Today, osteochondrosis of the spine is a fairly common disease that affects the widest layers of the population. And if earlier it was diagnosed in elderly people, now the back osteochondrosis has become significantly younger. He is diagnosed before the age of 30, which is due to a specific sedentary lifestyle, improper diet, bad habits, deteriorating ecology and other provoking factors. Due to the fact that osteochondrosis of the spine can significantly worsen the quality of life and human capabilities, it is necessary to clearly know how to treat osteochondrosis and correctly detect it in oneself. And the main thing is to do it as early as possible. Indeed, due to the fact that the disease is of a degenerative nature, it is constantly developing, if this process is not stopped.
What is osteochondrosis
The disease osteochondrosis is quite insidious and multifaceted in its manifestation and course. Quite often, it is skipped at the earliest stages of its development, which complicates its course. Therefore, it is quite problematic to cure osteochondrosis, since most patients go to the doctor when they already have a rather advanced stage and irreversible changes have occurred. But it is important that at the very first signs, a person immediately turns to a neurologist or orthopedist. After all, if an initial osteochondrosis has arisen, its determination will help to suspend further changes. Therefore, the symptoms will be more erased and will not have such a negative effect on the person. For this reason, experts recommend, as soon as symptoms of this disease are suspected, immediately contact health workers for diagnosis and further treatment.
The main causes of osteochondrosis
Osteochondrosis of the spine occurs under the influence of a number of external and internal factors. Most often, he needs a confluence of 2 or 3 negative reasons for him to start developing. But, taking into account the individual characteristics of each organism, you need to know that it can proceed either slowly over decades, or have a rather rapid course of its development.
Here are the causes and etiology of osteochondrosis:
- Injury to the spinal column. Few people pay attention to these causes of osteochondrosis at the very beginning. As a rule, bruises or cracks in the bone structures disappear, but, because of them, pathological processes can begin. This is how intervertebral osteochondrosis develops.
- Another reason may be congenital or acquired over time curvatures, such as scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis. The fact is that when the vertebrae in space occupy an incorrect position, from the point of view of anatomy, the load on the entire back is redistributed unevenly. Some areas are chronically overloaded, which contributes to their increased and accelerated wear. Therefore, in this case, osteochondrosis is a disease that is a secondary problem.
- Excessive body weight is also a pushing factor. In addition, all the reasons for the appearance of osteochondrosis make themselves felt even more clearly when a person's body weight is exceeded. This is due to the fact that the center of gravity of a person is in the lumbar region and navel.
- Genetic predisposition also plays a significant role. Despite the fact that direct inheritance in this case is not observed, nevertheless, various metabolic characteristics can be passed from generation to generation.
- Some autoimmune diseases, such as lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, rheumatic conditions, can provoke this pathology. This is explained by the fact that they specifically affect the connective tissue.
- Another reason that causes osteochondrosis of the entire spine and the corresponding symptoms is malnutrition. If there is not enough calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, fluoride, copper, vitamin D, vitamin C, then this condition can lead to damage to bones and cartilage. And this pushes problems with the musculoskeletal system.
- It is also necessary to pay attention to hard physical labor, which can also affect the condition of the back in the most negative way. In this case, it is highly recommended to regularly undergo a course of rehabilitation or at least correct diagnosis in order not to miss the initial stages of the disease.
- You should not discount a variety of infections that, getting into the body, can cause this pathology.
- Also, hypothermia can contribute to the appearance of this disease. Therefore, it is advisable to keep your back warm.
- And another important point that is so important to be clearly aware of is the natural aging of the body. Most people with age begin to develop osteochondrosis of the intervertebral discs. This is due to degenerative changes that are common to all elderly people.
When it was not possible to avoid the causes and mechanisms in the body that push this pathology, it is necessary to know exactly how to cure osteochondrosis, or at least stop its development rate. Of course, it is the orthopedist, vertebroneurologist and neurologist who will be able to diagnose osteochondrosis. But, in some cases, the doctor is powerless. Despite the entire complex of examination, the X-ray does not show signs of osteochondrosis.
Although the patient himself describes his sensations, exclusively as a symptom of tension in osteochondrosis, pain, a decrease in the range of motion and other things. If this is the situation, then it is worth thinking about what osteochondrosis is and rethinking it a little from the point of view of psychosomatics.
Types and symptoms of osteochondrosis
Since osteochondrosis can be determined only by complex diagnostic methods, only a doctor can accurately localize which vertebrae in a patient are affected. Depending on the location of the pathology along the spinal column, cervical, thoracic, lumbar and common types are distinguished.
Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine
Cervical osteochondrosis of the spine is a pathology that is localized between the C1 and C7 vertebrae. The disease in this case is due to the fact that the muscle frame here is rather weak. In addition, the segments are close enough to each other. As a result, it is here that hernias often occur. Due to the fact that a large number of nerve fibers are located in this part, which ensure the functioning of vital organs, the following symptoms are often observed in a patient:
- Intense headaches that can be long-term or rather short-term.
- In the morning, there is stiffness in the joints.
- Due to the fact that osteochondrosis and neurology are associated, people with this degenerative process experience problems with vision, hearing and all cognitive processes.
- When osteochondrosis affects the c5 c7 vertebra, the symptoms are more intense in the upper shoulder girdle. Affects the upper limbs, shoulder blades, chest area.
- Sometimes osteochondrosis in women, in the cervical region, can radiate to the chest area. In both sexes, osteochondrosis radiates to the left hand and resembles pain in the heart, and sometimes in both hands at once, causing them to be lethargic and lack of sensitivity.
- The tongue grows dumb.
- The head is spinning and fainting occurs. Nausea is often formed with osteochondrosis.
Osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine
Degenerative processes occur starting from stage 2. This affects the vertebrae osteochondrosis l5 s1. Painful sensations at the second and third stages of development are manifested quite intensely and deprive a person of the usual physical activity and mobility. Most often, symptoms such as:
- Muscular syndrome in osteochondrosis. In this case, the pain fetters the muscle tissue, causing them to spasm. At the same time, the patient feels very bad, since it is impossible to get rid of this condition without medication. After all, a vicious circle arises - the pain spasms the muscles, and they, in turn, clamp the nerve roots even more strongly, which react with even more pain. Thus, osteochondrosis is associated with muscle-tonic syndrome. To get rid of this condition, the doctor must correctly select several types of drugs.
- It is very important to understand that if a pathology occurs in this part of the back, the patient's tactile level of sensitivity in the lower extremities and hips will be disturbed. The pain can run from the lower back to the ankle. This is due to the fact that negative sensations spread along the sciatic nerve from the hip to the very bottom of the leg.
Osteochondrosis of the thoracic region
Most often, the degenerative process develops in the thoracic region, when a person is in a sitting position for a long time. Therefore, for those who have this type of work or who are studying and spend time at the computer or at the desk all the time, it is recommended to get up every 40 minutes and do some kind of physical activity. At the same time, there is already a rather serious threat to the internal organs for the reason that:
- Difficulty breathing occurs with osteochondrosis, which can only aggravate the general condition of a person. The body simply does not receive the necessary oxygen and nutrients in this case.
- Nausea is formed with VSD and osteochondrosis, which negatively affects the entire gastrointestinal tract. Thus, osteochondrosis and the stomach are inextricably linked. There is a deterioration in the state of digestion.
- There are also pains that resemble heart pains. This is the so-called ischemic syndrome in osteochondrosis. Therefore, quite often, patients who have only felt the first symptoms of pathology that have formed in the thoracic region turn to a cardiologist. At the same time, it is natural that the doctor does not find any abnormalities in the work of the cardiovascular system. Or worse, he finds certain dysfunctions, prescribes treatment. But it doesn't have the desired effect. This happens due to the fact that the patient has two types of diseases - the heart and the musculoskeletal system. Negative symptoms in the chest area, as well as shortness of breath with osteochondrosis - are not associated with heart disease, but are caused by diseases of the spine.
Common osteochondrosis is a pathology that affects not only the vertebrae of the back, but also the joints in the lower extremities. This is most often due to the fact that the increased load on the back leads to overstrain of the muscles of the thighs and upper leg. So, for example, the knee joint is destroyed due to the fact that the vessels in it narrow, which should feed the joint capsule. Therefore, the tissues also experience a degenerative process here. The patient experiences:
- Pain in the knee.
- The joint begins to emit an unpleasant crunch.
- Movements become limited and painful.
- Swelling of the soft tissues occurs.
- When palpation is done, pain occurs.
- Formed, the so-called myasthenia gravis.
Rehabilitation for osteochondrosis takes a rather long period of time and takes a lot of effort and money for treatment. Therefore, it is important to know and understand exactly - osteochondrosis is treated or not and at what stages, what the patient can do with his health.
Diagnosis of the disease
First of all, when a person begins to suspect this and a disease of the musculoskeletal system, he should urgently contact one of the specialists presented below:
- To a neuropathologist.
