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

The disease is a "chameleon", which masquerades as a dangerous disease of the heart and lungs, causing panic attacks and a feeling of lack of air is osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine. The symptoms can be so diverse that an inexperienced doctor trying to find a reason to assign a set of tests, and sometimes put a man in intensive care.

How to understand what you have a degenerative disc disease of the thoracic and how to fix it, we'll talk.


The disease is quite rare. This is because the spine, that is, the joints between the vertebrae in the thoracic created almost motionless. And if a person commits some kind of sudden movement, or often moves against the axis of the intervertebral joints (e.g., digging or raising the weight with only one hand), that included all thoracic vertebrae from. Separate from each other, they don't work.

Causes of thoracic osteochondrosis are:

  • scoliosis in the thoracic or lumbosacral;
  • excessive or improper physical exertion;
  • injuries of the thoracic spine;
  • overweight – more than 10% from that which "is" physique;
  • violation of the metabolism – the result of endocrine diseases (diabetes mellitus, adrenal disease and others) or inadequate food;
  • developmental abnormalities of the thoracic spine;
  • physical inactivity (intervertebral disk that collapses osteochondrosis – powered, including when the muscles of the back).

The degree of thoracic osteochondrosis

stages of degenerative disc disease

The doctors decided to allocate the degree of degenerative disc disease of the thoracic so that you can understand how far the process of destruction of the disc between two thoracic vertebrae.

So there are 4 degrees of thoracic osteochondrosis:

  • 1 degree. The intervertebral disc loses moisture, becomes more brittle, it cracks. This is accompanied by minor pain, disappearing alone.
  • 2 the degree. The amount of fluid in the fibrous ring of the intervertebral disc becomes even smaller: the height of the disc decreases, cracks (especially one of them) deepens. The defect fills in "the core" drive – purposee core, which further razvlekaet crack. Out purposee the kernel still does not penetrate. Back muscles in the area of the damaged intervertebral disc strain, trying to keep the vertebral column to turn towards the "leaky" disk. This causes severe pain in the back, which requires you to make pauses in the work.
  • 3 degree. A crack in the fibrous ring of the disc reaches the edge of the vertebra, purposee the core rushes in and begins to act out. Thus, 3 degree is intervertebral hernia. The pain is felt nearly all the time – in operation. You have to change jobs more easy. Self-service saved.
  • 4 the degree. In the area of the affected disk grows connective tissue. It blocks the adjacent vertebrae. In addition, the vertebral bone tries to compensate for the decrease in the gap between the vertebrae, and is growing. Appear bone "thorns" – the osteophytes.


In the beginning

While purposee the kernel is not fully made its way inside the surrounding rings, it almost does not manifest itself. Periodically, when the slopes or lifts weights, you may be pain between the shoulder blades, which quickly disappears after rest.

Symptoms of degenerative disc disease of the thoracic spine in the acute phase can be very diverse, this:

Chest pain

She often nagging and long lasting, but can sometimes be acute. Localization:

  • back – between the shoulder blades;
  • the region of the heart;
  • in the stomach;
  • in the area of the ribs, so it hurts to breathe.

The difference with this pain while degenerative disc disease is that:

  • she is never so strong that you can lose consciousness. This is typical of myocardial infarction;
  • does not occur in response to emotional stress only on the physical;
  • does not appear while walking against the wind, climbing stairs, or when out in the cold;
  • it is enhanced by lifting of hands, turns and tilts;
  • enhanced if to take a deep breath;
  • the attacks of pain are distinguished from each other on the localization and intensity (angina, for example, they will be stereotyped);
  • fails to stop the load;
  • it can be localized if someone fingers to put pressure on the spine in the thoracic spine in one place will be very painful;
  • she gives in hand, although often in 2 hands. But even if she gives in left hand (as does cardiac pain), not in the little finger;
  • not depend on food intake, as in gastritis or angina;
  • is not removed by nitroglycerin, which, by contrast, helps with angina;
  • not amplified when the feeling of the breast (if it seemed that hurts it). While in the chest not being explored any parts or seals;
  • no pain accrued gradually, but after the cessation of stress or taking nitroglycerin abruptly disappeared. This is typical of angina pectoris;
  • the pain is accompanied by nausea, heartburn, belching. This may indicate gastritis and angina.

