Arthrosis of the lumbar spine

A variety of pathologies manifested by back pain are one of the most common causes of partial or complete, temporary or permanent disability. That is why the issue of back pain, its causes and principles of treatment does not lose its relevance. In this case, arthrosis of the lumbosacral spine is one of the most common causes of pain.

Arthrosis of the spine is a degenerative-degenerative lesion of the intervertebral joints, during which there is a gradual destruction of the cartilaginous layers up to the complete destruction of the cartilage, after which the bone tissue of the vertebrae begins to collapse. The mobility of the affected intervertebral joints is lost, the cartilage tissue is replaced by bone outgrowths. The distance between the vertebrae and, accordingly, the diameter of the holes through which the nerve roots and blood vessels exit from the spinal canal decreases. The neurovascular bundles are compressed, they can be injured, which is accompanied by the corresponding symptoms of their damage: first of all, intense pain, as well as the appearance of paresthesias, impaired innervation of the lower extremities and genitourinary organs, and a violation of their normal functioning. The result of this condition is not only a significant decrease in the quality of life of the patient, but also their loss of ability to work. Most often, arthrosis of the lumbosacral spine develops, which is explained by the maximum load on this part of the spinal column.

Arthrosis of the lumbosacral spine: causes

Arthrosis is a multifactorial pathology, a variety of reasons, as well as their combination, can contribute to its development. Among the most common causes of spondylarthrosis are the following:

natural age-related changes in the tissues of the joints. Over the years, the intensity of the production of collagen and elastin fibers, which form the structural basis of connective tissue, gradually decreases. In addition, with age, blood circulation gradually deteriorates and the metabolism in the tissues slows down. All this in total leads to a gradual degeneration of the cartilage and connective tissue in the intervertebral discs and at the same time to a decrease in their regeneration. As a result, arthrosis of the intervertebral joints is found in the vast majority of the elderly;

a variety of congenital anomalies in the structure of the spine and other parts of the musculoskeletal system is the most common cause of arthrosis of the intervertebral joints in young people;

transferred injuries also often subsequently turn into arthrosis of the intervertebral joints. Moreover, as in the previous paragraph, we are talking not only about injuries of the spine itself, but also about injuries of the pelvis and legs. To alleviate pain and discomfort, an injured person may take one or another forced position (for example, fall on one leg), which can contribute to the gradual curvature of the spine, impaired blood circulation in the tissues, uneven distribution of pressure on the intervertebral discs and their destruction with the gradual replacement of bone tissue;

scoliosis and other types of spinal curvature also contribute to the non-physiological distribution of pressure in the intervertebral discs and the development of arthrosis;

a sedentary lifestyle also indirectly provokes arthrosis: a decrease in the intensity of blood circulation in the muscles surrounding the spine gradually leads to their weakness and atrophy, and then to the degradation of the intervertebral joints;

some features of professional activity or leisure can also contribute to arthrosis. In particular, harm to the spine is caused by work and sports training, associated with the need to lift weights, jumps, sharp inclines and jerks;

overweight is an extra load on all joints in the body, and articulations of the lumbosacral spine are no exception. Therefore, overweight can also be one of the causative factors for the development of arthrosis.

Arthrosis of the lumbar spine: symptoms

The first and most striking symptom of arthrosis of the lumbosacral spine is a characteristic pain in the lower back that radiates to the buttocks and back surface of the lower extremities. The pain intensifies when bending, especially sharp, lifting weights. Irradiation of pain can be either symmetrical (that is, pain radiates to both buttocks and / or legs) or asymmetric (to one buttock and / or leg). This circumstance is explained by the degree of damage to the roots of the spinal cord – they can be damaged mainly on one side or symmetrically on both sides.

A natural consequence of the pain syndrome, significantly exacerbating it, is a spasm of the muscles of the lower back. Muscle spasm even more disrupts blood circulation in tissues, including intervertebral joints, which contributes to their further destruction. Atrophy of muscles devoid of normal blood supply and innervation gradually develops, with time it becomes noticeable visually.

In addition, a characteristic sign of damage to the intervertebral joints, including their arthrosis, are specific symptoms of damage to the nerve roots passing in the intervertebral holes. They are manifested by paresthesia (burning sensation, goosebumps, shooting pain), numbness of one or both lower limbs. With advanced arthrosis, damage to the nerve plexuses can be so great that the patient can completely lose the ability to walk normally.

Arthrosis of the lumbosacral: diagnosis

The diagnosis of arthrosis of the lumbar spine is quite simple: the data of x-ray, computed or magnetic resonance imaging indicate a thinning and complete disappearance of the gaps between the vertebrae, replacement of the cartilaginous layers with bone tissue, deformation of the intervertebral discs. Such signs make it possible to clearly identify the cause of back pain and begin treatment, which should be reduced not only to the relief of pain, but also to the normalization of metabolic processes in the tissues of the spine. The latter condition is especially important in the early stages of arthrosis, before the onset of irreversible changes.

