The urgency of the problem is really great among modern patients. In addition, the disease is constantly “getting younger” and is found among different age groups. The emergence of pathology is influenced by various environmental factors. Treatment of osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine consists of methods that affect the mechanism of the disease. High-quality and timely assistance will help improve the quality of life, returns the patient to work and well-being.
Why does lumbar osteochondrosis occur?
The only reason for the pathology cannot be distinguished – most often the totality of risk factors affects the formation of the pathological process. They can act on the spine indirectly or directly.
The longer the action of provoking factors, the more likely the development of osteochondrosis of the lumbar.
Consider the main reasons:
- The main mechanism for the formation of the problem is a violation of microcirculation in the tissues of the vertebrae. This leads to the destruction of cartilage and interarticular structures. Tissue destruction occurs as a result of metabolic disturbances, lack of oxygen and accumulation of waste substances.
- The main risk factor is hereditary addiction. This peculiarity of the body is explained by damage to some sections of certain genes that are responsible for the structure and function of articular tissue in the spine. If the family has a tendency to osteochondrosis, you must be wary and observe preventive measures.
- If the spine is often amenable to stress and minor injuries, the surface is gradually destroyed, which dampens movement in the joints. Frequent physical work, heavy loads or movement can damage the cartilage. It is dangerous and constant being in the same position, especially with an asymmetric component. Often, osteochondrosis of the lumbar is observed in those who have devoted a long period of life to sports. Large injuries are dangerous because the cartilage tissue cannot fully restore integrity, microcirculation is disturbed, and a scar area is formed.
- Poor nutrition, which contains harmful chemical additives, carcinogens, does not enrich the body with minerals – not the best ally for the spine. For its full-fledged work, a complete set of proteins, fats and carbohydrates, as well as vitamins and minerals, is required.
- Those who often drink coffee and tea should know that they literally “wash out” calcium from the body, which is so beneficial for the musculoskeletal system. Errors in the diet are not as harmless as it seems at first glance – the cartilage tissue becomes thinner and loses its elasticity.
- Features of connective tissue and metabolic disorders are one of the common causes of osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine. The disease can develop against the background of vascular pathology, metabolic disorders, systemic diseases. A long-term persistent infection in the body also affects the condition of cartilage and articular structures. Obesity and overweight can also be attributed to this group of risk factors. These conditions disrupt the metabolism, but along with these they also carry physical stress on the spine.
- Curvature of the posture and disturbance of the foot affect the condition of the vertebrae and intervertebral discs. There is a direct relationship of osteochondrosis with flat feet, scoliosis and other orthopedic pathology.
- Bad habits such as smoking and drinking affect blood circulation in the structures of the spine. Spasm of arteries and capillaries leads to metabolic disorders and can serve as a trigger factor for the onset of the disease. About the same thing happens with severe stress, sleep disturbances and changes in the emotional background. Sharp spasms of the vessels occur during hypothermia – if this happens regularly, it can lead to a problem.
- A sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise lead to stagnation of blood in the structures of the vertebrae and between them. And also this leads to the accumulation of weight and aggravation of the situation.
As you can see, there are many causes of osteochondrosis of the lumbar. Knowing them, you can think through prevention and follow it. This is useful not only for the back, but also for the whole organism.
What is the manifestation of the disease?
In order to recognize the clinic of the disease, it is necessary to get acquainted with the anatomy of the structures that are involved in the process. In the lumbosacral, 5 lumbar and 5 sacral vertebrae are connected. Osteochondrosis affects the lower lumbar segment or vertebrae at the border of two sites. Symptoms are explained by the pathological process that occurs in the tissues of the spine.
At the first stage, disc tissues are dehydrated, due to which depreciation during movement is reduced. Disks located between the vertebral bodies change shape, structure and cease to perform their usual functions. This is due to loss of fluid and nutrients.
The main sections of the vertebrae become closer to each other, the distance between them decreases. Clinically, this is accompanied by the fact that nerve endings are periodically infringed. The patient feels a sharp pain, which eventually passes, but temporarily restricts movement and disrupts the usual rhythm of life. There is also discomfort in the lumbar region, a feeling of heaviness in the tissues of the spine. The pain appears against a background of stress, exertion, low temperature, or an uncomfortable posture. In principle, this stage of the pathology is easily treatable.
The next stage is accompanied by deformation of the discs between the vertebrae – they go beyond their usual limits. The patient feels severe pain. Attacks become longer and longer, the gaps between them are reduced. Pain disturbs both at rest, and against the background of exertion. Her character is aching, crushing, bursting.
The pain can radiate to the leg – from the buttock to the foot. The pain spreads along the nerve endings and leads to impaired sensitivity, numbness. in some cases, muscle weakness of the lower limb may be felt. The lumbar spinal cord innervates the pelvic organs, so it may be accompanied by the corresponding symptoms.
At the final stage of the process, the pain becomes unbearable, the motor function is lost. It becomes difficult for the patient to make movements in the spine – inclinations, turns, bendings. Significant leg paralysis, problems with sexual function and urination can be observed. Pain is felt almost all the time. This condition requires serious measures and intensive treatment of the lumbar, otherwise it can lead to disability.
You should start with non-pharmacological methods – pay attention to ensuring that work and sleep are comfortable for the spine, adjust nutrition, give up bad habits, and normalize body weight.
In the early stages, therapeutic exercises, physiotherapeutic techniques such as magnetotherapy, electrophoresis, phonophoresis, therapeutic showers and baths are good methods.
If the disease progresses, the use of drugs for treatment is required:
- To reduce the pain symptom, analgin, spasmalgon and other analgesics are used.
- To reassure the patient and relieve agitation from a pain attack, you can use hydazepam or phenazepam.
- To relieve muscle pressure on the vertebrae, you can use midocal, baclofen.
- Inflammatory manifestations are stopped with the help of lornoxicam or meloxicam.
- Locally, you can apply ointment or gels, for example diclac, diprilif. They relieve pain and swelling.
- Stimulation of blood circulation increases the flow of nutrient-rich blood to the spine. Drugs – trental, polyglucin;
- Significant edema compresses the blood vessels, which worsens the blood flow, and also infringes on the nerve endings, which is reflected in a painful attack. To eliminate this process, diuretics are used – hypothiazide, mannitol.
Many of these medicines have contraindications, so you should treat them carefully and use them only on the recommendation of a doctor. If a course of drug treatment is started, it is necessary to continue it to the end in order to achieve the desired effect. Keep track of your drug choices and avoid fake medications.
How to avoid the disease?
Prevention of osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine is aimed at resisting its occurrence. if there is already a pathology, you can reduce the risk of complications, improve well-being and delay another complication of the disease. To do this, it is necessary to influence the causes that lead to the formation of osteochondrosis.
Preventive measures consist of the following actions:
- make sure that your food is complete and high-quality;
- Avoid bad habits and stress;
- lead an active lifestyle, but avoid trauma to the vertebrae;
- make sure to periodically change the position of the spine if you are working in an uncomfortable position;
- correct posture and foot position if there are problems with this area;
- wear comfortable shoes;
- timely treat background pathology, do not allow it to go into a neglected state.
These simple rules will only help with back problems, but will be good for general health. And the best prevention of complications of osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine is early treatment with effective agents.
Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.
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