Osteochondrosis is a disease in which, as a result of degenerative processes, the structure of the intervertebral discs and joints is disturbed, which leads to compression of the spinal root.The inflammation processes lead to severe pain; in a long-term illness, the function of internal organs can be impaired.The metabolic disorder of the intervertebral discs is very painful, so it is very important to know everything about osteochondrosis: what it is and also how to treat osteochondrosis of the spine.
The essence of osteochondrosis
To understand the essence of treating spinal diseases, you need to know what osteochondrosis is. At the heart of the disease is the violation of the trophism of the vertebrae, the intervertebral discs.Intervertebral osteochondrosis leads to a change in the correct structure of all tissues, parts of the spine. Loss of elasticity, shape, consistency of the cartilaginous disc, which causes a reduction in the distance between adjacent vertebrae. Instability leads to compression of the nerve roots due to the narrowing of the holes through which they exit, the back muscles are tense and pain occurs. This is how osteochondrosis appears.
Progressive osteochondrosis shows signs of complications in the form of protrusion and vertebral hernia. In the future, intervertebral osteochondrosis leads to degenerative changes in the small joints of the spine, intervertebral ligaments. Because of bone growth, the spine's flexibility is lost, subluxations and curvatures begin to appear. Typically, these processes are characteristic of the physiological aging of the body, but the disease also affects young people. Therefore, the question of what to do with osteochondrosis concerns almost all segments of the population. To do this, you must find out the causes of the disease.
There are many factors that lead to the development of osteochondrosis. The formation of the vascular bed begins in the intervertebral discs, and its nutrition occurs according to the principle of diffusion. It is this factor that prevents the regeneration of the disc under excessive stress and injuries. A person often complains about back pain. The causes of osteochondrosis are directly related to people's incorrect way of life.
- Poor or inadequate nutrition. Not receiving nutrients, the intervertebral discs start to become thinner and deformed.
- An important cause of osteochondrosis is lack of sufficient physical activity, heavy body weight, metabolic disorders.
- Disorders of the musculoskeletal system, worsening posture, flat feet.
- Damage is a very common cause of osteochondrosis. Microtrauma of the spine due to blows, falls, irregular, abrupt movements, a lot of stress. Macrotrauma due to fractures, severe bruising.
- Infectious diseases, intoxication.
- Stress, in addition to smoking, causes vasospasm. Heredity affects the onset of the disease.
- Climatic factor in the form of cold and air humidity.
The main causes of osteochondrosis are the disproportionate distribution of the load on the spine, a very weak muscle corset. People over the age of thirty are at greater risk, especially if the job involves sitting for a long time. To know how to get rid of osteochondrosis, it is necessary to understand the path of its development, which are the stages of injury that the spine suffers during the disease.
Development of the disease
What causes osteochondrosis?Due to the influence of the above negative factors, the disease begins to progress, passing through various stages of development.This one:
- In the first stage, intervertebral osteochondrosis begins due to dehydration in the pulpal nucleus of the intervertebral discs. Its shape changes, becoming flatter. The distance between the vertebrae is reduced, the fissures gradually appear in the cartilage.
- In the second stage, abnormal mobility of the vertebral bodies is observed, they can move and slide. The ligamentous and muscular apparatus yields due to small gaps between the discs, motor instability.
- The third stage is characterized by vertebral subluxation, arthrosis, extrusion of intervertebral discs.
- Degenerative restoration of the spine begins. Bone spines, osteophytes are formed between the vertebrae. This is how the body adapts to the unnatural state of the spine. Gradually, the number of bone growths increases and the vertebrae are almost completely immobilized. At this stage, surgical intervention may be necessary to treat osteochondrosis.
The most commonly used classification is based on the affected parts.
- Lumbar region. The most common variant of the disease. The dorsal part shown supports the main load, and an intervertebral hernia may appear.
- The signs of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine occur due to the weak development of the neck muscles. Even a small load can lead to deformation of the vertebrae.
- Signs of thoracic osteochondrosis do not occur as often as the previous two. This section is the most immobile, in addition, it has protection in the form of ribs and muscle corset. The resulting osteochondrosis manifests itself as a result of the development of scoliosis.
