Osteochondrosis and its causes

The disease, which spills over into the chronic form and damage the spinal discs and the cartilage is called osteochondrosis. Begins to develop usually after 25-30 years, a chronic course occurs closer to 40 years. Low back pain is one of the most common causes of back pain.

Osteochondrosis of the spine

What is osteochondrosis

This term refers to a disease that affects the tissues of the spine. Over time, the spine compresses and crushes the disks. These discs are necessary for strengthening and mobility of the vertebrae. The dimensions of the intervertebral discs change, they don't get enough power and cease to perform their functions. At the advanced stage of osteoarthritis of the back can cause herniation or spinal curvature. Often the disease becomes a cause of disability.


The real cause of such disease as osteochondrosis are still unknown to doctors, but there are some factors in the development of the disease, for example:

  • Congenital and acquired grass of the spine due to frequent drops, impacts.
  • Bad genetics and diseases of the spine in the family.
  • Older age, overweight.
  • Flat feet, posture, and other diseases of the musculoskeletal system.
  • The metabolic disorder.
  • Sedentary and atrophied muscles.
  • Sudden movements or too much strain on muscles and bones, asymmetrical movements during training or work.
  • Unbalanced diet, Smoking, use of drugs and alcohol.
  • Adverse environmental conditions — high humidity, low temperature and poor environment.
  • The wearing of improper shoes and high heels.

This is just the basic factors that influence the development and course of the disease. The disease occurs in people engaged in heavy physical labor. For example, weightlifters, movers, gymnasts or builders. Constant stress, lack of exercise and diet may also cause the development of such diseases as osteochondrosis of the spine.

Osteochondrosis of the spine in adults and its classification

The disease may begin in adolescence, when the spine simply does not have time to grow. But over time, this problem disappears. Children move a lot, exercise and a balanced diet with a high content of vitamins helps to forget about low back pain.

But with adults it's different. Osteochondrosis of the spine in adults is associated with age-related changes — namely poor nutrition and circulation of the cartilage and bone. The intervertebral discs of an adult differ in structure, they have their own vessels, so they get food and oxygen from other tissues. To provide cartilage nutrition is the main task in the fight against osteoarthritis. This can only be done by doing exercises that are right for muscle groups of the back. Also help physical therapy, massage and proper nutrition.

According to scientists the US, the incidence is increasing every year.

Osteochondrosis of the spine in adults in the United States detected more than 30% of the population and this figure is growing every year. It appears more often in men who either prefer a sedentary lifestyle, or doing heavy physical labor. In Russia, the numbers are even sadder. More than 50% of the adult population unable to work because of problems with the nervous system and musculoskeletal system.

Pain in the back, neck and head to reduce the craving for life. The person becomes passive and irritable. Frequent depression, accompanied by deterioration of health. Usually low back pain has a number of comorbidities such as chronic emotional stress, migraine and diseases of the vascular system.

The spinal degenerative disc disease: symptoms and diagnosis

Symptoms of this disease is clearly expressed, to confuse it with anything hard.

To early to determine the osteochondrosis it is necessary to remember only a few main signs and seek qualified help.

Osteochondrosis of the spine in adults

There are 4 types of diseases: cervical, lumbar, thoracic, and mixed, that is, in several places of the spinal column.

Symptoms depending on the view is slightly different:

  • For lumbar degenerative disc disease peculiar to the ongoing lower back pain that sometimes takes place, but often replaced by acute attacks.
  • Back pain may increase during exercise or sudden movements.
  • Most often, the pain changes on the shooter. May radiate to the pelvic organs, pelvis and even feet.
  • The sensitivity of the feet is partially broken, but a more advanced form altogether disappears.
  • Man is hard to bend and make turns the body, the patient tries to maintain the same posture, not to deliver itself discomfort.

Symptoms of cervical degenerative disc disease is somewhat different:

  • There are frequent headaches that will not go away even after applying pain, aggravated by turning the head and bending.
  • The patient may feel very dizzy when moving head.
  • Pain from the cervical gives back, arms, chest.
  • Often there is deterioration of vision and hearing, before the eyes appear dark spots, it is difficult to focus the eyes on any object.
  • You may feel numbness of the tongue, as well as a noticeable change of voice.

Thoracic degenerative disc disease can often be confused with cervical appearance, but there are some very specific things:

  • The patient may experience pain in the chest, shoulders and arms.
  • When overcooling occurs a marked deterioration, pain also increases at night or when exercising.
  • Often it's hard to take a deep breath, chest as if constricted.
  • Appear on the skin tingling or burning, quickly freezing feet and hands.
  • The pain is worse when walking fast or running.


In order to make a diagnosis, the doctor examines the patient in different positions — standing, lying, sitting, in movement and at rest. So, in consultation it is important to talk honestly about all your complaints, even if the pain is slightly worse when coughing or sneezing. This may also affect further diagnosis. To confirm or on the contrary refute the presence of diseases, prescribe a number of additional hardware research. One of the most popular types is MRI, x-ray and computed tomography.

The spinal degenerative disc disease, symptoms of which frequently help to identify several diseases such as kyphosis, herniated disc and protrusion of discs, it is necessary to determine the doctor.

It is not necessary to self-medicate and to postpone the visit to the doctor indefinitely. It affects not only the presence of back pain, but the fullness of life.

