• Osteochondrosis symptoms

    Osteochondrosis is not only back pain. The state of the spine and spinal cord, connected by the finest nerve fibers with all internal organs, affects the work of the heart, kidneys, lungs and gastrointestinal tract and even your general condition. Perhaps you will be surprised, but even depression can arise not because of tragic events in a person's life, but only because the nerves related to the brain are clenched as a result of the destruction of the cervical vertebrae. How to treat this disease with folk remedies.

    Osteochondrosis is an extremely serious and unpleasant disease. It is often accompanied by pain in the lumbosacral region and in one of the lower limbs. According to the latest medical data, the main cause of back pain is a degenerative( destructive) process in the intervertebral discs. When osteochondrosis intervertebral discs are special cartilaginous structures that provide our spine with flexibility and mobility, become defective. When osteochondrosis progresses, irreversible changes already occur in the vertebrae themselves.

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    The difficulty in diagnosing osteochondrosis is that for the time being it can not manifest itself in any way. And only the often occurring headache, pain in the neck, chest or waist can either signal the development of osteochondrosis, or report the already existing serious pathological process expressed by osteochondrosis.

    Therefore, it is not only possible to treat osteochondrosis, but it is also necessary if you want to avoid more serious health problems.

    Certainly, in the arsenal of modern medicine, there are methods that can save a person from the symptoms of the disease. But there are more sparing and very effective natural methods of traditional medicine, which allow to prevent exacerbations of osteochondrosis, get rid of pains, feelings of frustration in the mornings and evenings, return mobility to the spine and joints, and internal organs - health. Recipes for herbal infusions, rubbing and compresses, home physiotherapy, massage, physical exercises( yes, they can not do without!) With elements of oriental practices will help you to stop the development of the disease at any age.

    Spine is an amazing natural structure that fulfills two main functions. First, it holds the entire skeleton and is its support. Secondly, the spine, due to the unique connection of the vertebrae, provides the flexibility of the design and enables the body to compensate for the load during movement.

    Let's briefly consider the structure of the spine and understand how violations in his work affect the rest of the body.

    The human spine consists of 32-34 vertebrae: 7 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, 5 sacral and 3-5 coccygeal. Each vertebra has a body and an arc. The vertebral body is facing anteriorly and serves as its supporting part. The arc of the vertebra is connected to the vertebral body from behind with the legs of the vertebral arch. There is a vertebral foramen between the body and the arch. From the arch of the vertebrae branch out, to which ligaments and muscles are attached. Back, in the middle plane, the unpaired spinous process departs, to the right and to the left of the arc - transverse processes. Up and down from the arch of the vertebra are the paired upper and lower articular processes. The bases of the articular processes limit the upper and lower vertebral notches. When connecting adjacent vertebrae with each other, the upper and lower notches form the right and left intervertebral foramen. Through the holes between the two vertebrae nerves exit from the spinal cord, and through the osteo-fibrous canals, formed from the bodies of the vertebrae and ligaments, passes the vertebral artery that feeds the brain.

    The bodies of the adjacent vertebrae are connected by means of intervertebral discs, and the arches and processes are connected by means of ligaments.

    The spine forms bends in the sagittal( front to back) and frontal( from left to right) planes. The bends of the spinal column with the bulge back are called kyphosis, bulge forward - lordosis, sideways - scoliosis. Distinguish the following physiological( normal) bends of the spine: cervical and lumbar lordosis, thoracic and sacral kyphosis, thoracic( aortic) physiological scoliosis. Aortic scoliosis is present in about a third of people, it is located at the level of the third or fifth thoracic vertebrae in the form of a small bulge to the right.

    The curvature of the spine helps it to maintain balance and to compensate for the loads that occur during the execution of actions and movements.

    Intervertebral discs are cartilaginous layers that perform the function of shock absorbers and provide mobility of the spine. The central part of the disc is called the gelatinous nucleus, and the peripheral part is called the fibrous ring. The gelatinous nucleus plays the role of a shock absorber between the bodies of two adjacent vertebrae. Sometimes inside the gelatinous nucleus there is a horizontal narrow slit, which makes it possible to call such a connection a semi-joint. The fibrous ring is constructed from fibrous cartilage. The thickness of the intervertebral disc depends on the level of its location and the mobility of the corresponding spine. In the thoracic region, the least mobile, the thickness of the disc is 3-4 mm, in the cervical region, which has greater mobility, 5-6 mm, in the lumbar region - 10-12 mm.

