Osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine is expressed in dystrophic damage to the aforementioned part of the back, damage to the nucleus of the intervertebral discs and deformation of the intervertebral joints against the background of disorders of the ligamentous apparatus. In this pathological process at the later stages of the disease, vessels are involved, and even the nervous system.
What is lumbar osteochondrosis?
Osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine is one of the most common diseases of the musculoskeletal system in the world. Irregular pain syndromes in the designated area are felt by up to sixty percent of the population, and every tenth resident is diagnosed with osteochondrosis in one form or another, almost half of the cases are due to the defeat of the lumbar and sacral regions.
This disease is rapidly "rejuvenating", occasionally occurring even in adolescents and children - this is the fault of a sedentary lifestyle / work, as well as an excessive passion for computer games, lack of full physical activity - sports and active games are supplanted by a long stay at the PC.
However, osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine can also occur due to excessive stress, especially if it is aggravated by excess weight. The problem is caused by improper posture, as well as back injuries, non-compliance with the daily regimen, and systematic malnutrition.
Negative factors that accelerate the formation of prerequisites for the emergence of this type of osteochondrosis are chronic lack of sleep, stress, slowing down of metabolic processes in the body. A separate category is professional athletes.
A number of specialists note that in some cases, osteochondrosis is a consequence of a person's genetic predisposition: intervertebral discs, at the same time, have a loose-porous structure and under the influence of pathogenic negative factors are very quickly destroyed, the disease progresses rapidly and is diagnosed only at late, sometimes irreversible stages.
A special risk group is people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, as well as ankylosing spondyloarthritis, which provoke the development and complicate the course of the above-mentioned autoimmune disease.
First signs. Lumbar osteochondrosis symptoms
The main symptoms of the above-described disease, of course, include pain syndrome. Long-term aching pain in the lumbar region of moderate intensity, can be replaced by strong "lumbago", after active physical labor or being in an uncomfortable position. As a rule, in the supine position, the pain syndrome practically does not appear or disappears altogether.
With an exacerbation, as well as heavy physical exertion, hypothermia or non-physiological movements, the pain syndrome loses its localization in the lower back and goes into the pelvic region and even the legs.
In detail, the patient develops the following pathologies:
Compression of nerve roots
- Lesions of the roots L 1–2: pain in local localizations, loss of sensation in the inner thigh and groin.
- Lesion L-5: lumbar pain in the lower back, irradiation to the thumb.
- Lesion S-1: pain and numbness of the outer surface of the thigh, foot, temporary disappearance of reflexes in the sole and lower leg.
Local damage to the DH artery causes:
- Regular numbness of the lower leg / buttocks.
- Loss of sensitivity in the genital area.
- In rare cases, loss of pelvic motor function.
Vascular compression ischemia
Violation of the blood supply to the spinal cord and additional peripheral structures leads to a "thinning" of the structure of the intervertebral discs and, accordingly, abnormal mobility of the spine, the formation of osteophytes and neoarthrosis.
The narrowing of the spinal canal causes periodic paroxysmal weakness in the extremities, painful "lumbar" syndrome of the lower back with recoil to the back of the thighs. Against this background, hypotrophy / hypotension of the gastrocnemius / gluteal muscles develops, the disappearance of the plantar, anal and Achilles reflexes, paresis of the foot.
Treatment of osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine
It is possible and necessary to treat the disease. Naturally, in this case, only complex therapy will help, which is aimed at reducing the symptoms of an autoimmune disease, restoring the structure of the spine and preventing recurrence of the problem.
Complex therapy of the above disease includes:
- Taking medications.
- Blockade injections.
- Gymnastics and exercise therapy.
- Massages and manual therapy.
Preparations for lumbar osteochondrosis
- Pain relievers.
- Restoring chondroprotectors.
- Vitamins. Optimal - group B.
- Injections. Anesthetics, cartilage restorers and blood microcirculation normalizers.
