Connecting the fixed, thoracic and sacral sections of the spine, the lumbar plays the most important role. Provides mobility of the spine.
With the development of degenerative processes in the intervertebral discs, signs of osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine appear. Serious illness can significantly complicate existence, leading to reduced ability to work and even disability.
This disease is becoming more common all over the world. This is facilitated by such common factors as lack of physical activity, poor environmental conditions, malnutrition and obesity. At the same time, the heaviest loads often fall on the back, so it is important to know the causes of lumbar osteochondrosis.
- More than half of the cases of the disease are related to hereditary predisposition, which determines the structure of the intervertebral discs, which are easily deformed.
- Work associated with regular physical exertion is a negative factor that can cause spinal problems.
- With improper posture, aggravated by hypodynamia, the lumbar region is subjected to greater stress.
- Spinal injuries in the future often lead to the manifestation of the disease. Therefore, representatives of professional sports are at risk.
- Many years ago, osteochondrosis was a disease of the elderly - it makes sense. Discs are more susceptible to deformation with age. Today, however, this disease can be observed in thirty-year-olds. The impetus for the development of osteochondrosis are the mistakes in the independent performance of complex physical exercises.
- If there are any pathologies of the joints, then severe hypothermia and sharp tension when lifting a heavy load can provoke pain.
- Being overweight creates additional stress on all joints of the spine.
- Often the onset of the disease is associated with pathologies of some internal organs: liver, kidneys and others.
So, think about the signs of osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine.
- The first and main symptom of the disease is pain, initially intermittent, occurring in the lumbar region under heavy load. At first it passes after rest, but then it becomes permanent, covering not only the lower back but also the lower body. In the course of further destruction of the vertebrae the pain becomes stronger, there is a feeling of heat or cold in the back.
- Sensitivity of the skin of the lower body decreases or even disappears completely, spasm of the arteries may occur. The fact that the vertebra is no longer fixed by the disc is fraught with serious damage to internal organs.
- The symptoms of lumbar osteochondrosis in women are complemented by inflammation in the ovaries, appendages and uterus. This circumstance can mask the main signs and lead to a misdiagnosis.
- Due to severe pain, a person must be in an unnatural position most of the time, as a result of which the spine shifts to one side. There is a bending in the posture and tension in the gait.
- The spine loses its mobility and flexibility. The effect of lumbodia is observed when after prolonged work in a bent state the patient finds it difficult to stand up.
- Compression of the nerve root in the vertebra is accompanied by sharp pain and can have consequences in the form of impaired mobility.
- Osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine is also characterized by symptoms of ischemic syndrome, a group of signs that are associated with decreased blood flow to the compressed vessels. In the beginning, the spasm of the arteries appears sporadically, accompanied by pain when walking. After a break they pass. However, over time the spasm prolongs, the pelvic organs cease to receive nutrition, which disrupts their work. Stopping blood flow can lead to paralysis.
- The disease can provoke pain in the coccyx. The signs of sacral osteochondrosis differ in some originality, so it is more difficult to diagnose. Despite the severe, even poignant pain, they are given in the surrounding tissues, so the patient can not indicate the exact location of their location. In addition, they are accompanied by inflammatory processes of the genitourinary system. There is frequent urination or urinary incontinence, constipation, it is difficult for the patient to sit and move.
If left untreated, progressive disease can lead to serious complications.
- The result of the rupture of the fibrous ring will be the pinching of the nerve endings from the protruding pulpal nucleus - an intervertebral hernia will result.
- Prolonged inflammatory processes in the spine can lead to sciatica - a disease of the roots of the spinal nerves.
- A very serious complication is inflammation of the sciatic nerve, characterized not only by severe pain but also tingling in the extremities.
- Impaired blood flow to the spinal cord can cause compressive myelopathy.
- Horsetail syndrome is one of the most severe consequences of osteochondrosis. A bundle of nerve endings extending from the vertebrae at the end of the spinal cord is responsible for transmitting impulses from the body, allowing the brain to control the body's work. Acute inflammation can cause urogenital dysfunction and partial or complete paralysis of the limbs.
Osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine, its symptoms and treatment depend on where the nerve ending was pinched, where pain and loss of sensation is felt. If the therapy is started on time, it will be quite successful, but in any case it will require an integrated approach.
