Features of detection and treatment of lumbar osteochondrosis

symptoms of lumbar osteochondrosis

Osteochondrosis is a disease of the spinal column, in which the intervertebral discs undergo degenerative-dystrophic disorders and with them the joints. The interval between them is shortened, as a result of which the nerve endings and roots are compressed, which leads to the formation of a strong pain syndrome. Often pathological changes occur precisely in the lumbar region.

How to treat osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine: your doctor will tell you, as self-medication can only worsen the condition. The difficulty lies in the fact that the symptoms of osteochondrosis can manifest themselves in other diseases, the treatment of which has fundamental differences.

Background information on the disease

Not everyone knows what osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine is. To understand the essence of the disease, it is necessary to delve into the anatomy.

The vertebra is a dense and integral structure in the form of a cylinder with an arc from which the processes extend. The vertebral body is attached to them with the help of arches, and the vertebral foramen is located in the middle. It is these holes that form the spinal canal.

Not all processes are involved in the formation of the joints, but only the upper and lower ones, in which small swinging movements are possible. There are openings between the vertebrae, which are limited by processes, it is through them that the nerve roots of the spinal nerves exit.

Pathological changes first appear in the nucleus pulposus (semifluid structure with a gelatinous center in the disc opening). The pulpus nucleus has the greatest elasticity and is the main shock absorber. And then the pathological process develops in the joints of the vertebrae, leading to a narrowing of the intervertebral foramen.

The sacrum is a large triangular bone located at the base of the spine. It consists of five vertebrae, which have grown together and have anterior and posterior surfaces. There are no discs in this section and osteochondrosis does not develop.

Osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine is often diagnosed in people after 30 years of age. The degenerative process occurs after a violation of the metabolism of sea salt in the disc. As a result, the bone structure becomes thinner and more fragile. The nucleus pulposus expands and moves towards the spinal canal. As a result, the fluid inside the canal and the nerves are compressed, edema appears. This provokes the onset of painful sensations, dysfunction of the organs to which these areas belong.

Compression causes bone cells to divide faster and osteophytes (abnormal growths) appear on the vertebrae. Regeneration of the disc is impossible, since it is cartilage, and therefore the functionality of the organs is even more impaired.

Lumbar osteochondrosis, the symptoms and treatment of which will be described later, often occurs due to weakening of the muscular corset, and therefore it is so important to train the muscles of the press, hips and back.

Many people wonder whether osteochondrosis is treated or not. This disorder is easier to eliminate at an early stage.

Degree of disease

Sacral osteochondrosis progresses gradually.

There are 4 stages of the disease:

  • Grade 1is ​​characterized by the manifestation of non-intense painful sensations that increase after physical activity. Often there is a dull pain that radiates to the buttock;
  • Phase 2.The distance between the vertebrae is reduced and they begin to rupture along with the neighboring tissues. In parallel, the nerve endings are compressed. Intervertebral osteochondrosis causes sharp, radiating pain. Painful sensations cause a person to lean forward. This causes displacement and stretching of the intervertebral discs;
  • Stage 3osteochondrosis of the lower spine is manifested by the complete destruction of the vertebrae and the manifestation of an intervertebral hernia;
  • Phase 4.The vertebrae grow, the cartilage atrophies and, due to this, it is difficult for the patient to move. The spine in the lumbosacral region loses its flexibility, becomes less mobile, often the patient turns into a disabled person.

It is important to monitor your health and, when the above symptoms appear, start treatment.

Causes of the disease

reasons for the development of lumbar osteochondrosis

Lumbar osteochondrosis occurs due to constant and uneven load on the lower back. Sometimes the causes of the disease are autoimmune. In some cases, the disease is preceded by trauma, especially if multiple vertebrae are affected.