Only these specialists can, with competent diagnosis, make a final diagnosis. The patient should always remember that no matter what he went to the doctor with, even if it is a simple cough with osteochondrosis, the doctor should take the following measures:
Conduct an initial collection of anamnesis. He must listen carefully to all the complaints of the person. Palpate those areas where the patient records pain.
Then he puts the patient in certain positions. These are the so-called tests that allow you to determine how affected, from the point of view of the neurological picture, certain functions.
A blood test for osteochondrosis can show the presence of inflammatory processes in the body. With this pathology, the doctor will prescribe a general blood test and an ESR analysis. Analyzes for osteochondrosis can show an increase in ESR during an exacerbation of the disease, biochemistry can show changes in the amount of proteins as a result of neurological symptoms.
When osteochondrosis is suspected, examination must necessarily include hardware techniques. First of all, when osteochondrosis of the spine is suspected in a person, X-rays can confirm the picture. The picture is taken for the entire back, so as not to miss any areas, as it can affect different parts of the back. Osteochondrosis on X-ray is always obvious to a specialist.
MRI for osteochondrosis is used in the case when the previous methods have not been effective. This research method allows you to assess the mechanical load that falls on the intervertebral discs. It is possible to assess the presence of a hernia or any functional disorders. Osteochondrosis on MRI is quite accurately diagnosed, but despite this, this manipulation has a number of significant contraindications:
- The presence of a pacemaker.
- Certain psychological conditions such as claustrophobia.
- Age up to 14 years.
In all other cases, MRI is often prescribed when osteochondrosis is suspected in a patient.
To exclude other diseases, the patient may be prescribed - fluorography, tomography of the thoracic region, sometimes MRI of the digestive system, cardiogram. This is especially often realized when shortness of breath occurs with osteochondrosis, pain in the heart, discomfort in the stomach and intestines. In addition, these manipulations can be recommended when the temperature is kept in case of osteochondrosis.
It is always important to remember that when there is a suspicion of osteochondrosis, the formulation of the diagnosis is a rather difficult and painstaking work that can take a rather long period of time. Therefore, the standard of medical care for osteochondrosis is so complex and multifaceted.
When osteochondrosis occurs, the recommendations of doctors for treatment will be quite extensive and versatile. The most important thing is that the patient strictly follows the prescribed instructions for treatment. Only in this case can tangible success be achieved. Do not be afraid that the doctor prescribes several types of drugs at once - they must be used simultaneously, because each group has a certain effect on the body. And if something is excluded, then it will be almost impossible to achieve the result.
The standard of medical care for osteochondrosis on an outpatient basis includes - medications (they can be taken orally, put in the form of injections or applied to the surface of the skin), physiotherapy, exercise therapy, traditional medicine, alternative methods of treatment.
Standard primary health care for osteochondrosis includes taking medications designed to relieve pain. This is facilitated by analgesic drugs:
- By injection.
- Cream for osteochondrosis.
- First aid for osteochondrosis with implicit and mild pain can be carried out with the help of homeopathic ointments.
- The temperature in osteochondrosis can be reduced with complex ointments.
A group of muscle relaxants is also used, that is, in fact, those that help relax and calm muscle fibers. If you do not take these medicines, then the healing process will proceed much slower and without such pronounced effects.
So, for example, when a cough accompanies osteochondrosis, it occurs due to the fact that smooth muscles cannot relax and causes spasm in the lungs. Taking muscle relaxants helps to eliminate this symptom, as well as chills with osteochondrosis and when osteochondrosis makes it difficult to breathe.
When the above groups of drugs do not have a pronounced effect, doctors prescribe glucocorticosteroids. But, it is important to understand that glucocorticosteroids have a lot of side effects. Therefore, they are prescribed exclusively by the attending physician and the patient should take them under his careful supervision.
Another group of drugs is chondroprotectors. They do not have a pronounced rapid effect, but their reception can significantly alleviate the patient's condition and suspend the development of pathology. This is due to the fact that chondroitin and glucosamine, which are part of the composition, are needed by the human body to maintain the health of cartilage tissues.
Clinical recommendations, when osteochondrosis of the spine occurs, also include drugs of the sedative group. They are designed to alleviate the patient's condition when pain, schedule, cough and shortness of breath with osteochondrosis and other symptoms are so strong that they cause constant stress.
A wide variety of physiotherapy methods are also used. They are designed to eliminate symptoms.
When weakness is formed in the arm with osteochondrosis or in the leg, diadynamic therapy, laser, magnetotherapy, amplipulse therapy will help.
All of them are quite effective in restoring blood supply, thereby reducing the level of inflammation. At the same time, burning of the back with osteochondrosis, pain, stiffness and other negative symptoms are eliminated.
