A pinched nerve in the thoracic spine: symptoms and treatment what to do if stuck in the chest

A pinched nerve in the thoracic spine: symptoms, treatment, prevention

Most prone to nerve entrapment of the cervical and lumbar spine. In the thoracic pinched nerve occurs much less frequently because of its immobility. This occurs in people under 30 years of age and older.

The fact is that with age, bones wear out, become thinner. Therefore, the intercostal nerve roots, which are located between the intervertebral discs may be squeezed by these discs or vertebral bodies.

This is accompanied by cramping sharp aching pain in the chest and back. The pain may worsen when performing any movement or when you try to sneeze or cough.

What triggers the infringement?

The main reason of infringement of the nerve is considered the thoracic intercostal neuralgia. Its aggravation can be caused by too abrupt movement, lifting back-breaking heavy or irregular rotation of the body shell.

Pinched nerve in the thoracic spine and intercostal neuralgia because of similar symptoms are often confused with cardiovascular disease. But in neuralgia unlike other diseases not get rid of the pain using ordinary painkillers. To determine the exact diagnosis you need to consult a doctor and undergo the necessary tests.

Other reasons why often pain in breast:

  1. The presence of such diseases as osteochondrosis can also cause pinched nerve. Osteochondrosis occurs the displacement of the vertebrae and the pinched nerve. May disc protrusion or disc herniation.
  2. Congenital or acquired abnormalities in the structure and working of the spine can cause a pinched nerve. One example is a disease such as scoliosis.
  3. Hypertonicity of muscles. Usually occurs in people involved in sports or exposed to heavy physical loads. Spazmiruyutsya muscle and pinch nerve endings.
  4. The swelling and inflammation of the spine caused by various factors may also cause restriction of nerve thoracic.
  5. In people with unstable mentality, prone to frequent stress and depression is a common problem of pinched nerves.

Most susceptible to pinched nerve older people and athletes. Or people, the nature of the work which involves heavy physical loading. And people, whose lifestyle, on the contrary slow-moving.

Pinched nerve in the thoracic spine occurs only in people of middle and old age. Infants are not affected by the pinched nerve in the spine.

Most often due to birth trauma or wrong treatment of a newborn with a pinched nerve in infants occurs in the cervical spine.

How it looks and feels

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When the pinched nerve in your chest you experience the following symptoms:

  • there is pain and discomfort in the spine in the chest area;
  • the pain is usually worse when you try to sneeze or cough;
  • in some cases, possible fainting and loss of memory;
  • blood pressure is very unstable;
  • possible stomach pain, resembling the pain of gastritis or ulcer;
  • numbness of the hands or wrists;
  • pain is felt even in the breath when breath is amplified;
  • possible loss of sensation of the skin of the back;
  • weakness and lethargy, unwillingness active life;
  • stiffness and pain in the chest that does not pass at application of anesthetic drugs.

How to distinguish from heart problems and other diseases

Very often, a pinched thoracic nerve are confused with heart disease. The symptoms of these diseases indeed somewhat similar. However, you can try to determine the cause of pain.

When the pinched nerve pain can be long lasting, will not stop neither day nor night. If there was a cramping of the heart muscle, the pain is episodic and takes place over a period of time. Usually accompanied by a decrease or increase in blood pressure.

In the neurological diseases is not helping receiving conventional painkillers or heart medication. When probing the intercostal areas the pain is worse. In cardiovascular diseases the pain can be removed with special medications or analgesics.

In the neurological disease the pain may radiate to the arm, lower back, shoulder, under the shoulder blade or neck. For heart disease the pain is localized only to the chest and heart.

In neuralgia the pain is worse when arm movement, head rotation or turning of the trunk, by sneezing and coughing, with a deep breath and any change of body position. For heart disease stiffness in your chest is permanent and does not change when you change the position of the body or when you inhale and exhale.

First aid — what to do if you suddenly got stuck in the chest

A pinched nerve can occur suddenly in any, even the most unlikely place and situation. In this case, first and foremost, you need to call the doctor and before his arrival to provide first aid.