Arthrosis of the lumbar: treatment

Arthrosis treatment is more effective the sooner it is started. That is why doctors do not get tired of reminding: even the slightest discomfort, back pain – an occasion to see a doctor and undergo examination, and then – the necessary treatment. However, more often the opposite happens: pain is considered a sign of overwork, if it does not go away after rest, over-the-counter analgesics come to the rescue. A visit to a doctor takes place only after the intensity of the pain exceeds the capabilities of the available drugs, when due to pain in the back and leg it becomes impossible to do the usual work and even just walk. However, in this case, the patient does not always come to the specialist. Often, first he turns to a massage therapist, a manual therapist – specialists, of course, necessary, but then when the exact diagnosis is known and a program of complete treatment is determined. Unfortunately, with advanced arthrosis, it is already impossible to reverse the pathological process and the treatment will be purely palliative, it will only slow down the development of the disease and improve the quality of life of the patient.

Conservative therapy of spinal arthrosis

The main directions of conservative treatment of arthrosis are to reduce pain and inflammation, normalize metabolism in cartilage, increase its elasticity and resistance to stress. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used to reduce inflammation. They also have an analgesic effect, which can be enhanced by supplementing therapy with non-narcotic analgesics. But such therapy should be prescribed exclusively by a doctor, as it has serious side effects.

With arthrosis of the spine at its initial stages, good results are obtained with the use of chondroprotectors, for example, Don. Its active substance is crystalline glucosamine sulfate, which is present in the cartilage of a healthy person and is directly involved in metabolic processes, in particular, in the production of proteoglycan proteins, which form the structural basis of cartilage. The chondroprotector stimulates the metabolism in the cartilage, eliminates inflammation, helps stop the destruction of the cartilage, however, to achieve a real effect, the course of treatment should be several months. In addition, it is important to start taking the chondroprotector as early as possible until irreversible changes develop in the cartilage.

Surgical treatment of spinal arthrosis

Operations for arthrosis of the spine are performed when the disease has led to disability of the patient and not other ways to improve his quality of life. As a rule, during operations, the curvature of the spine, hernial protrusion of the intervertebral discs are eliminated, the normal distance between the vertebrae is restored to eliminate pressure on the roots of the spinal nerves.

In addition to treatment activities

In addition to the main treatment program, it is recommended to supplement it with physiotherapy, which significantly eliminates the pain syndrome and serves as a prevention of new exacerbations, as well as physical therapy exercises, massage sessions, manual therapy, acupuncture.

An important role is played by rationalizing nutrition, switching to a diet with a reduced number of calories (in the presence of excess body weight), refusing junk food with an abundance of refined carbohydrates, “heavy” fats and fast food. It is recommended to abandon bad habits, as they themselves contribute to the aggravation of the disease.

The patient is recommended moderate physical activity – walking, swimming in the pool. They help improve microcirculation in the muscles of the back, relieve swelling, reduce inflammation, and slow the progression of pathology.

How to effectively treat arthrosis in the lumbar?

The spine supports the entire human body and provides mobility. The most load is placed on the lumbar and sacral region, so the joints of these areas are often damaged and inflamed. And these damage and inflammation can cause the development of arthrosis of bone compounds. Arthrosis of the lumbar spine is dangerous, as it can lead to immobilization of the patient. Therefore, treatment of the disease must be started at an early stage, until the disease has caused complications and can be treated.

Arthrosis of the lumbar

Bone joints wear out and become damaged over time, which leads to the development of arthrosis. However, some people experience premature wear of bone joints, mainly as a result of adverse external and internal effects. To provoke the development of inflammation of the bone joints of the spine can:

  1. Passive lifestyle.
  2. A large load on the body caused by hard physical work or frequent strength training.
  3. Violation of posture.
  4. Improper exercise during training, especially incorrect exercise with weighting materials.
  5. Excessive weight.
  6. Injury to joints and tissues of the back.
  7. Incorrect food.
  8. Frequent wearing high-heeled shoes.
  9. Hereditary predisposition.
  10. Other diseases: thyroid disease, heart and vascular disease, gout, diabetes, hemochromatosis, spinal diseases, etc.

And this is not a complete list of the reasons causing the development of osteoarthritis of the bone compound, this list is expanding every year. Arthrosis of the lumbar and sacral spine is common, as they are the most mobile and bear the main burden.

The degree of arthrosis of the spine and its symptoms

Many people have experienced pain in the lumbar region, but only a few turn to doctors. In most cases, people expect that everything will go away by itself, and while they wait, arthrosis of the lumbar and sacral spine or another disease develops. And every day the area of ​​damage increases, so treating arthrosis is becoming more difficult.

And in time, the detected violation is easiest to eliminate at the initial stage.

Arthrosis of the lumbar and sacral spine has 3 stages:

    At the first stage, minor changes in the joint occur: the flu >

It is important to determine the stage of the disease, since the treatment technique depends on it.

Treatment of spinal arthrosis

Treatment of arthrosis of the joints of the lumbar and sacral spine begins after determining the stage of the disease and the cause that provoked its development. Since if the reason was the following: overweight, excessive physical activity, poor nutrition, etc., then the treatment is not effective until the negative factors are eliminated.

The doctor, after diagnosing and determining the stage of the disease, prescribes treatment. Arthrosis treatment is based on several components.

Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologistShishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.

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Medication Therapy

You need to take medications at both 1 and 3 stages of the disease. At the 1st stage of arthrosis, medications help stop the destruction of tissues and protect cartilage. Therefore, the course of treatment with drugs is quite long (it can last more than a year). So, at the initial stage, medicines related to the group of handroprotectors and vitamins are prescribed.

