Effective methods for the diagnosis and treatment of osteochondrosis

Osteochondrosis or chondrosis is a disease that reduces the elasticity of cartilage tissue in the joints. The disease can manifest itself in any joint, and depending on its location, it has its own classification. The progression of the disease leads to disruption of joint motor function, frequent fragility.

Symptoms of osteochondrosis, causes and methods of treatment of this disease are discussed in the information provided.

How osteochondrosis manifests itself

Signs of osteochondrosis appear gradually, initially with a slight pain syndrome, which then becomes chronic and intense. Usually, patients go to the doctor with complaints of severe pain and inability to perform certain movements.

For osteochondrosis treatment to be as successful as possible, the disease must be diagnosed at an early stage.

The following symptoms may indicate the development of osteochondrosis:

causes of osteochondrosis
  • Pain when moving;
  • Joint cramps;
  • Rigidity of movement;
  • Muscle cramps;
  • Headache, high blood pressure and dizziness (with cervical osteochondrosis);
  • Pain in the chest and between the shoulder blades (thoracic osteochondrosis);
  • Pain in the hips and back (lumbosacral osteochondrosis and hip joints);
  • Numb limbs;
  • Bone pain;
  • Increases weather sensitivity;
  • Decreased visual acuity.

Usually the first manifestation of this disease goes unnoticed. That is why the early stages of osteochondrosis are rarely diagnosed and, as a rule, inadvertently.

Causes of osteochondrosis

Osteochondrosis does not occur spontaneously. Degenerative processes in the joints cause its development, namely: disorders of normal blood circulation and mineral metabolism, the formation of ossified formations - osteophytes. All this leads to disruption of joint movement, structural changes and the appearance of uncomfortable sensations during movement and walking.

The main reason for the appearance is:

  1. Lack of constant physical activity;
  2. Injuries and injuries to joints;
  3. deformity of joints under excessive pressure;
  4. Disorders of nutrition and blood supply to joints;
  5. Overweight problems;
  6. An unbalanced diet;
  7. Chronic stress;
  8. Hereditary tendencies;
  9. Endocrine pathology;
  10. Age-related changes;
  11. Unpleasant working conditions (prolonged stay in an uncomfortable position, hypothermia, weight lifting).

The chances of developing the disease increase in patients with flat, congenital or acquired foot pathology. With such a disease, the load during walking is distributed incorrectly, resulting in changes in normal walking style and, as a consequence, deformation of the spinal, knee and hip joints.

The occurrence of spinal osteochondrosis directly depends on the disease of the already diagnosed musculoskeletal system, for example, scoliosis.

In addition, chronic diseases of internal organs can also act as provoking factors. Infections and inflammation can affect nearby tissues, leading to the formation of pathology in the articular joints.

Classification of osteochondrosis

classification of spinal osteochondrosis

In medical terms, you can often find the definition of "spinal chondrosis". This means the early stage of osteochondrosis, affecting one (or several) departments of the spine. Pathology develops in the intervertebral disc and does not affect nearby tissues. This is a special disadvantage of back chondrosis, as the asymptomatic onset does not provide an opportunity to begin treatment in a timely manner and overcome the disease.

Usually, contractions, symptoms that have not yet appeared, are found accidentally during a thorough examination of the body.

In addition, depending on the pathological localization, one can also talk about coxarthrosis - osteochondrosis of the hip joint. Pathology can also affect the accumulated shoulder or joint. Osteochondrosis of the back, in turn, is also classified according to the location of localization.

What is the type of osteochondrosis of the back:

