Osteochondrosis is a disease of the whole body.

Degenerative dystrophic diseases of the spine, or more simply osteochondrosis, not only affect an increasing number of the adult population of our planet, but they are also becoming much younger. Today, more than 80% of the working-age population on our planet periodically suffers from back pain.

osteochondrosis is a disease of the spine

osteochondrosis- a disease of the spine, which results in degenerative-dystrophic damage to the intervertebral discs and underlying bone tissue, accompanied by thickening of the processes in the vertebrae and loss of elasticity in the ligaments along the spine. This leads to aging, dehydration and loss of cartilage tissue stability.

Osteochondrosis is not just a manifestation of back pain or impaired limb sensitivity, it is a whole-body disease. And, as many studies prove, osteochondrosis has a direct effect on virtually every internal organ. For example, disorders of the cervical spine affect the functioning of the organs of vision, hearing, mental and mental activity. In the thoracic region, they disrupt the functioning of the cardiovascular system, the gastrointestinal tract. And degenerative dystrophic changes in the lumbar spine lead to organ problems pelvissmall, including in the urogenital area and lower extremities. For example, in the same lower extremities, it is accompanied by various pains, muscle cramps, "crawling", numbness of the extremities and, subsequently, their atrophy. Therefore, early detection and qualified treatment of this pathology are very important. Many people who are faced with the diagnosis of intervertebral hernia for the first time are faced with the choice of treatment methods. The proposed surgical treatment leaves many in a state of shock, forcing them to seek alternative therapies. Some immediately resort to traditional healers, bone repairers, others take various medications, others do nothing at all, adhering to the view that the disease should be treated when it is very worrisome. In this regard, there is a winged expression of neurosurgeons - "walking with a hernia is like walking with a grenade, nobody knows when it will explode! " But, unfortunately, surgical treatment, whether neurosurgical or orthopedic, is not a panacea. In many patients, even after the operation, back pain persists, associated with the development of scar adhesions, with frequent recurrences (new exacerbation ("return") of the disease after apparent recovery) - recurrent hernias.

In osteochondrosis, the intervertebral discs are the most affected. These unique cartilage washers don't just connect our 33 vertebrae to the spine. Its good working condition, mobility, elasticity, elasticity, capacity to support loads directly depend on the state of the intervertebral discs. They serve as elastic shock absorbers to dampen the load.

Osteochondrosis manifests itself in the first decades of life and, according to observations, more in boys than in girls.

If you do not treat osteochondrosis prevention and treatment, the disease will progress, gradually affecting the entire spine, which can lead to a herniated disc, pinching of nerve endings and parts of the spinal cord. In severe cases, the consequences of osteochondrosis can be eliminated only by surgical intervention with a long period of recovery and rehabilitation.

Types of osteochondrosis

Depending on which part of the spine has been affected by the disease, the following types of osteochondrosis are distinguished:

  • Cervical osteochondrosisor osteochondrosis of the cervical spine.
  • Thoracic osteochondrosisor osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine.
  • lumbar osteochondrosisor osteochondrosis of the lumbosacral spine.
  • common osteochondrosis,it is when the disease spreads to two or three parts of the spine at the same time.
  • First:the main symptom of osteochondrosis at this stage is instability, which manifests itself in the initial disturbances of the vertebral discs. Feeling of malaise and discomfort.
  • Second:the main symptom of second stage osteochondrosis is disc protrusion. Destruction of the fibrous ring begins, the gaps between the vertebrae diminish, pinching of nerve endings with pain syndromes is possible.
  • Third:at this stage of osteochondrosis, the ring is destroyed with the appearance of intervertebral hernias. The third stage is characterized by significant spinal deformity.
  • Room:the last and most serious stage of osteochondrosis. It becomes difficult to move. Any movement leads to sharp pain. Periodically, the condition improves and the pain subsides, but this clearly indicates the formation of bone growths. They connect the vertebrae, limiting the ability to move and leading to disability.

