Osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine

osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine

Low back pain affects many people, regardless of age and profession. Loaders and office workers, young mothers and retired gardeners, writers and even athletes suffer from them. In either case, abnormal changes can occur in the bone and cartilage of the vertebrae, leading to compression of the roots of the nerve spine, causing severe pain.

But painful feelings are just external manifestations of the disease. It is often accompanied by other pathological syndromes that require mandatory treatment, the absence of which often leads to disability and self-care. In other words, a person becomes disabled.

Description of the disease

Osteochondrosis is caused by unnatural compression of the spine, which causes compression of the intervertebral discs and adjacent tissues of the ligament. When pressed, liquid leaves the discs, which is responsible for their plasticity, and with the necessary trace elements, is the source of nourishment for the tissues. With a prolonged negative effect, the fibrous ring of the intervertebral plates loses its elasticity and density and then ruptures, leading to compression of the nerve endings. This becomes the cause of the onset of pain, which is often accompanied by edema.

In addition, the outer edges of the vertebrae, incorrectly distributing the load, grow in with osteophytes - an increase in bone tissue. They also hurt and restrict spinal movement, exacerbating the problem.

That is, the disease most often occurs with such loads on the spine that have an incorrect distribution or stereotype - monotonous and recurring regularly.

Causes of Occurrence

causes of the disease

Do not assume that only strong physical activity or a sedentary lifestyle in which the muscle frame is weakened leads to osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine. This also happens when very active people play sports or work in their holiday homes every day. If their movements are monotonous (lifting the barbell, digging the ground), pressure will occur at the same points in which the cartilage tissue will gradually be destroyed.

There are other reasons. Including:

  • violation of calcium metabolism in the body;
  • being overweight or severely fluctuating in any direction while following a strict diet, pregnancy, a sharp change in hormonal levels;
  • spinal cord injury or curvature (scoliosis);
  • severe single hypothermia or regular exposure to cold and moisture;
  • depressive states, stress;
  • permanent physical overload;
  • bad inheritance.

Listen. Any strict diet based on the use of a product or a critical reduction in caloric intake will lead not only to severe weight loss, but to the appearance of valuable trace element deficiencies in the body. Which is also harmful to muscles and bones.


stages of osteochondrosis

Osteochondrosis is rarely detected in time because it is asymptomatic in the initial stages. More specifically, there are symptoms, but these are difficult to associate with spinal problems. Therefore, they are most often accidentally discovered in a comprehensive examination of other health problems.

There are four stages in the development of the disease. Describe the symptoms of each.

section Description
First In the first stage, the sweating processes are interrupted, one finds general malaise and rapid fatigue. Some patients talk about previously unusual coldness.
Second In the second stage, intermittent back pain occurs, indicating that the cartilage tissue is destroyed.
Third The third section is characterized by visible changes. An intervertebral hernia may appear, curvature of the spine often occurs, and in some cases a hump grows.
Fourth The hardest part is the fourth stage, when irreversible changes in the skeleton do not require a complete cure. In addition to the proliferation of osteophytes and the movement of the vertebrae, which cause acute pain, there are problems with other organs in the pelvis. Often the patient eliminates the processes of urination and defecation.

Disease Management

The methods of treating osteochondrosis are chosen depending on the stage of the disease and the severity of the pain. Conservative treatment only produces good results in the initial stages. For example, if osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine is caught at the very beginning, you can get rid of it with the help of special physical exercises, correction of physical activity and weight, swimming, taking vitamin-mineral complex preparations.

If you get pain, that's not enough. It should be removed along with the cause of its occurrence. Why are drugs used, traditional physiotherapy techniques, and even alternative medicine methods? In the later stages, only surgical treatment is possible.


Hardware physiotherapy techniques such as:

are used to relieve pain and swelling, increase the effect of medications, and reduce their dose.

physiotherapy for osteochondrosis
  • ultrasound;
  • laser;
  • effect of magnetic field;
  • electrophoresis;
  • manual therapy, massage.

Listen. The massage helps relieve muscle cramps, improve blood circulation in the affected vertebral discs, and tighten pinched blood vessels and nerves. This is done only with the help of hands, but vacuum massage is contraindicated in this disease.

Shockwave therapy

UHT is a relatively new treatment method using state-of-the-art equipment with programmable dosing of shock waves and a system for controlling them.

The point is that shock waves destroy osteophytes, restoring cartilage tissue. But healthy bones of the spine as well as major arteries can also be damaged. Therefore, it is very important to make sure that this technology is well developed in the hospital and that the treatment is performed by a highly trained and licensed professional.

Alternative Therapies

In addition to the usual methods for treating osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine, there are non-traditional methods. Such methods are constantly being studied and are already used in many clinics. These mainly include:

alternative therapeutic methods
  • Hirudotherapy or leech therapy helps relieve inflammation and improve blood circulation;
  • Acupuncture or acupuncture is an effective way to relieve pain, muscle tension and inflammation. This consists of inserting special needles into certain biologically active points in the body;
  • ozone therapy - injection of an ozone-oxygen mixture. With the right dosage, this method inhibits the growth of osteophytes and relieves painful muscle tone.

In parallel with or with the help of these treatment methods, a physiotherapy and therapeutic gymnastics process is performed.

Surgical techniques

If the disease starts and conservative treatment does not alleviate the patient's condition, they will resort to surgical methods. You cannot do without them if, after several months of active treatment, you have not been able to relieve the pain and improve the person’s general condition. And especially in cases where problems such as decreased potency in men, disturbance of pelvic organs, numbness of the perineum have occurred.

  1. Endoscopic microdiscectomy - removal of herniated plate. It is a minimally invasive surgery that relieves compression of the spinal cord or nerve root.
  2. surgical treatments
  3. Laser reconstruction of intervertebral discs can hardly be called an operation. During the procedure under local anesthesia, a thin needle is inserted into the affected disc through which it is irradiated with a laser that stimulates the division of cartilage cells.
  4. A foraminotomy is an operation to remove the processes in a vertebra or part of a plate to release a pinched nerve.
  5. Vertebroplasty - an injection of bone cement into the destroyed vertebral tissue to strengthen it.
  6. Osteotomy - removal of diseased vertebrae and discs and then replacement with prostheses.

There are other methods to stabilize the vertebrae, decompress, remove osteophytes, and so on. Any of them require a long healing period. After surgical treatment of the spine, the patient should not get up, walk, bend over, and experience physical stress for long periods of time. This leads to muscle relaxation and partial loss of motor functions that require support and rehabilitation. Therefore, at the end of the postoperative period, a period of recovery and rehabilitation begins, with the task of fully restoring motor functions and preventing complications of the pelvic organs.

In this section, some of the methods of conservative treatment described above are applied, correct posture is developed, normal movements are corrected. In this case, the patient is recommended to wear a special fastening corset. They then compile a series of individual exercises that need to be done daily and throughout life to prevent relapse of the disease.