  • Cervical osteochondrosisis ​​manifested by pain and stiffness in the neck, back of the head and between the shoulder blades. It is often considered an occupational disease for accountants, computer programmers, and other occupations involving long sitting.
  • Osteochondrosis of the thoracic regionis ​​relatively rare. Due to the relative immobility in this area, symptoms are often confused with angina pectoris or intercostal neuralgia. In addition, the manifestations of osteochondrosis of the chest can resemble an attack of pancreatitis or gastritis.
  • Lumbar or lumbosacral osteochondrosisis ​​the most common type of disease. This is due to the increased pressure on this department, even during normal movement. With increasing load, lifting weights, playing sports, the pressure on the lumbar spine increases many times, which can trigger the development of the disease. Manifestations of lumbar osteochondrosis are very diverse. The main symptoms include not only pain when bending, twisting and other movements, but also muscle atrophy, difficulty walking, decreased sexual function and diseases of the urinary system.
  • Coccyx osteochondrosisis ​​a rare disease that mainly affects women. This is directly related to the physiological features of the small pelvic structure. It is determined by pain syndrome while sitting, walking and doing physical exercises. The onset is usually preceded by injury and fall, as well as prolonged stay in an uncomfortable sitting position.
  • symptoms of spinal osteochondrosis
  • Polysegmental osteochondrosisis ​​diagnosed when degenerative lesions in nearby joints are detected. They can be located in one or more parts of the spine.
  • Osteochondrosis commonis ​​manifested by lesions on two or more parts of the spine. It is a disease that is difficult to cure with low chances of recovery.
  • Osteochondrosis difusis ​​diagnosed if the pathology spreads to all segments of the spine.

Progressive disease is characterized not only by pain and discomfort during movement. Inflammation of the connective tissue develops, the intervertebral roots pinch, and the growth of bone tissue - osteophytes - begins to form in the vertebrae.

Stages of osteochondrosis

To determine the tactics of how to cure osteochondrosis, it is necessary not only to accurately diagnose, but also to determine the degree of involvement of articular elements in pathological processes. For this, it is customary to use classification according to degree, as well as the place of localization of pathology.

What type of osteochondrosis is:

  1. Early stagedoes not present itself as a pain syndrome and does not require special treatment. According to statistics, the first stage of osteochondrosis occurs in more than 80% of the population over the age of 50. Recently, due to the spread of the profession requiring permanent residence in a sitting position, as well as decreased physical activity of children and adolescents, osteochondrosis is diagnosed in almost every second person under the age of 30 years.
  2. Second stageosteochondrosis is diagnosed by X-ray examination. The picture shows the formation of several fractures of the intervertebral disc, but the fibrous ring remains intact. Manifestations of the disease are insignificant, there is usually prolonged discomfort in sitting or standing, after a short rest, the pain disappears on its own. The second stage of diagnosed osteochondrosis can be successfully treated with conservative methods.
  3. stage of development of osteochondrosis
  4. Third stageosteochondrosis is characterized by numerous intervertebral disc injuries, as well as possible rupture of the fibrosus annulus. The pain becomes prolonged and persistent, and may even appear at rest. Treatment of osteochondrosis in the third stage is carried out by conservative and surgical methods, the prognosis depends on the severity of the pathology and timely medical help.
  5. Osteochondrosis fourth stageis ​​the most severe. It is determined by severe joint structural lesions. Ligaments, ducts, nerve endings and connective tissue are involved in pathological processes. Conservative methods are usually ineffective. Surgery is more commonly used, but although surgery does not guarantee recovery, patients often lose joint mobility and remain deformed.

To prevent the transition of osteochondrosis to a critical stage, it is very important to pay timely attention to the signals the body gives us. There are cases when the patient experiences pain and discomfort for many years, as well as adapting to the limitations of motor function, but does not seek medical help.

It should be noted that osteochondrosis is not a disease that can be cured on its own at home using folk methods or just painkillers.

A mandatory comprehensive approach is required, which is determined by the peculiarities of the pathological development, the causes of its occurrence, as well as the individual indications of the patient.

Diagnosis of osteochondrosis

To ensure proper tactics for the treatment of osteochondrosis, it is necessary to undergo special studies. They will help identify the localization and the causes that cause the disease. Only after getting rid of all the negative factors that affect the development of the disease, you can start the main treatment.

How the level and localization of pathological processes are determined:

diagnostic options for osteochondrosis
  • X-ray examination.For reliable information, it is necessary to take pictures in several projections. The localization and degree of joint damage, the presence of osteophytes and the condition of the bone ducts are determined.
  • Ultrasound Doppler.Check for blood supply disorders, vascular integrity and blood flow velocity.
  • Myelography.Special examination of the spine using contrast agents. Allows you to identify the intervertebral hernia and its localization.
  • Computed tomography. The condition of the intervertebral disc, possible abnormalities in structure and deformation, pinching of nerve roots and changes in the structure of individual vertebrae are examined.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging.Usually provides a more detailed examination of the articular joint structure. This is assigned, as a rule, when the content of the information from the examination conducted is low. The undoubted advantage is the more detailed study of the soft tissue condition.

