Osteochondrosis of the lumbosacral spine: symptoms and treatment
Osteochondrosis of the lumbosacral spine is a disease that is characterized by the destruction of discs between vertebrae, a decrease in the intake of fluid in them, which reduces their elasticity. As a result, the discs are pressed against the nerve endings, which causes the person to have pain in the back. The extreme stage is characterized by the spread of bone processes (osteophytes), which makes the patient’s movement difficult.
Causes of an illness
In general, the disease develops as a result of the susceptibility of the loin too much load. In the risk group are such categories of people:
- having excess weight;
- having back injuries;
- genetically predisposed people
- Patients with flat feet
- engaged in certain kinds of sports (weightlifters)
- performing work that requires lifting heavy objects (loaders, builders).
Exacerbation of the problem causes hypodynamia, suffered hypothermia and the presence of problems with posture. All this in total leads to too much strain on the spine. Predisposition to the disease is also aggravated due to problems with sleep, metabolic disorders.
Stages of the disease
There are 4 stages of development of osteochondrosis:
- Stage 1 is characterized by deformation of the pulpous type nucleus, which is located in the area of the intervertebral disc. This stage is characterized by not too strong pain in the spine, which can occur with significant loads or abrupt movements;
- Stage 2 is characterized by the onset of a change in the tissues that are located near the pulpous core. There is a possibility of pinching the nerves of the spinal cord, as well as protrusion. The patient feels severe pain that radiates to the thigh or lower leg;
- Stage 3 is characterized by the final deformation of the fibrous ring that is in the disk, as well as the appearance of a hernia. This helps to increase pain;
- Stage 4 is characterized by the presence of osteophytes that develop in the vertebrae, which causes difficulty in the movements of the patient.
Symptoms of ailment
Osteochondrosis of the lumbosacral segment of the polysergment type has various signs, many of which are manifested in the 2 stages of the disease. The main symptom of the disease can be considered painful sensations, which occur in the lower back with body movements and excessive loads. Over time, the intensity of pain sensations does not decrease, but only increases, which in the future can cause stiffness in movements.
A patient with osteochondrosis experiences difficulties in a sedentary, standing posture, with difficulty can bend over. There may also be a decrease, and in some cases, an increase in skin sensitivity in the lower extremities. Polysegmentary subspecies of the disease can also cause paresthesia — unpleasant sensations of «goosebumps», as well as burning of the affected area. If proper treatment is not available, then the following symptom may be weakness in the muscles, as well as a decrease in reflexes in the tendon.
Treatment of ailment
Treat the disease should, as a rule, a neurologist. He examines the patient, probes his vertebrae, and also examines his posture. After this, the patient will be assigned an MRI, CT, as well as other studies that will help to identify the stage of the disease. After completing all the studies, the patient is prescribed a set of therapeutic measures. Their main goal is to eliminate pain, restore the roots of the nerves, and stop the deformation of the vertebral discs.
The main medical methods are:
- taking medication;
- physiotherapy procedures (effective treatment technique)
- therapeutic gymnastics (LFK)
- Manual therapy
- folk methods.
The main medications that a patient should take are analgesics. Also, the pain can be relieved with the help of manual therapy, which will be carried out by a specialist. He will help to remove blocking of joints and muscles by the method of influence on the necessary areas. In addition to anaesthetising drugs, the treatment process uses agents that relieve the inflammatory process, formed swelling, and also a static muscle contraction.
Physiotherapy is represented by a wide range of procedures, among which:
- phonophoresis, which includes medications,
- UHF therapy
- laser procedures.
The above methods will be useful as both ancillary and basic methods of curing a patient depending on the stage of the disease.
Therapeutic and sports complex (LFK) will help both in prevention and in the treatment process. The exercises of the gymnastic complex include those exercises with which you can strengthen the muscular corset of the back. The main contraindication in applying the exercises of the complex is pain. Regular gymnastics should be selected and pass under the strict guidance of a specialist.
Prevention of disease
Doctors recommend the following simple rules to avoid the development of osteochondrosis:
- eat foods that balance proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins and trace elements;
- engage in active sports or exercise
- Avoid excessive physical and mental stress
- periodically check with a doctor for signs of disease.
A careful attitude to one’s health and timely detection of anxious symptoms of the disease can save a lot of money, and also significantly increase the chances of a full recovery.