    The nerves emerging from the orifices between the vertebrae are called spinal nerves. The spinal cord and the whole body are conventionally divided into separate segments, each of which corresponds to its spinal nerves: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and coccygeal nerves. Two pairs( branches) of nerves come out from each vertebra: the back and the front. The posterior innervate the skin and muscles of the back surface of the body. The anterior branches join and form the nerve plexuses: cervical, humeral, lumbar, sacral, genital, coccygeal.

    Each organ is connected to the central nervous system with the help of nerves, so if the nerve is sick( pinch and inflammation), then the internal organ and the skin zone corresponding to it are completely or partially eliminated. Painful conditions often disrupt blood circulation, so the body does not receive enough nutrients. Thus, in people with osteochondrosis of the spine, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, kidneys, and bladder are often found, since poor performance of these organs leads to insufficient supply of nutrients to the blood, so that the intervertebral discs lose their elasticity andmore are destroyed.

    The cervical plexus innervates several areas: the occiput, ears, the skin of the body to the third rib, the pleura, the pericardium, the liver capsule, the lower vena cava, the right adrenal gland and the thyroid gland.

    The brachial plexus consists of nerves emerging from the cervical vertebrae from the fifth to the seventh inclusive, and from the nerve that emerges at the level of the first thoracic vertebra. These nerves are responsible for the entire shoulder girdle: muscles of the back, shoulders, forearms and fingers, and also for the skin on them.

    The lumbar plexus is formed from nerve roots that extend at the level of the twelfth thoracic vertebra, and also from the first to the fourth lumbar vertebra. These nerves innervate the lower body skin, genital organs, hip joint, leg muscles from the groin to the shin.

    The sacral plexus is located in the small pelvis and consists of the fourth and fifth lumbar spines of the spinal cord, as well as the first, second and third sacrum. The lower limbs( skin and muscles) are the area of ​​the sacral plexus.

    The genital plexus is formed by the second, third and fourth sacral roots of the spinal cord. It innervates the muscles, mucous membranes of the pelvic organs( rectum, uterus, vagina, prostate gland, seminal vesicles, penis, bladder).

    Coccygeal plexus is the sacral roots of the spinal cord innervating the anus and rectum.

    Nerves not only leave the spine, but also lie on the transverse processes or the front surface of the vertebrae in the form of chains of nerve nodes on each side of the spine. These nerve chains are called sympathetic trunks. The nodes of the sympathetic trunks are connected with the already familiar spinal nerves. The left trunk feeds the organs that are on the left side of the body, the right one - the organs of the right half. Only three organs are fed from two trunks at once: liver, stomach and heart.

    The causes of osteochondrosis can be many, and, as often happens, one can not be called the main one. Negative factors are superimposed one upon another, and as a result, a disease occurs.

    With age, the cartilages lose their elasticity, become less durable. Because of this, the intervertebral discs are poorly restored after loads. Uncompensated load on one side of the body slowly but surely undermines the health of the spine: sitting in an asymmetrical pose, carrying the load in one hand, maintaining a certain pose for a long time( for example, reading lying on one side), using improper pillows and sleeping mattressesat an angle to the body, the body lies unevenly).This can cause a protrusion of the intervertebral disc and pinching of the nerve emerging from the corresponding vertebra. And this is already triggering the disease associated with this department of the body.

    Defective nutrition is closely related to another cause of osteochondrosis - obesity. Excess weight is not only an additional burden on the spine, lack of muscle elasticity and reduced mobility. Rich in carbohydrates and fats, food brings rapid satiety, but these "empty" calories do not give the body anything useful - no vitamins, no minerals, no vital energy. And without calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese and other microelements, cartilage and bones become more porous and quickly break down under the influence of loads. Therefore, sadly, it will be necessary to abandon the sweet, fried, baked and semi-finished products and switch to a diet consisting of fish, fresh fruits and vegetables. The consumption of cereals, sunflower and olive oils, cheese and cottage cheese should be moderate. Meat, butter, fresh pastries, fatty dairy products, salt and coffee should be severely limited, and from the latter, ideally, and completely abandoned.

    For the previous two reasons, a third metabolic disorder is attached. Metabolism is the body's ability to receive, process and assimilate food, receiving energy and material for building cells. Usually these processes are regulated automatically, as well as the process of maintaining the internal mineral composition in equilibrium. From the incoming food the body takes exactly as many proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and water as it needs for normal work. If there is a deficit of some substances, there are violations of protein, fat, carbohydrate, mineral or water metabolism. Consequences of metabolic disorders for the bone system can be osteoporosis and the deposition of salts - frequent companions of osteochondrosis.

