According to medical statistics, low 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 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, decreased sensitivity of the lower body, etc.
To avoid dangerous complications of lumbar osteochondrosis (LP), you need to start complex treatment at 1-2 stages of the pathology. In advanced cases, when irreversible changes to the disc or vertebrae are already present, an operation is performed. To avoid osteochondrosis of the lower back and associated complications, it is necessary to carry out its prevention.
To understand what osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine (lumbar spine) is, you need to study the structure of the spine. It consists of vertebrae, between which are placed cartilaginous pads (intervertebral disc). The disc is covered with a hard fibrous membrane (annulus fibrosus), inside of which is the nucleus pulposus. This structure has a shock absorbing function and makes the spine more flexible.
. The lumbar segment of the spine is under tremendous stress on a daily basis, as it can support the weight of the upper body. Therefore, osteochondrosis of the lower spine is diagnosed more often than cervical and 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 cartilage lining becomes brittle, 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, forming a hernia. Then there is a pathological mobility of the vertebrae, the load on the adjacent segments of the spine increases.
A little later, bony growths (osteophytes) begin to form on 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 lower back chondrosis (stage 1), but identifying the disease at this stage is very difficult. 2nd degree intervertebral osteochondrosis is treated by conservative techniques. Surgery may be needed in stages 3-4.
. 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. About 80% of 60-year-old patients suffer from manifestations of this disease.
To understand how to treat PKOP osteochondrosis (lumbosacral spine), you need to know its causes:
Illness is often caused by more than one cause.
In addition, there are factors that provoke the development of lumbar osteochondrosis:
Many other factors can trigger degenerative-dystrophic processes in the lumbar spine. For example, flat feet, frequent hypothermia of the back, frequent stress, sleep disturbances, etc.
The symptoms of osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine are diverse, they depend on the stage of the pathology and the location of the affected area.
Doctors distinguish between reflex and compression syndromes (symptom complex) in OBOR. The former occur when receptors on the outer membrane of discs, ligaments and joint capsules are irritated, and the latter occur when nerve bundles, blood vessels and the 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 in the lower back are tense, 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 the same time, eg L5, S1. If the hernia recedes, it can compress the spinal cord.
Compression of the blood vessels in the lower back increases the risk of weakened muscles in the legs, numbness in the lower limbs, disturbances in controlling the process of urination and defecation. In men with OBO, erections are impaired, and in women, the main symptoms may be supplemented by inflammation of the ovaries or uterus.
To diagnose OBO, the doctor examines the patient, palpates the patient to determine the condition of the muscles and identify the curvature of the spine. It is important to inform the specialist in detail about your symptoms in order to facilitate the diagnosis.
Instrumental exams will help detect intervertebral osteochondrosis:
The x-ray allows you to assess the structure of the PPE. To identify abnormal mobility of the vertebrae, x-rays are taken in flexion and extension position. This study found that the intervertebral fissure narrowed, the vertebral bodies shifted, and osteophytes appeared on their edges. However, this diagnostic method is considered obsolete.
Today, computed tomography and MRI scans are increasingly used to detect degenerative-dystrophic changes in the spine. These very informative studies allow us to assess the condition of the vertebrae, discs, intervertebral foramen and spinal cord. With their help, the protrusions, the direction of the hernia, the degree of compression of the nerve bundles, spinal cord and blood vessels are detected.
Treatment for EPP osteochondrosis lasts from 1 to 3 months to 1 year. The success of therapy depends on the patient himself, who must strictly follow the recommendations of the doctor. With self-medication, the patient's condition usually worsens.
Objectives of the treatment:
To achieve such goals, it is recommended to perform complex therapy. It usually starts with taking medication:
Warning. It is forbidden to take NSAIDs with gastritis or stomach ulcers, as they further damage the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract.
In case of exacerbation, the patient is given injections, and after relief of the main symptoms, he takes oral medications.
In addition, external agents are used (gels, ointments, creams, rubs).
The question of what to do with chronic lumbar osteochondrosis is very relevant. If OBOP has become chronic, after relief of the main symptoms, the patient is prescribed chondroprotectors, drugs that restore blood circulation, drugs based on B vitamins. They help restore innervation, normalize lblood supply to the affected area and prevent further development of the 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 to stop its development:
There are many more effective procedures that will help improve the patient's condition within 5 to 15 sessions. The main thing is to get a doctor's approval before performing them.
If you are wondering whether it is possible to treat OBO at home, consult your doctor. If the specialist has given permission, start therapy, which usually includes the following:
And also at home you can use lotions with herbal decoctions, plasters.
. A novelty in the treatment of osteochondrosis is a massage bed, which is suitable even for the most disorganized patients.
However, remember that home treatment can only be done with the permission of your doctor.
Operation for lumbar osteochondrosis is prescribed if conservative techniques have been shown to be ineffective for a long time. Surgery is also indicated for involuntary urination, defecation, and cauda equina syndrome (pinching of the nerves in the lower spinal cord).
The following surgical methods are used in the treatment of OBO:
. After surgery, there is a risk of complications: spinal cord injuries, nerve bundles, broken grafts, infections, etc.
After treatment, you should undergo rehabilitation to speed up your recovery.
In the absence of proper treatment, the risk of such complications of lumbar osteochondrosis increases:
To avoid such complications, you should start treatment as soon as possible.
To avoid lumbar osteochondrosis, follow these rules:
By following these recommendations, you can prevent degenerative changes in the spine and improve your health.
If you notice any symptoms of lumbar osteochondrosis, seek urgent medical attention. Self-treatment can make your condition worse and lead to complications. Lumbar chondrosis (stage 1) is treated with exercise therapy, physiotherapy, and chondroprotectors. In later stages, drugs, massage, manual therapy, etc. are used. In the absence of positive dynamics for a long time or in the event of the appearance of neurological symptoms, the doctor may prescribe an operation. The patient should strictly follow the doctor's recommendations in order to speed up healing.