Osteochondrosis of the thoracic region

Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine does not manifest itself as often as osteochondrosis in other parts, but it is just as younger as the rest of the types of this disease. Today, it is already diagnosed in 20-year-old young people, which is associated with both lifestyle and diet.

Thoracic osteochondrosis

Chest osteochondrosis - what is it?

Thoracic osteochondrosis is a degenerative process that occurs in the spine between vertebra 8 and 19. These vertebrae form the thoracic spine. And it is between them that changes occur in the vertebral discs when this type of osteochondrosis occurs. But due to the fact that this part of a person's back is not as mobile as the rest, the changes that occur do not manifest themselves until it is too late and the disease flows into an advanced phase, in which treatment becomes very problematic.

Therefore, it is so important that at the first symptoms of the disease, close attention is paid to them and measures are taken to prevent the development of the disease.


It is worth remembering that the initial stages of thoracic osteochondrosis do not manifest themselves in any way. This is why this type of disease is dangerous. Therefore, it is very important that immediately at the appearance of the first signs, or at a hint of them, followed by an appeal to a doctor and carrying out all the necessary tests and examinations.

Osteochondrosis manifests itself with the following symptoms:

  • Feeling of shortness of breath.
  • Feeling of tightness throughout the chest.
  • Bending becomes more and more difficult. Moreover, this condition is progressing.
  • Feeling of freezing of the limbs. This is due to a decrease in blood circulation in them.
  • Chest pain.
  • A burning sensation may appear in the legs and feet.
  • Keratin coatings (nails and hair) become brittle.
  • It is accompanied by chest chondrosis, the symptoms of which are similar to those of osteochondrosis.
  • The gastrointestinal tract begins to work intermittently.
  • Burning in the chest.
  • Burning sensation in the stomach.
  • Pectalgia - pain in the front of the chest.
  • In men, there is a decrease in potency. The genitourinary system begins to malfunction.
  • The person is sick. Moreover, this condition is also progressing.
  • Headaches of varying severity, including migraines.
  • Chest neuralgias, especially those located in the ribs.
  • The left side of the body may experience pain similar to those that occur with cardiovascular disorders.
  • Pain may affect the liver and gallbladder.
  • The back and chest are often reflexive.
  • The appearance of herpes Zoster (shingles).
  • The signs of breast osteochondrosis in women include pain in the mammary glands.
  • Discomfort in the throat and difficulty swallowing. A cough may occur, similar to irritated larynx.

The appearance of several of these symptoms of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine requires an immediate and complete examination to clarify the diagnosis.

Dorsago and dorsalgia

Acute back pain

Most often, symptoms and sensations are manifested in chest osteochondrosis, in which the patient feels pain, varying in duration and strength. All pain symptoms are classified into two groups:

Dorsago - short-term acute pain. They arise when a person performs a monotonous load, that is, the muscles are in one position for a long period of time. The muscles are overstrained, there is a sharp pain (neuralgia), which, moreover, may be accompanied by difficulty in breathing. Dorsago is more common in women than in men.

Dorsalgia - long-term pain. They become more pronounced when a person inhales. At first, the discomfort is weak and gradually intensifies. After 4 weeks, they become more pronounced and sharp. The nature of the pain can be pulling, cutting, stabbing or some other.

Pain in osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine is localized in the chest, shoulder blades, ribs, collarbones, sides in the ribs.

What happens at the very beginning of the disease

The initial stage of the disease does not manifest itself or does it very weakly, with insignificant signs. You should pay close attention to symptoms such as:

  • I felt stiffness in my movements.
  • Decreased range of motion.
  • There are signs of discomfort when bending, turning, bending, or flexing.
  • Pain in the area between the shoulder blades in the chest.

These are sure signs of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine, skipping them means transferring the disease to the next, more severe stage.

Chest pain

Chest pain

The main symptom that accompanies all stages of the disease is pain. It can be localized all over the body up to the waist area. So, most often the pain affects:

  • Part of the back between the shoulder blades.
  • The clavicle and the areas below them.
  • Ribs and parts of the body below them.
  • Heart area.
  • Pancreas area.

Due to the fact that pain affects vital organs such as the heart, chest osteochondrosis is confused with other diseases and the treatment is not prescribed correctly.

The thoracic spine consists of 11 vertebrae. And each of them, with damage and degenerative processes, causes a certain type of pain or negative changes in various organs. So, in order to distinguish pain in the sternum with osteochondrosis from heart problems, it should be understood how the pain sensations differ in two cases. In addition, when chronic diseases appear, a person should be aware that they could be caused by degenerative processes in the spinal column.


Cardiac problems


(pain in the thoracic spine)

Nature of pain

The pain is in the nature of an attack with the defeat of the thoracic region, but it can be both aching and pressing.