- The sacral spine carries the weight of the spine and the thoracic and abdominal organs. It is more common in women and is characterized by problems in the lower extremities.
- Extensive symptoms of osteochondrosis manifest in two parts of the spine at the same time.
Symptoms of the disease
The signs of osteochondrosis depend on the location of the pathological process. How osteochondrosis manifests itself is an interesting question.The pain can vary from mild to severe and persistent, even unbearable. Symptoms and treatment are closely related. The first helps to discover how and how to treat osteochondrosis of the back. The main signs of the disease according to its location:
- Cervical spine problems are characterized by dizziness, blurred vision and severe eye fatigue. There are pains in the neck, shoulders, arms, head, which are aggravated by turning the neck. The patient notices numbness in the skin of the face, neck and hands. Colored spots may appear before the eyes. In addition, there is often a loss of consciousness due to circulatory disorders in the cervical spine and symptoms of vertebral artery syndrome.
- The signs of osteochondrosis in the thoracic spine are distinguished by the feeling of "glue" on the chest, when sharp or sharp pain radiates to the heart and lungs. Painful sensations with deep, sharp breathing.
- Symptoms of osteochondrosis of the lumbosacral spine - pain radiates to the groin, sacrum and legs, causing disturbances in the sensitivity of the lower extremities, pain and numbness. Varicose veins are possible. The location of the disease in the lumbar region shows signs of sexual dysfunction, sometimes causing dysfunction of Organs pelvic organs. Healing the lower back restores male strength. For women, problems in this area negatively affect the course of pregnancy and menstruation.
Intervertebral osteochondrosis is characterized by a series of common symptoms. Rapid fatigue can appear with stress, both mental and physical. There is "lumbago" in other organs, muscles, osteochondrosis symptoms in the back start to increase. The pain during inflammation increases when you sneeze or cough, bend, turn your body, your head. There is a chill in the upper and lower extremities. Osteochondrosis of the back, which lasts a long time, practically causes no pain, but the mobility of the corresponding parts of the spine is lost with the fusion of the affected vertebrae.
Diagnosis and treatment
After discovering the symptoms of osteochondrosis, treatment is prescribed according to the diagnosis.After examining and questioning the patient, the responsible neurologist announces the preliminary diagnosis. In addition, instrumental diagnostic methods are used: CT - computed tomography, MRI - magnetic resonance, Doppler ultrasound, X-ray, myelography. A thorough examination helps to identify the complications associated with vertebral osteochondrosis: hernia, sciatica, protrusion, kyphosis.
Is it possible to cure osteochondrosis?The treatment of spinal osteochondrosis is a long and step-by-step process. The duration of the course depends on the patient's age, the severity of spinal osteochondrosis, the treatment and the patient's adherence to all the doctor's recommendations.Before dealing with the disease, you should familiarize yourself with the main guidelines of therapy, learn the methods of treating osteochondrosis:
- medicine; physiotherapy;
- surgical treatment;
- health resort.
As already mentioned, the doctor must decide how to cure osteochondrosis of the spine. Depending on the severity of the disease, conservative or surgical treatment is used. In particularly severe and neglected cases of disease development, a decision on surgical intervention is made. Basically, the complex treatment of osteochondrosis is used. Medicines and medical technology from different sectors are used together.
In the initial phase, effective treatment of osteochondrosis aims to eliminate pain. The patient wears special corsets to relieve stress on the spine. Medical treatment, physical therapy is performed. The next step is to take steps to prevent the exacerbation of spinal osteochondrosis. The most effective methods are used - physical therapy exercises, massage, reflexology.
The medications are designed to eliminate pain, inflammation, activate the regeneration of cartilage tissue and improve blood circulation in the affected tissues. Main groups of medicines for treatment:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. NVPs relieves pain, relieves inflammation, decreases the temperature of diseased spinal tissues. If symptoms are pronounced, injections of drugs such as sodium metamizole, diclofenac and meloxicam are prescribed twice a day. Then, the transition to medication in tablets is made: ibuprofen, paracetamol, nimesulide. The entire course of treatment lasts from ten days to a month. They receive funds 1 to 4 times a day. Also used are ibuprofen, nimesulide and sodium diclofenac creams, applied to the skin of the affected spine.