Osteochondrosis of the spine: treatment medical and surgical

Therapy of this dangerous disease is divided into 2 types — conservative and surgical intervention. Choosing the right treatment can only specialist, the patient is often necessary to consult several doctors — a neurologist, a surgeon and traumatologist.

More advanced forms of the disease can be eliminated only through surgery. Next, we need conservative treatment, which helps to recover the body. The postoperative period includes massages, physiotherapy and diet.

Treatment medication

Often the doctor prescribes the detection of such diseases as osteochondrosis, treatment with medicines. It is combined along with a diet that includes the ration more minerals and vitamins. A large consumption of vitamins is necessary when taking medications that they have not had a negative impact on bone, the cardiovascular system and the gastrointestinal tract.

Treatment of osteochondrosis with the help of medication may include several types:

  • The use of analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Antispasmodic complex.
  • Antioxidants.
  • Blood microcirculation.
  • Preparations for the restoration of cartilage.

But don't rely solely on medications. Often this "passive" treatment does not produce the desired results, and sometimes is useless method. It is important not just to wait to improve and take care of your health and physical form. Even in advanced patients are allowed a number of physical exercises to increase muscle tone and improve blood circulation.

Conservative treatment should always consist of several procedures, for example:

Vertebral osteochondrosis
  • Physiotherapy.
  • Manual therapy and massages.
  • Physiotherapy medical devices.
  • A balanced diet and work with a mental condition in cases of stress.

In many cases, patients helps exercise therapy, massage and manual therapy. Most doctors try to do in the treatment without medication, as all medications do not only treat, but also cause some harm to the body.

Massage and manual therapy

Often patients are sent for treatment to chiropractors. But this is only the prevention of the disease or a great way to relieve acute attacks of pain. The procedure should only be performed by experienced specialists. Often patients are offered to undergo a course of massage or even acupuncture. The choice of the masseur should be treated with extreme caution as any wrong move can cause pain and even spinal injury.

Acupuncture helps to normalize hormonal balance, relieve pain and spasm, to restore the tone of the muscles.


To increase the effectiveness of massage and medicines you with exercise. But we should remember that they need to carry out regularly and without fanaticism. Also can not exercise, during bouts of illness. First you need to remove the aggravation. A special set of exercises should choose a doctor, it depends on the stage of the disease. But most often it is the simple gymnastic movements without any sudden movements.

Physical therapy helps to relieve pain, strengthen muscle frame and remove spasms. Methods of massage and physical therapy often provides the opportunity to upstage the use of drugs.

Physical therapy

This procedure is an important part of treatment. The patient in the postoperative period or as a Supplement to the basic treatment can appoint the following kinds of therapy:

  • Shock-wave method.
  • Magnetotherapy.
  • The laser treatment.
  • Balneotherapy.
  • Detensor or traction of the spine.
  • Vibro.

Each method actually has a positive effect on the body, but to undergo such procedures should by prescription and under a doctor's care.

Treatment of osteochondrosis

Treatment of folk remedies

To relieve nagging pain or cramping can and traditional methods. For example, rubbing of various herbs and roots, wool or bee venom.

Many folk remedies can be used internally and externally — rubbing, compresses and baths. But you need to know, does you have an Allergy to some components. Special attention should be given to rastertime and ointments on the basis of poisonous plants. In addition, some plants are able to reduce the effect of the medication. It is important to consult a specialist before combining with the main treatment.

A rubbing of an application and give a warming effect that provides blood flow to the damaged discs.

Sheep or dog hair relieve pain and spasms and swelling. Well warm up the sore spot. Also warm up low back pain will help of an application of kerosene and soap. For this you need to moisten the natural fabric in kerosene, wring out and soap it. The fabric should be applied to the skin and wrap a warm scarf. Leave for 1-2 hours, the bandage must be removed in any discomfort.


Salt — here is what to exclude in the first place, in the presence of degenerative disc disease. But it is important to gradually reduce the amount of this product. To eliminate from your diet you need coffee, soda and too sweet food. In excess weight it is recommended to remove the bread, and regular bread instead of muffins with bran or dry biscuits.

The main part of your diet should consist of animal proteins — meat, poultry, fish, milk and eggs. About fruits and vegetables should not be forgotten. A lot of vitamins contained in the cabbage, peppers, carrots, celery, and parsley! Purchased mayonnaise and sunflower oil is better to replace the olive with a few tablespoons of lemon juice.

To restore cartilage tissue, it is important to consume vitamins a, C, D, B, calcium, magnesium and manganese. All of this is contained in large quantities of products available — nuts, cheese, lettuce, saltwater fish, and butter. The patient must provide a high intake of calcium along with magnesium, otherwise the calcium will not be absorbed and will leach out of the bones, which will adversely affect the progress of the treatment.


If you do not treat any disease, it will cause complications. Low back pain can develop sciatica, a hernia, hypertension, and intercostal neuralgia.

More severe consequences — it's a stroke and a heart attack, and inflammation of the sciatic nerve. One of the most dangerous complications is compression of the vertebral arteries. They deliver to the brain the oxygen, without high risk of problems with the cardiovascular system, hearing and vision.


To avoid this disease need regular exercise — yoga, swimming, running.

Take care of proper posture, as well as on the chairs with a rigid backrest that will support your back straight. An excellent prevention will be a special massage mattress.

Try not to carry heavy weights in one hand and do asymmetrical exercises when training.

Choose shoes with the right Shoe and shock-absorbing sole.

Food is an important element in the fight against degenerative disc disease, so stick to a proper diet is one of the most important rules.