Feeling of lumbago, burning, aching pain.

The place where pain occurs

Soreness is felt on the back, chest pain is localized.

But he can give in all directions, both to the shoulder and down under the ribs.

The pain is often either point-like or shingles. But in any case, it is localized precisely at the level where the vertebra in the chest area is affected. Gives pain to the collarbone, scapula, back. Women are more likely to experience discomfort in the chest area.


Occurs spontaneously and lasts for a short time up to 15–20 minutes, but if it is a heart attack, a longer period of time can occur.

It can last for several moments or, on the contrary, have a monotonous long-term character, which is very exhausting for a person.

Reasons for exacerbation of the condition

Stressful situations, increased stress on the heart during physical activity. Prolonged horizontal position.

Uncomfortable position, sharp turns, bends, bends, palpation of the ribs or those areas where pain is felt.

If your heart hurts, then in order to know how to determine that it is a cardiovascular problem, you should take the appropriate medications and see if the symptoms go away. If not, then these are most likely signs of osteochondrosis.

Constriction in the chest

This feeling resembles the feeling when it is impossible to take as much air as you want. The so-called incomplete inhalation appears. The feeling of squeezing in the chest may be accompanied by pain in this area. Shortness of breath occurs with osteochondrosis.

Such compression in the chest can occur with other diseases, for example, with pneumonia or heart disorders. And in order to understand why there was a squeezing, it is worth measuring the number of heart beats per minute. If it is 100 or more, then it is most likely that these are pulmonary or heart disorders. But if there are less than 100 strokes, then, with almost complete certainty, we can say that the cause of incomplete sigh is thoracic osteochondrosis.

Other symptoms

As the thoracic osteochondrosis develops, additional signs and symptoms of the disease are connected to pain syndromes, such as:

  • Tingling in the upper and lower extremities - a feeling of running goose bumps on the skin.
  • Then numbness occurs. It can appear in one limb or all at once.
  • Excessive sweating appears, and it is situational, regardless of external conditions.
  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • Cold perspiration may appear on the forehead and even on the body. This condition resembles a panic attack.

If this symptomatology manifests itself for the first time, then you should definitely take a calm and relaxed pose, drink nitroglycerin and call a doctor. Since these can be symptoms of a heart attack, especially if all of the above is complemented by pain in the chest. It is worth listening to yourself. If after taking nitroglycerin the condition has improved, then it is more likely heart problems, and if not, then most likely these are symptoms accompanying chest osteochondrosis.

In addition, symptoms such as:

  • Disorders of the digestive process - it can be irregular bowel movements, accompanied by both constipation and diarrhea.
  • Pains of unknown etiology often occur in the abdomen.
  • Bloating and increased flatulence may also appear.
  • Exacerbation of gastritis.
  • Nausea appears and even vomiting may occur. All this can be accompanied by loss of appetite.

In addition to all of the above, the symptoms of thoracic osteochondrosis in men include disorders of the genitourinary system, which manifests itself most clearly in a decrease in potency.

But the peculiarities of the symptoms of breast osteochondrosis in women include pain in breast pathologies. If pain in the mammary glands torments a woman, then in order to exclude diseases of the mammary glands and confirm breast osteochondrosis, you need to visit a mammologist.

The appearance of pain and the occurrence of various diseases in case of damage to different vertebrae in the thoracic region is expressed as follows.

Thoracic vertebra number

Accompanying pain

1 thoracic vertebra

When the first thoracic vertebra is damaged or degenerative changes occur in it, numbness of the upper limbs of both one and two at the same time appears.

The pain extends to the shoulders and forearms. Can be given to the hands.

The muscles in the back of the head become tense.


A state of panic attacks may occur, a person is accompanied by a feeling of fear. Heart rate beats.


The pain can spread to different parts of the chest. Often there is a cough with chest osteochondrosis, bronchitis, asthmatic condition and other disorders of the respiratory tract appear.


The work of the gallbladder and bile ducts is disrupted. Dyskinesia and gallstones may occur. There will also be pains on the right side in the shoulder and head.


Problems in the work with the liver, insufficiency of hematopoiesis and blood circulation. Hypotonic conditions and the associated feeling of chronic fatigue. Arthritis.


Disruptions in the digestive tract. Often, problems with the sixth thoracic vertebra are accompanied by heartburn and diabetes mellitus.


Gastrointestinal problems - duodenal ulcer, heartburn, acidity, hiccups, nausea. General weakness of the body.


The spleen suffers. The body's immune system malfunctions, which is manifested by immunodeficiency.


Allergic manifestations.


Violation of the water-salt balance and related malfunctions of the kidneys. Arteries become hardened, which drastically reduces their elasticity.


A wide variety of skin problems ranging from dryness to psoriasis.

