Osteochondrosis of the spine - symptoms and treatment, causes, everything has already been said, retold. That this is not a disease, but the aging of the body, even if it is stronger than concrete, it also wears out, gives cracks. Sadly, this process of destruction, like old age, cannot be avoided, only slowed down. And most importantly, there are no pills, mixtures, powders, rejuvenating apples for osteochondrosis. It's easier to understand, this is a fee, from the fact that we live, walk, make some stupid movements, sit, sleep. He cannot perform his functions in full force, as in his youth. By the way, about young people, why do they have chondrosis? Here is a quick look at the disease of the 21st century. Let's define the important functions of the spine. Let's find out the reasons for the main complications in young people and those who are in years. We will discuss the diagnosis of the disease and methods of treatment. Let's clarify the basics of prevention and how to save ourselves from rapid aging.
Important functions of the spine
We must not forget that our spine has 3 main functions.
- Pivot - keeps the body upright.
- Protective - protects the spinal cord.
- Cushioning - ligaments, cartilage soften the most varied movements of our body.
The spine absorbs any load in all areas, thanks to the unique intervertebral discs that are located in the structure of the spinal column.
The concept of the word "osteochondrosis"
The term "osteochondrosis" is used only in Russia, in the West they abandoned this name and instead use the concept of "degenerative disease of the intervertebral disc or cartilage, it can also be called that". This definition reflects the essence of what happens in the disks.
Result: if osteochondrosis - degeneration (dystrophy) of intervertebral cartilage from primitive movements. The conclusion from this definition is as follows: dystrophy - a violation of tissue nutrition, and degeneration is a change in tissue for the worse.
Even understanding the meaning of these words, it is clear what is happening in the spine and where such a popular disease "osteochondrosis" comes from. By the way, what kind of disease is this? Simple - early aging.
Degeneration has four stages and stages of development, develops in all three departments. Osteochondrosis happens:
The tissues are nourished by the huge circulatory system. Arteries, veins, vessels and capillaries, as well as muscle tissue, are all actively involved in the nutrition process. Together with the blood, important nutrients are transferred to the vertebrae, cartilage, and the muscles, by contracting, help the blood to move at the right speed.
Disks, having no blood vessels, suck in water and nutrients at the moment of relaxation of the vertebrae. And when you press on them, the same segments, on the contrary, give away excess. So it turns out that during the amortization of the spine, due to compression and expansion, the discs are saturated and cleansed by the osmosis method. The more often osmosis occurs, the more satisfying and well-nourished they are.
It is the muscles surrounding the vertebrae from the back that carry out the movement process. It is not difficult to imagine if the muscles around the spine are not very mobile, blood circulation is slow, and full metabolism is impaired. Cartilage suffers from a lack of nutrition, and cannot be elastic and strong, that very dystrophy of the spine develops.
In the early stages of dystrophy, incorporating regular athletic movement into life can still be corrected fairly quickly. The younger generation has hope for complete healing.
What happens next? For a long time, being in a motionless state, the muscles weaken, the ligaments stretch and atrophy to such an extent that they cannot keep the spine in anatomical form even, various kinds of curvature appear:
Disks that do not receive the necessary nutrition from the circulatory system for a long time and a sufficient amount of fluid for a full-fledged existence begin to collapse. That is, there is degeneration, a slow transformation (destruction). A diagnosis is made - "Osteochondrosis" with all the symptoms and long-term treatment with drugs that are not very effective without exercise therapy.
The fact is that the core of the cartilage, which is 80% water, where it is water that gives it elasticity, loses its elasticity in nature with age, and a sedentary lifestyle accelerates this process. Therefore, the power of the disc slows down, less water flows, and it becomes thinner in height. But water and useful elements are needed not only for the disk, but for all the components around it:
But by old age, due to slow blood circulation, part of the capillaries still dries out, becausefor decades they were not needed, the process of osteochondrosis takes root. At this age, it takes effort to be in shape.
Osteochondrosis is a complex of dystrophic disorders in cartilage and segments. Most often, intervertebral pads are affected, but it also develops in the joints, only it has different names - arthrosis, arthritis (how these diseases differ, here), coxarthrosis and many other pathologies.
Spinal osteochondrosis symptoms and treatment
There are external and internal causes of osteochondrosis, which lead to damage.
- Internal ones include genetics, tissue nutritional disorders at a young, old age (this was discussed above), nervous stresses that spasm muscles and remain in this state for a long time, or maybe forever, forming trigger points.
- To external (trauma, low and excessive physical activity).
The obvious reasons for internal and external factors cannot be disputed, except for old age. People go to the aging of the musculoskeletal system thanks to their laziness, from the moment they become independent. Realizing the benefits of morning exercises, a healthy lifestyle, at least partially, we deliberately use any excuses, excuses for not doing anything. I do not hide, I myself was like that.