With 2 degrees of the disease, the same medicines are prescribed. In addition to them, the patient is also prescribed painkillers, which can be used only with severe pain. Since such drugs worsen the condition of the joint.

With grade 3 disease, treatment with handroprotectors is ineffective, because the cartilage is badly damaged, and it makes no sense to protect it. Also, drugs in this group will not help from severe pain. You can get rid of it for a while with the help of strong anti-inflammatory and painkillers. But they can be used a limited number of times, since they accelerate the destruction of cartilage and bone tissue.

Special Diet

Often, arthrosis begins to develop due to a deficiency of nutrients. Even if something else became the cause of the joint disease, an unbalanced diet speeds up the process of developing the disease. Therefore, diet is an essential element of treatment. In this case, a person should not greatly limit himself.

He just needs to give up junk food (fast food, marinades, very salty and fatty foods, sweet and flour) and some foods (tomatoes, beans, figs, raspberries, grapes, mushrooms). And include healthy foods (seafood, poultry, cabbage, fresh cucumbers, carrots, potatoes, cereals, etc.) in the menu, which should be steamed or just boiled. At the same time, a person needs to reduce the size of the portion, but he should eat much more often (at least 4 times a day).

Therapeutic exercise

Gymnastics therapy is also required, regardless of degree. Exercises are selected by a specialist, and he also regulates the load. All exercises should be performed not on speed, but on quality. Therefore, the first classes are held under the supervision of a specialist, after practicing the technique, the patient can engage on their own. All movements should be smooth, during classes you can not make sudden movements. It is also important not to overload the joint, therefore it is better to engage in 10-20 minutes throughout the day. Exercise is required daily, only this way it will help.

Complex treatment

In addition to the basic and traditional elements of therapy, the complex also includes:

Comprehensive treatment is very effective, and sometimes it helps even with 3 degrees of illness. The main thing is that the patient follows all the recommendations and does not give up therapy immediately after the symptoms disappear.

Health is the most valuable thing a person has. However, many people do not understand this, and neglect it. And this attitude leads to the development of many diseases. One such disease is arthrosis.

But if he begins treatment in the early stages, she will not greatly affect it. But if he starts the disease, then he will suffer for a long time. Moreover, treatment may not even help, and then the patient will need surgery. Therefore, arthrosis of the lumbar spine cannot be ignored, as soon as symptoms and signs are revealed, treatment must be started immediately.

How to get rid of arthrosis of the lumbosacral spine

Arthrosis of the lumbar spine is quite common, especially in people who have crossed the 40-year mark. Such a lesion is diagnosed in almost every third person.

What is a pathology?

Arthrosis is a degenerative disease localized mainly in the intervertebral joints. The loin and sacrum are considered the most mobile parts of the body, since they are involved in most human movements in space.

Due to arthrosis in the lower back, blood circulation worsens, nerve endings get pinched. The processes of tissue atrophy develop. The disease leads to the fact that the affected vertebra is greatly destroyed over time, and the functionality of this part is completely impaired.

Causes of the disease

Arthrosis of the intervertebral joints is provoked by such reasons:

  • too heavy load on the lower back (constant presence in a static position);
  • lack of motor activity;
  • congenital or acquired impaired posture;
  • improper exercise;
  • features of work: constant standing at the machine, sitting at the computer;
  • excessive body weight, which puts additional strain on the joints;
  • spinal injury: dislocation, microfracture;
  • a violation in the intervertebral discs;
  • autoimmune process: gout, hemochromatosis;
  • vascular diseases;
  • impaired functionality of the endocrine system.

Age also becomes a provoking factor, as the body ages, and dystrophic processes in it progress, and metabolic worsen. An inflammatory process that affects the musculoskeletal system can start the development of pathology.

Symptoms of pathology

Before starting treatment for arthrosis of the lumbosacral, it is necessary to undergo a thorough examination. The presented disease has the following symptoms:

  1. A pain syndrome that becomes stronger with any movement or the performance of some action. The strongest sensations are localized where the damaged vertebrae are located.
  2. Restriction of movement, stiffness (especially in the morning). Often the patient is not able to sit or stand up on their own. He needs help.
  3. Crunch while moving.
  4. A characteristic feature of the presented pathology is also such a sign as tension of the back muscles.
  5. Swelling and swelling in the affected area.
  6. Temperature increase.
  7. Increased fatigue.
  8. General weakness, malaise.

To this list of symptoms, you can add a decrease in reflexes, numbness of the skin on the feet and legs. A person cannot walk, stand or sit for long. As you can see, the symptoms are not specific, so the doctor should make the most accurate diagnosis at the consultation.

Stages of development of the disease

Each affected intervertebral joint of the lumbar spine must be treated without fail. Otherwise, dystrophic processes will continue further. There are several stages of the development of arthrosis, characterized by their symptoms:

  • First one. The patient practically does not feel limited movement. But at this stage, the patient can hear a characteristic crunch during bends or turns. Pain sensations appear only after a long load.
  • The second one. It is characterized by a difficulty in performing any actions, that is, a person can no longer work normally. The restriction of mobility in the lower back becomes more pronounced. The pain is more intense and is felt after almost any movement.
  • The third. Arthrosis of the lumbar region in this case is expressed by constant pain that does not pass, even if the person is at rest. The patient has muscle deformity. Changes in the structure of the spine become very noticeable.
  • Fourth. At this stage, the joints grow together.

