Disease degenerative disc disease – what it is, causes, stages and methods of treatment, consider the details in this article.
Disease osteochondrosis – description and treatment
According to modern medical statistics, currently, osteoarthritis affects almost 90% of the world population.
This number includes people with minor manifestations of the symptoms of osteoarthritis and those who have the disease has gone much further and is already in great suffering and pain.
Physicians of all countries are sounding the alarm: in recent years, this disease has become much "younger", and now the average age of onset of degenerative disc disease for 30 years!!!
But most disturbing, according to doctors is that under adverse conditions, the signs of osteoarthritis may occur at an earlier period of life, especially if there are long, uneven or excessive stress on the back and legs, as well as the effects of trauma.
What is osteochondrosis?
As the progression (development) of low back pain, these degenerative-dystrophic lesions spread to the tissue of the vertebrae.
The main sign that should alert you is the appearance of pain in the neck, back, in the lumbar region.
Often the pain "gives" in the hands, chest, shoulders, upper thighs etc.
All this clearly suggests that the spine started pathological changes and an urgent need to take measures, until the disease has gone too far, because, when the negative dynamics of degenerative disc disease are possible:
- atrophy of muscle tissue;
- violations of sensitivity;
- the disruption of the internal organs;
- the displacement of internal organs, etc.
In the absence of timely treatment of osteochondrosis develops to an incurable condition!!!
The causes of osteochondrosis
The main factor for the development of osteoarthritis is an uneven load on the spine.
Common cause of irregular (uneven) load distribution on the spine are:
- the habit of wearing the bag on one shoulder or in one hand;
- incorrect posture in the sitting position;
- sleep on a too-soft mattress;
- sleep on a high pillow;
- wearing anatomically incorrect kinds of shoes.
Additional risk factors include:
- physical inactivity (sedentary lifestyle);
- the presence of excess weight;
- a back injury;
- injuries of the lower extremities;
- flat feet;
- any other violations of the musculoskeletal device;
- age-related degenerative processes in the spine, due to which worsens the blood supply of the vertebral column.
The etiology (origin) of degenerative disc disease may also play a role such factors as:
- physical exertion of the body;
- neuro-emotional exhaustion;
- of metabolic disorders, poisoning, unhealthy food, alcohol, medicines, diseases of the gastrointestinal tract – all of this prevents normal and proper absorption of nutrients from food;
- occupational risks (work involving unhealthy and the regular load on the spine, where it is in the wrong position for long time or short term experiences, but the super-high load);
- genetic predisposition (the percentage is small, but the probability of possible);
- violations of posture in the period of active growth of the organism;
- not identified on time or not treated in a timely manner scoliosis in children;
- wearing tight, uncomfortable shoes and shoes with heels higher than 3 cm;
- prolonged and/or regular dehydration;
- defective and not balanced diet, hypovitaminosis;
- pregnancy (especially multiple), in combination with underdeveloped muscular-ligamentous apparatus: due to the displacement of the center of gravity of the body starts the degenerative processes in the spine.
The stages of development of osteochondrosis
Developing low back pain always goes through four stages:
- The first stage is characterized by the appearance of the pathology in the nucleus of the intervertebral disc. Because of the unnatural load begins a process of dehydration (dehydration) of the nucleus, which reduces the height of the intervertebral disc and the appearance of cracks in the fibrous ring.Symptoms at this stage are usually absent or very small – may be a slight discomfort during prolonged stay in an uncomfortable static posture, during an active movement, etc.
- During the second stage of the disease there is discomfort in the form of pain, especially under certain types of loads, movements and body positions. During the second stage, the reduction in the distance between the vertebrae and sagging of the vertebral muscles and ligaments. All of this causes increased mobility of the vertebrae with damaged discs, which is quite dangerous and threatens them with displacement or slippage.
- The third stage of osteoarthritis is characterized by the formation of prolapses and protrusions. It may be accompanied by subluxation and/or development of osteoarthritis of the intervertebral joints. With certain movements you may feel stiffness and lack of mobility. In the extremities can cause tingling and numbness. At this stage of osteochondrosis clearly felt pain in the back, neck, lumbar and sacral region of the spine, in the coccyx (all depends on the location of the affected disc).
- During the fourth stage osteoarthritis of the body trying to correct the consequences of hypermobility (excessive mobility) of the vertebrae begins to adapt to the irregularities of the functionality of the spine and at the points of contact of the vertebrae begin to form osteophytes (new bone formation) in order to improve fixation of vertebra.
But, unfortunately, in some cases osteophytes cause compressions and further injure the vertebrae. As a result, in the intervertebral discs and the joints begins fibrous ankylosis.