Dystrophic changes in the intervertebral disc by themselves are not a big deal. Many live for a long time, do not go to doctors, as they are not very worried about the complications of osteochondrosis. But due to various reasons, severe pains often appear. After visiting a doctor, a person receives a whole bunch of identified complications after the examination, such as protrusion, hernia, spondylosis (osteophyte), and vertebral instability.
It is believed that these complications lead to painful symptoms when compression occurs on the nerve endings at the level of the disc of any part of the spine. In addition to pain, there may be a manifestation of weakness, decreased sensitivity, dysfunction of the small pelvis, increased blood pressure, in severe cases, paralysis.
- Protrusion is a slight protrusion of the annulus fibrosus beyond the boundaries of the vertebral body, due to an increase in the nucleus pulposus, sometimes cracks appear in the annulus fibrosus layers.
- A herniated disc is a loosening of the annulus fibrosus. The cartilage has lost its elasticity and divided into parts, and the excessive load of this condition causes it to protrude, so a hernia appears. It can irritate the nerve root that emerges at the level of the vertebra from the spinal canal, then pain occurs with localization in one or another area of the body.
- Osteophytes - changes in the vertebral bodies themselves, the height of the disc decreases so much that its marginal bone growths (which are called osteophytes) begin their destructive activity in relation to our health. The size of the opening through which the spinal nerve exits, that is, its root, decreases.
There is also a different opinion of the appearance of discomfort and pain, forcing you to see a specialist. Pathologies of soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia). Everything that sets our skeleton in motion, and it is they who signal, about the beginning problems by sending a painful impulse. Diagnoses are made - sciatica, myositis, myalgia and much more and all this, supposedly, symptoms against the background of osteochondrosis of the spine and treatment is prescribed in the form of painkillers. And then everything repeats again, a vicious circle.
In women after 50-55 years of age, the extinction of reproductive functions begins. She enters the climacteric phase. It would seem a natural transition, what can you do here. But if you do not take hormone replacement therapy or at least dietary supplements. Then osteoporosis develops rapidly, which is often confused with osteochondrosis.
Diagnosis of spinal osteochondrosis
- You can determine yourself whether it is there or not. To do this, it is enough to assess how often the back hurts. How quickly she gets tired of little physical labor, stress. If there is heaviness, discomfort, sometimes pain, then changes are already taking place inside the spinal column. Because a healthy person does not feel such symptoms in the back, he is simply healthy. Although there are hardly any healthy ones now.
- It is necessary to determine the flexibility of the spine. Flexibility depends entirely on stretching. The better it is, the healthier the spine.
Diagnostics in a polyclinic
At the doctor's appointment, in order to make the correct diagnosis, a referral for an X-ray is given. And then the appropriate treatment is prescribed.
Comparison layouts for healthy and diseased segment. The layout shows how the vertebral disc and the body of the segment are the ideal structure that nature created. The nerve endings move freely, are not pinched, the disc is high and has a large margin of safety, with such an intervertebral disc a person can withstand up to 800 kg.
And a model deformed by the disease is shown next to it, the difference is significant. The disc is flattened, the edges of the vertebral body grow and acquire a distorted appearance. This is exactly the view in the picture.
Treatment of osteochondrosis
Unfortunately, neglected complications cannot always be cured conservatively; often they have to be treated promptly. But in any case, they are treated and they must be treated in a timely manner.
Osteochondrosis that occurs at the age of 70 is considered as the norm of a person by age, and his doctors do not treat it for years. There is a different approach to young people, after diagnosing the symptoms, the necessary treatment is prescribed.
Treatment should only be combined.
- Eliminate pain, if present.
- Prescribe physiotherapy, reflexology, massage.
- Exercise therapy.
Physiotherapy exercises, in principle, are the basis of treatment, because it helps to restore the normal biomechanics of the spine. And this leads to unloading of the intervertebral discs. Swimming is a wonderful relief. But the beginning of classes, only after the pain symptoms subside.
Prevention of spinal osteochondrosis
Nowadays there are a lot of sedentary professions for 8 hours, or even more, and no organism can withstand this.
The spine is not only a support for our skeleton, but also a case for the spinal cord.The most important organ for the central nervous system. And if the disease is neglected, you can become disabled. I don't mean to scare, but paralysis of the limbs is very serious, I know this firsthand.
Therefore, in case of problems with the spine, you should not delay the visit to a specialist, it is more expensive for yourself. More often you need to think about a healthy lifestyle. Cycling, swimming pool, gym, basic morning exercises and walking. An affordable set of exercises at work to support your body physically and not be a wreck in the future.
To achieve a result, it is necessary to develop a habit, regularity and discipline is the basis of prevention. After all, you don't need much, the body is grateful, you should love it, pay attention to it, and it will respond with good health. And what do you think?
I hope the article was informative for you, you realized that almost everyone has osteochondrosis of the spine, only the symptoms and treatment are different. Studying your body deeper, you can prevent illness, and studying from the inside, you will have something to ask your doctor about.
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Take care of yourself and your spine!