As you know, osteochondrosis is a chronic pathology caused by degenerative changes in the structure of the spine. Unfortunately, 8 out of 10 people in the adult population suffer from osteochondrosis.
The pathology can begin in youth (20-25 years), gradually becoming complicated with new manifestations. In general, lumbar, thoracic and cervical osteochondrosis are distinguished.
Symptoms of the disease
Osteochondrotic lesions of the cervical spine are characterized by:
- Dull pain in the neck and nape of the neck (cervicalgia);
- If the vertebral artery is damaged, the activity of the nervous centers responsible for the normalization of pressure indicators is disturbed, which is why hypertension is usually a pathology that accompanies osteochondrosis;
- During the development of cervical osteochondrosis, compression of the spinal artery occurs, which causes the appearance of symptoms such as strange noises in the ears, dizziness and visual disturbances, paroxysmal headaches;
- Heart pain that radiates to the shoulder blade and neck, similar to the pain of angina.
Lumbar osteochondrosis is characterized by symptoms:
- Intense pain resulting from compression of the roots of the spinal nerves, as well as the venous-arterial pathways that supply nutrition to the spinal cord;
- When the lower lumbar roots are affected, the disease is accompanied by stabbing pain on the outside of the legs, which turns into a decrease in the sensitivity of this area;
- Often, lumbar osteochondrosis is manifested by stabbing pain that runs from the lower back to the legs; subsequently, this symptom is replaced by a decrease in sensitivity in the lower extremities;
- With the development of complications in the form of an intervertebral hernia, manifestations such as weakness in the legs, lower back pain, decreased muscle tone and sensitivity of the legs, and weakness of the leg muscles (paresis) occur.
Manifestations of thoracic osteochondrosis:
- With higher injuries, pain is observed in the abdomen, thorax, shoulder and scapula;
- Lower lesions are accompanied by a decrease in sensitivity of the lower thoracic vertebrae, accompanied by dysfunction of the pelvic organs. When moving or sneezing, the pain increases;
- In rare cases, thoracic osteochondrosis causes compression of the spine, which is characterized by local pain in the waist radiating to the intercostal space, abdomen, groin or lower extremities, weakness and numbness in the legs and disturbances in the activity of the organs. pelvics.
A wide range of therapeutic techniques is used in the treatment of osteochondrosis:
- drug therapy;
- Physiotherapy (massage procedures, physiotherapy, etc. );
- Diet therapy;
- Corrective therapy;
How to treat cervical, thoracic and lumbar osteochondrosis at home.
Each of the methods of anti-osteochondrosis therapy is aimed at relieving pain with its subsequent elimination, normalizing the course of vertebral structural processes and restoring the root activity of the spine.
Drug therapy for osteochondrosis is based on several areas:
- Symptomatic therapy is aimed at eliminating pain and involves taking anti-inflammatory drugs. Along with anti-inflammatory drugs, patients are prescribed muscle relaxants from the group of muscle relaxants;
- Treatment aimed at normalizing blood circulation involves the use of vasodilators;
- Cartilage tissue restorative therapy is based on the use of chondroprotective drugs;
- Vitamin therapy is based on the intake of vitamin complexes;
- Treatment with antidepressants is used to relieve anxiety and depressive states, which often occur in patients against the background of limited movements and pain of osteochondrosis origin.
- Therapy with herbal preparations often helps to significantly alleviate the condition of patients, as such drugs restore immune defenses, sleep and strength of the body and prevent depression.
Very effective in the fight against osteochondrosis are physiotherapy measures that:
- Helps eliminate pain syndrome;
- Increase the amplitude of motor capabilities;
- Improve and facilitate the course of immunological processes;
- Normalize blood circulation;
- Normalize metabolic processes;
- Provide a reduction in the therapeutic dose of anti-inflammatory, non-steroidal and analgesic medications.