Symptoms of degenerative disc disease
The main symptoms of osteoarthritis is discomfort and/or pain in the neck and back.
How will severe discomfort, and what additional symptoms will manifest themselves during the development of osteoarthritis depends upon stage of disease and each individual case.
Pathology of the intervertebral discs of the cervical and lumbar are much more common than degenerative and dystrophic changes in the sternum.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis include:
- periodic or permanent feeling of fatigue of the back;
- slight or pronounced (depending on the stage of the disease) pain in the neck, back, chest, shoulder girdle;
- difficult constrained movement of the upper limbs.
The clinical picture of degenerative disc disease largely depends on the location (location) of disease, the degree of development of the process, the individual peculiarities of the patients.
Pathology of the intervertebral discs, displacement, protrusion, herniation and growth of osteophytes lead to very different consequences.
Among the most common is disruption of normal blood circulation in the tissues, a pinched nerve, dysfunction of the spinal canal, edema, fibrosis of tissues and structures.
Such effects may be accompanied by a huge variety of symptoms, leading to difficulty of accurate diagnosis of the disease.
The most common symptoms of degenerative disc disease include the following symptoms:
- pain in the back, neck, and lower back, in the shoulder girdle, in region of ribs;
- the discomfort and stiffness of the body, which occur with certain body positions: tilt, swivel, increase muscle tension;
- numbness of the upper and lower extremities;
- muscle and joint discomfort, muscle cramps;
- headaches, dizziness, fatigue;
- pain in region of heart;
- violation of the sensitivity of the hands;
- muscle weakness.
Symptoms of osteoarthritis vary depending on where localized pathology:
- Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is dominated by pain in the neck, arms, shoulder girdle, which can "give" in the shoulder blade and shoulder. There are also headaches, dizziness, flashing "flies" or spots before the eyes, ringing in the ears.
- With the defeat of the thoracic pain localized in the chest, heart, inner surface of the shoulder, in the armpit. Possible discomfort when breathing, shortness of breath.
- Osteochondrosis of the lumbosacral spine is manifested by pain in the lower back with the "giving" pain in legs, upper thighs, the pelvic organs. Quite often joins sexual dysfunction.
Important!!! Surface symptoms such as fatigue and back pain may indicate the existence of not only osteoarthritis, but also about the accession of other diseases or the development of various pathological processes and disorders not related to degeneration of the intervertebral discs, therefore, the diagnosis of "degenerative disc disease" should only supply specialist, and self-medication for such symptoms is unacceptable!!!png" class='imgblock right center_mob'>
Diagnosis of degenerative disc disease
For accurate diagnosis specialist appoints such instrumental methods of examination, such as:
- x-rays of the spine;
- if necessary myelography of the spine;
- neurological examination of the sensitivity and reflexes of the spine.
Additional methods that may be prescribed by a doctor, to diagnosis and the stage of pathological processes have been installed as accurately as possible are:
- computed tomography of the spine;
- nuclear magnetic resonance;
- magnetic resonance imaging.
Directions in the treatment of degenerative disc disease – how to treat the disease
Competent treatment is always based only on an integrated approach. It is selected based on the degree of manifestation of osteochondrosis in each case, and on the condition of the particular patient.
Conservative treatment consists of medication or the performance of complex therapeutic corrective exercises.
Surgical treatment in virtually any situation may not be the method of first choice.
Surgical treatment is indicated only in the absence of positive dynamics and active progression of the disease on the background of a fairly long conservative therapy in which there is no positive change in the direction of improvement.
In addition to medical therapies, you need to follow a certain diet and take other measures that are extremely important and necessary for recovery.
Conservative treatment of degenerative disc disease
Conservative therapy is aimed at relief (elimination) of pain syndrome, normalization of functionality of the spine and prevention of negative changes in the future.
In conservative treatment of degenerative disc disease include the following types of therapy:
Drug osteochondrosis are used for relief of pain, elimination of inflammation in the tissues and the normalization of metabolic processes in the body, improve the process of blood supply of tissues and their regeneration.
At strongly expressed pain syndrome or in the case of acute complications can be assigned to drug blockade of the nerve endings that also contribute to the reduction of the severity of stiffness of the muscles.
Important!!! It should be clearly understood that the disease osteochondrosis can't be cured only with medication!!!
Be aware that in the absence of expressed dystrophic changes and obvious pain, medications can be considered unjustified. This information can help you to avoid the wrong treatment from unqualified professionals.