- Muscle relaxants. Reduces excessive muscle tone, relaxing striated muscle fibers. They are applied within a month. In severe cases, an injectable form of the drug is prescribed - tolperisone hydrochloride. Next, tablets are used: tolperisone hydrochloride, baclofen, tizanidine. The regimen starts with small doses, gradually increasing to therapeutic and decreasing until canceled.
- Chondroprotectors. It aims to improve metabolism, regeneration of cartilage tissue in case of osteochondrosis (chondroitin sulfate). There are injection forms for intramuscular and intra-articular injection. The course of therapy can last up to four months.
There are also additional medications to help speed up the healing process:
- Vitamins B1, B2, B6, E are prescribed in the form of injections in ten-day courses, improve the conduction of nerve impulses, catalyze tissue regeneration and speed up metabolism;
- angioprotectors in the form of diosmin tablets, dipyridamole, as well as injectable forms of the drug: pentoxifylline, are used to improve blood flow in the veins, increase vascular tone. The treatment lasts from one to three months;
- Glucocorticosteroids reduce swelling and inflammation and increase the effects of essential drugs. There are injections for injection into the muscles or joints, ie methylprednisolone. There are pills like methylprednisolone. The course of treatment is prescribed by the doctor individually for each patient;
- Biogenic stimulants are used to speed up metabolic processes, helping to heal damaged tissues. Most commonly used in injectable form: Aloe.
The physiotherapy methods allow to activate the healing processes, prolong the remission phase, prevent the appearance of new exacerbations.The best methods of physiotherapy include:
- Exercise therapy is one of the best methods of treating osteochondrosis, which should be used outside the period of exacerbation. A well-developed muscle corset contributes to an even distribution of load on the spine. Regular exercise improves blood circulation and repairs damage. Breathing exercises relieve muscle spasms and help to overcome pain. Joint gymnastics, rehabilitation equipment and swimming relieve spine stress; The
- massage improves nerve conduction, tones muscles;
- reflexology. The activation of the body's defenses, strengthening the immune system, relieving spasms and pain is achieved by acting on certain points of the body with the help of the best needles; Electrophoresis
- creates the effect of muscle relaxation and pain relief. Blood flow in diseased tissues is normalized.
To cure spinal osteochondrosis, manual therapy, magnetotherapy, spinal traction, laser therapy, thermotherapy, mud therapy, shockwave therapy, showers and curative baths are also used.All of these methods significantly reduce the rate of disease progression. The duration of a course can be up to fifteen days. Three or four repetitions of the course are held annually. An integrated approach to therapy helps eliminate exacerbations of osteochondrosis forever.
I have to say that you often wonder if osteochondrosis is treated with folk remedies. No, but with the main treatment they help to relieve the condition, the methods must be agreed with the attending physician. It is possible to treat problem areas of the back with infusions and friction. To do this, mix a glass of honey and a glass and a half of radish juice. Add a hundred grams of vodka. After stirring, the product should be rubbed well in the affected area of the spine, twice a day.
Another infusion is worth doing. Then, 500 grams of vodka are poured into a glass of lilac flowers. Insist on a tightly closed container for ten days. The filtered infusion of the drug is rubbed into the affected area.
Adequate dietary nutrition should consist of a sufficient amount of protein, fat and vitamins.It is advisable to exclude easily digestible carbohydrates from the diet. The caloric content of foods should be from 1, 500 to 2, 500 kcal. With the exacerbation of the disease, nutrition must become fractional. It is necessary to eat like this even after the condition of the spine improves.
When we encounter osteochondrosis for the first time, the question should not arise. The first step is to consult a doctor who knows everything you need to know about osteochondrosis. Treatment is a very laborious and long process, accompanied by pain and inactivity. It is possible to cure osteochondrosis - this question remains open due to the influence of several factors. After getting rid of the acute symptoms, you need to continue taking care of your spine. The fight against the disease must be constant. A person who overcomes his bad habits acquires a healthy and strong spine in return.