If arthrosis is not treated, it can lead to complete disability. In this case, the lower limbs can also be paralyzed.

Features of diagnosis of the disease

In case of arthrosis of the lumbosacral spine, treatment is performed only after an accurate diagnosis is made. For this, the patient is assigned such studies:

  • radiography of the affected spine in several projections;
  • MRI;
  • radioisotope scanning of the spinal canal to detect its narrowing;
  • Ultrasound;
  • dopplerography of vessels of the lumbosacral region.

A biochemical blood test is also needed, with which you can establish the true cause of arthrosis.

What complications can cause arthrosis

The presented pathology leads to the destruction of the joints of the spine. It provokes such complications:

  1. Synovitis or inflammation of the lining of the joint bag.
  2. Periarthritis. In this case, the pathological process affects the tissues located near the affected joints.
  3. The immobility of the damaged part of the spine, which is irreversible.
  4. Coxarthrosis of the hip joints.
  5. Joint deformity, bringing not only severe physical pain, but also psychological discomfort.

In order to avoid this situation, it is necessary to begin treatment of the disease as soon as possible. It will not be possible to completely get rid of this pathology, but there is an opportunity to slow down its progression and ensure a good quality of life for the patient.

How to treat arthrosis

Therapy involves an integrated approach. All procedures and drugs should be prescribed only by a professional doctor. Self-medication or decoctions of herbs alone will not work out the disease. In the early stages of lumbar arthrosis, the use of medications is practically not required. Treatment of arthrosis is reduced to the fight against excess weight, the wearing of supporting belts. And such procedures will be useful:

  • professional massage and manual therapy;
  • acupuncture;
  • electrophoresis using dimexide;
  • paraffin baths.

If the pain syndrome is severe, medications still have to be taken. Analgesics and antispasmodics will help: Tolperisone, Meloxicam, Spazmaton. If they do not help, then for further treatment the patient is placed in a hospital, where Eufillin is administered via intravenous infusion.

At home, non-hormonal anti-inflammatory drugs are used to eliminate unpleasant symptoms. But they only relieve symptoms. Arthrosis can be treated using chondroprotectors (Don, Teraflex, Chondroitin). They contribute to the restoration of cartilage, improve the production of synovial fluid. Joints become more mobile, not destroyed. A feature of chondroprotectors is that they must be taken for a long time. And they do not help in the last stages of development of lumbar arthrosis.

In case of inefficiency and such therapy, the patient undergoes a neurosurgical operation. The patient should be careful about his diet. It must be complete and correct. It is better to abandon those products that provoke an exacerbation of the inflammation process.

You can relieve pain with the help of such local medications as Diclofenac. Dicloberl injection will help to quickly relieve pain. The maximum effect of treatment will help to get physiotherapy exercises.

Features of the use of therapeutic exercises

It helps to develop joints, improve their nutrition and mobility. However, with lumbar arthrosis, not all exercises are shown: those that use a hoop are prohibited. For the treatment of this spine, the following exercises are used:

  1. The patient lies on his back, and his legs bend at the knees. Now it slowly rolls from one side to another. The number of repetitions depends on the general well-being of a person.
  2. The patient stands on all fours and tries to arch his back up and down. It is best to do 2 reps.
  3. The patient becomes so that his whole back is leaned against the wall, his arms are down, and his feet are at a distance of 30 cm from the support. Further, a person slowly falls down, lingers in this position for several seconds, and then returns to its original position.
  4. The patient is recommended to hang on the horizontal bar, which contributes to the stretching of the spine. As a result of repeated repetition of the exercise, the distance between the vertebrae increases, the pain goes away.

Arthrosis of the lumbar spine is a serious illness that can immobilize a person. Her treatment should be started in a timely manner, after the appearance of the first signs, and it is better not to allow its development at all.

See also:

How to get rid of arthrosis of the lumbosacral spine: 1 comment

It is also worth going to the pool, unless of course your spine is still capable of movement. Once a week I always go for a swim and once a week I visit a massage therapist, I also recommend using chondroprotectors for the non-neglected stages of the disease, I have been treated with Elbona for the second year now and have almost doubted the effectiveness of this drug, my back mobility is now almost like that of a healthy person and pains are extremely rare

Low back pain is quite common with a modern lifestyle. The cause is arthrosis of the lumbar spine. Dystrophy of the intervertebral discs causes inflammation and pain that interfere with the normal course of life. Standing, sitting with a straight back can be difficult, not just bending. Mobility is lost, the desire to do something, in the worst case, loss of performance.

The causes of pathology.

The development of spinal arthrosis occurs for several reasons:

  • age;
  • congenital dysplasia of the joints of the spinal column;
  • scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis;
  • overweight, spinal overload;
  • transferred injuries of the lumbar vertebrae.

In addition, there are a number of non-specific factors affecting the development of arthrosis not only in the lumbosacral, but also in other parts of the musculoskeletal system:

  • collagen synthesis disorders II;
  • insufficient intake of substances necessary for the regeneration of cartilage;

Stages of development and symptoms.