    Flat feet and wearing uncomfortable shoes, high heels are also the causes of osteochondrosis. Violations in the structure of the arch of the foot make the spine excessively compensate for the load that occurs during walking, while the body weight is not distributed correctly.

    Other causes: trauma of the spine and the following disorders in the structure of the vertebrae and cartilage, sedentary lifestyle, the impact of which we will talk about a little later, heavy physical work and constant weight lifting, preventing the spine from recovering, abrupt discontinuation of sports and weakening of muscleapparatus and stress, as a result of which the blood vessels and nerves that go to the brain can be clamped.


    Proponents of this theory believe that with age in the body there are processes of trophic tissue disorders. First of all, of course, they arise in those tissues that do not have a network of blood vessels. These include the intervertebral disc.

    Meanwhile, it is known that in childhood this education has a vascular network, but by 20-25 years, the lumens of the vessels are closed, and the disk completely loses them. In the future, as the age changes in the body grow, trophic disorders also develop.

    According to the involution theory, these disorders lead to a qualitative change in the composition of the gelatinous nucleus in the intervertebral disc, which can not but be reflected in its function, because such an important indicator as internal disk pressure is changing. With increasing pressure on the spine, the pressure rises normally until it reaches values ​​that can counteract external forces. If this does not happen, the excess pressure on the disc leads to its flattening, which, in turn, causes irritation of the nerve receptors. If, at the same time, dystrophic changes have occurred in the fibrous ring, then its fibers can be ruptured when the load is too high.

    Dystrophic processes affect not only the disc itself, but also the adjacent tissues of the vertebral motor segment. From this the processes in the disk are further amplified, finally, a vicious circle with a pronounced clinical picture arises.


    According to the proponents of this theory of osteochondrosis, first hormonal disturbances, then dystrophic changes in the body, and the involvement of intervertebral discs is part of the overall process. Two main arguments are presented:

    It seems that hormonal disorders play a certain role in the development of both dystrophic disorders and osteochondrosis in general.


    If there is a violation of segmental circulation in the vertebral motor segment, a disturbance of water-salt metabolism is observed, which, accordingly, has a negative effect on ion exchange. Subsequently, against the background of circulatory disorders, dystrophic changes are formed in various organs and tissues, including osteochondrosis of the spine. All this gives grounds to assume that dystrophic changes in the disk occur mainly in those individuals who have violations of segmental blood circulation.

    According to this theory, there are 4 stages of development of dystrophic changes in the intervertebral disk. In the first stage, under the influence of both external and internal factors, changes in the vascular system are increasing. The second is characterized by circulatory disturbances already in the vertebral motor segment itself, vascular regulation. In the third stage, the deterioration of trophic processes and lymph flow in the disk. Finally, all this goes into the fourth, final stage, which is characterized by dystrophic changes in the disc.


    According to this theory, the emergence of an infectious lesion in the intervertebral discs and surrounding tissues leads to a worsening of trophism, primarily due to a violation of the diffusion of the lymphatic fluid. It is in connection with this that all the degenerative changes in the spine develop that are peculiar to osteochondrosis.

    However, the theory, representing a certain interest, is not supported by the results of clinical studies, and to date its supporters, in the majority, tend to have an infectious-allergic version of it.


    When the infectious process develops in the human body, the activity of tissue enzymes in the disk changes accordingly. As a result of these and other, rather complex biochemical changes, the supply of nutrients to the disk decreases, which leads to the development of dystrophic changes in it. In the modified disk, the resistance to mechanical influences decreases, which under the influence of physical exertion can lead to a disruption of the integrity of the fibrous ring. In response, the tissues of the affected PDS accumulate lymphocytes, and this causes the development of cellular immunity reactions. In the blood can appear antibodies to the tissues of the affected disc, which can cause immune reactions.

    Thus, the above theory takes into account exclusively trophic moments. Nevertheless, immunological changes in patients with osteochondrosis can influence the formation and course of clinical manifestations of the disease.


    Advocates of this hypothesis believe that trauma, overload, and temperature differences create an inversion of the vector forces of the bioelectric fields of the intervertebral disc. A change in the direction of the polarization vectors of these fields alters the activity of enzyme systems, which subsequently leads to dystrophy, and ultimately to the development of osteochondrosis of the spine.


