Osteochondrosis is a disease in which, as a result of degenerative processes, the structure of the intervertebral joints and discs is altered, leading to compression of the spinal root.Inflammation processes cause intense pain; with prolonged illness, the function of internal organs may be impaired.Metabolic disorder in intervertebral discs is very painful, that is why 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 the treatment of diseases of the spine, you need to know what osteochondrosis is. At the heart of the disease there is a 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, and 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 tighten and pain occurs. This is how osteochondrosis appears.
Progressive osteochondrosis has signs of complications in the form of protrusion and vertebral herniation. In the future, intervertebral osteochondrosis leads to degenerative changes in the small joints of the spine, the intervertebral ligaments. Due to bone growth, the flexibility of the spine is lost, subluxations and curvatures begin to appear. Usually such 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 need to find out the causes of the disease.
There are many factors that lead to the development of osteochondrosis. In the intervertebral discs, the formation of the vascular bed begins, and its nutrition occurs according to the principle of diffusion. It is this factor that prevents disc regeneration under stress and excessive injury. A person often complains of back pain. The causes of osteochondrosis are directly related to the wrong way of life of people.
- Poor or inappropriate nutrition. By not receiving nutrients, the intervertebral discs begin to thin and deform.
- A major cause of osteochondrosis is a lack of sufficient physical activity, a large body weight, metabolic disorders.
- Musculoskeletal system disorders, posture worsening, flat feet.
- Damage is a very common cause of osteochondrosis. Microtrauma of the spine due to bumps, falls, abnormal movements, sudden, too much stress. Macrotrauma due to fractures, severe bruising.
- Infectious diseases, poisoning.
- Stress, in addition to smoking, causes vasospasm. Heredity affects the onset of the disease.
- Climatic factor in the form of cold and humidity of the air.
The main causes of osteochondrosis are the disproportionate distribution of the load on the spine, too weak muscular corset. People over thirty are at higher risk, especially if their job involves sitting for a long time. To find out how to get rid of osteochondrosis, you need to understand the path of its development, what stages of damage the spine undergoes during the disease.
What causes osteochondrosis?Due to the influence of the above negative factors, the disease begins to progress, going through various stages of development.This:
- In the first stage, intervertebral osteochondrosis begins due to dehydration in the nucleus pulposus of the intervertebral discs. Its shape changes, becoming flatter. The distance between the vertebrae is reduced, cracks gradually appear in the cartilage.
- In the second stage, abnormal mobility of the vertebral bodies is observed, which can move and slide. The ligamentous and muscular apparatus sags due to small spaces between the discs, motor instability.
- The third stage is characterized by vertebral subluxation, osteoarthritis, extrusion of intervertebral discs.
- The degenerative restoration of the spine begins. Bony spines, osteophytes are formed between the vertebrae. This is how the body adjusts to the unnatural state of the spine. Gradually, the number of bony 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 affected parties.
- Lumbar region. The most common variant of the disease. The presented part of the back bears the main load, as a result of which an intervertebral hernia may appear.
- Signs of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine occur due to weak development of the neck muscles. Even a small load can lead to deformation of the vertebrae.
- The 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 a muscular corset. The resulting osteochondrosis manifests itself as a result of the development of scoliosis.
- The sacral spine is most affected by the spine, the thoracic and abdominal organs. It is more common in women and is characterized by lower extremity problems.
- Extensive symptoms of osteochondrosis occur in two parts of the spine at the same time.
Symptoms of the disease
The signs of osteochondrosis depend on the location of the disease process. How osteochondrosis manifests itself is an interesting question.Pain can range from mild to severe and annoying, even excruciating. Symptoms and treatment are closely related. The first help to find out 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, severe eye fatigue. There are pain in the neck, shoulders, arms, head, which are aggravated by turning the neck. The patient notices numbness of the skin of the face, neck, and hands. Colored spots may appear before the eyes. In addition, there is often loss of consciousness due to circulatory disorders in the cervical spine and symptoms of vertebral artery syndrome.
- Signs of osteochondrosis in the thoracic spine are distinguished by the feeling of a "tail" in the chest, when sharp or cutting pain radiates to the heart and lungs. Painful sensations with a deep, cutting breath.
- Symptoms of osteochondrosis of the lumbosacral spine: pain radiates to the groin, sacrum and legs, causing altered sensation of the lower extremities, pain and numbness. Varicose veins are possible. Localization of the disease in the lumbar region has signs of sexual dysfunction, sometimes causing dysfunction of the pelvic organs. Lower back healing restores male strength. For women, problems in this area adversely affect the course of pregnancy and menstruation.
Intervertebral osteochondrosis is characterized by several common symptoms. Rapid fatigue can appear with stress, both mental and physical. There is "lumbago" in other organs, muscles, the symptoms of osteochondrosis of the back begin to increase. Pain during inflammation increases when sneezing or coughing, bending over, turning the body, head. There are chills in the upper and lower extremities. Osteochondrosis of the back, which lasts for a long time, practically does not cause pain, but the mobility of the corresponding parts of the spine is lost as a result of the fusion of the affected vertebrae.