Examples of intervertebral disc disease

The onset of the disease is divided into 3 stages:

Stage I – initial. At this stage, lumbar arthrosis is the most difficult to diagnose. Symptoms of this stage are not expressed, since the deformation of the cartilaginous tissue of the joints has only just begun. The lack of moisture and minerals leads to the drying out of the cartilage – it is flattened and, under the influence of gravity and pressure of the vertebrae, is deformed.

Stage II – stage of moderate severity. The spinal disc of the lumbar region is covered with cracks, becomes rough and uneven, more like a bone. At this stage, inflammation and soreness in the back with bending join the destruction of the cartilage. It is then that the patient can consult a doctor with complaints. The diagnosis is made at this stage.

Stage III – severe arthrosis. The lack of necessary treatment leads to the appearance of strong, intolerable pain in the back at the slightest exertion, being in one position for a long time. It is already impossible to reverse the cartilage deformation at this stage of arthrosis – surgical intervention is required.

Diagnostics. How is she going?

To confirm the preliminary diagnosis, the doctor prescribes several studies:

  • roentgenography;
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), CT (computed tomography);
  • blood test;
  • radioisotope research;
  • dopplerography.

All diagnostic methods will help the doctor accurately determine the stage of arthrosis, prescribe the appropriate treatment – therapeutic or surgical.

Treatment of spinal arthrosis.

A comprehensive, systematic treatment of arthrosis gives good results – it relieves pain and inflammation, supports cartilage and restores flexibility to the lumbosacral spine.

In the treatment of arthrosis, it is necessary:

  • relieving pain, inflammation;
  • maintaining intervertebral discs;
  • development of mobility, flexibility of the spinal column.

To relieve pain and inflammation, the doctor will prescribe non-stero />

Also, with arthrosis of the lumbar spine, the introduction of an epidural injection of steroid drugs is possible. This will help reduce pain and stop inflammation for a long time (the duration of the drug depends on the individual characteristics of the body). The use of such a treatment method is recommended no more than three times a year.

Chondroprotectors are prescribed to maintain cartilage. They come in the form of tablets, capsules (Structum, Chondroitin Akos); ointments, creams (Chondroitin Akos, Chondrox />

After the pain and inflammation are relieved, physiotherapy and exercise therapy are prescribed to restore flexibility and mobility of the spine.

  • massages;
  • reflexology (acupuncture);
  • magnetic therapy;
  • laser therapy;
  • therapeutic baths.

Physiotherapy allows you to normalize blood circulation in the area of ​​arthrosis of the lumbosacral, reduces swelling, improves muscle tone and facilitates treatment. However, the use of physiotherapeutic methods is possible only with a partial decrease in swelling and inflammation in the field of arthrosis.


Appointed by a physiotherapist. It should be done only under the supervision of a specialist in a hospital setting. All exercises are divided into 3 groups:

  1. Exercises with a hoop – help to improve blood circulation in the lower back, enhance metabolic processes. Suitable for prevention and contraindicated in hernias of the lumbar spine.
  2. Fitball exercises. They develop mobility and flexibility of the spinal column, relieve tension in the muscles. The use of massage balls also enhance metabolism.
  3. General physiotherapy for the spine. Helps relieve pain in the lumbosacral spine, develops flexibility and joint mobility.


To alleviate the symptoms of arthrosis of the lumbosacral spine at home, alternative recipes for ointments, compresses and raster are used.

Horseradish compress relieves pain and inflammation at night. To prepare it, grate horseradish on a fine grater, heat and wrap in a cotton cloth. Apply a compress to the lumbar region, wrap yourself in a warm shawl.

Good relieves pain ointment from herbs. Combine chamomile, calendula and burdock root with petroleum jelly. Rub this mixture into the sore lower back with arthrosis of the spine with light massage movements every day as needed.

Also, rubbing with badger or pork fat will help relieve inflammation and pain. With your fingertips, gently rub melted fat into the lower back, warming the muscles lying around. Such a massage is best done at bedtime every day.


Surgical intervention is prescribed only when conservative treatment does not bring relief. There are 2 types of operations:

    Donation – are carried out exclusively to r >Arthrosis of the lumbosacral spine is a chronic disease that requires constant maintenance of the intervertebral joints in good condition. This requires the use of special medical bandages that support the back in a natural position, restricting movement in the lumbosacral region. They relieve stress from the back, hip joints.

Corsets must be worn up to 14-16 hours a day – they significantly reduce back pain. They are very convenient in everyday life and do not interfere with work, homework. They are removed only with the permission of the doctor, when he no longer sees the need for their use. With the resumption of pain, the corset is put on repeatedly until the pain syndrome passes.


It is not difficult to cure arthrosis of the spine, the main thing is to start treatment on time and with all responsibility. In this case, the use of drugs, physiotherapeutic procedures and the orthopedic regimen bring a quick and lasting effect – a healthy and mobile back.

Spinal arthrosis

Arthrosis of the spine (spondylarthrosis) is a degenerative disease characterized by metabolic disorders in the cartilages of the intervertebral joints with their subsequent destruction.

If earlier this disease was considered the lot of the elderly, now the age level has dropped to 35 years. A person has an average of 33 – 34 vertebrae. In the cervical, thoracic and lumbar regions, the vertebrae are interconnected by means of arched (facet) joints.

These joints are formed by the superior articular process of the underlying vertebra and the lower articular process of the superior vertebra. The articular surfaces of the processes are covered with hyaline cartilage. Dystrophic changes in the tissue of this cartilage and lead to arthrosis.

