Osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine:symptoms, treatment, degree, gymnastics

Update: October 2018

Disease “chameleon”, which is disguised as dangerous
heart and lung diseases, causing panic attacks and feeling
нехватки воздуха – это остеохондроз грудного отдела spine.
Its symptoms can be so diverse that an inexperienced
the doctor may, trying to find the cause, prescribe many tests, and
sometimes put a person in intensive care.

How to understand that you have breast osteochondrosis
department, and how to fix it, we’ll talk.

The reasons

The disease is quite rare. This is because
the spine, that is, the joints between the vertebrae, in the thoracic region
created almost immobile. And if a person commits some
sharp movement, or often moves against the intervertebral axis
joints (for example, digs or lifts only one
hand), then all the thoracic vertebrae are switched on at once. Apart from
friend they do not work.

Causes of breast osteochondrosis are:

  • scoliosis in the thoracic or lumbosacral region;
  • excessive or abnormal exercise;
  • травмы грудного отдела spine;
  • overweight – more than 10% of what is “laid” by
  • metabolic disorders – as a result of endocrine diseases
    (diabetes, pathology of the adrenal glands and others) or
    inadequate nutrition;
  • аномалии развития грудного отдела spine;
  • hypodynamia (intervertebral disk – that is destroyed when
    osteochondrosis – eats also when the back muscles work).

Degree of thoracic osteochondrosis

ATрачи решили выделить степени остеохондроза грудного отдела,
so that you can understand how far the destruction process has gone
disc between the two thoracic vertebrae.

So, there are 4 degrees of chest osteochondrosis:

  • 1 degree. The intervertebral disc loses moisture, becomes more
    brittle, cracks appear in it. This is followed by a minor
    pain disappearing in peace.
  • 2 degree. The amount of fluid in the fibrous ring
    intervertebral disc becomes even smaller: disc height
    decreases, cracks (especially one of them) deepens. Defect
    fills the “core” of the disk – pulpous core, which is even more
    razvvolnyak crack. Outward the pulpous nucleus does not penetrate yet.
    Back muscles in the area of ​​the damaged intervertebral disc
    tense up trying to keep the spinal column from turning in
    side of the “leaky” disc. This causes severe pain in
    back, because of which you have to make a pause in the work.
  • 3 degree. The crack in the fibrous ring of the disk reaches the edge
    vertebra, pulpous nucleus rushes into it and begins to speak
    out. Thus, grade 3 is intervertebral hernia. With
    her pain is felt almost all the time – when doing work.
    Withходится менять работу на более легкую. Self catering
  • 4 degree. AT области пораженных дисков разрастается
    connective tissue. It blocks the adjacent vertebrae. Besides,
    the vertebral bone tries to compensate for the reduction of the interlayer between
    vertebrae and growing. Bone spikes appear –


AT самом начале

While the pulpous nucleus has not completely made its way inside
surrounding his ring, it almost does not manifest itself.
Periodically, when bending or lifting weights,
pain between the shoulder blades, which passes rather quickly after

Symptoms остеохондроза грудного отдела позвоночника в острой
stages can be very diverse, it is:

Chest pain

It is often aching and long-lasting, but can sometimes be acute.

  • the back is between the shoulder blades;
  • heart area;
  • in the stomach;
  • in the area of ​​the ribs – so it becomes painful to breathe.

The difference in this pain in osteochondrosis is that:

  • it is not so strong that you can lose consciousness.
    This is characteristic of myocardial infarction;
  • does not occur in response to the emotional load – only on
  • does not appear when walking against the wind, climbing stairs or
    on reaching cold;
  • it is enhanced by lifting hands, turning and bending;
  • worse if you take a deep breath;
  • bouts of pain differ from each other in localization and
    intensity (for angina, for example, they will
  • does not pass if to stop loading;
  • it can be localized, if someone fingers will press
    on the spine in the thoracic: in one place will be very
  • she gives in hand, although more often – in 2 hands. But even if she
    gives to the left hand (as heart pain does), it is not in
    little finger;
  • does not depend on food intake, as with gastritis or
    angina pectoris;
  • nitroglycerin is not removed, which, on the contrary, helps with
    angina pectoris;
  • does not increase when palpation of the mammary gland (if it seemed
    that it hurts it). With этом в груди не нащупывается никаких
    nodes or seals;
  • there is no such thing that the pain increased gradually, but after the cessation
    load or taking nitroglycerin abruptly disappeared. It is characteristic
    для angina pectoris;
  • pain is not accompanied by nausea, heartburn, belching. It may
    talk about gastritis as well also – about stenocardia.