- Local funds. Corticosteroids as well as anti-inflammatory drugs.
Gymnastics for osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine
An important element of spinal rehabilitation. All procedures are developed individually, aimed at relieving pain and muscle spasms, normalizing blood circulation, and restoring the work of intervertebral discs.
Massage for osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine
Massage is an indispensable component of the complex therapy of the disease. It helps to both relax and train the muscles of the lower back, induces the process of cartilage tissue repair, and relieves pain.
Most often, with the above-described disease, therapeutic, acupressure, hardware, can-vacuum and connective tissue massage is used.
As a rule, physiotherapy is prescribed for patients with osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine only in the stage of remission of the disease, after overcoming the period of exacerbation of the problem.
Modern and classic techniques:
- Acupuncture. Exposure to acupuncture points of the back with special needles.
- Stretching. The classic technique of stretching the spine on a massage-traction couch, performed by a qualified chiropractor.
- Electrophoresis. Known since the 60s, a complex non-operative method of influencing external problematic affected areas.
- Traction decompression. Automated hardware spinal stretching at a special medical complex.
- Shock wave therapy. The use of infrasound waves for the treatment of osteochondrosis.
- Osteopathy. A complex technique that combines elements of chiropractic, massage and therapeutic orthopedics.
- Magnetopuncture. Direct effect of an alternating magnetic field on the spine.
- Laser puncture. Treatment of acupuncture points with a beam of induced radiation.
- Electrical stimulation. The use of small alternating currents in the affected areas.
Prevention of lumbar osteochondrosis
After undergoing complex treatment and physiotherapy, supportive therapy is required for a long period of time: during this period, the spine is still weakened and requires support. In addition, prevention is intended to prevent the occurrence of osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine. Main activities:
- Regular balanced exercise, preferably under the supervision of a qualified podiatrist.
- Normalization of body weight: quite often, an overweight person is an aggravating factor affecting the formation of osteochondrosis.
- Correction of the diet. A regular diet should include foods rich in elements such as calcium and magnesium. In this case, it is worth excluding too fatty and unhealthy foods, as well as other foods that do not fall under the definition of healthy food.
- Rejection of bad habits. Alcohol and smoking intensify all destructive processes in the body, this also applies to the occurrence of osteochondrosis.
- Correct posture. Be sure to monitor your posture, especially if your work involves constant being at the computer or other sitting activity. Also pay attention to your child - how and for how long he sits. Normal correct posture will allow you to prevent the appearance of scoliosis and, accordingly, in the future osteochondrosis.
- Using the correct shoes, clothing and accessories, avoiding the regular wearing of weights. The wrong shoes, a heavy bag on the shoulder, work as a loader - all these factors sometimes have a decisive influence on the beginning of the formation of destructive processes in the spine.
What kind of pain occurs with this type of osteochondrosis?
Osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine is characterized by several types of pain. First of all, these are localized unpleasant sensations in the lumbar region, continuing for a long period of time and significantly increasing with an increase in a person's motor activity and physical labor. This type of pain disappears if the body is given a horizontal position for at least 15–20 minutes.
If the disease is exacerbated due to hypothermia, prolonged heavy physiological stress or sharp "eversion" movements, then in addition to the above-mentioned background pain, there is also a "shooting" effect, localized in the pelvic region and radiating to the lower extremities.
Is gymnastics useful for this osteochondrosis?
Therapeutic exercise therapy gymnastics allows you to consolidate the good effect of the complex therapy of the disease, partially develop the intervertebral components of the joints, and also relax / train the muscles in the lumbar region. In addition, correct regular massages help get rid of the unpleasant pain associated with osteochondrosis.
A specific set and list of exercises, the number of approaches and the frequency of classes are developed for you by the attending physician: he will take into account the current stage of the disease, a possible list of contraindications and restrictions, the patient's condition and recommend methods for using exercise therapy in practice.