According to medical statistics, lower back pain in 80% of cases is caused by lumbar osteochondrosis. This occurs as a result of degenerative-dystrophic changes in this segment, when the intervertebral discs and the adjacent vertebrae are affected. Osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine (OBOP) manifests itself in a variety of symptoms: pain of a different nature, limitation of mobility, impaired sensitivity of the lower body, etc. With prolonged absence of treatment, degenerative processes spread to the vertebrae, reducing the ability to work, then the patient may become disabled.
To avoid dangerous complications of lumbar osteochondrosis (LP), you need to start complex treatment at 1-2 stages of pathology. In advanced cases, when irreversible changes in the disc or vertebrae are already present, an operation is performed. To avoid osteochondrosis of the lower back, and the associated complications, it is necessary to carry out its prevention.
To understand what is osteochondrosis of the Lumbar Spine (Lumbar Spine), you need to study the structure of the spinal column. It consists of vertebrae, between which are placed cartilaginous pads (intervertebral disc). The disc is covered with a hard fibrous membrane (annulus fibrosus), inside which is the nucleus pulposus. This structure has a shock-absorbing function and makes the spine more flexible.
Help. The lumbar segment of the spine is subjected to tremendous stress on a daily basis, as it supports the weight of the upper body. Therefore, osteochondrosis of the lower spine is diagnosed more often than the cervical, thoracic.
With regular stress on the spine, the discs contract, lose a lot of fluid, their height decreases, and the distance between the vertebrae decreases. The cartilaginous lining becomes fragile, microcracks appear on its surface, through which the nucleus pulposus protrudes over time. With further compression of the intervertebral discs, the outer shell ruptures and the gelatinous body falls out, so a hernia is formed. Then there is pathological mobility of the vertebrae, the load on the adjacent segments of the spine increases.
A little later, bone growths (osteophytes) begin to form at the edges of the vertebral bodies. Thus, the body tries to stabilize the spine.
Doctors distinguish 4 stages of osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine:
The easiest way to cure chondrosis of the lower back (stage 1), however, it is very difficult to identify the disease at this stage. Intervertebral osteochondrosis of the 2nd degree is treated using conservative techniques. Surgery may be required at stages 3-4.
Help. According to statistics, OBO is more often detected in patients after 30 years. There are frequent cases of the development of pathology in people after 20 years. Approximately 80% of patients 60 years old suffer from manifestations of this disease.
To understand how to deal with osteochondrosis PKOP (lumbosacral spine), you need to know its causes:
A disease is often caused by several causes.
In addition, there are factors that provoke the development of lumbar osteochondrosis:
There are many more factors that can trigger degenerative-dystrophic processes in the lumbar spine. For example, flat feet, frequent hypothermia of the back, frequent stress, sleep disorders, etc.
Symptoms of osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine are diverse, they depend on the stage of pathology and localization of the affected area.
Physicians distinguish reflex and compression syndromes (complex of symptoms) in OBOR. The former arise when the receptors of the outer shell of discs, ligaments, joint capsules are irritated, and the latter, when the nerve bundles, blood vessels, and spinal cord are compressed.
There are such reflex syndromes of lumbar osteochondrosis:
Symptoms of compression syndromes depend on which parts of the lumbar segment are damaged. The characteristic signs are associated with compression of the spinal nerves by hernias, osteophytes, displaced vertebrae. This condition is called radiculopathy, in which the pain increases with the slightest movement, the muscles of the lower back are strained, and mobility is limited.
Clinical manifestations of compression syndromes depending on the damaged vertebrae of the lumbar segment:
There is a risk of damage to several nerve bundles at once, for example, L5, S1. If the hernia moves backward, it can compress the spinal cord.
Compression of blood vessels in the lower back increases the likelihood of weakening of the leg muscles, numbness of the lower extremities, impaired control over the process of urination and defecation. In men with OBO, erection is impaired, and in women, the main symptoms may be supplemented by inflammation of the ovaries or uterus.