The sensation of pressure in chest

which may be "incomplete breath". Usually this symptom is still accompanied by pain in the back, but even if there's no pain, there is no intoxication, as in pneumonia (weakness, desire to relax, reduce appetite). This can cause panic, but calmed down, count your pulse. If thoracic degenerative disc disease it will not be more than 100 beats per minute, and in diseases of the heart or lungs – may be.

Other symptoms

  • Disturbance of sensation in the hand or in two hands: they are becoming more "cool" freezing them "run creepy".
  • In some cases, the symptoms of osteochondrosis of thoracic resemble a panic attack (fear, palpitations, sweating). In combination with pain in the chest that may indicate a myocardial infarction, so in this case it is better to take Nitroglycerin (up to 3 tablets) and call an Ambulance, which will remove the cardiogram.
  • The disruption of the digestive system: frequent exacerbation of gastritis, constipation, bloating, recurrent abdominal pain, intermittent diarrhea, without errors in diet.

If thoracic degenerative disc disease, these symptoms last about 10-14 days, provided that you have temporarily stopped to bend down and perform twisting movements. The disease passes into the subacute stage.

Signs in the subacute stage

Pain and shortness of breath is still there, but they're not as intense and less bother. So, if in the acute stage is necessary to find a position to sleep and not suffocate in the subacute period is already such effort to apply is not necessary.

Stage lasts 12-14 days. If you follow all the recommendations of the doctor not to lift weights, not lean and not supercooled, the stage of remission when the symptoms go away. If the mode is broken, the disease can go back to the acute stage.


During this period, no symptoms there. It may, of course, "shoot" in the ribs if you decide to physically work hard, but it passes quickly.

The disease can cause:

  • physical activity (especially lifting and bending);
  • stress;
  • hypothermia;
  • an abrupt change of warm to cold (diving in the hole, or bathing in snow after sauna);
  • a failed trip to the massage therapist or massage therapy;
  • the long-term presence in a bent position;
  • alcohol consumption (especially in combination with one of the above factors).


Diagnosis and treatment of degenerative disc disease of the thoracic spine is engaged in the doctor-neurologist (a neurologist). When you come to him, describing your complaint, it conducts an initial inspection: probes the spaces between the thoracic vertebrae (osteochondrosis it is possible to find the painful point) and determines the reflexes and sensitivity of hands.

To confirm the diagnosis, he needs:

  • EKG, possibly due to load on a treadmill (treadmill test). This will eliminate angina;
  • x-rays or a CT scan of the thoracic spine;
  • women, especially older – mammogram, because the symptoms of thoracic osteochondrosis is often accompanied by diseases of the breast are not always cancerous.


How to treat osteochondrosis of the thoracic, the doctor says – after confirmation of the diagnosis, determine the stage and nature of the violations (sensitivity of the hands, respiratory disorders).

In the acute phase is recommended bed, or at least polupostelny mode, minimal motor activity. In the future, the regime is expanding. In General, for the treatment of degenerative disc disease, application of such techniques (need their complex):


Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory

They are also painkillers. They can drink in the form of tablets or paste as a plaster ("Olfen") – if the pain is tolerable. In the subacute period can be applied as ointment in osteochondrosis. And in the acute phase when severe pain only as injections.

  • Is Diclofenac (Voltaren counterparts, Almiral, Olfen, Naklofen, Diklak) – the "strong" group of NSAIDs.
  • This includes Ibuprofe", Mawali", Nise.
  • Such painkillers as Caver, Ketanov or Catalog better not to use – weak anti-inflammatory effect.

Muscle relaxants

Their task is to relieve the spasm of the muscles that keep the spine from a u-turn and peredelyvayut nerve endings and blood vessels. In the acute period it is better to accept the injections osteochondrosis, then go on the pill.

  • This Mydocalm, Chiseled, Sirdalud.


Are drugs, whose effectiveness is still disputed. However, many doctors recommend them to use long course to give the intervertebral disk able to recover.

  • This Artra, Asked, don, teraflex, Structube and others.

The vitamins of group B

They are needed in order to improve the transfer of impulse from nerve to muscle. In the acute period it is better to start with injections, for example, Used then to go on the pill Used, Milgamma, Neurovitan or the other.

Note: to remove the pain in thoracic osteochondrosis necessary! Then you will be able to breathe at full strength, thereby improving the oxygen supply of the whole organism. In addition, the elimination of the shallow breathing in the prevention of congestive pneumonia.

