Osteochondrosis is a common disease of the musculoskeletal system. This manifests itself as mild discomfort and severe pain, limiting a person's activities. In advanced cases, the pathology can lead to the need for surgical intervention and even disability. Prevention and prevention of the disease reduces the risk of its occurrence or helps to achieve a positive result of the treatment.
Osteochondrosis is a pathology that occurs as a result of a combination of factors such as genetic predisposition, human lifestyle, and environmental conditions.
The disease is characterized by damage to the articular cartilage and the underlying bone tissue. Normally, the cartilages ensure the flexibility and mobility of the spine, but they can wear out, lose their properties, elasticity, and deform due to the pressure of other vertebrae.
The most common causes of pathology are:
- hereditary tendency.
- Weakness of the muscular ligament.
- Postural disorders and scoliosis.
- Mechanical damage to the spine.
- Excessive physical activity.
- Neuro-emotional stress.
- Passive lifestyle.
- Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Tight, uncomfortable shoes, high heels.
- General dehydration.
- Lack of important nutrients, beriberi.
Types of osteochondrosis
This disease is on the list of the most common complaints of patients of working age who spend 8-10 hours a day in front of the computer. Often, patients do not attach importance to pain, which leads to the development of complications. If you don't want to feel constant pain in the neck, head, and shoulders, it is important to prevent it as soon as possible, and if necessary, consult a doctor as soon as possible.
The disease can be asymptomatic. It is often accompanied by pain in the back, neck, and forearm. In an advanced stage, thoracic osteochondrosis is characterized by symptoms that are manifested in the painful condition of the arms and legs and ringing in the ears. Thoracic chondrosis can be accompanied by nausea, morning headache, pain and flickering in the eyes, and sweating. Medicines and therapeutic exercises are enough to treat the disease.
The lumbar spine is very vulnerable. If you do not take part in strengthening the back muscles and do not monitor your posture, there is a risk of developing unpleasant symptoms. Chondrosis is characterized by pain in the belt in the lower back, pain in the hip area and so-called back pain.
Take precautions. Keep the lower back warm, not too cold. Do not carry or lift objects weighing more than 10 kg. When lifting something heavy, do not pull or make sudden movements. Avoid all physical work in an inclined position. If you want to mop the floor, use a mop or squat down.
Stages and symptoms of the development of osteochondrosis
The disease goes through 4 stages, accompanied by various symptoms. At the initial stage, the pathology occurs in the region of the pulpal core of the intervertebral disc. Excessive loading causes a decrease in plate height and the appearance of cracks in the fibrous ring. A person may feel a little discomfort if he is in a static position for a long time or, on the contrary, if he moves too actively.
In stage 2, the distance between the vertebrae decreases further, the vertebral muscles and ligaments lose their tone and sag. This leads to increased mobility of vertebrae with affected discs, risk of displacement or subluxation. In the second stage, discomfort and pain appear, especially with certain types of loads or in certain positions.
in the case of high-grade osteochondrosis, 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, pain is clearly felt depending on the location of the injury.
In stage 4, the body tries to adapt to the functional disorders of the spine. This can be expressed in bone tumors - osteophytes. They act as vertebra anchors. But it can cause pinched nerves and other injuries.
When examining the patient and taking an anamnesis, the specialist prepares a primary diagnosis, which indicates the presence of the disease with a visually detectable curvature in the transverse or longitudinal plane of the spine. After the first consultation, the surgeon or the neurologist may prescribe additional tests. After determining the localization and stages of the disease, treatment can begin, which aims to get rid of the causes of pain.
The most common diagnostic methods:
- doppler ultrasound.
Methods of treatment of osteochondrosis
The treatment only brings good results if 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 includes physiotherapy and manual procedures.
In the case of osteochondrosis in any acute stage, accompanied by severe pain, the doctor may prescribe a paravertebral blockade with the administration of novocaine, lidocaine and other drugs to relieve muscle tension in the movement segment of the spine, reduce swelling and muscle tension.
Combinations of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antispasmodics, pain relievers and vitamin complexes (group D, nicotinic acid) are considered effective. Ointments are prescribed as local therapy - agents containing chondroprotectors and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory components.
It is important to remember that drugs only help to cope with severe pain at that moment. Physiotherapy treatment helps to get rid of the unpleasant manifestations of the disease in the long term.
The most commonly used therapies are:
- manual therapy;
What does lack of treatment lead to?
Osteochondrosis is best corrected in the initial stages of development, before the syndromes of vertebral pathologies appear, with chronic headaches and pain in the shoulder blades, heart and lower back. Over time, the disease leads to a change in the general structure of the spine due to the active compensatory expansion of connective, fibrous and bone tissues.
The clinical picture of the disease depends on the localization of the pathology, the degree of development of the process and the individual characteristics of the patients. Displacement of the intervertebral discs, protrusions and hernias have 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 be started as early as possible and should be carried out in a complex way, with an emphasis on neutralizing inflammation and eliminating pain. If the disease persists for years, is in an advanced stage, and disc herniations are diagnosed, surgical intervention may be necessary.
Prevention and treatment of osteochondrosis are inextricably linked. Their goal is to improve the patient's quality of life. If you do sedentary work, 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 correctly at the table: your back is straight, your shoulders are relaxed. Choose chairs with a backrest that provides maximum support for the spine: so you won't overstretch it.
In order to prevent the development of the disease, it is worth having a massage regularly. Massage can improve blood circulation and lymph flow, increase metabolic processes in muscle tissues, and stop stagnant processes. As a result, general well-being improves, vitality increases, 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.
- He carries the weights evenly in both hands.
- Systematically perform simple exercises to strengthen the spine, muscles, ligaments and joints.
- Go swimming if you can.
- Try not to sit in one position for a long time.
- Take supplements containing mucopolysaccharides - the building blocks of 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 yourself.