Signs of osteochondrosis in the cervical, thoracic and lumbar spine in men and women

Back and neck injuries, heavy physical exertion, sedentary lifestyle, pregnancy, old age - all these are the causes of diseases of the spine, the support of the human body. The symptoms of osteochondrosis, whether cervical, thoracic or lumbar, are different, so any signs, even subtle, cannot be ignored. The sooner treatment starts, the sooner recovery will come. If you notice the first manifestations of the disease in yourself, then consult a doctor and have an examination.

what is osteochondrosis

One of the most diagnosed diseases of the spine is osteochondrosis, whose signs are found every 3 people after the age of 35. It mainly affects overweight elderly people, former athletes or workers whose professional activities are associated with heavy loads. According to the statistics of recent years, it is clear that the disease is getting younger. Girls and boys who prefer to lead a sedentary lifestyle no longer surprise doctors with complaints of back pain.

Osteochondrosis is a disease of the spine, in which there is a degenerative-dystrophic lesion of the intervertebral discs. If left untreated, the destruction of the vertebrae itself begins, which leads to disability, atrophy and paralysis of the limbs. Such a problem can also result in a spinal cord stroke, sciatica, kyphosis, protrusion. At the first signs of the disease, you need to seek help from a doctor.

Each grade of this dystrophic spinal disorder is characterized by its own symptoms and signs. There are four stages in total. In the first phase, pathological changes occur, expressed in dehydration and decrease in the height of the intervertebral disc. In the second, flaccidity of the vertebral muscles and ligaments is fixed, and spondylolisthesis (displacement, disc curvature) is diagnosed. The third stage is characterized by the appearance of disc prolapses and bulges. In the last stage, deformation of the vertebrae occurs, on which bone outgrowths - osteophytes grow.


The signs and symptoms of osteochondrosis depend on what stage of development it is in. The type of illness also plays an important role. Osteochondrosis affects different parts of the spine: cervical, thoracic, lumbar. Some patient signs may not be associated with the spine, eg heart or headaches, numbness of fingers and toes. The patient, at the same time, complains that the neck hurts or pricks in the chest. It is very important to seek help from the hospital. Treatment of the disease lasts about 3 months, plus a year is given for rehabilitation.

The most common symptoms of osteochondrosis:

  • back pain between the shoulder blades;
  • dizziness;
  • feeling of a lump in the throat;
  • nausea;
  • loss of sensation in the limbs;
  • elevated temperature;
  • limb numbness.
back pain with osteochondrosis

cervical osteochondrosis

If we consider the signs according to the type of disease, problems with the cervical vertebrae are dangerous due to their proximity to the brain. Here there is a partial overlap of the blood vessels that carry blood to the head. The symptoms of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine are:

  • dizziness;
  • cloudiness in the eyes;
  • noise in the ears;
  • "drift" when walking;
  • pain in the back of the head, arms, shoulders.

Thoracic osteochondrosis

This type of disease affects the heart, so the patient begins to complain of such symptoms:

  • pain in the chest, back, shoulders;
  • Heartache;
  • angina;
  • feeling of a lump in the throat;
  • bouts of shortness of breath;
  • tightness in breathing;
  • numbness of hands and feet.

lumbar osteochondrosis

A disease that affects the lower part of the spine leads to problems with the pelvic organs. Sexual function suffers. The signs of lumbar osteochondrosis are:

  • pain in the coccyx, sacrum, lower back;
  • spasms of the muscles of the thighs, calves, buttocks;
  • shot in the legs;
  • limb numbness;
  • poor joint mobility;
  • exacerbation of diseases of the genitourinary system.
doctor examines the neck with osteochondrosis

Symptoms of Wandering Osteochondrosis

This concept means osteochondrosis, which develops in two parts of the spine, for example, the cervicothoracic type of the disease. In this case, the patient will feel painful signs that appear first in one place on the back, then in another, that is, the location of the pain will move. In this case, the patient can diagnose a violation of the cardiovascular system and even take drugs to treat this problem, which cannot be done without a medical examination.

Signs of Osteochondrosis

Depending on what the disease affects, doctors distinguish four groups of syndromes, each characterized by its own symptoms. Osteochondrosis syndromes are as follows:

  • static syndrome. This concept refers to a change in the shape of the spine. There is a violation of posture: a person begins to bend over, bend over, lower one shoulder below the other. Scoliosis appears.
  • neurological syndrome. The disease affects the nervous system. The person complains of tingling, numbness. Neurological symptoms progress to complications in the form of paralysis or seizures.
  • vascular syndrome. Here we are talking about squeezing the vessels by the processes of the vertebra. This situation is often observed in the cervical form of the disease. The result is a violation of blood circulation, lack of oxygen in the brain, leading to cloudiness, dizziness, nausea, loss of hearing and vision. With thoracic or lumbar osteochondrosis, chronic ischemia of internal organs is observed.
  • trophic syndrome. It is characterized by insufficient nutrition of tissues with essential substances. As a result, ulcers, inflammation and other defects appear on the skin.
neck pain with osteochondrosis

The first signs of osteochondrosis

At the initial stage of the disease, as well as at the latter, the patient does not feel any discomfort. Only a doctor is able to identify a problem at this stage of development, for example, when diagnosing another illness or during a medical examination. The diagnostic methods are as follows:

  • x-ray of the spine in two projections, if necessary, x-ray of a single vertebra;
  • MRI (determination of intervertebral disc herniation, assessment of spinal cord condition);
  • discography (intervertebral disc examination);
  • electrophysical examination (determination of the degree of damage to nerve pathways).