Osteochondrosis is a fairly common disease of the musculoskeletal system. Its diagnosis is reduced to the initial identification of the symptoms of the disease, and then additional examinations are already prescribed for a more accurate diagnosis. Treatment of osteochondrosis should be carried out only in combination. That's when you'll get the most effective results. Comprehensive treatment of osteochondrosis includes: painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, physiotherapy exercises, rehabilitation measures and drugs aimed at restoring damaged spinal discs.
This disease can manifest itself at any age. Almost every person after 20 years of age suffers from one form or another of it, and 70% of adults under 40 years of age have been diagnosed with the disease. Basically, with osteochondrosis, the lower spine is affected, which is constantly under heavy load. Less common are cases of thoracic and cervical osteochondrosis. And of course, every patient is concerned about the question of whether osteochondrosis can be cured.
Symptoms of the disease
The most common symptom of osteochondrosis is pain due to compression of the nerve roots or due to strong tension in the back muscles, which are located next to the spinal column. The pain can last for days, months, or even years. This worsens the quality of life and human performance. If the pain started a week and a half ago, then anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed. If they last more than 2 weeks, but less than 3 months, then additional painkillers are prescribed.
If the pain on the background of osteochondrosis lasts more than 3 months, then in addition to painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants are also prescribed. They not only have a positive effect on the human psyche, but also have a pronounced analgesic effect. This improves the patient's condition. Only the attending physician knows how to treat osteochondrosis of the spine and can accurately choose the tactics and dosage of drugs.Self-administration of anti-inflammatory drugs can result in bleeding and ulcers, as well as other exacerbations.
The main signs of various types of osteochondrosis
- headache (dull, pressing), which is not relieved by analgesics;
- pain when turning the head;
- pain in the arms and chest similar to angina pectoris. It spreads to the shoulder blade, forearm, but unlike heart pain, it can last for hours and even days (angina pectoris lasts about 5 minutes);
- feeling of numbness and crawling in the arms or chest.
- the presence of dull, aching pain in the back;
- pain in the chest, aggravated by movement, girdle character. Often chest osteochondrosis has signs of other diseases: gastritis, myocardial infarction, ulcers.
- lower back pain that worsens with movement or staying in one position for a long time. The pain is aching, sometimes sharp. Because of her, the patient cannot sit, bend over, turn around and is forced to maintain a certain position to reduce pain;
- numbness of the thigh (shin) or a decrease in their sensitivity.
Treatment. Basic Methods
Before treating osteochondrosis, an initial diagnosis is necessary, which is carried out by doctors: a neurologist, a vertebrologist, an orthopedist. The doctor examines and identifies the symptoms of the disease. Usually, these are pain sensations at certain points, tense muscles on both sides of the spine. To be completely sure of the diagnosis, the patient is sent for computed tomography or nuclear magnetic resonance of the spine.
Moderate physical exercises (fitness, therapeutic exercises) have a rather positive effect on a sick human spine. Physical education improves metabolic processes in the body and strengthens the intervertebral discs. It also improves the mobility of the spine, relieves muscle tension, and reduces the load on diseased vertebrae. In the treatment of osteochondrosis, it is also necessary to follow a certain diet. With an exacerbation of the disease, a person needs to sleep on a hard surface, and with especially severe pain, it is necessary to move less and consult a doctor faster.
Traditional medicine can also be included in the complex treatment of osteochondrosis of the spine. Recipes help relieve inflammation and pain, but it is worth remembering that they are only an addition to the main treatment complex. Compresses are used, for example, from burdock leaves (1 spoon is poured with a glass of boiling water), which are applied to the sore spot for half an hour. After removal, wrap yourself in a warm scarf or scarf.
It is worth remembering, before curing osteochondrosis, that it is characterized by periods of remission and exacerbation. Exacerbations are manifested by acute pain and can be provoked by changes in temperature and pressure, physical exertion. During this period, a special collar should be worn for cervical chondrosis, and a corset for lumbar chondrosis. If the pain is too strong, then you need to give the patient an anesthetic. All methods of treatment are reduced to the main goals: relieving back pain, stimulating the restoration of connective tissue and cartilage of the intervertebral disc. Removal of inflammation and prevention of further spread of the disease.