Medicines are used only to relieve acute pain. The main goal of therapy is to stop the development of the disease and return the spine to the correct position, restoring normal blood flow in it. This is a complex and lengthy process that requires the use of various rehabilitation methods.
Therapeutic gymnastics occupies an important place in rehabilitation. It is prescribed a few days after the elimination of severe pain, is selected separately for each patient and depends on:
- stage of the disease,
- causes of osteochondrosis of the lumbar region,
- age of the patient,
- places of localization of pain,
- and other factors.
The main goal of therapeutic exercises is to create a reliable muscular corset that will help reduce the load on the intervertebral discs. In the initial period, several exercises with a small load are offered. It is gradually increasing. Over time, special exercises are added to the general ones.
Gymnastics is first performed lying on your back. In this case, the load on the spine is minimal, there is no increase in pain. The next stage is exercises lying on your side and then on your stomach. Under it you can put a pillow, and under the joints of the lower limbs - a roller.
In the initial stage, all exercises are performed very slowly and carefully. Gradually, as the amplitude of the movements increases, new ones are added to them. Once the pain stops and the patient's condition improves, the complex is supplemented with exercises that are performed standing on all fours, then sitting on a chair, then standing.
If the disease is in a chronic form, then, depending on the patient's well-being, he is allowed to engage in certain sports - swimming, skiing and others. The effectiveness of therapeutic exercises will increase many times with regular classes.
Manual therapy and massage
Manual therapy is one of the oldest and most effective methods as part of the complex measures used to treat lumbar osteochondrosis and its symptoms. The course includes several procedures that can eliminate the cause of pain and tingling in the extremities, relieve tension in muscle fibers, restore blood circulation and joint mobility. When you use this technique, you can get a quick and positive effect, comparable to the results of therapeutic exercises. However, it has some contraindications that should be taken into account when including it in complex treatment.
An excellent tool in the fight against serious illness is massage. After a few sessions, the patient feels better, muscle stiffness disappears and joint mobility is restored. But each case of the disease has its own characteristics and only a qualified specialist should prescribe this procedure.
There are a number of contraindications, in the presence of which massage is prohibited for a certain category of patients:
- neoplasms of various natures;
- third degree hypertension;
- moles in the massage area;
- arrhythmia and other pathologies of the heart;
- blood diseases;
- gynecological diseases and some others.
A traditional type of massage is usually prescribed. The first procedures may be accompanied by mild pain that will soon stop.
Severe pain during the session is unacceptable. Vacuum massage with boxes can be used to improve blood flow to the affected area.
The doctor will help you beat lumbar osteochondrosis and symptoms and choose the most effective treatment. Most likely, the massage will be included in the list of recommendations.
The complex of therapeutic measures includes physiotherapeutic methods. They allow you to act locally on the affected area and eliminate unpleasant symptoms. The following types of physiotherapy are widely used:
- exposure to an electric or electromagnetic field allows you to increase blood flow and metabolic processes in tissues;
- ultraviolet light relieves inflammation, stimulates the production of vitamin D, strengthens the body's defenses;
- ultrasonic waves have a high anti-inflammatory effect;
- Balneotherapy is widely used both in the treatment and prevention of diseases of the spine, due to the soft and effective healing effect of mineral springs and healing mud.
This method also has certain contraindications that should be considered when prescribing such procedures.
There are many folk recipes that are widely used for osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine, as proven to be effective. They can be a good addition to the basic treatment after consultation with a specialist. Ointments and compresses, decoctions of herbs can be used for rubbing or ingestion. Self-made products can cause allergic reactions. Poisonous plants can also be prescribed in prescriptions, so you need to follow the exact dosage of such substances, check the body's response to their use and consult a doctor.
Measures that can prevent this serious disease should be comprehensive and include, above all, physical activity. These can be long walks at a leisurely pace, regular trips to the pool, sports. Walking and running help to engage major muscle groups, and water helps them relax better and increase range of motion.
Of great importance for health is a balanced partial diet, in which significant attention should be paid to foods high in fiber. Vegetables and fruits will establish the normal functioning of the digestive system, metabolic products will not be retained in the intestines, poisoning the body. Thanks to small portions, the food will be fully processed.
It is necessary to organize a good rest and proper sleep on a flat and firm basis. Useful orthopedic mattresses that maintain the natural position of the spine.
The first signs of lumbar osteochondrosis require immediate medical attention, and then there is the possibility of successful treatment and restoration of spinal function.