What other pain syndromes exist in thoracic osteochondrosis

It is important to realize that it is pain that is the companion that always accompanies osteochondrosis. It can manifest itself either very weakly, or lead a person to a state in which he will experience constant stress, since the pain is so strong that he cannot even take a comfortable position.

Speaking in general about pain, it is worth considering that it must be divided into:

  1. Local (local).
  2. Remote.

Local pain occurs just around that part of the spine where degenerative changes have occurred. When a person is worried about thoracic osteochondrosis, the pain will be localized in the back and neck. The amplitude of possible movements decreases, stiffness appears. All this is accompanied either by short-term painful sensations, or they are permanent.

With distant pain, areas of the abdomen, heart area, arms, even legs are captured. There may be squeezing sensations, and burning, and tingling. It is very important that distant pains are accurately diagnosed so as not to confuse their appearance with any other disease.

Neuralgia of thoracic osteochondrosis is characterized by such localization of pain that it is even difficult for the patient to breathe. Intercostal neuralgia most often occurs precisely because of osteochondrosis in the thoracic vertebrae. But it should be noted that there is no inverse relationship. That is, neuralgia does not lead to osteochondrosis. But neuralgia can be triggered by a fractured rib or other types of injury. In order to understand that neuralgia nevertheless arose precisely because of osteochondrosis, it is worth understanding how different the sensations are with these changes in the body.

The main signs of neuralgia and osteochondrosis



Type of pain sensation

The pain is sharp, piercing. It looks like a prick.

Pain, rather aching with a burning sensation.

Locations of pain

Along the sides of the body where the ribs are located. In the area and between the shoulder blades, in the back and in the armpits.

Time of the onset of the discomfort

The painful sensation increases with a sigh or when turning. Pain in chest osteochondrosis occurs after prolonged stress on the body, that is, towards the end of the day. Typically subsides or diminishes after rest, whether daytime or nighttime sleep.


What are the causes of osteochondrosis

Thoracic degenerative disc disease appears as a result of a number of the following reasons:

  • Hereditary factor.
  • Excessive and excessive physical activity.
  • Lifting weights from the wrong position.
  • Sleepiness, which deprives a person of sufficient blood circulation in all tissues.
  • Defects in posture (curvature of the spinal column, such as thoracic scoliosis).
  • Injury, injury or bruising of the chest of the spinal column.
  • Uncomfortable shoes, especially those that lead to an abnormal position of the spinal column - high heels.
  • Bad habits.
  • Frequent stressful situations.
  • Exhausting physical labor.
  • Disruptions in the blood supply to the spinal cord.
  • Degenerative-dystrophic changes in the bone structures of the spine.
  • Changes in the cartilaginous tissues of the spine.
  • Hypothermia.
  • Any changes in the intervertebral discs, including vertebral hernias.

The period of pregnancy in a woman can affect the formation of breast osteochondrosis. This is due to the fact that the load on the spinal column increases along with resource costs. As a result, there is a shortage of micro- and macroelements, as well as vitamins.

Excess body weight. Moreover, it is enough to have more than 10% of the normal mass to increase the load on the entire spinal column.

Disorders of neuromuscular depreciation. This happens when the muscle does not fully compensate for the shock loads that can affect the body. As a result, an intense "blow" falls on the human skeleton, namely the spine. Proceeding from this, its damage occurs.

Osteochondrosis can occur only under the influence of several factors, as, in principle, any disease. Therefore, what can be excluded from the list of reasons should be eliminated. For example, bad habits, physical inactivity or weight lifting. Take control of stressful situations.

Signs in the subacute stage

The subacute stage occurs when the acute one has passed. During this period, the person no longer experiences difficulty breathing. There are no pronounced pain sensations, the symptoms become more worn out. A person falls asleep more easily, as it is easier for him to take a comfortable position during sleep.

To prevent the subacute stage from turning back into the acute one, you should avoid:

  • Weight lifting.
  • Incorrect slopes.
  • Do not take long-term static positions, especially if they are unnatural for the spine. This includes sitting position.
  • Hypothermia.

Usually the subacute stage lasts about 2 weeks. If the regimen and recommendations of the doctor were not violated, then most often remission occurs, in which all the symptoms come to naught. Further, the patient's task is to prevent exacerbation of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine by treatment, for example, exercise therapy methods, folk remedies, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet.

But if the following sensations arise during the subacute stage, then they should be paid the closest attention:

  • Resumption of stiffness and inability to raise arms, even if this is not accompanied by pain.
  • Increased pain if it has not completely disappeared or for a longer period of painful attacks.
  • Dizziness and nausea.

As soon as this has happened, it is possible that the subacute stage turns into an acute one again. You should consult a doctor and describe the full sensation.