Drugs that are used for pain relief and treatment of osteoarthritis:
- anti-inflammatory group of drugs;
- products-antioxidants (vitamins);
- means to improve blood supply to the tissues;
- drugs for the regeneration and/or prevent the degeneration of cartilage.
Drugs can be administered in the form of ointments, creams for local use in pain, in the form of tablets for oral administration in the form of injections and in the form of medicated plasters, relieving pain and improving the patient's condition for quite a long period, without the side effects that occur while taking the pills and the use of injections.
Patches of back pain and osteochondrosis
At the moment there are medical pain patches:
- patches with irritant (capsicum plaster, mustard plaster).
- patches with reflective action (to retain heat).
- patches with an analgesic action on the basis of: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, on the basis of local anesthetic action on the basis of medicinal herbs and dietary supplements (nanoplastyri).
- the patches based on chondroprotectors.
- patches combined impact.
Medicated plasters have a number of advantages:
- the almost complete absence of contraindications;
- no side effects;
- release the load on the digestive system, which occurs when oral therapy tools, which is especially important in the presence of existing diseases;
- comfort in use;
- saving a fairly long lasting effect of anesthesia is 12 to 24 hours;
- the lack of toxic effects on the body (this is especially inherent to a Chinese herbal pain plasters based on organic components);
- and many other benefits.
They help to reduce pain and increase the effect of medicines. In the treatment of osteochondrosis most common application of ultrasonic waves, magnetic fields, current of low frequency, laser beams, etc.
Methods of physiotherapy (physical therapy) and kinesitherapy (treatment by movement). Methods of physical therapy and kinesiotherapy procedures aimed at the normalization of metabolic processes, the recovery nutrition of the intervertebral disc, restoration of the location of the vertebrae and discs between them, on a uniform load distribution in the musculoskeletal system.
Methods therapeutic massage. Massage is used to improve blood supply to the tissues, to relieve muscle spasms and clamps for the General improvement of circulation.
Whirlpool, as one of the types of therapeutic massage, supplements method of manual massage (with the hands) and also contributes to the normalization of the entire nervous system of the body.
Therapies using traction (traction) of the spine with the use of special equipment. The purpose of such manipulation is to increase the intervertebral space to normal size and to correct disorders in the spinal column.
The correct diet in osteochondrosis
The objective of the diet when the disease is degenerative disc disease – improvement of metabolism, saturate the body with essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, the inclusion of foods with a high content of antioxidants, polyunsaturated fatty acids and compounds to promote regeneration of cartilage.
Treatment of drinking during illness is very important, and includes the consumption of clean water per 30 ml per kilogram of body weight of a person evenly distributed throughout the day (the bulk of water is recommended to drink in the morning).
It's necessary to eat a fractional, 5-6 times a day. The basis of the diet – milk and milk products, lean meats, poultry, fish, fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, cereals, greens in large quantity and mushrooms.
Especially recommended the inclusion in the diet of fish and meat jelly, aspic, aspic dishes, using olive oil from the first pressing, without heat treatment (for salads, etc.).
Preferred methods of processing foods – steamed, roasting, cooking. Limit starchy foods, sweet, fatty, spicy, salty, cured, and smoked. Coffee, strong tea, fizzy drinks and alcohol – a complete taboo!
What are the possible complications of osteoarthritis?
Unfair if compliance with physician prescribed treatment or long-term to avoid a visit to a specialist and tests, it will definitely contribute to the progression of the disease and to provoke the complications, pathologies and new diseases, such as:
- herniated disks (spinal hernia);
- salt deposits in the intervertebral space;
- strokes of the spinal cord;
- reduction in muscle mass of limbs, muscle atrophy due to violations of the blood supply;
- paralysis of the lower limbs and disability.
Prevention of osteoarthritis
Recommended to follow the General rules for a healthy lifestyle:
- to eliminate physical inactivity and increase physical activity;
- at long stay in a static posture, you need to take breaks to warm up every 45 minutes to restore blood circulation in the spine;
- you should choose the right chairs support the spine, to monitor the position of the hands on the table and feet on the floor, they learn how to maintain good posture (straight back, relaxed shoulders);
- for a night's sleep is necessary to choose a firmer, better mattress and pillow;
- if you need to lift and/or carry heavy objects, when engaging in strength training activities – to strictly observe safety precautions;
- to select correct orthopedic shoes;
- whenever possible, walk barefoot on uneven surfaces: it strengthens the muscles of the foot and relieves tension from the musculoskeletal system;
- eat right, keep drinking regime;
- trained overall relaxation: this will remove tension from the muscles;
- regularly undergo courses restorative massage.
I hope the disease osteochondrosis will pass you.