Physiotherapy has many varieties. In the treatment of osteochondrosis, the following are most frequently used:
- Electrotherapy involves performing procedures associated with the influence of electric current, such as electrophoresis, galvanization, electrosleep, darsonvalization and others using special devices;
- Shock wave therapy is carried out with devices that convert an electrical impulse into an ultrasound wave, which, acting on the spine affected by osteochondrosis, accelerates the healing of damaged bone and cartilage tissue, eliminates pain and swelling;
- Balneotherapy involves the use of mineral waters and mud, after exposure to which blood supply improves, pain is relieved and material metabolism is normalized;
- Magnetotherapy: this device is based on the use of a constant magnetic field created by special inductors that are placed in the affected vertebral areas;
- Laser therapy is based on the use of special lasers that, by acting on the affected tissues, contribute to their restoration.
All physiotherapy methods provide symptomatic treatment of osteochondrosis, relieve inflammation and pain, reduce the course of treatment and the dosage of medications taken.
Since therapy against osteochondrosis is complex, it requires a rationally balanced diet.
For patients with this disease, it is extremely important to limit the intake of fluids, salt and simple carbohydrates. They need to eliminate from the diet:
- Beverages such as cocoa, coffee and strong tea;
- Pickles and spicy dishes;
- Products too rich in extractive substances (mushrooms, fatty fish, poultry, meat, etc. ).
Since osteochondrosis causes the destruction of intervertebral cartilage, its restoration requires animal proteins, which are rich in dairy products, lean fish or meat.
Jellied meat or broth prepared from boiled bones of beef or pork thighs are especially useful for these patients. This broth is rich in collagen, which provides additional strength to bone and cartilage tissue.
Exercises to improve health.
Therapeutic exercises play an equally important role in the treatment of osteochondrosis; In addition, it is considered the most effective method to combat the destruction of bone and cartilage cells, helps strengthen muscle and joint tissues, guarantees the mobility of the spine and helps in the restoration of damaged tissues.
When performing physiotherapy exercises, several simple conditions must be observed:
- The movements should not cause strong attacks of pain or discomfort, if such an effect occurs, it is necessary to discuss the situation with a doctor;
- Exercises cannot be performed during periods of exacerbation of the disease, otherwise pain symptoms may increase or complications may develop;
- It is necessary to perform the exercises gently, avoiding sudden movements.
The doctor selects the necessary set of exercises in accordance with the patient's condition and the degree of development of osteochondrosis.
Massage procedures help improve blood circulation and have a relaxing effect on the patient's muscles. The massage begins with light caresses, then moves on to rubbing and kneading. The massage can be done with your hands or using special objects such as jars.
Cupping massage for osteochondrosis helps relieve muscle tension and activates metabolic processes in the affected tissues due to improved blood and lymph flow. Acupressure has no less therapeutic effect, which consists of influencing the active points of the spine.
Traditional medicine, which has many recipes for various massages and compresses, can also help in the treatment of osteochondrosis. Thanks to home remedies that increase blood flow, it is possible to relieve pain and relax muscles.
These tools are based on:
- Essential oils (fir, etc. );
- melted lard;
- camphor alcohol;
- badger fat;
- Venom from bees, snakes;
- Medicinal roots and herbs such as aloe, birch leaves or horseradish, garlic, ginger and red pepper.
They combine with alcohol, iodine and turpentine, which produces a local irritant effect. Mustard baths (200 grams of powder per water bath) are excellent for relieving sudden acute pain.
A good addition to the home treatment of osteochondrosis would be the use of orthopedic accessories that ensure complete relaxation of the spine during night rest.
Therefore, while sleeping, it is necessary to adopt a correct and comfortable body position.
High-quality mattresses and orthopedic pillows can help with this. Thanks to the use of these devices, the spine will be completely relaxed during the night, which will eliminate symptoms and improve the patient's condition.
Osteochondrosis can be treated independently, the main thing is to observe the regularity, consistency, complexity of procedures and coordinate all actions with a specialist.