What is it: osteochondrosis is a disease of the spine, in which the intervertebral disks( and later the vertebral bodies, joints and ligaments) lose their ability to function normally. Until recently, the disease was considered to be an age-related disease, but over the past decades it has become noticeably younger and affects young people aged 18 to 30 mercilessly.
Osteochondrosis is classified in the place of its localization - lumbar, cervical, thoracic, sacral and widespread. More than 50% of cases occur in the osteochondrosis of the lumbar symptoms Treatment and diagnosis of this type of osteochondrosis are widely described in the works of medical luminaries. A quarter of the diagnoses are caused by cervical osteochondrosis - a disease of office workers and people leading a sedentary lifestyle.
Most pathological processes in this disease first affect the bones and ligaments. About the fact that the disease has already begun we learn usually when complications appear - pain, sensitivity disorders, muscle atrophy, disruption of the internal organs.
Today we will talk about osteochondrosis, the symptoms and treatment of this disease is a very topical issue in our time. After all, 40 to 90% of the world's population is afflicted with an ailment. Most often, the disease affects people over 30 years of age.
There is no single cause of osteochondrosis development. Some believe that the disease occurs because of the deposition of calcium compounds that are not absorbed by bone tissue due to deterioration of bone supply, caused by weakness, curvature of the spine, a decrease in the distance between individual vertebrae.
There are a large number of predisposing causative factors. The main ones are:
- spine injuries( fractures, bruises, dislocations);
- hereditary predisposition;
- foot diseases that cause overload of the spine - this includes flat feet, clubfoot( varus deformity of the foot), valgus deformation of the foot;
- wearing tight and uncomfortable shoes for a long time( also cause an overload of the spine);
- is overweight and obese;
- sedentary lifestyle;
- metabolic disorders;
- curvature of the spine( kyphosis, lordosis, scoliosis);
- professional features - weight lifting, frequent turns and jerking with the body, work in an uncomfortable position of the body.
The development of the disease is promoted by hereditary predisposition, overload of the spine( excessive weight, lifting of weights), trauma and micro-injury.
Stages of osteochondrosis
There are four stages in the development of osteochondrosis and its symptoms.
- The first stage of is preclinical, which is rarely diagnosed due to weak( or completely absent) signs of the disease. At this stage, changes in the spine are minimal. Patients are concerned about the limited pain in the spine, there is a tension in the muscles of the back.
- In the second stage of , pain occurs, as the fibrous ring of the intervertebral disc is destroyed, fixation of the vertebrae with one another is broken, their pathological mobility in the form of displacements arises. The intervertebral distance decreases, with compression of the neurovascular endings, blood and lymphatic vessels.
- The third stage is .A rupture is formed in the cartilaginous tissues of the fibrous ring, through which a part of the more liquid nucleus seeps - a hernia of the intervertebral disc is formed. Such changes are most often found in the lumbar and cervical spine. To a lesser extent, the appearance of the intervertebral hernia is affected by the thoracic region due to the fact that as a result of the pathology of the discs, a certain portion of the load is taken up by the ribs and sternum. As a result of protrusion( hernia) of the intervertebral disc, the roots of the spinal nerves are affected, manifested as pain, inflammation, conduction disorders of nerve fibers, as well as inflammation.
- The fourth stage of is the final stage, at which the scar tissue is replaced by intervertebral disc fibers, as well as fibrous cartilage and fibrous tissue of the gelatinous nucleus.
To prevent the development of the last stage, determine how to treat osteochondrosis should be timely.
Symptoms of osteochondrosis
Osteochondrosis is a chronic ailment, which is characterized by alternation of periods of exacerbation of symptoms and remission. To contribute to the emergence of acute symptoms may be excessive physical exertion, fatigue, hypothermia, trauma, body shaking and the impact of vibration.
The disease manifests itself in a number of typical symptoms. For osteochondrosis of the spine are characterized by: aching in the back, a feeling of numbness in the affected spine, a decrease in the amplitude of movements, increased pain when lifting the gravity, sudden movement, tension during coughing or sneezing.
