. Used drugs that reduce pain and have an anti-inflammatory effect: Nimesulide, Meloxicam, Xefokam, Arkoksia.
  2. Locally applied ointments, creams or gels in the affected area. These are such drugs as Nyz Gel, Aertal Cream, Indomethacin Ointment, Fastum Gel. Avoid preparations that have a warming effect.
  3. Muscle relaxants - drugs that reduce muscle spasm, which accompanies pain syndrome and itself contributes to the appearance of painful sensations. Can occur reflexively. This includes: Sirdalud, Midokalm and Baklosan.
  4. Improve the state of the nervous system of B vitamins, which are used in the form of injections or dragees. This is Milgamma, Kombilipen, Kompligam V.
  5. If pain is unbearable, then blockade with Novocaine or Lidocaine can alleviate the condition.
  6. Chronic pain syndrome requires the appointment of antidepressants.

Do not self-medicate. All medicines should be taken only after consulting a doctor.

Non-pharmacologic effects

Also read: doctor Treatment of disc herniation
  • Sleeping on a stiff surface.
  • Do certain exercises that form a muscular corset and help keep the spine in the correct position. These are the tasks of therapeutic physical education.
  • Massage and manual therapy.
  • Physiotherapy with DDT and electrophoresis. Acupressure and acupuncture.
  • Non-surgical treatment of hernia using special apparatus.

If conservative methods do not give a positive result( pain persists for several months, become more intense, complications occur in the form of paralysis), then they resort to surgical treatment. The disk located between the vertebrae can be removed completely or partially( microdiscectomy).Possible laser exposure, which evaporates the gelatinous nucleus. As a result of this procedure, the disk decreases in size.

Therapeutic gymnastics is a reliable method of treatment and prevention of intervertebral hernia

To achieve a long-term effect from medical measures, it is necessary to identify and eliminate all possible causes that could contribute to the development of the disease. Otherwise, a similar problem may appear elsewhere.

How to prevent the appearance of a hernia

The main prevention is to comply with simple rules:

  • to avoid heavy physical exertion, uncomfortable poses and awkward movements;
  • engage in sports on a regular basis;
  • to treat spine diseases in a timely manner;
  • adhere to a healthy lifestyle.

Despite the fact that the hernias between the thoracic vertebrae are less common than in the waist or neck region, they are no less problematic. Symptoms of the disease are found mainly in people of young and mature age, who are still full of energy and lead an active lifestyle. If you do not take care of your health in time, you can later become disabled.

Intervertebral hernia
  • What is a herniated disc
  • How is
  • manifested How the diagnosis is made
  • Therapeutic measures
  • How to prevent the appearance of a hernia