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. In any of them, pathological changes can occur in the bone and cartilage tissue 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 requiring compulsory treatment, the absence of which often leads to disability and the ability to take care of oneself. In other words, a person becomes disabled.
Description of the disease
Osteochondrosis is caused by unnatural compression of the spine, which causes compression of the intervertebral discs and adjacent tissues of the ligament system. When squeezed, a liquid comes out of the discs, which is responsible for their plasticity and is a source of tissue nutrition with the necessary microelements. With prolonged negative impact, the fibrous ring of the intervertebral discs loses elasticity and density, and then ruptures, leading to compression of nerve endings. This becomes the cause of the appearance of pain, often accompanied by edema.
In addition, the outer edges of the vertebrae, with a poorly distributed load on them, become overgrown with osteophytes - growths of bone tissue. They also hurt and restrict movement of the spine, exacerbating the problem.
That is, the disease most often occurs with such loads on the spine that are poorly distributed or stereotyped - they are monotonous and regularly repeated.
Causes of occurrence
Do not assume that only heavy physical exertion or a sedentary lifestyle, in which the muscle structure weakens, leads to osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine. This also happens with very active people playing sports or working daily in their summer cottage. If their movements are monotonous (lifting the bar, digging the ground), pressure occurs on the same points, in the area of which the cartilage tissues are gradually destroyed.
There are other reasons as well. Among them:
- violation of calcium metabolism in the body;
- excess weight or its severe fluctuations in any direction while following a strict diet, pregnancy, a sharp change in hormonal levels;
- injury or curvature of the spine (scoliosis);
- severe point hypothermia or regular exposure to cold, humidity;
- depressive conditions, stress;
- constant physical overload;
- bad heredity.
Be careful. Any strict diet based on the use of a single product or on a critical reduction in calorie intake leads not only to abrupt weight loss, but also to the emergence of a deficiency of valuable trace elements in the body. 'organization. Which is also bad for muscles and bones.
Osteochondrosis is rarely detected in time, because at the initial stage it is asymptomatic. Specifically, there are symptoms, but they are difficult to associate with spinal problems. Therefore, they are most often discovered by accident during a full examination for other health problems.
There are four stages in the development of the disease. Let's describe the symptoms of each.
|First||At the first stage, the processes of sweating are disturbed, a person notes general malaise and rapid fatigue. Some patients speak of previously unusual chills in the feet.|
|Second||In the second stage, intermittent back pain occurs, indicating that destruction of cartilage tissue is starting.|
|Third||The third stage is characterized by changes already visible. An intervertebral hernia may appear, a curvature of the spine often occurs, and in some cases a lump develops.|
|Fourth||The fourth step is the most difficult, when it is not necessary to talk about a complete recovery due to irreversible changes in the skeleton. In addition to the proliferation of osteophytes and displacement of the vertebrae, which cause acute pain, problems arise in other organs in the pelvis. Often the patient stops controlling the processes of urination and defecation.|
Treatment of diseases
Osteochondrosis treatment methods are selected depending on the stage of the disease and the severity of pain. Conservative treatment brings good results only in the early stages. For example, if osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine was caught at the very beginning, you can get rid of it with the help of special physical exercises, correction of physical activity and body weight, swimming, from taking complex preparations of vitamins and minerals.
When pain does arise, it is not enough. It should be removed along with the cause of its occurrence. Why are drugs, traditional physiotherapy techniques, and even alternative medicine methods used? And in the later stages, only surgical treatment is possible.
To relieve pain and swelling, improve the effect of drugs and reduce their dose, methods of physical physiotherapy are used as follows:
- ; laser
- magnetic field effect; electrophoresis
- manual therapy, massage.
Be careful. Massage helps relieve muscle spasms, improve blood supply to the area of the affected intervertebral discs, and free up pinched blood vessels and nerves. This is done only with the help of the 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 equipment with programmable dosing of shock waves and a system for their guidance is used.
The point is, shock waves destroy osteophytes, restoring cartilage tissue. But healthy bones in the spine, 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 carried out by a highly qualified and licensed specialist.
Alternative therapy methods
In addition to the standard methods of treating osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine, there are also non-traditional methods. These methods are constantly studied and are already applied in many clinics. These mainly include:
- hirudotherapy or leech 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 the introduction of special needles in certain biologically active points of the body;
- ozone therapy - injection of ozone-oxygen mixture. With the correct dosage, this method inhibits the growth of osteophytes and relieves painful muscle tone.
In parallel with these methods of treatment or to record the results obtained with their help, a course in physiotherapy and therapeutic gymnastics is carried out.
If the disease has started, and conservative therapy does not alleviate the patient's condition, they resort to surgical methods. You can not do without it, if after several months of active treatment it was not possible to relieve pain and improve a person's general condition. And especially in cases where there are such problems as a decrease in potency in men, disruption of the pelvic organs, numbness of the perineum.
- Endoscopic microdiscectomy - removal of a herniated disc. This is a minimally invasive surgery that relieves compression of the spinal cord or nerve root.
- Laser reconstruction of intervertebral discs can hardly be called an operation. During the procedure, which takes place 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 pinched nerve.
- Vertebroplasty - the injection of bone cement into destroyed spinal tissue to strengthen it.
- Osteotomy - removal of diseased vertebrae and discs with their subsequent replacement with prostheses.
There are other methods to stabilize the vertebrae, decompress them, remove osteophytes, etc. Each of them requires a long recovery period. After spine 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 begins a period of recovery and rehabilitation, the task of which is to fully restore motor functions and prevent complications in the pelvic organs.
At this point, some of the conservative treatment methods described above are applied, correct posture is developed, usual movements are corrected. In this case, the patient is recommended to wear a special fixation corset. After that, an individual set of exercises is established, which should be performed daily and for life to avoid relapse of the disease.