Treatment of osteochondrosis with only anti-inflammatory neurotropic and analgesic drugs only eliminates pain symptoms. Therefore, the modern treatment of this disease includes the mandatory use of chondroprotectors that are able to protect and restore the cartilage of the spine. Numerous studies have confirmed the high effectiveness of these drugs in restoring cartilage and reducing pain. Rehabilitation treatment of osteochondrosis with the help of electrophoresis, laser therapy, manual therapy, traction, magnetotherapy, massage, mud therapy, an individual program of physiotherapy exercises, a swimming pool, and a sauna is also necessary. The rehabilitation program is used only in remission, when there is no back pain.
In emergency cases, when the disease is already running and complications are observed, or if conservative treatment of osteochondrosis is ineffective, surgical intervention is necessary. It is aimed at stabilizing the entire structure of the spine and eliminating pressure on the roots of the spinal cord. Surgical intervention is indicated only when the spinal cord is compressed or after repeated unsuccessful treatment with complex therapy, since the probability of damage to the spinal cord and nerves is too high.
Of course, periodic prevention and treatment of osteochondrosis is required. It is necessary to do moderate sports or gymnastics, which is aimed at stretching the muscles of the back and spine. If the pain begins after working at the computer, then you should take breaks more often and stretch your back. In childhood, you should constantly monitor your posture and not slouch.
Before treating osteochondrosis surgically, conservative methods are used. With conservative treatment, the anti-inflammatory gel has proven itself well. The gel formula contains isopropanol and propylene glycol. When applied to the skin, these alcohols evaporate, creating a cooling effect. At the same time, the gel freely penetrates to the focus of pain and relieves inflammation. In addition, various therapeutic blockades, physiotherapy procedures, muscle relaxants, physiotherapy exercises are used.
Massage and gymnastics are integral components of the complex of treatment and prevention of osteochondrosis. They are aimed at restoring motor functions and improving coordination of movements. If this does not help, then surgical intervention is indicated.
In the conservative treatment of spinal osteochondrosis, non-narcotic analgesics are prescribed to suppress non-infectious inflammation. This is a fairly large group of drugs and their choice should be made in accordance with the state of health, individual intolerance to drugs, and the severity of the pain syndrome. The complex includes sedatives, such as motherwort and valerian tinctures. To stimulate reparative processes, drugs are used that contain extracts from the cartilage and bone marrow of young animals. They are used only in the initial stages of the disease.
Traction treatment (traction)
With this type of treatment of osteochondrosis, the ligaments, muscles and paravertebral tissues are stretched, as a result of which the distance between the vertebrae increases by an average of 1. 5 mm. Traction helps to reduce swelling of the nerve root, normalizes blood circulation, eliminates compression of blood vessels in the spinal column. There are various types of traction: dry (vertical and horizontal), on an inclined plane under the influence of its own weight, underwater and other types. The usual course of treatment is 15-20 procedures.
With a weak articular-ligamentous apparatus of the spine, procedures are prescribed that are aimed at stabilizing and strengthening it. To do this, apply fixing means (bandages, corsets, collars). They are prescribed with an unfavorable prognosis regarding the formation of muscle fixation.
Reflexology is a set of measures that are based on the stimulation of biologically active points. For this purpose, pepper plaster, medical jars, mustard plasters, preparations with snake and bee venom, iodine mesh are used. Physiotherapy also helps to cure osteochondrosis. These procedures reduce tissue swelling, relieve pain. The type of procedure, the number of sessions and the duration depend on the pain, the severity of clinical syndromes. Basic procedures: ultraviolet radiation, glucocorticoid phonophoresis, electrophoresis, thermal procedures, Bernard currents.
Only complex treatment contributes to the rapid recovery of a patient with osteochondrosis of the spine!