Lumbar osteochondrosis: symptoms, causes, degrees.

lumbar osteochondrosis

Osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine is a pathology that is accompanied by degenerative processes in cartilaginous tissues.

This disorder damages all joints, but the intervertebral discs are predominantly affected.

If you experience lower back pain, you should immediately consult a doctor. If this is not done, the pathology will lead to serious complications.

What is lumbar osteochondrosis?

This term refers to a disease that causes damage to the intervertebral discs. They are a gel-like substance found in the annulus fibrosus. The top and bottom parts of the discs are covered by thin cartilage tissue.

After a while, the gelatinous mass loses moisture, becomes thinner and less elastic. Under the influence of loads, deformation of cartilage tissue occurs. The consequence of these processes is the formation of a bulge or hernia. The formations provoke compression of the nerve roots, which provokes the disease.

Lumbar osteochondrosis is quite common and has negative health consequences. In this disorder, a pinching of the sciatic nerve often occurs. As a result, there is a risk of severe pain.

Possible complications of the disease.

If the treatment of lumbar osteochondrosis is not started on time, the pathology will have dangerous consequences for health. The disease can cause reactive spondylosis. It also causes the appearance of osteoarthritis of the knee or hip joint.

In women, damage to the lumbar vertebrae can lead to complications during pregnancy. This is especially dangerous in the third trimester, which is characterized by a large load on the spine. In men, degenerative processes cause potency problems.

Additionally, the lack of adequate and timely therapy causes the following consequences:

  • sciatica;
  • spinal deformity;
  • loss of sensation in extremities;
  • vertebral instability;
  • pathologies of internal organs;
  • radiculitis;
  • Complete loss of motor activity.

Main symptoms and signs of lumbar osteochondrosis.

Osteochondrosis is characterized by slow development. The diagnosis is often made in advanced situations, when there are serious manifestations. That is why it is so important to identify the signs of lumbar osteochondrosis in time. These include the following:

  • Lumbar pain. In the initial stage of the disease, this symptom occurs only after lifting weights. As the pathology progresses, the pain syndrome becomes unbearable.
  • Decreased physical activity. This symptom is caused by compression of nerve fibers. When bending or turning, discomfort occurs that radiates to the legs.
  • Loss of sensation in the lower extremities. With the development of osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine, symptoms of numbness are caused by permanent damage to the nerve roots. This symptom waxes and wanes periodically. In this case, the patient experiences burning sensation, numbness, tingling in the lumbar region and below.
  • Local decrease in skin temperature. It becomes pale, dry and flabby.
  • Excessive sweating.
  • Spinal syndrome. This symptom appears in advanced cases. People often experience sexual dysfunction and problems urinating.

Causes of lumbar osteochondrosis.

The appearance of osteochondrosis is due to increased loads on the spine. Excessive pressure in the lower back causes a breakdown of the cartilage structure. The risk of developing the disease increases under the influence of the following factors:

  • Poor posture.
  • Physical inactivity. Lack of physical activity causes muscle weakness.
  • Calcium metabolism disorder.
  • Chronic lack of micro and macroelements. This may be due to alterations in diet.
  • Genetic predisposition.
  • Hypothermia.
  • Stress factors.
  • Strength or extreme sports.
  • Damage to the musculoskeletal system.
  • Overweight.

What are the stages of the disease?

The disease develops gradually. Doctors distinguish the following stages of lumbar osteochondrosis:

  • First of all, at this stage there is tolerable pain in the lumbar region, which increases after exercise. This symptom indicates destructive processes on the disks. The person experiences a burning and tingling sensation. Sometimes these symptoms radiate to the buttocks.
  • Secondly, at this stage the distance between the vertebrae decreases and the destruction of the annulus fibrosus occurs. The person experiences acute pain. When moving, it radiates to the hips, buttocks and legs. The affected area may feel cold or burning. During an attack, the patient is forced to lean in the opposite direction.
  • Thirdly, at this stage the annulus fibrosus is completely destroyed. The vertebral tissues are severely deformed. This causes the appearance of an intervertebral hernia. With the development of this degree of osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine, constant high-intensity pain occurs.
  • The fourth is accompanied by abnormal growth of the discs and bone destruction. At this stage, the cartilage tissue atrophies greatly. This causes a disturbance in a person's motor activity and even causes disability.

When should you see a doctor?

If you feel any discomfort in the lumbar region, you should immediately consult a doctor. To make an accurate diagnosis, a specialist prescribes diagnostic tests. For this, an examination and examination of the patient is carried out. The doctor also prescribes x-rays and MRIs.

To cope with pathology, complex therapy is used. You must solve the following problems:

  • stop inflammation;
  • strengthen the muscle tissue of the legs;
  • eliminate pain syndrome;
  • improve metabolic processes and blood circulation;
  • normalize the functioning of the pelvic organs;
  • restore sensitivity.

The pathology is characterized by the progression of pain. In the initial stages, the use of pain relievers in tablets is sufficient. In critical situations, it is impossible to do without injectable medications.