After the manifested symptoms alerted the person, and he consulted a doctor, a comprehensive examination is prescribed. During which, if osteochondrosis of the thoracic region is confirmed, the doctor will determine the degree of the disease.

First degree

Degree 1 osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine is characterized by the onset of changes in the intervertebral disc. As a result, protrusions may appear at this stage and the disc protrudes into the spinal canal. But at this stage there is no rupture of the annulus fibrosus. In the first degree of the disease, no pain syndromes appear.

Second degree

At the second stage, uncomfortable conditions appear in the spine. Pain, dizziness, and nausea may be evident. At the second stage, the discs protrude into the spinal canal so intensely that they lead to rupture of the annulus fibrosus, which leads to the formation of intervertebral hernias.

Third degree

The stage of active manifestation of intervertebral hernias with all the ensuing consequences, such as pain and limited mobility.

Fourth degree

The elasticity of the intervertebral discs is completely lost. In addition to pronounced hernias, the destruction of the bone structures of the vertebrae also occurs. Bone growths appear - osteophytes.


Many who first encountered the signs of this disease are concerned about the question - how to determine osteochondrosis in the thoracic region?

The disease is insidious, as it may not manifest itself for a long period of time or disguise itself as other diseases. In this connection, when a patient seeks a doctor, he is already diagnosed with a progressive advanced stage of osteochondrosis.

Therefore, it is important, as soon as the first suspicions appear with the first symptoms of the disease, immediately consult a doctor and conduct a comprehensive examination in order to accurately diagnose, determine the stage and correctly prescribe a comprehensive treatment. Even if the doctor prescribes only drug treatment, it is necessary to ask about exercise therapy, physiotherapy and other therapeutic actions.

When diagnosing, a neurologist may:

  • Make an initial diagnosis based on the symptoms described by the patient.
  • During the examination, the doctor palpates the areas that the patient points to and examines how severe the pain is.
  • Certain functional tests help the doctor assess how well reflexes and sensitivity are.
  • X-ray, CT, MRI may be prescribed.
  • An ECG may be prescribed by a neurologist to eliminate interruptions in the work of the heart.

After a comprehensive examination has been carried out, the doctor, upon confirmation of osteochondrosis, prescribes treatment that is designed to alleviate symptoms, stop the development of the disease and, if possible, restore functionality to the body.


In the acute stage of the disease, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Cough with osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine.
  • Various symptoms of chest neuralgia.
  • Pain syndrome that can occur in different places in the upper body.
  • Discomfort and discomfort in the chest area and directly in the middle between the shoulder blades.
  • The temperature may rise with osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine in a neglected form.

If the correct treatment was carried out and the symptoms were removed, then the stage of remission begins. During this period, it is important to prevent recurrence of all of the above symptoms.

As soon as the condition is normalized, it is necessary to perform feasible exercises of exercise therapy, if the degree of the disease does not allow doing this, then at least take intensive walks.


The disease occurs infrequently, but it has very serious consequences with improper treatment, incorrect diagnosis or inattention to one's health. Therefore, the doctor must carefully monitor the entire medical history and draw up a call map, especially if the chest osteochondrosis cannot be stopped and it becomes more severe.

Sometimes the disease causes myositis of the chest muscles, when the muscle frame is so weak that it is not able to support the spine, and sometimes the patient even finds it difficult to perform the simplest self-care skills.

Often there is radiculitis of the chest due to damage to the nerve roots.

A chest fracture may occur. This may be due to bruises and bumps. And it can arise in a completely "empty" place. In this case, the signs of a fracture of the chest are the difficulty and inability to breathe in and move. If the fracture has arisen without external influence, then this should be paid special attention, as this can serve as the first symptoms of cancer and osteoporosis. Chest cancer develops under the influence of many factors, but the main ones include heredity, stressful situations, obesity, unfavorable environmental conditions, etc.

You need to carefully monitor your health and lead an active and correct lifestyle without bad habits.


Healthy food for osteochondrosis

Treatment for osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine must be accompanied by a balanced diet. It will allow the body to receive all the nutrients that the tissues of the spine and muscle corset need.


It is very important to prevent the appearance of the disease. To do this, it is enough to lead a healthy lifestyle with the correct diet and diet, sufficient, but not excessive loads and the elimination of stressful situations.

If the disease has already been acquired, then it is important to start treatment as early as possible. Therefore, it is worthwhile to treat your body with due attention so as not to miss the first bells signaling a malfunction in the spine.

If a diagnosis is made - osteochondrosis of the thoracic region, then all the doctor's recommendations should be followed and treatment should be taken seriously.

It must be remembered that the process of degenerative changes, most doctors consider irreversible, therefore, for a quality life, you need to stop it as early as possible.