For this you need to put the patient on a hard surface on top of which lay a soft blanket or rug and ensure its immobility. The patient should lie in a position in which the pain is felt the least. Thus it is necessary to free his chest from tight compressive clothing, provide fresh air.

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Usually the clamping of the nerve is accompanied by severe unbearable pain, so you need to try to numb the site of entrapment analgesics. Because of the suddenness of pinching the patient may experience not only extreme pain but also nervous shock. In this condition the patient need to give sedatives.

The arrival of the doctor it is necessary to tell about all the drugs that have been given to the patient. Hospitalization occurs only in the most complicated cases. Usually, the doctor anaesthetises the area of pain, taking into account already taken drugs and recommends to undergo further examination.


When severe chest pains need to seek help from professionals. In order to establish the cause of the pain and prescribe the correct treatment the doctor will prescribe to undergo the necessary studies of the heart and spine.

To check the functioning of the heart, the cardiologist will prescribe an electrocardiogram (ECG) and ultrasonography (us).

Check the spine using radiography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Only having the results of these studies, your doctor can accurately diagnose and prescribe treatment.

A set of measures

Treatment of infringement of the nerve of the thoracic depend on the reasons for which was the clamping of the spine. The primary goal is to release a pinched nerve and get rid of the reasons that gave its clamping. After this you need to restore the function of the released nerve.

For effective treatment apply medication. It includes re-receiving the following drugs:

  1. Sedatives. Have on the patient a sedative effect, contribute to the restoration of sleep.
  2. The muscle relaxants. Help relieve muscle spasms and eliminate pain.
  3. Anti-inflammatory drugs. Help relieve the inflammation with the affected area.
  4. B vitamins deficiency in the body of b vitamins leads to malfunction of the nervous system.

Also use the following therapies:

  1. Physiotherapy – electrophoresis with the addition of anti-inflammatory and analgesic agents.
  2. Physiotherapy. Given the severity of the disease and damage to the thoracic specialist determines the degree of load from specific exercises.
  3. Point massage. Using this procedure improves blood circulation in the affected area. This leads to the acceleration of the process of nerve repair.
  4. Acupuncture. The procedure of acupuncture also helps to establish blood circulation, as well as to remove or reduce pain in the affected location.
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Effective addition to traditional methods of treatment for a pinched nerve in the thoracic spine can be and folk remedies available for use at home.

In folk medicine, there are many such recipes, consider some of them:

  • garlic oil diluted in 0.5 liters of vodka and this composition is rubbed on the affected area;
  • hard boiled egg cut up and apply to the sore spot, hold until cool;
  • tablespoon of peppermint leaves pour boiling water and drink this decoction before bed half a Cup;
  • horseradish leaves applied to the affected area and wrap the top of woolen cloth.

Implicit and explicit consequences

The possible effects of the pinched nerve can be devastating. Moreover, if long time not to give attention to this problem and not to go to the doctor.

It threatens complications such as disc protrusion, intervertebral hernia, dysfunction of movement (paralysis partial or complete).

Also fails in the body’s immune system that allows different viruses to attack the unprotected cells of the body.
Pressure surges, and General malaise can cause malfunction of the internal organs.

Prevention of initial and recurrent

To prevent primary or recurrent pinched nerve in the chest, observe the following rules:

  • healthy lifestyle – playing sports (swimming), walking in the fresh air, morning exercises.
  • proper nutrition – fruits, vegetables, foods containing calcium and magnesium;
  • timely treatment provoking neuralgia diseases;
  • alternating rest with exercise;
  • the posture control is to avoid a prolonged stay in one position;
  • to eliminate lifting;
  • not to be subjected to hypothermia.

By itself, the pinched nerve does not pass. In order to avoid exposing themselves to heavy long-term treatment and surgical intervention is necessary to address to the doctor. Only in this case you can hope for a positive outcome of the disease.