Osteochondrosis is a common disease of the musculoskeletal system. It manifests itself as a mild discomfort and severe pain, limiting a person's activity. In advanced cases, the pathology can lead to the need for surgery and even disability. Prevention and prevention of the disease reduces the risk of its occurrence or helps to achieve positive treatment results.
Osteochondrosis is a pathology that appears as a result of a combination of factors such as genetic predisposition, human lifestyle, environmental conditions.
The disease is characterized by damage to the articular cartilage, as well as the underlying bone tissue. Normally, it is the cartilages that ensure the flexibility and mobility of the spine, but they can wear out, lose their properties, elasticity and deform under the pressure of other vertebrae.
The most common causes of the development of pathology are:
- hereditary predisposition.
- Weakness of the muscular corset.
- Postural disorders and scoliosis.
- Mechanical spinal cord injury.
- Excessive physical activity.
- Neuro-emotional stress.
- Passive lifestyle.
- Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Uncomfortable tight shoes, high heels.
- General dehydration.
- Lack of important nutrients, beriberi.
Types of osteochondrosis
This disease is included in the list of the most frequent complaints of patients of working age who spend up to 8-10 hours a day in front of the computer. Often, patients do not pay attention to pain, which leads to the development of complications. If you do not want to experience constant pain in the neck, head, shoulders, it is important to do prevention as soon as possible and if necessary, go to the doctor as soon as possible.
The disease can be asymptomatic. It is often accompanied by pain in the back, neck, forearm. In the advanced stage, thoracic osteochondrosis is characterized by symptoms that are manifested by a painful condition of the arms and legs, tinnitus. Also, chondrosis of the chest can be accompanied by nausea, headache in the morning, pain and tremors in the eyes, sweating. For the treatment of the disease, taking medications and therapeutic exercises are sufficient measures.
The lumbar spine is very sensitive. If you do not engage in strengthening your back muscles and do not monitor your posture, there is a risk of developing unpleasant symptoms. Chondrosis is characterized by girdle pain in the lower back, pain in the hip region and so-called back pain.
Take precautions. Keep your lower back warm, try not to overdo it. Do not carry or lift objects weighing more than 10 kg. If you are lifting something heavy, do not swing or make sudden movements. Refuse any physical work in a prone position. If you are going to clean the floor, use a mop or sit down.
Stages and symptoms of the development of osteochondrosis
The disease goes through 4 stages, accompanied by different symptoms. In the initial stage, the pathology appears in the region of the pulpal nucleus of the intervertebral disc. Excessive load provokes a decrease in the height of the disc and the appearance of cracks in the annulus fibrosus. A person may feel some discomfort when he is in a static position for a long time or, conversely, when he moves very actively.
In the second stage, the distance between the vertebrae continues to decrease, the vertebral muscles and ligaments lose their tone and sag. This leads to increased mobility of vertebrae with affected discs, the risk of displacement or subluxations. In the second stage, discomfort and pain appear, especially with certain types of loads or in certain positions.
With osteochondrosis of the 3rd degree, prolapses and protrusions of the intervertebral discs are formed, the development of arthrosis of the intervertebral joints is possible. A person experiences stiffness, becomes inactive. At this stage of the pathology, the pain is clearly felt depending on the location of the lesion.
In the 4th stage, the body tries to adapt to the functional disorders of the spine. This can be expressed in bone neoplasms - osteophytes. They act as vertebral fixators. But it can cause pinched nerves and other injuries.
When examining a patient and taking an anamnesis, a specialist makes a primary diagnosis, suggesting the presence of a disease by a visually distinct curvature observed in the transverse or longitudinal plane of the spine. After the initial consultation, the surgeon or neurologist may prescribe additional examinations. After determining the localization of the disease and its stages, treatment can begin, the purpose of which is to get rid of the causes of pain.
The most common diagnostic methods:
- doppler ultrasound.
Methods of treatment of osteochondrosis
Treatment brings good results only when it is regular, consistent and systematic. The therapeutic strategy of the first stage is aimed at neutralizing pain, the second stage is the activation of blood supply and metabolic processes in the affected areas of the spine, and the third stage shows physiotherapy and manual procedures.
With osteochondrosis of any department in the acute stage, accompanied by severe pain, the doctor can prescribe a paravertebral blockade by administering novocaine, lidocaine and other drugs to relieve muscle tension in the segment of spinal movement, reduce swelling and tensionof muscles.
Combinations of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antispasmodics, analgesics and vitamin complexes (group D, nicotinic acid) are considered effective. As a local therapy, ointments are prescribed - chondroprotectors and agents with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory components.
It is important to remember that medications help to cope only with severe pain at the moment. Physiotherapy treatment helps to get rid of the unpleasant manifestations of the disease in the longer term.
The most commonly used therapies include:
- manual therapy;
What does lack of treatment lead to?
Osteochondrosis is best corrected in the initial stage of formation before the appearance of syndromes of vertebral pathologies, accompanied by chronic headaches and pain in the shoulders, heart and lower back. Over time, the disease leads to a change in the overall structure of the spine due to the active compensatory expansion of connective, fibrillary and bone tissues.
The clinical picture of the disease depends on the localization of the pathology, the rate of development of the process and the individual characteristics of the patients. Displacement of intervertebral discs, protrusions and hernias lead to unpleasant consequences.
- violation of blood circulation in tissues;
- pinched nerves;
- dysfunction of the spinal canal;
- edema and tissue fibrosis.
Therefore, the treatment of osteochondrosis should begin as soon as possible and be carried out in a complex manner with an emphasis on neutralizing inflammation and eliminating pain. If the disease manifests itself for years, is in an advanced stage and a hernia of the vertebral discs is diagnosed, a surgical operation may be required.
Prevention of osteochondrosis and its treatment are inextricably linked. Their goal is to improve the patient's quality of life. If you have a sedentary job, take regular breaks. Get up every hour and a half and do simple exercises that relieve tension in the neck and back muscles. Try to sit at the table correctly: your back is straight, your shoulders are relaxed. Choose such chairs, the back of which can provide maximum support for the spine: so it will not strain.
To prevent the occurrence of the disease, it is good to periodically undergo a course of massage. Massage can improve blood circulation and lymphatic flow, improve metabolic processes in muscle tissue and stop stagnant processes. As a result, there is an improvement in general well-being, increased vitality and some painful symptoms disappear.
Recommendations for the prevention and prevention of the development of osteochondrosis:
- Limit yourself when lifting weights. Allowed weight up to 10 kg.
- Hold the weights evenly in both hands.
- Systematically do simple exercises aimed at strengthening the spine, muscles, ligaments and joints.
- Go swimming if possible.
- Try not to sit for a long time in one position.
- Take dietary supplements containing mucopolysaccharides - elements that make up cartilage.
Prevention of osteochondrosis of the spine is a less difficult task than its further treatment. Think about your health and start taking care of it before it reminds you of itself.