Causes of osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine:

  • The disease develops due to severe stress. People who are constantly engaged in hard physical work suffer more often.
  • Low back pain occurs due to excess weight. And this happens because the spine in the lumbosacral area is under constant pressure.
  • Due to poor physical activity, bone nutrition deteriorates, blood flow slows down, muscles are weakened.
  • Osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine, the causes of which are various, often develops due to poor posture. If a person bends over while sitting, the discs deform and wear out prematurely, and all because of the uneven load.
  • Osteochondrosis often occurs as a result of back injuries. It can be damaged during training if the sports training level is low. To avoid problems, it is important to learn how to lift heavy objects correctly. You can injure your back during a fall.
  • Osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine is a natural result of the aging of the body and a decrease in its resilience. As a result, the mobility of the discs decreases, they lose flexibility and therefore deform.
  • This disease often occurs due to rheumatoid arthritis, scoliosis and so on.

In rare cases, osteochondrosis occurs due to hypothermia, severe depression, malnutrition, chronic fatigue and poor environmental conditions.

Symptoms

The symptoms of osteochondrosis in women and men are very similar. The only difference is that in the beautiful half of humanity, the disease manifests itself earlier. At an early stage, the disease does not manifest itself in any way, a person, not guessing anything, lives a full life. However, there are symptoms that can lead you to make the right decision, which consists of a complete diagnosis and an appointment with a doctor.

how lumbar osteochondrosis manifests itself

Symptoms of osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine:

  • Low back pain. At first, painful sensations appear after exercise, and as the disease develops, they become permanent.
  • With lumbar osteochondrosis, mobility in the affected area decreases. When the patient tries to bend, turn or sit, there is severe radiating pain that spreads in the leg to the foot.
  • When the nerves are pinched, the sensitivity of the legs changes (increases or decreases). Sometimes there is a burning sensation or numbness in the limb.
  • The skin of the affected area becomes pale, dry, the temperature decreases.
  • The separation of sweat increases, especially at night.
  • With osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine, the work of the genitourinary organs is disrupted.

These are the main signs of osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine.

The disease is chronic, but it can get worse.

Symptoms of lumbar osteochondrosis in acute and subacute form:

  • low back pain: Pain occurs after muscle tension. Due to the muscle spasm, the patient leans forward;
  • during exacerbation, pain appears even after slight movement. Painful sensations sharply increase and radiate to the buttock or leg. The patient's condition is relieved when he lies on his back and the affected limb bends at the knee. After a few weeks, these signs of lumbar osteochondrosis gradually fade, motor activity is restored and the muscles relax;
  • the subacute phase of the disease is characterized by a dull, aching and radiating pain.

If a person has noticed such manifestations, then it is worth visiting a doctor.

Diagnostic measures

methods for diagnosing lumbar osteochondrosis

Treatment of osteochondrosis of the lumbosacral spine should be initiated after a thorough diagnosis.

First, a neurologist or vertebrologist performs a visual examination based on the patient's complaints, palpates the affected area of ​​the body. If the patient feels pain when feeling certain points, the range of movement of the legs is decreased or the buttocks are positioned asymmetrically, the diagnosis is confirmed. In addition, the doctor evaluates the patient's posture.

Lumbosacral osteochondrosis, the symptoms of which are described above, can be identified using the following tests:

  • The X-ray will once again confirm the diagnosis. This method cannot assess the condition of the spine. The images show only the narrowing of the holes between the vertebrae, the growth of osteophytes.
  • Computed tomography of the lower back will allow you to establish a diagnosis and examine the affected area on a computer monitor at a different angle or cut. However, the technique is effective in diagnosing bone structures, for soft tissue formations, including vertebral discs, it has been shown to use magnetic resonance imaging.
  • MRI of the spine shows a complete picture of the condition of the bone and soft structures in the lumbosacral region.

After performing the above studies, you can start treating lumbar osteochondrosis.

Treatment methods

Many patients are interested in whether osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine can be completely cured. The answer, unfortunately, will be negative. If you start treatment in the first or second stage of the disease, you can stop its development.

exercises for osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine

Therefore, the treatment of osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine is a long and complex process that helps to achieve the following goals:

  • stop the pain;
  • eliminates the spasm;
  • strengthens the muscles of the abdomen, back, hips, buttocks and legs;
  • restores blood flow and metabolism to the affected area;
  • eliminates inflammation;
  • to regain the motor function of the lower back;
  • normalizes sensitivity in the legs;
  • improves the function of the pelvic organs.

