Osteochondrosis is a chronic disease of the spine in which degenerative and dystrophic changes occur in the vertebrae and intervertebral discs.
The most important things
For a long time, the disease is asymptomatic and manifests itself as pain syndrome, decreased sensitivity, stiffness in movements and other unpleasant phenomena when complications have already formed in the spine.
Important!The main complications of osteochondrosis include protrusions of the intervertebral discs, Schmorrl's hernia, ankylosis of the spine, violation of the spines of the spinal cord and blood vessels.
Osteochondrosis causes patients much suffering, significantly worsens the quality of life and often leads to immobilization of the spine and disability.
How is osteochondrosis treated?
Depending on the level of spinal lesion, the incidence of the degenerative-dystrophic process, the severity of the disease and the presence of complications, treatment of osteochondrosis may be conservative or operative.
One can only talk about the method of treating osteochondrosis after a thorough examination of the patient.
If you notice the first signs of osteochondrosis, consult a neurologist or vertebrologist.
Exercise physician, chiropractor, physiotherapist and, if necessary, orthopedist, surgeon and neurosurgeon participate in the treatment of osteochondrosis.
Conservative treatment of osteochondrosis has an integrated approach - different methods of traditional and alternative medicine are used, such as:
- drug therapy;
- remedial gymnastics and physical exercise
- isometric kinesiotherapy;
- manual therapy;
- massage and self-massage;
- physiotherapy methods
- health foods;
- traditional medicine methods.
Medicine for osteochondrosis
Drugs used for osteochondrosis by type of action can be divided into the following groups:
- drugs to eliminate the inflammatory process in the spine, nerves and paravertebral tissues - non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and glucocorticosteroids;
- painkillers - painkillers and anesthetics;
- preparations for relaxing spasmodic muscles - muscle relaxants;
- drugs that improve the nutrition of the cartilage tissue from the intervertebral discs as well as protect it from negative factors - chondroprotectors;
- drugs that activate metabolism and restore normal blood flow to the tissues of the spine - vitamins, antioxidants;
- drugs that improve and restore the conduction of impulses along the nerves - B vitamins;
- drugs that relieve swelling of the roots of the spinal nerve and paravertebral tissue - a diuretic.
Drug treatment of osteochondrosis in the acute period is aimed at stopping and relieving pain. The following substances are used for this purpose:
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The mechanism of action of these drugs is to block the synthesis of prostaglandins, which trigger the inflammatory process and are responsible for the perception of pain. At the beginning of treatment, the injection route is used for drug administration, and after a few days, they switch to oral administration. The course of treatment is 7-10 days;
- muscle relaxants relieve reflex muscle spasms and thus reduce pain. The drugs are taken orally for 2-3 weeks;
- paravertebral blockade performed to eliminate pain. Such blockages effectively relieve pain for several days;
- hormonal drugs with glucocorticosteroid are a remedy for heavy artillery, have pronounced anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, even when ineffective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and anesthetics. The drugs are used in short courses to avoid side effects;
- Topical preparations: ointments, gels, spots with irritating and distracting effect. Topical preparations may include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and anesthetics.
During the remission of osteochondrosis, treatment should be pathogenetic and restorative. Drugs used during the period when the symptoms of osteochondrosis decrease:
- Chondroprotectors - a group of drugs that include glucosamines and chondroitin sulphate - structural components of the cartilage tissue of the vertebrae and intervertebral discs.
- Antioxidants and drugs that improve microcirculation and metabolism.
- Group B vitamins
- Calcium preparations.
The course of treatment during remission of osteochondrosis with the above drugs is 2-3 weeks.
Therapeutic gymnastics and physical training for osteochondrosis
Remedies and physical training for osteochondrosis are exercises developed on the basis of physical body movements that contribute to:
- reduction of clinical manifestations of osteochondrosis;
- lowers degenerative-dystrophic processes in the spine
- restoration of impaired motor functions;
- strengthening the muscles of the back, abdomen, buttocks and thighs
- relaxation of tense muscles in the back and neck;
- enlargement of the intervertebral clefts and release of pinched spinal nerves
- improve blood circulation
- the work of internal organs.
For physiotherapy exercises and gymnastics to have the expected effect, you must adhere to the following rules:
- Exercises in osteochondrosis should be performed regularly.
- All movements must be smooth and slow.
- Breathe evenly.
- Monitor your heart rate.
- If you experience discomfort and pain in the muscles and spine, reduce the amplitude and intensity of the movement.
- Gymnastics and physical exercise can be performed at any time of the day.
- For medical gymnastics and physical exercise, choose comfortable clothing made of natural fabric.
- Before starting therapeutic exercises and physical exercise, consult your doctor.
Isometric kinesiotherapy is a modern direction of physiotherapy exercises, which consists of performing active and passive movements and breathing exercises.
All exercises with kinesiotherapy are based on anatomical, physiological, biochemical, biomechanical aspects.
The main goal of kinesiotherapy is to restore, maintain and improve health.