But, contraindications to physiotherapy can be:
- High pulse with osteochondrosis.
- Individual intolerance to the currents used by the drug.
- Painful sensations during manipulation.
- Disease of the gallbladder and urinary system.
- A blood disorder with poor clotting performance.
- Pregnancy and lactation.
- Hemorrhagic stroke.
- Acute thrombophlebitis.
- Various damage to the skin.
It is also important to understand that some types of physiotherapy are not carried out during an exacerbation, but only when remission occurs.
Exercises for osteochondrosis
When the initial osteochondrosis is formed, the symptoms and signs of the disease in men and women will, to a certain extent, be similar. Therefore, in the initial stages, as well as as a prophylaxis, various types of exercise therapy and special gymnastics will be effective. But, they must be selected exclusively by a rehabilitation specialist. Since the wrong load or sudden movements can only aggravate the patient's condition.
If it is not possible to do gymnastics, then the pool with osteochondrosis will be able to fully replace it. Also take into account in this case that with osteochondrosis there may be a temperature. In this case, it is not recommended to go to the pool. It is necessary to wait until the acute phase has passed.
It is very important to understand that due to the fact that many organs and tissues are involved in the pathological process, a complex effect is required during treatment. Therefore, the diet will become a must. It will help when osteochondrosis and hair loss bother the patient. In this case, food enriched with vitamins and microelements will help to stop this process.
It is also important to take into account that when osteochondrosis and nausea torment a person, food should be as non-irritating as possible to the gastric mucosa. General recommendations:
- Increase the amount of raw vegetables and fruits.
- Eat high quality dairy and fermented milk products.
- Eat the right amount of proteins rich in chondroitin and glucosamine.
- To reduce bloating in osteochondrosis, the consumption of lacto and bifidobacteria is recommended. They can be purchased as a special package.
- When there is such a combination as osteochondrosis and a temperature of 37 ° C and above, it is recommended to observe the drinking regime and consume at least 2-3 liters of clean water. This will help not only reduce low-grade fever, but also have a positive effect on water-salt metabolism.
Traditional methods of treating osteochondrosis
Do not neglect folk recipes. But, when using them, do not rely solely on these compounds and do not throw, in any case, traditional drug therapy.
When trembling in the body, pain syndrome, burning sensation in muscle structures is observed with osteochondrosis, then the following compresses can be applied:
- Dilute the oatmeal with water and bake flat cakes from this composition. Apply such a compress warm to the place where the pain is felt.
- Grate the potato and mix it with any kind of honey in equal proportions. Apply to the problem area and cover with cellophane. Cover the top with something warm.
- Grate fresh horseradish and dilute with alcohol in a 2: 1 ratio. Apply gruel to the diseased part of the spine. This effectively removes uncomfortable sensations.
It is important to take into account that when osteochondrosis radiates into the abdomen, it is most likely that the thoracic region is affected. When headaches occur, the location is in the neck. When the pain covers the lower part of the body, then, in the overwhelming majority of cases, the lower back is affected. Therefore, it is necessary to choose the right place where any of the above compresses is applied.
When shortness of breath occurs with osteochondrosis, pain torments, there is a pulling sensation in the limbs, a headache or hearing and vision deteriorate, then you can use decoctions for oral administration. Here are some recipes to use:
- Take 1 teaspoon of crushed laurel leaves and pour 300 ml of boiling water. Insist for 24 hours. The resulting broth is drunk during the day. They drink no more for 4 days.
- You can take pine buds up to 2 cm long. Fill a jar with them, after grinding in a meat grinder or blender. Cover everything with sugar. Remove to a dark place at a low temperature for 2 weeks. Drink 1/2 teaspoon, dissolving slowly in the mouth three times a day.
- These decoctions relieve inflammation of the lymph nodes in osteochondrosis, reduce the feeling of pain and discomfort. Helps to eliminate inflammation in muscle tissue. They are also effective when accompanied by osteochondrosis with a temperature of 37 ° C and above.
What pathology leads to
Do not think that only pain, discomfort, reduced amplitude, headaches, deterioration of vision and hearing, shortness of breath with osteochondrosis are the only negative symptoms. If the painful condition is not treated and the degenerative process is not stopped, then hernias between the vertebrae result. This is a serious pathology that immobilizes a person and can lead to his disability.
Therefore, it is necessary to use all the forces to overcome the pathology. Better yet, engage in correct physical activity from an early age, which will help form a strong muscle frame. He, in turn, will not allow pathologies of the musculoskeletal system.