Chronic pain, as one of the symptoms of osteochondrosis of the spine, causes increased fatigue. When squeezing the nerve roots with the spinal discs, the pain can be more intense and have a sharp, "shooting" character. Its localization in this case is not limited to the area of the back, but is felt by a person in the region of the extremities.
In osteochondrosis, patients describe symptoms such as:
- paroxysm or shooting pain in the osteochondrosis department of the spine;
- increased pain after physical exertion, and also in the mornings;
- pain can be given to the neck, arm or leg, and also to the chest;
- feeling of crunching when doing twists.
The disease begins and develops gradually, so how to treat osteochondrosis will depend on the stage, as well as the location of the lesions of the vertebrae.
Treatment of osteochondrosis
In the case of osteochondrosis, treatment requires complex measures.
The acute stage shows a strict bed rest, rigid fixation of the damaged vertebrae with the help of a corset or a special collar. Recommended hard bed, the use of a shield, limiting movements.
To reduce the pain syndrome, analgesics, B-vitamins, novocaine blockades are shown, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as voltaren, orthophene, indomethacin, ointments such as finalgon, apizarthron, mustard, ultraviolet irradiation, needle and reflexotherapy, thermal procedures, woolen belt, etc.
The next stage of treatment is aimed at improving local blood circulation and strengthening muscles supporting the spine. To cure osteochondrosis it is necessary to adhere to complex therapy, which includes:
- medical massage( traditional, hardware, vacuum);
- therapeutic exercise, swimming;
- physiotherapy( laser treatment, ultrasound, low frequency currents, magnetic field, shock wave therapy, cryotherapy);
- reflexotherapy( acupuncture, acupressure);
- spinal traction( dry or aquatic);
- methods of unconventional therapy( treatment with bee stings);
- treatment of folk remedies( herbs, honey, mustard, red pepper, bath).
If conservative therapy does not yield results or changes in intervertebral discs require external intervention, modern minimally invasive surgical procedures are used: laser reconstruction, internal disc electrothermal therapy, removal of a hernia by a microsurgical method.
In case of irreversible changes, an artificial intervertebral disc made of metal or metal and plastic can be installed. So, now we will examine in more detail how to treat osteochondrosis without using medicines.
The massage of the back with osteochondrosis has a much more pronounced effect than, say, LFK.First of all, any method of treatment should be aimed at removing the pain syndrome.
When the pain can be removed or weakened, then it is possible to start real treatment. But its main task can be called preventing the progression of the disease, as well as its subsequent possible relapses. It is with these goals that two key methods are used: therapeutic gymnastics and massage. It is worth noting that in cases with the neck, physical education does not have such an effect as massage.
Judge for yourself: massage improves blood circulation in the affected area, eliminates spasms of the muscles of the neck and back, weakens or eliminates pain, strengthens the muscles of the neck.
Acupuncture has been widely used in the treatment of osteochondrosis. Acupuncture contributes to the removal of pain, relaxes the muscles of the back, helps restore the affected tissue by stimulating metabolic processes.
In some cases, acupuncture can replace traditional medication, the minuses of which are well known( side effects of drugs, addiction to them).Contraindicated acupuncture for skin diseases affecting the back and during pregnancy.
LFK with osteochondrosis
Medical gymnastics for people suffering from such a disease as osteochondrosis should become a necessary part of life. It is LFK capable of breaking a vicious circle, consisting of the following components: hypodynamia, weakened muscles of the back and neck, destruction of vertebral discs, bed rest.
Before starting to do the exercises, you should know the main principles of therapeutic gymnastics for osteochondrosis:
- Exercises should not be performed in the acute stage of the disease when there is an intense pain syndrome.
- Exercises should not cause increased pain.
- Complexes with tension of the muscles of the back should alternate with complexes to relax.
- All exercises are performed smoothly, without sudden movements, supporting the correct posture of the body.
For each type of osteochondrosis developed their own complexes of exercises. Nevertheless, in order to prevent the spread of the disease, it is recommended to train the muscular system of the whole spine.