Anamnesis of patients was also reviewed without fail. The possibility of injury suffered even before going to the doctor, surgery and chronic diseases can also lead to the development of pathological processes in the joint tissue.

In addition, the examination and personal examination of the patient is performed. Based on the information received, the diagnosis and degree of joint damage are determined.

How to treat osteochondrosis

After diagnosis and identification of the cause of osteochondrosis, specialists make individual treatment plans. It must take into account the physical indications of the patient, the uniqueness of the pathological development and its localization.

methods of treating spinal osteochondrosis

An integrated approach is used for treatment.

Medications alone cannot be removed, as they are necessary to simultaneously develop joint mobility, eliminate the possibility of inflammatory processes in the surrounding tissues, and even neutralize the negative factors that cause disease progression.

That is why it is better to entrust the treatment of chondrosis to a specialist who will choose a set of individual exercises, and will also consider the dynamics of therapy.

Drug therapy for osteochondrosis

Prescribing medication depends on the type of lesion and the associated pathological process in the tissue. As a rule, patients try to treat osteochondrosis themselves, with pharmaceutical and homemade ointments and compresses, as well as folk remedies.

Unfortunately, this only brings temporary relief and does not contribute to the complete elimination of the disease. To effectively treat osteochondrosis, the following groups of drugs are used.

Drug therapy includes:

  1. Systemic and local anesthetics.These include ointments and compresses, as well as tablets and injections for severe pain syndrome. Used to treat osteochondrosis during exacerbations.
  2. NSAIDs- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used not only to relieve pain and inflammation in the affected area, but also when the temperature is caused by the disease.
  3. Muscle relaxation actionaims to relieve muscle tone. Drugs in this group are taken within 30-45 days, and the dose is set individually. Usually, they begin to take with a minimum dose (with severe hypertension, injections are prescribed), which gradually increases. In order not to cause withdrawal syndrome, the dose is then gradually reduced.
  4. Chondroprotectorshelps restore cartilage tissue, balancing damaged areas. The effects of this group of drugs do not appear immediately, so a course of several months is prescribed. There are various forms of medicine. During the exacerbation period, it is used in the form of injections, and then treatment is extended with tablets or capsules.
  5. Angioprotectorsare used if there is an identified blood supply pathology. They help strengthen blood vessel walls, increase relaxation and restore metabolism. Admission period is also a few months.
  6. treatment of osteochondrosis of the spine with medications
  7. Glucocorticosteroidsare prescribed to enhance the function of NSAIDs and muscle relaxers. They have a clear anti-inflammatory and decongestant effect, helping to fight pain and cramps. The course of treatment is determined individually. In the first days of the disease increased, they were used in the form of injections, then in tablet form. The dose is gradually reduced until the drug is completely discontinued.
  8. Biogenic stimulants.They speed up metabolism and promote joint tissue recovery. Self-treatment for chondrosis at home with such a drug is not possible, but in complex therapy, they have proven its effectiveness.
  9. Complex vitamin preparations.Promotes overall body strengthening and speeds up metabolic reactions.

Is osteochondrosis treated with medication only? Of course not. To completely get rid of the disease, other medical procedures need to be performed. Particular attention should be paid to a set of special exercises. It is developed for every part of the spine or articular joints of the limbs.

Important point:classes are conducted under expert supervision, and only after eliminating inflammation in the affected area.

Recovery gymnastics

What to do in case of osteochondrosis and which movement is better to refuse, a special trainer with the right qualifications will tell. Initially, the exercise is performed under his control, then the patient can continue to exercise on his own.

Treatment of osteochondrosis at home involves regular exercise to restore joint mobility.

Massage and physiotherapy

Several alternative medicine methods are also used in the treatment of osteochondrosis of the spine. These include mud wraps, acupuncture, magnetotherapy, manual therapy.

massage for spinal osteochondrosis (1)

Among medical procedures, electrophoresis with medications, laser therapy, therapeutics are also frequently used. The important thing is hygiene treatment in a specialized sanatorium.

What is osteochondrosis? More and more patients are learning about this disease at a young age. An unstable lifestyle, decreased muscle tone and uneven load on the joints - these negative factors cause the development of degenerative processes in cartilage tissue structure.

Decreased elasticity, as well as violations of its integrity, are indicated by persistent or periodic pain, stiffness and even damage to the internal system.