Diagnosis and treatment
After discovering the symptoms of osteochondrosis, treatment is prescribed according to the diagnosis.After examination and questioning of the patient, the treating neurologist announces the preliminary diagnosis. In addition, instrumental diagnostic methods are used: CT - computed tomography, MRI - magnetic resonance imaging, Doppler ultrasound, X-ray, myelography. A comprehensive examination helps to identify the complications that accompany 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 age of the patient, the severity of the osteochondrosis of the spine, the treatment and the patient's compliance with all the recommendations of the doctor.Before fighting the disease, you need to familiarize yourself with the main directions of therapy, learn the methods of treating osteochondrosis:
- surgical treatment;
As already mentioned, the doctor must decide how to cure osteochondrosis of the spine. Depending on the severity of the disease, the treatment is conservative or operative. In especially severe and neglected cases of the development of the disease, a decision is made about surgical intervention. Basically, complex treatment of osteochondrosis is used. Medicines and medical technology from different industries are used together.
In the initial stage, effective treatment of osteochondrosis aims to eliminate pain. The patient wears special corsets to relieve tension on the spine. Medical treatments and physiotherapy are performed. The next step is to take measures to prevent exacerbation of vertebral osteochondrosis. The most effective methods are used: physiotherapy exercises, massages, reflexology.
The drugs are designed to eliminate pain, inflammation, activate the regeneration of cartilage tissue and improve blood circulation in affected tissues.Main groups of drugs for treatment:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. NVPs relieve pain, relieve inflammation, reduce the temperature of diseased tissues of the spine. If symptoms are pronounced, twice daily injections of drugs such as metamizole sodium, diclofenac, meloxicam are prescribed. After that, the transition to tablet types of drugs is carried out: ibuprofen, paracetamol, nimesulide. The full course of treatment lasts from ten days to a month. They receive funds 1 to 4 times a day. Ibuprofen, nimesulide, diclofenac sodium creams are also used, which are applied to the skin of the affected spine.
- Muscle relaxants. Reduces excessive muscle tone by relaxing striated muscle fibers. They apply 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 begins with small doses, gradually increasing until therapeutic and then decreasing until it is canceled.
- Chondroprotectors. Intended 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 courses of ten days, improve the conduction of nerve impulses, catalyze tissue regeneration and accelerate metabolism;
- angioprotectors in the form of tablets of diosmin, dipyridamole, as well as injectable forms of the drug - pentoxifylline, are used to improve blood flow in the veins and increase vascular tone. Treatment lasts from one to three months;
- Glucocorticosteroids reduce swelling and inflammation and enhance the effects of essential medications. There are injections for injection into muscles or joints, this is methylprednisolone. There are pills like methylprednisolone. The course of treatment is prescribed by the doctor individually for each patient;
- Biogenic stimulants are used to accelerate metabolic processes and help heal damaged tissues. Most commonly used in injectable form: Aloe.
Physiotherapy methods enable the healing processes to be activated, prolong the remission stage, and prevent the appearance of new exacerbations.The best physical therapy methods include:
- Exercise therapy is one of the best ways to treat osteochondrosis, which should be used outside the period of exacerbation. A well developed muscle corset contributes to an even distribution of the load on the spine. Regular exercise improves blood circulation and repairs damage. Breathing exercises relieve muscle spasms and help overcome pain. Joint gymnastics, rehabilitation equipment, swimming to relieve stress on the spine;
- massage improves nerve conduction, tones muscles;
- reflexology. The activation of the body's defenses, the strengthening of the immune system, the relief of spasms and pain is achieved by acting on certain points of the body with the help of the finest needles;
- Electrophoresis creates the effect of muscle relaxation and pain relief. Blood flow in diseased tissues is normalized.
To cure spinal osteochondrosis, manual therapy, magnet therapy, spinal traction, laser therapy, thermotherapy, mud therapy, shock wave therapy, healing showers and 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 to forever eliminate exacerbations of osteochondrosis.
I must say that you often wonder if osteochondrosis is treated with home remedies. No, but with the main treatment, they help alleviate the condition, the methods must be agreed with the attending physician. It is possible to treat problem areas of the back with infusions and rubs. To do this, mix a glass of honey and a glass and a half of radish juice. Add one hundred grams of vodka. After shaking, the product should be thoroughly rubbed into the diseased area of the spine twice a day.
It's worth another infusion. So, 500 grams of vodka is poured into a glass of lilac flowers. Insist in a tightly closed container for ten days. The filtered medicinal infusion 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 fast digesting carbohydrates from the diet. The calorie content of food should be 1500 to 2500 kcal. With an exacerbation of the disease, nutrition should become fractional. It is necessary to eat in this way even after the condition of the spine improves.
When facing osteochondrosis for the first time, the question should not arise. The first step is to see a doctor who knows everything you need to know about osteochondrosis. Treatment is quite a laborious and long process, accompanied by pain and inactivity of a person. Is it possible to cure osteochondrosis? This question remains open due to the influence of many factors. After getting rid of acute symptoms, you should continue to take 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.