Four stages of osteochondrosis development

Characteristic symptoms of osteochondrosis

Patients suffering from osteochondrosis complain of constant back pain, often accompanied by numbness and pain in the limbs. In the absence of adequate treatment, weight loss and limb atrophy occur. The main symptoms are:

  • constant back pain, numbness and limb pain;
  • increased pain with sudden movements, physical exertion, weight lifting, coughing and sneezing;
  • decreased range of motion, muscle spasms;
  • with osteochondrosis of the cervical spine: pain in the arms, shoulders, headaches; possible development of the so-called vertebral artery syndrome, which consists of the following complaints: noise in the head, dizziness, blinking "flies", colored spots before the eyes in combination with a throbbing and burning headache. The cause of vertebral artery syndrome may be its spasm in response to direct irritation of its sympathetic plexus due to bony growths, disc herniation, intervertebral joint arthrosis, and a reflex reaction due to irritation of any spinal receptors. The presence of vertebral artery syndrome can aggravate the course of coronary or cardiomuscular pathology, if present;
  • with osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine: pain in the chest (as a "stake" in the chest), in the region of the heart and other internal organs;
  • with osteochondrosis of the lumbosacral spine: pain in the back, radiating to the sacrum, lower extremities, sometimes to the pelvic organs;
  • nerve root damage (with intervertebral disc herniation, bone growth, spondylolisthesis, spondyloarthrosis): acute pain and impaired sensitivity, hypotrophy, hypotension, weakness in innervated muscles, decreased reflexes.

Osteochondrosis diagnosis

Establishing a preliminary diagnosis is made during the initial patient examination. The examination is usually performed by a neurologist in connection with the patient's complaints about local changes, which may manifest as pain, deformity, or difficulty in walking. The spine is examined with the patient standing, sitting and lying down, both at rest and in motion. The level of spinal injury is determined by counting the number of vertebrae at certain anatomical points or according to a special scheme.

When examining the back, pay attention to posture, structural features of the trunk, mark the line of the spinous processes (the midline sulcus of the back), the lower angles of the scapulae, the crests of the iliac bones, the lateral contours of the waist and neck, the shoulder girdle position, deviation of the intergluteal sulcus from the vertical, reveal protrusion, protrusion of the spinous processes pay attention to the relief of the muscles located close to the spine.

The sensation of the spine allows complementing the exam data (presence or absence of deformity) to determine the location, degree and nature of the pain. When palpating, tension in the muscles located near the spine is also noted. most spinal injuries and illnesses are accompanied by increased muscle tone.

Spinal flexion is used to determine range of motion in different parts of the spine.

The main role in the study of the spine is attributed to radiography, computed tomography and magnetic resonance, with which the level of the lesion is determined, the diagnosis is clarified and made concrete, and hidden pathologies are revealed. Diagnostic data allows the treating physician to determine treatment tactics and choose the most effective treatment methods.

Spinal osteochondrosis, treatment with movement

Complex conservative treatment includes physical therapy exercises, physical therapy, massage, manual therapy, spinal traction, reflexology, drug therapy.

Physiotherapy exercises (exercise therapy) - the main method of conservative treatment of musculoskeletal system diseases is the creation of metered loads aimed at decompression of the nerve roots, correction and strengthening of the muscle corset, increase in volume and development of a certain stereotype of movements and correct posture, giving the ligament-muscular apparatus the necessary flexibility, as well as preventing complications. This is achieved through regular exercise with rehabilitation equipment and joint gymnastics. As a result of exercise, blood circulation improves, metabolism and nutrition of the intervertebral discs are normalized, the intervertebral space increases, the muscular corset is formed, and the load on the spine decreases.

Physical therapy is a treatment method that uses physical factors: low frequency currents, magnetic fields, ultrasound, laser, etc. It is used to relieve pain, inflammation, rehabilitation after injuries and operations. By using physiotherapeutic methods, the treatment time for many diseases is shortened, the effectiveness of the use of medications and dosage reduction are increased, there are no side effects inherent to drug treatment.