To diagnose OBOP, the doctor examines the patient, palpates the patient to determine the condition of the muscles and to identify the curvature of the spine. It is important to tell the specialist in detail about your symptoms to make it easier for him to diagnose.
Instrumental examinations will help to detect intervertebral osteochondrosis:
X-ray allows you to assess the structure of the EPP. To detect abnormal mobility of the vertebrae, x-rays are taken in flexion and extension positions. This study allows us to notice that the intervertebral fissure has narrowed, the vertebral bodies have shifted, and osteophytes have appeared on their edges. However, this diagnostic method is considered obsolete.
Today, CT and MRI are increasingly used to detect degenerative-dystrophic changes in the spine. These highly informative studies make it possible to assess the condition of the vertebrae, discs, intervertebral foramen, and the spinal cord. With their help, protrusions, the direction of the hernia, the degree of compression of the nerve bundles, spinal cord, and blood vessels are detected.
Treatment of osteochondrosis EPP lasts from 1-3 months to 1 year. The success of therapy depends on the patient himself, who must strictly follow the doctor's recommendations. With self-medication, the patient's condition usually worsens.
To achieve such goals, it is recommended to carry out a complex therapy. It usually starts with taking medications:
Careful. NSAIDs are prohibited from taking with gastritis or stomach ulcers, as they further damage the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract.
In case of an exacerbation, the patient is given injections, and after the relief of the main symptoms, he takes oral medications.
In addition, external agents are used (gels, ointments, creams, rubbing).
The question of what to do in case of chronic low back osteochondrosis is quite relevant. If OBOP has become chronic, then after the relief of the main symptoms, the patient is prescribed chondroprotectors, drugs that restore blood circulation, drugs based on vitamins B. They help restore innervation, normalize blood supply to the affected area, and prevent further development of pathology.
Treatment of chondrosis of the lumbar spine (stage 1) is carried out with the use of chondroprotectors, which slow down the development of degenerative processes, accelerate the regeneration of cartilage. In addition, the patient is prescribed vitamin and mineral complexes. This form of osteochondrosis is the easiest to cure.
In case of acute chronic disease (osteochondrosis) of 1 - 2 degrees, the following treatment procedures will help stop its development:
There are many more effective procedures that will help improve the patient's condition in 5-15 sessions. The main thing is to get a doctor's approval before performing them.
If you are wondering if it is possible to treat OBO at home, talk to your doctor. If the specialist has given permission, then begin therapy, which usually consists of the following points:
And also at home you can use lotions with herbal decoctions, plasters.
Help. A novelty in the treatment of osteochondrosis is a massager bed that is suitable even for the most disorganized patients.
However, remember that home treatment can only be done with the permission of your doctor.
An operation for lumbar osteochondrosis is prescribed if conservative techniques have proven ineffective for a long time. And also surgical intervention is indicated for involuntary urination, defecation and cauda equina syndrome (pinching of the nerves of the lower spinal cord).
The following surgical methods are used in the treatment of OBO:
Help. After surgery, there is a risk of complications: spinal cord injuries, nerve bundles, broken grafts, infections, etc.
After treatment, you need to undergo rehabilitation in order to speed up your recovery.
In the absence of proper therapy, the risk of such complications of lumbar osteochondrosis increases:
To avoid such complications, you need to start treatment as early as possible.
To avoid lumbar osteochondrosis, follow these rules:
By following these recommendations, you can avoid degenerative changes in the spine and improve your health.
If you notice symptoms of lumbar osteochondrosis, see your doctor immediately. Self-treatment can make your condition worse and cause complications. Lumbar chondrosis (stage 1) is treated with exercise therapy, physiotherapy and chondroprotectors. At later stages, drugs, massage, manual therapy, etc. are used. In the absence of positive dynamics for a long time or the appearance of neurological symptoms, the doctor may prescribe an operation. The patient must strictly follow the doctor's recommendations in order to speed up the recovery.