    It is understood that it is obvious that mechanical effects on the spine in the form of injuries or significant overloads lead to a disruption in the integrity of the fibrous ring and the growth of dystrophic changes in the disc. Supporters of the theory rely on the following provisions:

    All this is true, but most often in the role of provoking mechanical factors are such loads, which the patient encounters almost daily - for example, bending the trunk when dressing shoes. Thus, for all the importance of mechanical factors, solely of their own, apparently, it is not enough to form an osteochondrosis.


    The theory, in fact, is a special case of a mechanical one, only in the present case different abnormalities of the spine are put forward. These include the anomalies of the development of the vertebral body and its individual structural parts, as well as the anomalies of the location of articular surfaces, the fusion between the bodies of individual vertebrae in those departments where it is not anatomically conditioned, as in the sacrum, etc.

    It is assumed that disks located nearbyfrom anomalies, are subjected to overloads, which in turn lead to the development of disk degeneration.


    Supporters of this theory of great importance in the development of dystrophic lesions in the intervertebral disk impart changes in the functioning of the muscular apparatus of the spine. Changes in motor function can be caused by both congenital and acquired factors.

    Acquired violations can occur under the influence of reflex or mechanical factors. To mechanical relate muscle overload and, as a consequence, a violation of the coordination of the muscles of the PDS.The subsequent uneven contraction of the muscles located in the same plane causes the occurrence of zones of increased pressure on the corresponding parts of the fibrous ring. As a result of frequent repeated loads in the disk, dystrophic changes are formed.


    The question of the possibility of involvement of hereditary factors in the onset of osteochondrosis of the spine is often raised. The difference in the incidence rate between relatives of patients of different categories of kinship was revealed, which to some extent testifies to this point of view, but this is also, rather, a special case, and it is not possible to consider osteochondrosis as a disease originating exclusively from genetically.

    When you may have a suspicion that your spine is not all right and it's time to turn to a specialist for diagnosis?

    The onset of the disease can go unnoticed: sometimes patients feel only numbness or discomfort in a certain place of the spine, depending on the location of dystrophic changes.

    Depending on which part of the spine has become your "weak link" and has succumbed to the destructive effect of osteochondrosis, the following signs of the disease may appear.

    When the cartilage between the vertebrae sinks and thinens, and the orifices and channels are correspondingly narrowed, the vertebral artery contracts, and the brain gives symptoms of lack of oxygen( pain, dizziness, anxiety).It is at this moment that the chronic fatigue syndrome, depressive states can develop, a person experiences a constant lack of vitality.

    Then, headaches and dizziness, hearing and vision impairment can join unrecognizable discomfort if it concerns cervical osteochondrosis.

    Numbness and pain in the movement of hands, surrounding chest pains occur with chest osteochondrosis.

    Lumbar osteochondrosis is characterized by pain during walking, inclinations, periodic pains in the pelvic joint and pains that flow into the groin and legs.

    All these signs indicate a violation of the physiological health of the spine, that he can not cope with the load imposed on him.

    What does the term "osteochondrosis" mean? In Greek, osteon means "bone", chondros - "cartilage", ending -os - non-inflammatory disease, but in general it is a dystrophic process, that is aging of cartilaginous and bone tissue.

    On what violations and in which departments of the spine are located, the symptoms of osteochondrosis also depend. Affecting all parts of the spine, osteochondrosis can affect the cervical, thoracic, lumbosacral departments and are complicated by radiculitis, spondylosis, sciatica, "puncture", intervertebral hernias.

    Localization of osteochondrosis in the neck( cervical osteochondrosis) occurs quite often. The cervical spine suffers more often in people who are engaged in monotonous work - designers, programmers, secretaries, dentists, watchmakers, etc. As a rule, the development of cervical osteochondrosis is promoted by driving and long work at the computer. The main signs and symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis are: headache, dizziness, pain in the hands and chest, lumbago, numbness of the tongue.

    Cervical osteochondrosis often hurts and dizzy, darkens in the eyes, pressure rises. Through the transverse processes of the cervical vertebrae, in addition to the canal for the spinal cord, there is a canal for the so-called vertebral artery. It is directed into the cavity of the skull and nourishes the cerebellum, the vestibular apparatus and the centers lying in the nape and base of the brain. Displacement of the vertebrae leads to reflex spasm of the vertebral artery, and in severe cases - and to squeezing it. Thus, the blood supply to the centers of equilibrium and to a number of vegetative centers that control the processes of vital activity is disturbed. It is this process that is the cause of such a widespread diagnosis of "vegetative-vascular dystonia".