Physiotherapy treatment

This treatment enhances the effect of medicines. Apply:

  1. Electrophoresis with anesthetics and medicines that improve the local blood circulation. In this case, the drug carried an electric current directly into the tissue of the back.
  2. Magnetotherapy. Under the influence of a magnetic field improves the function of the strangulated nerve endings, relieves swelling of tissues.
  3. Phonophoresis (administration of medication by ultrasound) helps to numb the back and eliminate the inflammation of affected tissues. It also has the ability to increase metabolism in the treated area.
  4. Acupuncture – introduction of a special sterile needles into active points, which are responsible for the thoracic spine.
  5. Laser therapy for external method – increases blood circulation in tense muscles and the afflicted intervertebral disc.


Massage in osteochondrosis is an effective procedure if performed by a specialist. A massage can enhance blood circulation in the affected area, relieve spasm muscles, improve the flow of blood and lymph from this area. It accelerates healing and reduces pain.

Important: in the acute period of the disease the massage as charging by degenerative disc disease, is contraindicated. Proceed to the procedure 2 weeks after subsiding of acute pain and breathing difficulties. Massage should not cause discomfort or pain!

To reduce the number of exacerbations, courses of massage it is recommended to undergo at least 2 times a year. It can be:

  • therapeutic hand massage: the impact of hands on different areas and lost muscle tone to normalize their status;
  • hardware: working out the muscles different kinds of exciting head. You can also resort to the services provided by cosmetologists: endosfera and LPG massage. They are also good effect on the patient's back;
  • point: in this case, manually worked acupressure points, resulting in improved condition of the pinched due to the reversal of the spine internal organs;
  • cupping: impact on changed the tone of the muscle is carried out using vacuum.

Physical therapy

Exercises with osteochondrosis it is possible to start only in the subacute period and in remission, and 2 weeks after removal of the disc herniation.

Physical therapy is contraindicated if the back muscles are still very tense, one vertebra held tightly to another, that requires surgical intervention when severe pain.

Gymnastics in osteochondrosis is recommended to start with samovyrazheniya spine. You need to take a wide and smooth Board, and attach one end to the wall at a height of about 100 cm from the floor (to get the angle 30-45°). The bottom edge rests on the floor. To the top, both sides, fastened with 2 leather straps with a length of about 45 cm, to allow himself to pass, and then myself to take my hands.

Methods of samovyrazheniya is that you go on this Board back, head up, hands in the straps. Under knees enclose a soft cloth, roll up her cushion, and lay so for 10-15 minutes. Hurt should not be. If pain is present, increase the angle of the Board. If that doesn't work, you will have to do otherwise:

  • to do on the floor cushion of blankets;
  • lie on the roller so that the top was a locked area;
  • feet apart slightly;
  • elbows and knees bent, touch the floor, they bear the weight of the body;
    the head has slightly drooping or lie on folded hands;
  • so if you don't feel that the spine is stretched, you can increase the load: slide the legs back and arms forward;
  • 5 minutes on the breath for 10 seconds to stretch the back muscles, on exhale — relax
  • relax and breathe in the belly, for another 5 minutes.
the simulator bridge


Instead of such efforts, it is possible to use the simulator, which is called "the Bridge to stretch the spine." He pulls the spine and primarily stretches the thoracic spine damaged under the weight of his own body (he is a metal arc).

Using it in remission for only 5 minutes, 2 times a day can significantly prolong the silent period. This trainer has lots of positive reviews.

Complications of thoracic osteochondrosis

These include:

  • pulmonary fibrosis;
  • arrhythmia;
  • vegetative-vascular dystonia;
  • disruption of the digestive system;
  • the deterioration of sexual and reproductive function, both women and men.


Never to experience for yourself, what is low back pain (especially if you move a little or have scoliosis), pay attention to the following preventive measures:

  1. Not SuperCool.
  2. Not drastically raise the severity of this should happen after training.
  3. Watch your posture when sitting and walk. In the car you can install an ergonomic chair that will support your back straight.
  4. Be sure to take breaks during work: get up, walk, perform self-massage of the back to the spine getting enough power.
  5. Do not start your scoliosis: treat it on time.
  6. Reduce the amount of salt and sugar in the diet.
  7. Eliminate meals containing meats, marinades, spicy condiments. Fried foods is also necessary to remove.
  8. Sleep on an orthopedic mattress and low (or too orthopedic) pillow.