Drug therapy includes the use of the following medications:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. They help to cope with swelling and inflammation. Thanks to this, it is possible to eliminate compression of blood vessels and fibers and reduce pain. The most effective remedies include diclofenac, nimesil.
  • Analgesics. They are prescribed during the period of exacerbation of the pathology, which is accompanied by severe pain. These medications have many side effects. Therefore, they must be prescribed by a doctor. Most often, Baralgin or Pentalgin are prescribed.
  • Muscle relaxants. These remedies help to cope with muscle spasms. This allows you to eliminate discomfort. This category includes Mydocalm, Sirdalud.
  • Glucocorticosteroids. These are hormonal agents that help deal with inflammation and improve the functions of the nervous system. The drug Ambene is very effective.

In addition to medications, the following therapeutic methods are used:

  • Physiotherapy. Performing special exercises helps strengthen muscles. This helps to form correct posture, increase the flexibility of ligaments and prevent complications of osteochondrosis. Gymnastics improves blood circulation, normalizes metabolic processes, increases the distance between the vertebrae and reduces the load on them.
  • Manual therapy. It involves the use of individual manual techniques to help control pain and improve posture. This type of treatment restores motor activity, normalizes blood flow, strengthens the immune system and activates metabolic processes.
  • Massage. This procedure can have a relaxing or tonic effect on the body. With its help, it is possible to reduce the load on the muscles, stimulate blood flow and activate lymphatic drainage. Massage also relieves pain and has a restorative effect.
  • Physiotherapy. For lumbar osteochondrosis, ultrasound, low-frequency currents and a magnetic field are used. This helps to cope with pain, relieve inflammation and normalize blood circulation. Physiotherapy products stimulate recovery processes and increase the effectiveness of medications.

Prevention of lumbar osteochondrosis.

To avoid the appearance of lumbar osteochondrosis, it is advisable to follow the basic recommendations:

  • avoid hypothermia of the lumbar area;
  • control posture;
  • exercise;
  • changing body position when performing monotonous work;
  • refusing to lift heavy objects;
  • Healthy food.

Osteochondrosis of the lumbar region is a common pathology that causes dangerous complications. To reduce the symptoms of the disorder, it is necessary to consult a neurologist in a timely manner. The doctor will perform diagnostic tests and select the appropriate therapy.

How is treatment carried out in a modern clinic?

Medical consultation: clinical history, myofascial diagnosis, functional diagnosis.

How's it going?

Collection of anamnesis: analysis of the disease, limitations and contraindications are identified, explanation of the principles of kinesitherapy, characteristics of the recovery period.

Myofascial diagnosis is a manual diagnostic method in which the doctor evaluates the range of joint movements, determines painful tension, swelling, hypo- or hypertonicity of muscles and other changes.

Functional diagnosis (carried out in the rehabilitation room): the doctor explains how to perform certain exercises on the equipment and observes: how the patient performs them, what range of motion he can work with, what movements cause pain, what weight the patient can bear. work with, how the cardiovascular system reacts vascular system. Problem areas are identified. The data is entered on the card. Accents are put on.

Based on the results of the initial examination by a doctor and functional diagnosis, a preliminary individual treatment program is drawn up.

It is advisable to take with you:

  • for pain in the spine: MRI or CT scan (MRI or CT scan) of the problem area;
  • for joint pain – x-rays;
  • in the presence of concomitant diseases: extracts from the medical history or outpatient consultation card;
  • comfortable clothing and shoes (sports)

Lessons with an instructor.

At the beginning of the treatment cycle, the doctor and the patient make a treatment plan, which includes the date and time of the treatment session and follow-up visits to the doctor (usually 2-3 times a week).

The basis of the treatment process is treatment sessions in the rehabilitation room using simulators and sessions in the gym.

Rehabilitation simulators allow you to accurately dose the load on individual muscle groups, providing an adequate regimen of physical activity. The treatment program is drawn up by the doctor individually for each patient, taking into account the characteristics of the body. Supervision is carried out by qualified instructors. At all stages of recovery, it is important to follow the correct technique of movement and breathing, know your weight standards when working on exercise machines, adhere to the prescribed treatment regimen and follow the recommendations of specialists.

Joint gymnastics sessions help restore visual coordination, improve joint mobility and the elasticity (flexibility) of the spine and are an excellent self-use preventive system.

Each treatment cycle consists of 12 sessions. Each lesson is supervised by an instructor. The duration of a treatment session is from 40 minutes to 1. 5 hours. The instructor draws up a program taking into account concomitant diseases and the patient's condition on the day of the class. He teaches the technique of performing exercises and supervises correct execution. Every 6 lessons a second consultation with the doctor is carried out, changes and extensions are made to the program, depending on the dynamics.

How many cycles will it take? – individually for everyone

It's important to know:

  • How long have you had this problem (stage of disease)?
  • How is your body prepared for physical activity (do you do gymnastics or a sport)?

If the disease is in its early stages and the body is ready, one course of treatment is sufficient. (example: young people 20-30 years old who play sports. We focus their attention on the technique of performing exercises, breathing, stretching, excluding "wrong" exercises that are harmful to problem areas. These patients receive training and receive the skill to " take care of your body", receive recommendations in case of exacerbation and continue studying on your own).

If the problem has existed for a long time, you do not practice gymnastics or have concomitant diseases, you will need a different period of time:

  • Relieve the aggravation? One or two cycles are enough.
  • Restore function, walk without stopping (climb stairs), bend over, perform certain tasks without effort, remain still for a long time while traveling, improve general condition. Three or more treatment cycles may be necessary.

Each organism is individual and the program for each patient is individual.