Feeling of tightness in the chest

due to which “incomplete breath” may occur. Usually this
the symptom is still accompanied by back pain, but even if there is no pain,
there is no intoxication, as with pneumonia (weakness, desire
rest, decrease appetite). This may cause a panic, but
calm down, count your pulse. With thoracic osteochondrosis he
there will be no more than 100 beats per minute, and with heart disease or
light – it may well be.

Other symptoms

  • Disruption in the hand or in the two hands: they
    become more “cool”, freeze, “run around”
  • In some cases, the symptoms of osteochondrosis
    resemble panic attack (fear, palpitations, sweating). AT
    combined with pain behind the sternum, this may indicate
    myocardial infarction, so in this case it is better to take
    �”Nitroglycerin” (up to 3 tablets) and call an ambulance, which
    remove the cardiogram.
  • Disruption of the digestive system: frequent exacerbations
    gastritis, constipation, bloating, recurrent abdominal pain,
    periodic diarrheas – without error in diet.

In breast osteochondrosis, such symptoms continue for about
10-14 days, provided that you temporarily stop bending and
make twisting movements. The disease goes into subacute

Symptoms in the subacute stage

There is still pain and difficulty breathing, but they are no longer so
intense and less disturbing. So, if in the acute stage you need
find a position to fall asleep and not suffocate, then in the subacute
a period of such effort is not necessary.

Lasts stage 12-14 days. If you follow all recommendations
doctor, do not lift weights, do not lean and do not
overcooling, the stage of remission begins – when all the symptoms
go away. If the regime is disrupted, the disease can again go into acute


AT этот период никаких симптомов нет. May of course
�“Shoot” under the ribs, if you decide to physically work, but
it passes quickly.

Exacerbation of the disease can be provoked:

  • exercise (especially weight lifting and
  • stress;
  • hypothermia;
  • abrupt change of heat to cold (diving into an ice hole or swimming in
    snow after a bath);
  • unsuccessful approach to a massage therapist or on manual therapy;
  • long stay in the bent position;
  • alcohol intake (especially in combination with one of the above


Diagnosis and treatment of thoracic osteochondrosis
the spine is engaged by a neurologist (neuropathologist). When you
come to him, describing his complaints, he holds primary
inspection: probes the gaps between the thoracic vertebrae (with
osteochondrosis can be found painful point) and determines the reflexes
and hand sensitivity.

To confirm the diagnosis, he needs:

  • ECG, perhaps – against the background of the load on the treadmill
    (treadmill test). This will exclude angina pectoris;
  • X-ray or computed tomography of the thoracic region
  • in women, especially older ones, mammography, since
    symptoms of chest osteochondrosis often accompany diseases
    mammary gland, not always malignant.


How to treat osteochondrosis of the thoracic, the doctor will say – after
confirming the diagnosis, determining the stage and nature of violations
(hand sensitivity, breathing problems).

AT острой стадии рекомендуется постельный, или хотя бы
semi-bed mode, minimal motor activity. AT
further mode expands. AT целом, для лечения остеохондроза,
The following methods are used (their complex is needed):


Drug treatment

See also backache shots, pain ointment

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory

They are painkillers. You can drink them in pill form or stick as a patch.
(“Olfen”) – if the pain is tolerable. AT подостром периоде их можно
apply as an ointment for osteochondrosis. And in the acute period when
severe pain – just like injections.

  • Это Диклофенак (аналоги ATольтарен, Алмирал, Олфен, Наклофен,
    Диклак) – самый «сильный» из группы НПATП.
  • This also includes Ibuprof, “Movali”, Nise.
  • Painkillers such as Caver, Ketanov, or Ketalong
    it is better not to use – they have a weak anti-inflammatory

Muscle relaxants

Their task is to remove the muscle spasm that keeps the spine from
reversal, and squeeze the nerve endings and blood vessels. AT остром
period, it is better to take them as shots with osteochondrosis, then
switch to pills.

  • This is Mydocalm, Tizalud, Sirdalud.


These are drugs whose effectiveness is still disputed.
However, many doctors recommend using them for a long time.
course – to give the intervertebral disc an opportunity

  • These are Artra, Alflutop, Dona, Terafleks, Struktuvit and others.

Preparations of vitamins of group B

They are needed in order to improve the transmission of impulse from the nerve to
muscle. AT остром периоде лучше начинать с уколов, например,
Neurorubin, then switch to Neurubin tablets, Milgamma,
Neurovitan or others.

Note: to relieve pain in chest osteochondrosis
necessary! Then you can breathe in full force the most
improving the oxygen supply of the whole body. In addition, the elimination
shallow breathing is prevention of stagnant pneumonia.