    In osteochondrosis of the cervical region, radicular symptoms( cervical radiculitis) can also be present: the pain passes into the hand, sometimes into separate fingers, they grow numb, become constantly cold. The reason for this is a violation of the passage of the pulse along the nerve fiber. By the numbness of one or another finger, one can judge the displacement of a particular vertebra.

    The thoracic spine is very rarely affected by osteochondrosis. One of the main reasons for the development of breast osteochondrosis is the curvature of the spine( scoliosis).As a rule, all the prerequisites for the future development of breast osteochondrosis are formed from the school bench. The thoracic spine is the least mobile, so the signs and symptoms of breast osteochondrosis are very different from the symptoms of cervical or lumbar osteochondrosis. In most cases, the main difference between breast osteochondrosis is the absence of acute pain and the presence of stupid, aching pains in the back alone.

    The main symptoms and signs of chest osteochondrosis are: chest pain, numbness, crawling sensation in the chest, pain in the heart, liver, stomach. Very often chest osteochondrosis is masked for other diseases( for example, angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, peptic ulcer, gastritis).

    Therefore, because of its symptoms can be confused, for example, with myocardial infarction or pneumonia. Pain associated with osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine, long, similar to intercostal neuralgia. Sometimes pain can give under the scapula, which makes one suspect a heart attack. The difference between ischemic heart disease and intercostal neuralgia is that in an osteochondrosis the patient has a normal( or almost normal) electrocardiogram, there are no symptoms such as sharp pallor, cyanosis, earthiness of the skin, cold sweat, etc.

    Breast osteochondrosis,except that in itself is associated with a variety of painful symptoms( pain, neuralgic reactions), is also dangerous because it provokes the development of serious illnesses adjacent to the thoracic spine of the internalGanas.

    Osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine - lumbar osteochondrosis - occurs most often. This is due to the fact that the backbone( lumbar vertebrae), as a rule, has the main load. The most common lumbar osteochondrosis can be complicated by the intervertebral hernia of the lumbar region.

    The main symptoms and signs of lumbar osteochondrosis are: pain in the lower back( pain in the loins worries a person for many years and is characterized by cyclicity, worsening in the autumn-winter period), limitation of mobility, pain in the legs. Very often, with lumbar osteochondrosis, there is acute( lumbago) or aching pain in the legs, which engages a certain part of the leg( for example, behind or on the side of the thigh).In addition to pain, there may be an increase or decrease in the sensitivity of the skin of the legs( on the thigh or the lower leg) to touch or pain - these symptoms of osteochondrosis explain the pinching of the roots of the spinal cord.

    The most common cause of intervertebral osteochondrosis in the lumbosacral spine is traumatic( compression fracture or chronic trauma).

    In the lumbar region of the nerve roots, the so-called sciatic nerve nervus ischiadicus is formed, hence the name of the complication is sciatica. When the nerve is infringed, the pain spreads along the nerve trunk: into the buttock, under the knee, sometimes into the caviar or the heel. In neglected cases, significant disturbances in nerve trunk feeding are possible, then the leg is numb. Symptoms of loss of sensitivity are very persistent, sometimes numbness persists for a long time.

    If a person suffers from a sciatic nerve, the person begins to limp, avoiding transferring the body weight to the painful side, leaning to the healthy side to maximally extend the vertebrae on the diseased part of the body and thereby reduce the squeezing of the rootlet. Over time, as a result of treatment, the pain passes or becomes tolerable. If the vertebra is not corrected, the curvature of the spine remains. In this case, the load on the intervertebral disc, already already damaged, is distributed unevenly, which leads to its further protrusion and destruction.

    The most unpleasant complication of lumbosacral osteochondrosis is the instability of the vertebra. The disc no longer fixes the vertebra, while under the action of gravity, the lumbar region "slides" from the sacrum. Pathological processes are developing in nearby internal organs.

    Degenerative( senile) changes in the vertebrae are characterized by a decrease in the height and compaction of the vertebral body, flattening of the fibrous ring, drying out, and then decreasing the intervertebral cartilaginous discs, which leads to deformation of the spinal column, curvature of the spine, weakening of the musculoskeletal apparatus of the entire spine. Decreasing in size, the fibrous ring squeezes the disc and reduces the distance between the vertebrae.