Conservative treatment

The process of treating osteochondrosis begins with the use of various drugs. They are prescribed only by a doctor, as self-medication can have negative consequences. The doctor can use several groups of drugs, only in this case a positive result should be expected.

Medicines are used for these purposes:

  • Pain relievers used to relieve discomfort;
  • With the help of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, radicular pain and edema are eliminated. Preparations with steroid hormones are also prescribed for osteochondrosis. Relieves or completely eliminates inflammation;
  • How to treat late-stage lumbar osteochondrosis is of interest to many patients. Paravertebral blocks are used to relieve pain. For this, pain medications are injected into the lower back;
  • With the help of muscle relaxants, you can get rid of muscle cramps;
  • To restore metabolism in the cartilage, start the regeneration processes and stop dystrophic changes, the attending physician prescribes chondroprotectors;
  • Treatment of lumbar osteochondrosis is carried out using vitamins of group B. They improve metabolism in cells, eliminate inflammation, remove excess fluid;
  • With the help of diuretic drugs, they eliminate swelling;
  • Immunomodulatory drugs strengthen the immune system;
  • In order to improve blood flow to the affected area, the doctor prescribes drugs that reduce the viscosity of the blood. Medicines are injected into a vein with a dropper or taken as pills.

Physiotherapy

The use of physical therapy can lead to success in the treatment of osteochondrosis. There are many methods that can be applied, the optimal one will be helped by a doctor in the absence of contraindications. Physiotherapy relieves pain, relieves muscle spasms, activates metabolic and recovery processes.

The following procedures are assigned to perform these tasks:

treatment of lumbar osteochondrosis with physiotherapy methods
  • amplipulse.The affected area is exposed to sinusoidal modular currents;
  • sonophoresisis ​​the simultaneous effect of ultrasound and drugs;
  • diadynamic therapy- treatment with low voltage electric current;
  • darsonvalization.The damaged area is affected by an alternating current of low intensity, but with high frequency and voltage;
  • inductothermic- treatment with high frequency magnetic fields;
  • laser therapy- treatment with optical radiation that comes from a laser.

The healing effect of these procedures can hardly be overestimated.

If you want to know how to get rid of pain, strengthen muscles, relax, then it must be said that this can be done with the help of physiotherapy exercises. Reflexology and massage will only increase the effectiveness of the therapy. Massage techniques and gymnastics are performed outside the period of inflammation, otherwise the disease will get worse. It is useful to swim, as well as to do aqua gymnastics, in which case the load on the spine will be minimal.

Surgical treatment

Surgery is an extreme measure, which is performed only if the previous methods were ineffective and the disease progresses so much that only in this way can the patient return to activity. The surgery is performed with significant movement disorders and the presence of intervertebral hernias. Therefore, it is better not to know how to cure lumbar osteochondrosis by a surgical method, as it is considered the most radical.

The surgeon removes the herniated discs and strengthens the vertebrae that have been displaced. Also, the doctor can perform a spinal fusion operation, its essence lies in the fact that part of the spine is completely immobilized using a special metal structure. This is followed by a long rehabilitation.

Special Instructions

useful tips for lumbar osteochondrosis

If left untreated, lumbosacral osteochondrosis can inflame the sciatic nerve, causing severe pain. To reduce discomfort, a person leans forward, but due to this, the condition of the spine in the damaged area only worsens.

Osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine, the symptoms of which can be different, threatens the instability of the vertebrae. The disc is unable to hold the vertebra and the lumbar region is displaced from the sacrum due to compression. In this regard, the functionality of the genitourinary organs is impaired.

To avoid complications, you must respect the following rules:

  • avoids strenuous physical activity;
  • strengthens the muscle corset;
  • maintain correct posture;
  • daily exercise;
  • regulates nutrition, maintains a balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates;
  • adheres to an optimal rest routine;
  • treats back diseases in the early stages.

Also, you should not self-medicate - the disease will disappear as soon as possible. It will be useful to wear a corset, which will relieve the lumbar spine.