Physiotherapy and gymnastics are best performed in specialized hospitals and rehabilitation centers under the supervision of a physiotherapist who specializes in complex rehabilitation and conservative treatment of osteochondrosis.
But there are also sets of exercises that can be done at home and even in the workplace.
How Can Manual Therapy Help With Osteochondrosis?
Manual therapy is a method of treating osteochondrosis, which consists of dosed manual action on the body to restore the correct configuration of the spine and improve its mobility.
There are contraindications to manual therapy:
- the presence of herniated disc sequestration;
- myelopathy of intervertebral disc;
- acute infectious diseases
- benign and malignant neoplasms;
- alcohol poisoning
- inflammatory diseases of the joints;
- postoperative period
- period of birth.
When performing manual treatment manipulation, such complications as injuries to ligaments, muscles and vertebrae, hypermobility of the spine, violation of intervertebral hernia, fractures of the ribs and processes in the vertebrae, acute cerebrovascular accident are possible.
Therefore, it is important that manual therapy is performed by a qualified specialist - a physician with manual therapy who has experience with this technique.
Massage for osteochondrosis
Using massage, you can relieve muscle spasms, improve microcirculation, innervation and metabolism in the spine, reduce edema in the affected area, strengthen the back muscles and improve the patient's general condition.
Indications for massage in osteochondrosis:
- hypotrophy of the back muscles;
- osteochondrosis and remission
- back muscle cramps;
- pain in the area at the end of the spinal cord roots;
- circulatory diseases of the spine;
- decreased mobility of the spine.
Massage contraindications for osteochondrosis:
- compression of the spinal cord by intervertebral hernia
- decompensated diseases of the cardiovascular system;
- bacterial or fungal diseases of the spinal cord
- Central nervous system diseases (meningitis, encephalitis, cancer, stroke, trauma, tuberculosis)
- mental illness in the acute phase;
- Respiratory diseases accompanied by respiratory failure
- musculoskeletal disorders (malignant and benign tumors, infectious diseases, injuries);
- bleeding disorder.
Reflexology is an effect on various points in the body that are responsible for a particular organ.
Interesting!These points can be affected by needles, electric current, magnetic waves and so on.
This method can improve the blood supply to the affected areas of the spine and eliminate the symptoms of the disease.
Physiotherapy methods for osteochondrosis
- magnetic therapy;
- ultrasound therapy;
- vibration massage;
- Ultraviolet Radiation Therapy
- balneotherapy and others.
The effects of physical procedures can be as follows:
- normalization of metabolism in the affected areas
- increased body resistance
- pain relief
- improvement of microcirculation in the spine and paravertebral tissues;
- removal of edema;
- reduction of the inflammatory process
- Improving spinal mobility.
Treatment of osteochondrosis at home
Most patients with osteochondrosis believe that they can manage the disease on their own by taking handfuls of painkillers.
Anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers only remove the symptoms of osteochondrosis, but do not stop the pathological process in the spine.
Therefore, treatment of osteochondrosis at home takes not only painkillers, but a whole range of measures aimed at eliminating the cause of the disease, remedial gymnastics, methods of traditional medicine, self-massage.
Eliminating the causes of osteochondrosis involves the following:
- Healthy food. In the daily diet you need to reduce the amount of foods that increase cholesterol in the blood - animal fats, chicken eggs, meat broth, pork.
- Healthy lifestyle. Limit the use of alcoholic beverages, coffee, strong tea. Get rid of bad habits, such as smoking.
- To help you get a healthy sleep, accessories such as an orthopedic mattress and pillow that create optimal conditions for normal blood circulation during your sleep and rest.
- Remedial gymnastics and physical exercise.
- Self-massage. At home, you can rub, iron and stretch your back, neck and collar area alone. Self-massage helps to get rid of headaches, dizziness, improve blood flow in the affected areas of the spine, activate metabolism and relieve fatigue.
- Use of the applicator is a special device, which is a disc with spikes, designed for the treatment of osteochondrosis.
- Herbal Medicine. You can take baths with decoction of various herbs that help relieve back pain, for example pine needles, chamomile, oak bark, knot, calamus, walnut leaves, valerian, lavender and others. In addition, infusions, tinctures and decoctions for consumption from rose petals, celery red, garlic or cinquefoil root act on the spine for a charity.
- Compressing and applying burdock leaves, raw potatoes with honey or wormwood flowers perfectly relieves pain in the spine.
- Using phytoplasts (herbal packs) applied overnight to the affected area of the spine is a method of Chinese medicine. Biological substances from herbs penetrate the skin and have a local effect - distracting and irritating.
- Using a massage bed or massage chair.
- Wearing a Shants collar for cervical osteochondrosis, which relieves pain, relieves cramps in the muscles of the neck, increases the height of intervertebral discs and releases pinched nerves.
Important!There are many more different ways to treat osteochondrosis at home, but do not forget your doctor.
All conventional and non-traditional treatments must be approved by him.
Regular and conscientious compliance with all the doctor's recommendations completely slows down or stops the development of osteochondrosis completely.