    The resulting contact between the disc and the nerve roots that drain from the spinal cord leads to a pain syndrome associated with inflammation and edema of adjacent tissues, and side discomfort phenomena.

    There are several stages in the development of osteochondrosis. Each of them is characterized by certain changes in the disk, adjacent vertebral bodies and in the intervertebral joints.

    In the first stage, cracks are formed in the inner layers of the fibrous ring and in the gelatinous nucleus. The nucleus begins to penetrate into these cracks and irritate the nerve endings in the peripheral layers of the fibrous ring and in the compressed posterior longitudinal ligament.

    This period is manifested by small permanent pains in the affected spine or sharp bouts. Most often these are pains in the neck, scapula, gluteal region, cramps of the calf muscles, pain in the region of the heart.

    The second stage is associated with further irritation of the fibrous ring and worsening fixation of the vertebrae with each other. Appearance is not peculiar to the spine mobility( pseudospondilolistez) in the lumbar region, subluxation - in the cervical. The pain in one or another part of the spine is strengthened with uncomfortable or long-lasting postures( more often - with physical exertion), the body often experiences a feeling of general discomfort.

    In the third stage, the fibrous ring ruptures. The gelatinous nucleus is squeezed out beyond its limits, and a disc herniation is formed. Extrusion occurs more often towards the vertebral canal, while the roots of the spinal nerves, vessels, spinal cord are compressed.

    Pain syndrome intensifies, microcirculation of blood and other fluids associated with the affected department of organs worsens dramatically. The dystrophic process in the context of convergence of adjacent vertebrae causes the development of spondylarthrosis, a chronic joint disease.

    The final stage of osteochondrosis development is characterized by the spread of the destructive process to other spine formations. The process of flattening the intervertebral disc continues, it begins scarring, deforming arthrosis develops in the intervertebral joints and semi-joints. Adipose tissue of the spinal cord is converted into fatty tissue, similar to subcutaneous adipose tissue. Scars develop between the yellow ligaments and the hard lining of the spinal cord.

    Herniated intervertebral discs are the most common and most severe manifestation of osteochondrosis of the spine. Manifestations of the disease depend on the location and size of the hernia, the direction of its growth and the number of affected segments of the spine. When the hernia develops painful radicular syndrome( that is, the nerve root is jammed), which can be accompanied by paralysis of the muscles of the lower extremities, a sensitivity disorder, a violation of the pelvic organs. In surgical treatment, about 20% of patients with herniated intervertebral discs need.

    With intervertebral hernia in almost all patients, the main complaint is severe pain in the spine. Typically, pain occurs after physical exertion, uncomfortable position in the workplace or in bed, when tilted with a simultaneous turn to the side, often in conjunction with lifting the gravity. There is also a sudden, not particularly severe pain in the lumbar region. Then within a day, there is pain and weakness in one of the legs, sometimes with a loss of sensitivity on the inside of the foot and lower leg or on the outside of the foot and the inner side of the shin. When moving, coughing, sneezing or straining, the pain in the back and leg is intensified and often causes the patient to go to bed rest. Some relief of the condition can be achieved in a prone position by lifting your legs or laying them on a pillow.

    There are two stages in the development of the disease. At the first stage, there is pain, which indicates the onset of a degenerative-dystrophic process, under the influence of which the structure of the fibrous ring of the intervertebral disc changes, cracks form in it, the core of the disc protrudes, blood circulation of this zone breaks down, edema of surrounding tissues, compression of the root of the spinal cord,process. There is a pain syndrome, which leads to the strain of the back muscles in the pathological zone, as a result of which compensatory curvature of the overlying parts of the spine occurs.

    At the second stage, the character of the pain syndrome changes. Compression root syndrome arises, which is caused by mechanical compression and tension of the rootlet. In this case, the edema of the root appears, its blood supply is disturbed. With direct contact of the herniated disc with the spine, irritation causes a more intense pain syndrome. Often, when root pain occurs pain in the lumbosacral region weakens or disappears. Apparently, this is due to a decrease in internal disk pressure due to rupture of the fibrous ring. This pain syndrome can be caused not only by the clamping of the spine( radiculopathy) or the spinal cord( myelopathy), but also by feeding the root of the vessel( radiculomyeloshemia).

    Operative treatment is indicated in the presence of pain syndrome not removed with the help of medicines( treatment term - from 2 weeks to 3 months), impaired functions of pelvic organs.