Why arthrosis develops

Violation of metabolic processes in the cartilage tissue leads to its dehydration, the appearance of microcracks and the loss of proteoglycans. Cartilage loses its cushioning capacity, and an excess load is placed on the articular surfaces of the bones.

As a result of this, the compensatory uneven growth of the cartilaginous tissue first occurs, and then it is replaced by bone. Therefore, arthrosis is also called osteoarthritis. As a rule, such metabolic disturbance occurs in old age due to malnutrition of tissues, prolonged excessive load on a particular section of the spine and a general slowdown in metabolism.

However, now this disease occurs on average and even at a fairly young age. The reasons for the development of arthrosis can be the following factors:

  • Spinal injuries.
  • Heavy physical exertion.
  • Overweight.
  • Diabetes.
  • Sedentary lifestyle.
  • Long static loads.
  • Congenital malformations of the vertebrae.
  • Weak muscle corset.

Types and stages

Osteoarthrosis of the spine is classified according to the predominant part of the lesion:

  • Cervical.
  • Thoracic.
  • Lumbar.
  • Sacral.
  • Common (affected by 2 or more departments).

In addition, it is customary to distinguish the degree of damage:

  • 1 degree. Clinical manifestations are absent. Changes in cartilage are detected by a special examination.
  • 2 degree. Complaints and clinical manifestations of the disease are present, movements in the joints are limited
  • 3 degree. Severe clinical manifestations, significant limitation of mobility in the joints of the spine, leading to disability.


Clinical manifestations will depend on which part of the spinal column is affected, and on the severity of changes in the cartilage tissue.

Arthrosis of the joints of the cervical spine

The cervical spine is the most mobile, so the clinical signs of arthrosis appear quite quickly. At the first stage, only a feeling of stiffness, “sagging” of the neck with a long stay in one position is possible.

In addition, signs such as:

  • Headache.
  • Dizziness, especially with sharp turns of the head.
  • General malaise, loss of concentration, fatigue.
  • Irradiation of pain in the shoulder and forearm.
  • Violation of the sensitivity of the skin in the collar zone (numbness, tingling, burning).

These manifestations occur due to muscle spasm and compression of the peripheral vertebral blood vessels and nerve roots. When the disease progresses to the 3rd stage, pain in the neck is almost constant, including at rest. There is also an increase in neurological symptoms associated with prolonged infringement of nerve fibers.

Arthrosis of the joints of the thoracic spine

In the thoracic region, pathology develops less frequently than in the rest. This is due to the fact that the spinal column here does not carry a significant load.

Most often, the joints of this department are affected due to excessive physical activity during sports or professional activities, and are also the result of the effects of injuries.

Clinical manifestations occur when the cartilage has already undergone significant pathological changes:

  • Pain in the middle of the back when turning and tilting the body, when trying to lift a heavy object. And also after physical exertion.
  • Crunch or clicks while moving.
  • Pain can be given to the abdomen or chest, which often causes difficulties in diagnosis.
  • As the disease progresses, a violation of posture appears, associated with a violation of the tone of the muscle corset.

Arthrosis of the joints of the lumbar spine

Vertebral vertebrae of the lumbosacral region carry the maximum static load; therefore, their articular cartilage most often undergoes degenerative processes. At first, arthrosis is manifested by a feeling of heaviness in the lumbar region with prolonged sitting.

There is a desire to get up, stretch oneself. Then there are pains after physical exertion, especially related to the lifting of gravity. If you do not take any measures, then arthrosis of the joints of the lumbar spine will lead to the fact that pain will accompany even everyday stress.

In addition, infringement of nerve fibers, in particular the sciatic nerve (sciatica), often occurs. With sciatica, the patient feels a shooting pain in the lower back and sacrum, radiating to the buttock and on the back of the thigh. A feeling of weakness in the lower limb may occur.


The diagnosis is made by a neuropathologist based on examination, neurological tests and analysis of instrumental research data. The main diagnostic methods are as follows:

  • Roentgenography. Narrowing of the joint gap, subchondral sclerosis and marginal osteophytes is revealed.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging. It can detect arthrosis in the early stages, because unlike an X-ray examination, it can assess the condition of cartilage tissue.


The treatment of osteoarthritis is to improve the nutrition of articular cartilage and enhance regeneration processes. In addition, it is necessary to stop the pain syndrome and strengthen the musculo-ligamentous apparatus.

Therapy should be comprehensive and based on the patient’s understanding that in order to obtain a lasting effect, independent efforts must be made for a considerable period of time.

Proper nutrition will help normalize body weight and relieve the spine, and providing the body with the necessary nutrients speeds up metabolism, improves regeneration and slows down the aging process.

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Whole grain bread and unrefined cereals.
  • Fish and seafood.
  • Lean meat.
  • Quail and chicken egg.
  • Dairy.

It is better to exclude or limit as much as possible from the diet:

  • Sugar, pastry, white bread.
  • Smoked meats and pickles.
  • Fat meat.
  • Semi-finished products and canned food.
  • Juices in bags, ketchups, mayonnaises.
  • Alcohol.

The volume of clean water drunk should be 1,5-2 liters per day. You need to drink in small portions, drink 2/3 of the volume in the morning.

