As is known, osteochondrosis is a chronic pathology caused by degenerative changes in the structure of the spine. Unfortunately, among the adult population, 8 out of 10 people suffer from osteochondrosis.
The pathology can begin at a young age (ages 20-25), and it is gradually complicated by new manifestations. In general, lumbar, thoracic and cervical osteochondrosis can be distinguished.
Symptoms of the disease
Osteochondrosis lesions of the cervical spine are characterized by:
- Dull pain in the neck and back of the head (cervicalgia);
- If the vertebral artery is damaged, the activity of the nerve centers responsible for the normalization of pressure indicators is interrupted, therefore high blood pressure is often an accompanying pathology of osteochondrosis;
- During the development of cervical osteochondrosis, compression of the spinal artery occurs, which causes the appearance of symptoms such as strange sounds in the ears, dizziness and visual disturbances, paroxysmal painful headaches;
- Heart pain radiating to the scapula and neck, similar to the pain of angina pectoris.
Lumbar osteochondrosis is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Severe pain from compression of the spinal nerve roots, as well as the venous-arterial highways that supply the spinal cord;
- When the lower lumbar roots are affected, the disease is accompanied by shooting pain on the outside of the legs, which turns into reduced sensitivity in this area;
- Lumbar osteochondrosis is often manifested by pain spreading from the lower back to the legs, later this symptom is replaced by a decrease in the sensitivity of the lower limbs;
- With the development of complications in the form of intervertebral hernia, such manifestations as weakness of the legs, lumbar pain, decreased muscle tone and sensitivity of the legs, as well as weakness of the leg muscles (paresis) appear.
Manifestations of thoracic osteochondrosis:
- In case of upper lesions, pain is observed in the abdomen, chest, shoulders and shoulder blades;
- The lower lesions are accompanied by reduced sensitivity of the lower thoracic vertebrae, with dysfunction of the pelvic organs. The pain increases during movement or sneezing;
- In rare cases, thoracic osteochondrosis causes spinal compression, which is characterized by local girdle pain radiating to the intercostal space, abdomen, groin, or lower limbs, weakness and numbness of the legs, and disturbances in the activity of the pelvic organs.
A whole range of therapeutic techniques are used in the treatment of osteochondrosis:
- Drug therapy;
- Physiotherapy (massage procedures, physical therapy, etc. );
- Diet therapy;
- Correctional therapy;
How to treat cervical, thoracic and lumbar osteochondrosis at home
All methods of therapy against osteochondrosis are aimed at relieving pain and its subsequent elimination, normalizing the structural processes of the vertebra, and restoring radicular spinal activity.
Drug therapy of osteochondrosis is based on several areas:
- Symptomatic therapy is aimed at eliminating pain and includes taking anti-inflammatory drugs. Along with anti-inflammatory drugs, patients are prescribed muscle relaxants from the group of muscle relaxants;
- Treatment aimed at normalizing blood circulation involves the use of vasodilators;
- Cartilage tissue restorative therapy is based on the use of chondroprotective drugs;
- Vitamin therapy is based on taking vitamin complexes;
- Treatment with antidepressants is used to relieve anxiety and depression, which often occur in patients with limited mobility and pain caused by osteochondrosis.
- Therapy with herbal preparations often helps significantly alleviate the condition of patients, as such drugs restore immunity, sleep and body strength, and prevent depression.
Physiotherapy measures are quite effective in the fight against osteochondrosis, which are:
- Help to eliminate pain syndrome;
- Increase the amplitude of the engine's capabilities;
- Improves and facilitates the course of immune processes;
- Normalization of blood circulation;
- Normalization of metabolic processes;
- Reduce the therapeutic dose of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs.
There are many types of physiotherapy. In the treatment of osteochondrosis, the following are most often used:
- Electrotherapy includes the implementation of procedures related to the effect of electric current, such as electrophoresis, galvanization, electrosleep, darsonvalization and others using special devices;
- Shock wave therapy is performed with devices that convert the electrical impulse into an ultrasound wave, which, acting on the spine affected by osteochondrosis, accelerates the healing of damaged bone and cartilage tissue, eliminates pain and swelling;
- Balneotherapy involves the use of mineral waters and muds, which improve blood supply, relieve pain and normalize metabolism;
- Magnetotherapy - this device is based on the use of a permanent magnetic field created by special inductors placed in the affected vertebral areas;
- Laser therapy is based on the use of special lasers, which act on the affected tissues and contribute to their restoration.
All physiotherapy methods provide symptomatic treatment of osteochondrosis, relieve inflammation and pain, reduce the duration of treatment and the dose of medications taken.
Since therapy against osteochondrosis is complex, it requires a rationally balanced diet.
For patients with this disease, it is extremely important to limit the intake of liquid, salt and simple carbohydrates. It should be removed from the diet:
- Beverages such as cocoa, coffee and strong tea;
- Pickles and spicy dishes;
- Products too rich in extractives (mushrooms, fatty fish, poultry, meat, etc. ).
Since osteochondrosis causes the destruction of intervertebral cartilages, their restoration requires animal proteins, which are rich in dairy products, lean fish or meat.
Jellied meat or broth made from boiled beef or pork thigh bones is especially useful for such patients. This broth is rich in collagens, which give additional strength to bone and cartilage tissue.
Therapeutic exercises play an equally important role in the treatment of osteochondrosis, in addition, they are considered the most effective way to combat the destruction of bone and cartilage cells, help strengthen muscle and joint tissues, ensure the mobility of the spine and help restore osteoporosis. damaged tissues.
When performing physical therapy exercises, a number of simple conditions must be observed:
- Movements should not cause severe pain or any discomfort; if such an effect occurs, the situation should be discussed with a doctor;
- During the period of aggravation of the disease, you cannot do exercises, otherwise the pain symptom may increase or complications may develop;
- You should perform the exercises smoothly, avoiding sudden movements.
The necessary exercises are selected by the doctor according to the patient's condition and the degree of development of osteochondrosis.
Massage procedures improve blood circulation and have a relaxing effect on the patient's muscles. The massage starts with light stroking, followed by rubbing and kneading. Massage can be done by hand or with special objects such as bottles.
Cupping for osteochondrosis helps relieve muscle tension and activates metabolic processes in the affected tissues due to better blood flow and lymph flow. Acupressure, which involves influencing active spinal points, has no less therapeutic effect.
Traditional medicine, which has many recipes for various rubs and poultices, can also help in the treatment of osteochondrosis. Thanks to folk remedies that increase blood flow, pain can be alleviated and muscles can relax.
These tools are based on:
- Essential oils (pine, etc. );
- rendered pork fat;
- camphor alcohol;
- Badger fat;
- Poisons of bees and snakes;
- Medicinal roots and herbs such as aloe, birch or horseradish leaves, garlic, ginger, red pepper.
It is combined with alcohol, iodine and turpentine, resulting in a local irritant effect. Mustard baths (200 grams of powder per water bath) are excellent for alleviating sudden acute pain.
A good addition to the home treatment of osteochondrosis is the use of orthopedic accessories, which ensure complete relaxation of the spine during night rest.
Therefore, you should adopt a correct and comfortable posture while sleeping.
Good quality mattresses and orthopedic pillows can help with this. Thanks to the use of such devices, the spine completely relaxes during the night, which eliminates the symptoms and improves the patient's condition.
Osteochondrosis can be treated independently, the most important thing is to observe the regularity, consistency, and complexity of the procedures and coordinate all activities with a specialist.