Massage is a set of methods of mechanical action measured in the form of friction, pressure, vibration, performed directly on the surface of the human body by hands. Effectively relieves muscle tension, muscle pain, improves blood circulation and has a tonic effect.

Manual therapy is an individually tailored manual effect on the musculoskeletal system to relieve acute and chronic pain in the spine and joints, as well as increase range of motion and correct posture. One of the directions of manual therapy is manual visceral therapy, which helps restore normal organ mobility, improves blood supply, lymphatic circulation, normalizes metabolism, restores immunity, and prevents exacerbations of chronic diseases.

Spinal traction (traction) is an effective method of treating painful syndromes in the spine and joints, using an individually selected load with special equipment. The procedure aims to increase the intervertebral space, relieve pain and restore the anatomically correct shape of the spine.

Reflexotherapy - various therapeutic techniques and methods to influence the human body's reflex zones and acupuncture points. The use of reflexology in combination with other therapeutic methods significantly increases its effectiveness. Most often, reflexology is used for osteochondrosis, accompanied by pain, nervous system disorders, sleep disturbances, mental imbalance, as well as overweight and smoking. By acting on certain points, you can harmonize the body and treat many ailments.

Drug therapy is indicated during an exacerbation of the disease, with the objective of relieving pain, relieving the inflammatory process and intensifying metabolic processes with the ingestion or administration of medications via the intramuscular or intravenous route.

Although each of the above methods is highly effective, a lasting therapeutic effect can only be obtained when combined with exercise on rehabilitation equipment, ie, when creating a full-muscle corset.

Recommendations for the prevention and prevention of osteochondrosis

To prevent osteochondrosis or reduce pain, people suffering from this disease are advised to remain in a position for as long as possible where the load on the intervertebral discs is minimal and, at the same time, it is necessary to stretch the back muscles as as often as possible in order to support the metabolic processes around the spine. The general recommendations boil down to the observance of the rules of a healthy lifestyle, besides, in each case, the treating physician determines private recommendations.

For prevention, the following rules must be observed:

  • Do not overload the spine, do not create conditions that lead to increased pressure on the intervertebral discs:
    • limit vertical loads;
    • do not make sudden movements, especially body turns when bending;
    • avoid falls and jumps from great heights, injuries and bruises in the spine;
    • change body position more often;
    • Keep your spine straight;
    • try to maintain the natural physiological curves of the spine: in the supine position, the load on the spine is minimal, but the bed should be semi-rigid (preferably sleeping on a solid orthopedic mattress and orthopedic pillow); in a sitting position, keep your back straight due to muscles or pressing against the back of a chair or chair (the seat should be hard enough and the back should have a curve in the lower back), keep your head straight; standing, change the leg you lean on most often; getting up from bed or chair, as well as lying down and sitting down, should be done with your hands, without forcing or bending your back;
    • before physical activity, drink water and massage your back, this will disperse the blood, speed up metabolic processes and allow the intervertebral discs to absorb a sufficient amount of moisture;
    • do not lift or hold heavy objects with arms outstretched, to lift an object, squat down and then lift up with it, while the objects should be as close to the body as possible;
    • when carrying weights, try to distribute the load evenly, ie do not carry bags in one hand, etc. , if you have to carry an object in front of you, keep it as close to your body as possible, and when passing, do not stretch your arms forward and also use it to transport heavy loads, carts, suitcases or suitcases with wheels, backpacks ;
    • when performing heavy work related to lifting, moving or carrying weights, wear a wide belt or special corset;
    • do not lift a load above 10 kg;
    • when performing any work, try to bend as little as possible and stay bent and periodically unload the spine (hanging on the bar, stretching with raising the arms, lying down);
    • wear comfortable shoes; women should limit the use of high-heeled shoes.
  • Exercise regularly to strengthen and maintain your corset. Swimming is helpful.
  • Take a contrast shower, season your body.
  • Don't get too cold.
  • Avoid scandals, stressful situations.
  • Eat right.
  • Do not smoke.