Therapeutic exercise

Once arthrosis of the spine has been identified, you need to visit a specialist in physical therapy (exercise therapy) to draw up a training program. Without this, counting on a positive treatment outcome is not worth it. The specialist will recommend exercises for the spine, based on the stage of the disease, age and general health of the patient.

The complex of exercise therapy includes breathing exercises, warm-up, the main part and the final exercises. With severe arthrosis, it is recommended to perform gymnastics in the pool, this significantly reduces the load on the spinal column.


In the period of exacerbation, pain and inflammation are stopped with the help of drugs. Drugs can be taken orally or injected. Usually, drugs from the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used. With severe muscle spasm, muscle relaxants are prescribed.


Physiotherapeutic methods are used in the phase of subsiding exacerbation or in remission. The most effective:

  • Magnetotherapy.
  • Electrophoresis.
  • Ozokerite.
  • Healing mud.


With arthrosis of the spine, surgery is rarely resorted to. If the vertebra is badly damaged, then during the operation it is replaced with an artificial one.


First of all, it is necessary to exclude factors contributing to the development of degenerative processes in the joints: overweight, physical inactivity, malnutrition. In addition to arthrosis of the spine, these measures will help to avoid the development of deforming osteoarthrosis of other joints: hip (coxarthrosis) and knee (gonarthrosis).

The older the person, the more time you need to devote to your health:

  • Walk.
  • To swim.
  • Perform special exercises for stretching the spine and strength exercises to strengthen muscles. Before starting classes, a specialist consultation is required.
  • Take vitamins, mineral complexes and chondroprotectors in courses.
  • Pass a routine medical examination.

Osteoarthrosis of the spine is quite amenable to correction in the early stages of the disease. If treatment is not started on time, then the disease will steadily progress and will lead to a significant decrease in the quality of life of the patient, and often to the development of disability.

Spinal arthrosis

The human spine has a complex structure. So that it provides stability and flexibility of movements, all vertebrae are movably connected to each other with the help of joints, ligaments and muscles. And the function of depreciation is performed by the intervertebral discs. Any violation of the blood supply to tissues or metabolic processes in the joints leads to devastating consequences. In addition to osteochondrosis and spondylitis, common diseases of the spine include arthrosis of the intervertebral joints. This degenerative-dystrophic disease leads to damage to the cartilage tissue and destruction of the joints. Mostly elderly people are subject to this, but recently arthrosis occurs at any age.

Development mechanism

Pathology begins with degenerative processes in the intervertebral discs. Due to constant loads, cracks appear in them, through which there is a loss of proteglycans, responsible for the elasticity of the cartilage tissue. This process leads to its complete destruction. The joint loses its elasticity and flexibility, so when moving its surface rub against each other. This leads to the fact that the vertebrae come together, gradually the bone tissue is destroyed, possibly the infringement of the nerve roots and blood vessels.

The development of arthrosis begins with malnutrition of cartilage. Their thinning affects the condition of the vertebrae. Degenerative processes take place especially quickly in those parts of the spine that are subjected to heavy loads. Therefore, the most common arthrosis of the lumbosacral spine and cervical.

Violation of the elasticity of the articular cartilage leads to frequent subluxations. In addition, to protect bone tissue from abrasion, osteophytes begin to form, which severely restrict movement and cause pain. This condition, when the intervertebral joints are deformed, the cartilage becomes thinner and growths appear, is called deforming osteoarthritis. In advanced cases, it causes severe curvature of the spine.


It is believed that what arthrosis is, people learn after 50 years. After all, age-related changes in the joints and a slowdown in metabolic processes are the main cause of this disease. Cartilage tissue in the elderly loses its elasticity, as its nutrition is disturbed. Especially often women are prone to degenerative processes during menopause, since hormonal changes also affect the joints. In addition, this can happen with liver diseases, which lead to the accumulation of toxic metabolic products in the joints, as well as diabetes.

Arthrosis of the intervertebral joints often develops as a secondary disease in certain chronic or congenital pathologies of the musculoskeletal system and blood circulation. This may be osteochondrosis, ankylosing spondylitis, osteoporosis, dysplasia of the joints, flat feet, atherosclerosis. In addition, it is believed that there is a genetic predisposition to the development of degenerative processes. Injuries to the spine after some time can also lead to destruction of the joints.

Scientists pay attention to the influence of lifestyle with the development of arthrosis of the spine. And most often it is increased physical activity. That is why the spine is subjected to degenerative processes in people engaged in heavy physical labor, in athletes, dancers, movers. Extra load on the joints of the spine occurs with excess weight. In these cases, arthrosis of the lumbar intervertebral joints more often develops.

But recently, doctors have noted that more and more this diagnosis is made to young people who can not withstand heavy physical exertion. Office workers, students, writers, that is, those who lead a sedentary lifestyle and sit a lot, suffer from this. Indeed, at the same time, their muscles supporting the spine are weakened, and metabolic processes slow down. In addition, with a sedentary lifestyle, posture is often disturbed, which leads to the destruction of joints. In this case, osteoarthrosis of the spine most often affects the cervical and thoracic.


Like all degenerative diseases, arthrosis has a chronic course. At the initial stage, its symptoms may be invisible, but the process of destruction without treatment does not stop. Therefore, it is very important to pay attention in time to the slightest discomfort in the spine, limitation of movement and pain. This will help to start treatment in a timely manner and prevent complications.