    Another method of treating intervertebral hernia in the acute stage is spinal traction. This is a very old way, interest in which has recently increased. A pressure creates a differential pressure in the intervertebral space, which makes it possible to "suck in" the hernia. At the same time, it is necessary to find the correct direction of action and to choose the appropriate force, so as not to damage the spine even more. Sometimes the patient is advised to make the stretching himself, in accordance with the pain. If the procedure is performed correctly, the pain should decrease rather than increase.

    If there is a sharp pain in the back, isolated or giving back to some department, it is necessary to call a doctor. As we have already said, acute pain in the back is not always an osteochondrosis or sciatica. It is necessary to exclude pulmonary diseases, heart disease, myocardial infarction. This can only be done by a specialist.

    Self-medication can be started only after the diagnosis of osteochondrosis has been made and the acute attack is relieved.

    Here are some rules that will help you in a difficult moment.

    Modern medicine offers many ways to treat osteochondrosis.

    It can be:

    Depending on the condition of your spine, the doctor must choose an individual course of therapy. The general scheme includes relieving exacerbation, reducing inflammation, triggering recovery processes and strengthening the muscular corset supporting the spine. If necessary, most often with intervertebral hernias, methods such as spinal traction and surgery are used. Rarely rare and expensive is revitalization( recovery with stem cells).

    Each of the proposed treatments has its pros and cons. For example, when choosing a manual therapist, it is very important to be sure that this is a professional specialist. Influencing the spine with the help of hands, he can relieve pain, correct posture, improve blood circulation, normalize metabolism.

    In exercise therapy, the main thing is the regularity of classes. If you perform the necessary exercises correctly, a muscular corset will form, and the load on the spine will decrease.

    Physiotherapy helps relieve pain, inflammation and is usually used as an auxiliary method along with some other method of treatment.

    Massage very effectively relieves stress, pain, fatigue, improves blood circulation. With the basics of massage you can get acquainted in the third chapter of the book.

    Extension of the spine is performed with the help of special equipment, it allows to restore the correct shape of the spine.

    Reflexotherapy is the impact on acupuncture points. The use of reflexotherapy improves the effectiveness of other treatments.

    The arsenal of medicines used for exacerbation of osteochondrosis includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, chondroprotectors, muscle relaxants, vitamins, soothing( tranquilizers), drugs that improve brain function, vasodilating.

    Vasodilator drugs affect osteochondrosis indirectly, improving microcirculation in the hearth, eliminating stagnation of blood, which quickly restores the joint.

    To improve brain function and increase cerebral blood flow, use is made of agents containing vinpocetine or pyracetam as an active ingredient. They increase carbohydrate and protein metabolism in the brain with acute and chronic cerebral circulatory insufficiency, manifested by memory loss, headaches, dizziness, movement disorders, lethargy, general weakness, with age-related hearing loss, tinnitus.

    Tranquilizers eliminate anxiety, fear, relax the muscles, and in addition, have a beneficial effect on the mood, on the work of internal organs( indirectly through the central nervous system).The use of these drugs improves well-being, helps to endure pain, gives an opportunity to rest during sleep.

    The most common pain medications currently are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs( NSAIDs).They relieve inflammation, pain, fever and do not have the properties of hormonal drugs, as their name suggests.

    There are the following NSAID groups: salicylic acid preparations, pyrazolone derivatives, aniline, indole or propionic acid.

    According to the degree of anti-inflammatory effect, the most commonly used NSAIDs for osteochondrosis can be arranged as follows in descending order of action:

    By analgesic action they can be arranged in the following sequence in descending order:

    These drugs can not be taken in the form of tablets and injections for peptic ulcer diseaseand duodenal ulcers, ulcerative colitis and gastritis, with severe diseases of the liver and kidneys. In these cases, you can use other medicinal forms, such as candles.

    After elimination of the pain syndrome, the use of drugs restoring cartilage( intervertebral discs and articular surfaces of the intervertebral joints).These are chondroprotectors, which act on tissues at the cellular level. Doctors believe that this group of drugs is the main one in the treatment of osteochondrosis.

    Before using each drug, it is necessary to read the contraindications for use.

    Inoltra stimulates the restoration of the cartilaginous tissue( the cartilage thickens), has an analgesic effect, improves the function of the joints.

    Kondrunova is used for both light and severe forms of osteochondrosis.