This treatment enhances the effect of the medication. Apply to:

  1. Electrophoresis with anesthetics and drugs that improve local
    circulation. AT этом случае лекарственное средство проводится
    electric current directly to the back tissue.
  2. Magnetotherapy. Under the influence of a magnetic field improves
    the work of the strangulated nerve endings, removes tissue swelling.
  3. Phonophoresis (ultrasound medication) helps better
    numb back and eliminate inflammation of strangulated tissue. Possesses
    she also has the ability to improve metabolism in the zone
  4. Acupuncture – the introduction of special sterile needles in
    active points that are responsible for the work of the thoracic department
  5. External laser therapy – increases blood circulation in
    strained muscles and a suffering intervertebral disc.


Massage при остеохондрозе – действенная процедура, если ее
performs specialist. Massage can increase blood circulation.
in the affected area, relax cramped muscles, improve outflow
blood and lymph from this zone. It speeds up healing and reduces
pain sensations.

ATажно: в остром периоде заболевания массаж, как и зарядка при
osteochondrosis, contraindicated. You can proceed to the procedure through
2 weeks after remitting acute pain and difficulty breathing. Massage
should not cause discomfort or pain!

To reduce the number of exacerbations, massage courses
It is recommended to take place at least 2 times a year. It may be:

  • therapeutic manual massage: the impact of hands on the spasm and
    muscles that have lost their tone in order to normalize their condition;
  • hardware: study of muscles by various types of exciting
    manipulated You can also resort to services that provide
    cosmetologists: endosphere and LPG-massage. They also work well.
    on a sore back;
  • point: in this case, manually processed biologically
    active points, as a result, the state of the clamped due to
    reversal of the spine of internal organs;
  • canned: the effect on the muscles that have changed tone is made with
    using a vacuum.

Exercise therapy

Exercises in osteochondrosis can be started only in
subacute period and in remission, as well as 2 weeks after
removal of a herniated disc.

Противопоказана Exercise therapy, если мышцы спины еще очень напряжены, один
the vertebra is tightly pressed against the other, which requires surgical
intervention, with severe pain.

Gymnastics with osteochondrosis is recommended to start with
самовытяжения spine. For this you need to take a wide and smooth
доску, и прикрепить одним концом к стене –  на высоте примерно
100 cm from the floor (to get an angle of 30-45 °). Bottom edge falls
on the floor. To the top edge, on both sides, fasten 2 leather straps
about 45 cm long – so that you can pass them yourself, and then
– And take out your own hands.

The technique of self-stretching is that you lie down on this
board back, head up, hands – in straps. Under the knees
You put a soft cloth under it, rolling it into a roller, and lie like that 10-15
minutes It shouldn’t hurt. If pain is present,
increase the angle of the board. If this does not help, you have to
act differently:

  • make a blanket on the floor;
  • lie on a roller so that at the very top was
    blocked zone;
  • legs slightly apart;
  • elbows and knees – bent, touching the floor, they bear weight
    bodies; the head should hang slightly or lie on the folded
  • if so you do not feel that the spine is stretched, you can
    increase the load: move the legs back and arms forward;
  • 5 minutes inhale for 10 seconds to strain your back muscles, as you exhale
    – relax
  • расслабиться и подышать животом – еще 5 minutes

See below for a video of the most important 7 exercises.


ATместо таких усилий можно воспользоваться тренажером, который
называется «Bridge для растяжения позвоночника». He pulls out
spine and, first of all, stretches the damaged thoracic
department – under the weight of his own body (he represents
metal arc).

Using it in the remission period just for 5 minutes, 2 times a day
allows you to significantly extend the painless period. This simulator
There are many positive reviews, and its cost is very
low – in the range of 800-1100 rubles.

Complications of thoracic osteochondrosis

These include:

  • pneumosclerosis;
  • arrhythmias;
  • vegetative vascular dystonia;
  • disruption of the digestive system;
  • deterioration of sexual and reproductive function – both women and


To never feel for yourself what osteochondrosis is
(especially if you are moving a little or have scoliosis already), pay
attention to such preventive measures:

  1. Do not overcool.
  2. Do not lift sharply: this should happen after
  3. Watch your posture as you sit and walk. AT машину можно
    install an ergonomic chair that will support your back
  4. Be sure to take breaks during work: get up,
    go, perform back self-massage – to get the spine
    enough power.
  5. Do not run your scoliosis: treat it on time.
  6. Reduce the amount of salt and sugar in the diet.
  7. Exclude dishes that contain smoked meats, pickles, spicy
    seasonings. Fried foods also have to be removed.
  8. Sleep on an orthopedic mattress and a short (or too
    orthopedic) pillow.

Автор: Кривега Мария Салаватовна врач-реаниматолог

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