Symptoms of arthrosis of the spine can be different. They depend on the localization of degenerative processes, the degree of destruction of cartilage, the presence of concomitant pathologies.

  • The main sign of arthrosis is pain. It appears most often in the lumbar spine, sometimes in the cervical. The pain intensifies with movement, as the articular surfaces rub against each other. Pain subsides if the patient lies on a flat surface. It is difficult to find a comfortable position for pain in the sacrum.
  • Due to the decrease in the distance between the vertebrae, a nerve infringement can occur, which causes sharp pain.
  • With the development of degenerative processes, pain can become permanent, not subsiding even at rest.
  • Usually the pain is localized in one area of ​​the back, which is affected by arthrosis. Unlike hernia or radiculitis, it does not give in the limb, it is rarely felt under the shoulder blade or in the chest.
  • In the mornings or after a long stay in a stationary position, the patient feels a strong stiffness in his movements, but gradually it passes.
  • When bending the body or turning, a crunch may be heard. Gradually, the range of motion is limited. Without treatment, this leads to ankylosis, that is, to a complete fusion of the joints.

Sometimes specific signs appear, depending on the location of the disease. For example, with arthrosis of the cervical spine, numbness of the upper limbs, headaches, fluctuations in blood pressure can occur. This is due to the infringement of the vessels that feed the brain or nerve roots. With arthrosis of the lumbosacral spine, the pain can be given to the leg, a change in gait, and a deterioration in the sitting position are possible.


All manifestations of arthrosis, especially at the initial stage, are similar to other diseases of the spine. Therefore, it is impossible to make a diagnosis only by external signs; instrumental examination is required. The main symptoms of arthrosis are noticeable even on an x-ray, so they always start with radiography.

But to clarify the diagnosis, a CT or MRI of the ridge can be prescribed. In addition, ultrasound of the brain or neck vessels and blood tests are sometimes performed.


After making a diagnosis, the doctor determines how to treat arthrosis. Methods are selected individually, depending on the age of the patient, the stage of degenerative processes, their location. Treatment must necessarily be comprehensive, as arthrosis develops due to metabolic disturbances and inadequate joint loads. Therefore, it cannot be cured only with medicines or ointments. In addition, therapy should be lengthy, some procedures will need to be performed constantly, because the disease is chronic. You can slow down or even stop the degenerative processes, but it is unlikely that it will be possible to restore normal joint functions.

Therefore, the composition of complex therapy most often includes such methods:

  • drugs to relieve pain, muscle spasms, improve metabolic processes and nutrition of cartilage;
  • physiotherapy exercises help prevent joint ankylosis, improves spinal mobility;
  • physiotherapeutic procedures improve blood circulation and tissue nutrition;
  • a special diet helps prov >

Medication Therapy

At any stage, the treatment of spinal arthrosis is not without medication. They are most often used to relieve pain and inflammation, which occurs due to constant mechanical tissue irritation. First, such drugs in tablets or ointments are effective. In severe pain, injections work best, especially right in the area of ​​the affected joints. Often because of this, muscle cramps occur, which further aggravate the position of the patient. In this case, muscle relaxants are prescribed.

Additionally, drugs are also needed to improve blood supply to tissues and metabolic processes. They help stop the destruction of cartilage. Chondroprotectors, which at the initial stage are able to almost stop degenerative processes, are most often used for arthrosis.


The treatment of any diseases of the spine is not complete without physiotherapeutic procedures. With arthrosis, the most effective are:

  • magnetotherapy;
  • phonophoresis;
  • radiofrequency denervation;
  • acupuncture;
  • balneotherapy;
  • massage.

Therapeutic exercise

With arthrosis, the patient will definitely need to change his lifestyle. Increased loads are contraindicated to him, but movement is necessary. Therefore, physiotherapy exercises are prescribed. Exercises are selected individually, depending on the age of the patient and his state of health. They should strengthen the muscles of the back, improve blood circulation. Useful stretching and relaxation exercises. Effectively relieve pain and help slow down the degenerative processes of swimming, yoga.

Proper nutrition is also very important for arthrosis of the spine. It is advisable to exclude salty and spicy dishes, smoked meats, marinades, sausages, fried and fatty foods from the diet. Limit the need for sweets, confectionery and white flour products. It is good to eat cereals, whole grain bread, vegetable oil, fresh juices, vegetables and fruits. To improve blood circulation and metabolic processes, you need to drink at least one and a half liters of pure water per day.

Folk methods

Pain and inflammation can be tried to remove folk remedies. But they should not be the only method of treatment, it is necessary to apply everything that the doctor prescribes. But in addition, you can use some folk recipes. For example, bee products relieve pain well. This can be rubbing with alcohol tincture of propolis, ointment based on honey, rubbing bee venom.

Effective grindings with tincture of golden mustache, compresses from calamus root, blue clay, ointments based on plantain, comfrey or horseradish. You can tie burdock or cabbage leaves to your back. It improves blood circulation and increases the mobility of the dog’s belt.

To stop the destruction of the joints of the spine and maintain its mobility, it is necessary to begin treatment of arthrosis at an early stage, when the first symptoms appear.

Morozov Georgiy

Georgy Morozov, rheumatologist. For more than 20 years, he has been involved in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of joint diseases.