    Chondroxide( ointment and gel) inhibits the destruction of cartilage and bone tissue. Chondroxide inhibits the compression of cartilage, playing the role of a kind of lubrication of articular surfaces, stimulates the formation of its own substances that strengthen cartilage. The drug slows the development of osteochondrosis, relieves pain and restores the volume of movements. The effect of its action is preserved and after the end of treatment for 3-5 months.

    The composition of the ointment and gel includes a special substance( dimethyl sulfoxide), which removes inflammation, pain medication, and also promotes better penetration of the drug through the skin.

    Structum stimulates the formation and restoration of cartilage, slows the destruction of bone and loss of calcium from the body, promotes the restoration of bone tissue, reduces soreness in joints during movement.

    Muscle relaxants eliminate muscle spasm, which is the culprit of pain, and also to some extent improve blood circulation. Due to this, the pain decreases slightly. But given that these drugs relax the whole body, and therefore, the useful( protective) muscle tension, then after their application, there may be some deterioration in well-being. Therefore, the drugs of this group are initially prescribed in the minimum dose, which is increased gradually. Also, you should gradually cancel the drug, otherwise the muscle tone will change very dramatically.

    Muscle relaxants soon after the reception create a sense of euphoria( light intoxication), with the gait, headache, sleep disturbed. That's why the use of drugs should be cautious in those people whose work requires a good concentration of attention.

    Midokalm - tablets containing 50 mg or 150 mg of tolperisone( the main active ingredient), and an injection for 1 ml containing 100 mg of tolperisone and 2.5 mg of lidocaine hydrochloride. The drug has both local and central analgesic properties, reduces the increased muscle tone, facilitates movement in the joints of the spine. It is used for osteochondrosis and other arthrosis, as well as for radiculitis( lumbago).

    Finlepsin, carbamazepine - smoothes mood swings, reduces aggressiveness and irritability, has analgesic and miorelaksiruyuschee effect with radiculitis. Apply for pain in the lower back, arm, irritability, aggressiveness.

    According to medical statistics, conservative treatment of osteochondrosis does not give effect in about 20% of cases, so surgeons have to resort to surgical methods of treatment. For example, with the displacement of the vertebrae or the prolapse of the disc, the spinal cord or vessel that feeds the brain, the bowel or bladder function, the motor functions of the arm or leg may be squeezed. Do not also postpone the operation with the appearance of paresis and paralysis: delay will adversely affect the ability to restore the function of the affected nerve roots.

    The essence of the surgical intervention is to remove the gelatinous nucleus of the affected disc and its fragments, infringing the root of the nerve. Usually after the operation, the restoration of the function of the spine lasts from several months to a year. In the early postoperative period, immobility is ensured with the help of corsets, the period of wear of which is determined in dependence on the degree of reverse development of neurological disorders, the level of motor disorders, and the activity of restorative processes in the body. This period usually does not exceed one year.

    Gradually increases the volume of motor activity, the corset is changed from hard to light. This allows you to gradually increase the load on the lumbar spine. A sharp change in the rigid corset after prolonged use of it for lightweight can cause local curvature of the spine and the formation of hernias in the overlying motor segment, since the attachment of the disc has already occurred, and the muscles of the loin are weakened because of prolonged immobility.

    But too fast refusal to wear a corset can lead to unfavorable consequences for the patient: the appearance of pathological mobility in the operated disk. Prolonged immobility of the lumbar spine leads to weakening of the back muscles, disruption of the normal functioning of the spine and pelvic girdle. Eliminate these undesirable phenomena, strengthen muscles, improve the performance of the limbs and restore the lost mobility to the lumbar spine will help massage and exercise.

    Relapses of the disease, although rare, are possible, since the process of degeneration also occurs in other intervertebral discs. Surgical treatment relieves patients from prolonged wearing orthopedic corset and allows a relatively short time to return to work( not related to physical exertion and prolonged stay in forced positions).

    In practice, it is very rare to find isolated osteochondrosis in the cervical, thoracic or lumbar regions. As a rule, they speak of "cervicoderm", "lumbosacral" or "widespread" osteochondrosis of the spine, implying the pathology of two or more adjacent parts of the spinal column.

    Statistics of calls to the doctor for osteochondrosis are small - up to 20% of potential patients. As a rule, they come even when they are completely unbearable. Nevertheless, osteochondrosis carries much more danger than it seems at first glance. Timely appeal to a doctor, in the early stages of osteochondrosis, will allow you to significantly shorten the treatment period and the rehabilitation period.