Low back pain afflicts many people, regardless of their age and profession. Chargers and office workers, young mothers and retired gardeners, writers and even athletes suffer from them. In each of them, pathological changes can occur in the bones and cartilaginous tissues of the vertebrae, leading to compression (compression) of the spinal nerve roots, which causes severe pain.
But painful sensations are only external manifestations of the disease. It is often accompanied by other pathological syndromes that require mandatory treatment, the lack of which often leads to disability and the ability to self-care. In other words, a person becomes incompetent.
Description of the diseaseOsteochondrosis is caused by unnatural compression of the spine, which causes compression of the intervertebral discs and adjacent tissues of the ligament apparatus. When squeezed, a fluid leaves the discs, which is responsible for their plasticity and is a source of tissue nutrition with the necessary micronutrients. With prolonged negative impact, the fibrous ring of the intervertebral discs loses its elasticity and density, and then breaks down, leading to compression of the nerve endings. This causes pain to appear, which is often accompanied by edema.
Furthermore, the outer edges of the vertebrae, with an improperly distributed load on them, become overcrowded with osteophytes - the growth of bone tissue. They also cause pain and restrict spinal movement, exacerbating the problem.
That is, the disease most often occurs with such loads on the spine, which are misdistributed or stereotyped - are monotonous and recur regularly.
Causes of occurrence
Do not assume that just strenuous physical activity or a sedentary lifestyle, in which the muscle frame weakens, leads to osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine. This also happens with very active people involved in sports or working every day in their summer villa. If their movements are monotonous (raising the barbell, digging the ground), the pressure occurs at the same points, in the area of which the cartilaginous tissues are gradually destroyed.
There are other reasons. Among them:
- violation of calcium metabolism in the body;
- excess weight or its serious fluctuations in any direction while following a strict diet, pregnancy, a sharp change in hormonal levels;
- spinal cord injury or curvature (scoliosis);
- severe severe hypothermia or regular exposure to cold, humidity;
- depressive conditions, stress;
- constant physical overload;
- bad legacy.
Pay attention. Any rigid diet based on the use of a product or a critical reduction in calorie intake leads not only to a sharp weight loss, but also to the appearance of a lack of valuable trace elements in the body. Which is also bad for muscles and bones.
Osteochondrosis is rarely detected in time, as it is asymptomatic in the initial stage. More precisely, there are symptoms, but they are difficult to associate with spinal problems. Therefore, they are most often discovered accidentally during a comprehensive examination for other health problems.
There are four stages in the development of the disease. Let us describe the symptoms of each.
|First||In the first stage, the sweating processes break down, a person notices general malaise and rapid fatigue. Some patients talk about the previous unusual coldness of the feet.|
|Second||In the second stage, permanent back pain occurs, which indicates that the destruction of cartilage tissue begins.|
|Third||The third phase is characterized by already noticeable changes. An intervertebral hernia may appear, a curvature of the spine often occurs, and in some cases a lump grows.|
|Fourth||The fourth stage is the most difficult, when there is no need to talk about a complete cure due to irreversible changes in the skeleton. In addition to the proliferation of osteophytes and displacement of the vertebrae, causing acute pain, problems arise in other pelvic organs. Often the patient ceases to control the processes of urination and defecation.|
Treatment of the disease
Methods of treating osteochondrosis are chosen depending on the stage of the disease and the severity of the pain. Conservative treatment brings good results only in the initial stages. For example, if osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine was caught early, you can get rid of it with the help of special physical exercises, correction of physical activity and body weight, swimming, taking complex vitamin-mineral preparations.
When pain occurs, this is no longer enough. It should be removed along with the cause of its occurrence. Why are medicines, traditional physiotherapy techniques and even alternative medicine methods used? And in the later stages, only surgical treatment is possible.
To relieve pain and swelling, increase the effect of medications and reduce their dose, such hardware physiotherapy methods are used as:
- ; laser
- magnetic field effect;
- manual therapy, massage.
Pay attention. Massage helps relieve muscle spasms, improve blood circulation to the affected intervertebral disc area, and release constricted vessels and nerves. This is done only with the help of hands, but vacuum massage is contraindicated in this disease.
Shock Wave Therapy
UHT is a relatively new method of treatment, for the implementation of which the most advanced device with programmable dosing of shock waves and a system for their guidance is used.
The point is that shock waves destroy osteophytes, restoring cartilage tissue. But healthy spinal bones, as well as major arteries, can also be damaged. Therefore, it is very important to make sure that this technology is well developed in the hospital and that the treatment is performed by a highly qualified and licensed specialist.
Alternative therapy methods
In addition to standard methods of treating lumbar spine osteochondrosis, there are also non-traditional ones. Such methods are constantly being studied and are already being applied in many clinics. These mainly include:
- hirudotherapy or caterpillar therapy helps relieve inflammation and improve blood circulation;
- Acupuncture or acupuncture is an effective way to relieve pain, muscle tension and inflammation. It consists of inserting special needles into certain biologically active points of the body;
- ozone therapy - injection of ozone-oxygen mixture. With the right dose, this method inhibits the growth of osteophytes and relieves painful muscle tone.
In parallel with these methods of treatment or to record the results achieved with their help, a course of therapeutic kinesitherapy and therapeutic gymnastics is performed.
If the disease starts and conservative treatment does not alleviate the patient's condition, they use surgical methods. You can not do without them if after several months of active treatment it was not possible to relieve the pain and improve the overall condition of a person. And especially in cases where problems appeared such as decreased potency in men, disruption of the pelvic organs, numbness of the perineum.
- Endoscopic microdiscectomy - removal of a disc herniation. This is a minimally invasive operation that facilitates compression of the spinal cord or nerve root.
- Laser reconstruction of intervertebral discs can hardly be called surgery. During the procedure, which is performed under local anesthesia, a thin needle is inserted into the affected disc, through which it is irradiated with a laser that stimulates the division of cartilage cells.
- Foraminotomy is an operation to remove the processes of a vertebra or part of a disc, aimed at releasing a crushed nerve.
- Vertebroplasty - injection of bone cement into destroyed vertebral tissue to strengthen it.
- Osteotomy - removal of diseased vertebrae and discs with subsequent replacement with prostheses.
There are other methods aimed at stabilizing the vertebrae, decompressing them, removing osteophytes, etc. Each of them requires a long period of healing. After spinal surgical treatment, the patient should not stand, walk, bend, or experience physical stress for a long time. This leads to muscle relaxation and partial loss of motor functions, which require support and rehabilitation. Therefore, at the end of the postoperative period, a period of healing and rehabilitation begins, the task of which is to fully restore motor functions and prevent complications in the pelvic organs.
At this stage, some of the methods of conservative treatment described above are applied, the correct behavior is developed, the usual movements are corrected. In this case, the patient is recommended to wear a special fixative corset. After that, an individual set of exercises is designed, which should be performed daily and for life to prevent recurrence of the disease.