A common disease affecting the spine is chondrosis (osteochondrosis) of the lower back: this ailment is expressed in negative changes in the state of the intervertebral discs, deformation and gradual destruction.
Chondrosis is the initial stage in the development of osteochondrosis, if not properly treated, the disease can lead to serious back problems. In the early stages, the disease is often asymptomatic, later on there are pains, difficulty in movement, a feeling of muscle leakage. Symptoms and treatment of chondrosis, methods of diagnosis and prevention will be discussed below.
Causes of the problem
Chondrosis of the lower back occurs in the following cases:
- Posture disorders leading to uneven distribution of the load on the spinal column.
- Heavy physical labor, irregular loads with a general sedentary lifestyle.
- Weak muscle corset.
- Hypothermia of the lumbar spine.
- Prolonged immobility, a sedentary lifestyle, many hours of driving.
- Diseases of the cardiovascular, endocrine system.
- Problems with metabolism.
- Congenital or recent pathologies of the musculoskeletal system.
- Professional sports activity involving heavy lifting.
Chondrosis of the lumbar spine, the symptoms of which do not appear immediately and require starting treatment as soon as possible, more often appears in people from 50 years of age and older, people suffering from physical inactivity, stress, overweight. The constant disturbance of posture provokes dystrophy of the intervertebral discs, the lack of nutrients and vitamins in the diet weakens the musculoskeletal system. Another problem that can increase the risk is wearing shoes with excessively high heels or platforms: this reason often causes chondrosis in the fair sex.
Lumbar chondrosis symptoms
A characteristic symptom of the problem is pain syndrome concentrated in the lumbar spine, sacrum and lower extremities.
Other symptoms of the disease:
- Numb leg muscles.
- Problems with the organs of the genitourinary system, radiating pain.
- Sharp attacks of pain, shooting in the lumbar zone with sudden changes in body posture (flexion, extension of the back), during a strong cough, when lifting heavy objects.
- Dry and bluish skin tone.
- Scoliosis, distortions of the spinal column.
Often, patients notice that after rest and stay in a calm state, the pain becomes quieter and weaker, and when lifting weights or sudden movement, the syndrome worsens, localizing in the lumbar region.
In the absence of medical assistance, you can face the following consequences:
- Disorders of the nervous system, as displacement of the discs contributes to pinching of the nerve roots.
- Bone deformities, disc herniation.
- If deformity of the fourth lumbar nerve root occurs, difficulties arise with the knee reflex.
- With the development of lumbosacral chondrosis, the reflexes of the Achilles tendon and flexion of the fingers may weaken or disappear.
The appearance of symptoms of the disease requires a comprehensive diagnosis. The procedure in the clinic consists of several stages: first, the specialist clarifies the clinical picture, learning about the lifestyle, trauma, stress, type of pain syndrome and other points. A visual examination is carried out to check muscle tone, palpation reveals how symmetrically the vertebrae are located, at what distance they are from each other.
If visual examination did not allow to compose an objective clinical picture, the doctor may prescribe the following types of examination:
- X-ray.The image is performed in 2 projections to determine the state of the spinal column, detect bone deformities, destruction of discs, sealing processes.
- MRIto check the condition of blood vessels and fibrous rings.
The disease proceeds gradually, it is classified by stages:
- In the first stage, discomfort appears in the lumbar region, pain rarely occurs, usually during physical exertion (lifting weights). X-ray shows slight deformities of the bone tissue.
- At the second stage, the fibrous rings are destroyed, the intervertebral distance decreases, the mobility of the vertebrae is limited. The pain appears after physical exertion and unplanned, becomes stronger. Most often, patients come to the doctor at this stage of the development of chondrosis.
- The third stage occurs if no treatment has been prescribed; pain becomes constant, severe deformities of the vertebrae, disc herniation appear.
- At the fourth stage, the spinal column is strongly curved, movement becomes difficult or impossible. When neglected, disability is often prescribed.
Therapists will prescribe therapy, which may include the following:
- Medication. The doctor prescribes anti-inflammatories in the form of tablets or liquid for intramuscular injection. To restore the condition of the intervertebral discs of the lumbar and sacrum, chondroprotectors are used, and the immune system is supported by adding foods enriched with vitamin B to the diet. In severe pain syndrome, blockade is used.
- Exercise therapy. Therapeutic physical exercises accelerate blood circulation, strengthen muscle tissue, and help correct posture.
- Physiotherapy with ultraviolet irradiation and diadynamic current exposure (relevant in the recovery process).
- Shock wave treatment to help eliminate manifestations of fibrosis.
- Manual therapy that restores blood flow and helps relax muscle tissue.
- Reflexology to enhance the effectiveness of treatment, relieve pain and improve sleep.
- In the last stages of chondrosis, surgical intervention is used to correct deformities, eliminate intervertebral hernia and complications.
To determine how to treat lumbar chondrosis, you need to consult a doctor - in some cases, techniques are combined to achieve the best effect.
Traditional medicine is also allowed, among which the following recipes are most popular:
- Take 3 lemons, grind without removing the zest, put in a 1 liter glass jar and pour boiling water. The remedy is insisted for 5 hours, taken in the morning for 1 tablespoon on an empty stomach. It is required to store the jar in the refrigerator.
- A piece of cottage cheese is placed on a piece of cotton cloth, a couple of drops of vinegar are added, and a bandage is made. The fabric is required to be applied to the lumbar region, hold for 1. 5-2 hours.
- Radish (350 g) is grated, mixed with vodka and honey (100 ml and 250 g, respectively). The mixture is used for rubbing the lumbar region.
- Also extremely effective massage with cups;
- Wearing a natural dog hair belt throughout the day; before going to bed it is removed.
- Pour common lilac flowers into a jar with a capacity of 0. 5 liters, add vodka, close and put in a dry, dark place. The container is taken out after 21 days, filtered and consumed before meals 3 times a day. The duration of treatment is 3 months, the dosage is 30 drops.
- Badagu is mixed with olive oil (proportions 1 to 30), rubbed with the mixture on the affected area, covered with a plastic bag and warm woolen cloth.
How to prevent chondrosis of the lumbar spine?
This disease can be prevented, and preventive measures can be as follows:
- Limiting the loads on the spinal column.
- Control of metabolic processes, enrichment of the diet with vitamins, increased attention to the state of the endocrine system.
- Increasing activity, improving the monotonous routine with the help of fitness, light exercises, exercises.
- Wearing orthopedic aids (corsets, belts);
- Sports, including swimming.
- Procedures for general hardening of the body.
Lumbar and lumbosacral osteochondrosis occurs in people who experience severe constant or irregular stress on the spine. Acute paroxysmal pain, numbness, and other symptoms indicate a problem, and treatment should be started as soon as possible. The method of therapy is prescribed by the doctor, and often the methods are combined to achieve a result and the fastest getting rid of the disease.