Lumbar osteochondrosis is a degenerative-dystrophic lesion of the spine in the lumbar region. Pain syndrome is caused by damage to the intervertebral discs, spinal roots, nerve fibers, and cartilage tissue. For the treatment of lumbosacral osteochondrosis, you should contact a neurologist.
Symptoms of lumbar osteochondrosis
- severe pain syndrome that may radiate to the legs and pelvic organs
- pain in the kidneys and sacrum
- limb numbness
- tension in the lumbar region
- fatigue, weakness
Lumbar osteochondrosis has the gender characteristics of the course. Vertebrogenic pain, which manifests itself due to compression of nerve roots by altered cartilage of intervertebral discs, is much more difficult for women than for men. The intensity of the pain is directly related to the level of estrogen. The lower their indicators, the more pronounced the pain.
In addition, the reflected lumbosacral pain syndrome may be associated with concomitant diseases of the internal organs. In women, diseases of the genitourinary sphere predominate, in men, disorders of the gastrointestinal tract are more characteristic.
Treatment of osteochondrosis of the lumbosacral region
Treatment of patients with neurological manifestations of lumbosacral osteochondrosis should be comprehensive and phased. At the first medical meeting a clinical and functional examination (clarification of complaints and anamnesis) and a clinical examination are performed. A neurologist examines the dynamic and static function of the spine, assesses the posture and parameters of paravertebral muscle tone, determines the degree of mobility of different parts of the spine and limbs. The standard treatment regimen for osteochondrosis includes:
- exclusion of negative charges
- immobilization (use of corsets, orthoses, orthopedic styling)
- drug therapy
- physiotherapy procedures
- gentle massage with acupressure
- exercise therapy
- mud therapy
- traction techniques (traction)
If conservative methods do not give the desired effect, surgery may be required.
Physiotherapy for lumbar osteochondrosis
To eliminate pain, reduce swelling, normalize back muscle tone, activate recovery processes, resolve fibrous foci and increase the mobility of damaged segments, a set of physiotherapeutic procedures is used:
- pulsed diadynamic currents
- magnetotherapy (exposure to a static or alternating magnetic field)
- laser treatment
- medical electrophoresis
- UV radiation
- local cryotherapy
- transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
Thanks to physiotherapy combined with the simultaneous use of several methods, the effectiveness of therapy for lumbar osteochondrosis increases by 30%.
A special role in the conservative treatment of degenerative pathologies of the musculoskeletal system is given to recreational physical education. Rehabilitation center instructors develop individual complexes of dynamic and stretching exercise therapy exercises for spinal osteochondrosis. This takes into account the patient's gender, age and physical abilities.
Optimized therapeutic exercises aim to strengthen the muscles of the back, abdomen, pelvic region and lower extremities. Thanks to exercise therapy, pathological muscle tension is eliminated, pressure in the intervertebral discs is reduced, swelling and pain are eliminated, the spine is stabilized and the position is improved.
An absolute indication for decompressive surgery is the disabling of radiculomyelosemia. This dangerous pathological condition is caused by hernial compression of the nerve roots and impaired blood flow to the sacrococcygeal area. It leads to unbearable permanent pain, pelvic organ dysfunction, permanent claudication and other motor, reflex or sensory disorders. A relative indicator of operational stabilization is the lack of effect from long-term conservative therapy (more than 1. 5-2 months).
Endoscopic methods of osteoplasty are known to be the most optimal: installation of interbody implants and fixation cages made of biocompatible materials. Minimally invasive interventions quickly restore the ability to support the operated department and allow early rehabilitation to begin.
Injection treatment (injections for lumbar osteochondrosis)
The main manifestation of osteochondrosis of the lumbosacral region is pain. This complex multi-component symptom is associated with local inflammation, abnormal muscle tension, ligament damage, biomechanical causes, and dysfunction of the pain perception system. Therefore, treatment should be performed in a complex. For faster pharmacological action and reduction of gastro- and cardio risk, injection therapy drugs are prescribed:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- sedative (analgesic)
- muscle relaxant (relaxer, muscle tone reliever)
- vasodilators (improving blood microcirculation)
- chondroprotectors (stimulating the regeneration of intervertebral discs, slowing down the destruction of cartilage tissue).
On the recommendation of a doctor homeopathic injections can be used to treat osteochondrosis and vitamins. For rapid and effective removal of severe pain syndrome, therapeutic paravertebral blockades (injections into the lumbosacral nerve plexus) are prescribed.
Traditionally, complex therapy for degenerative spinal diseases involves treatment with tablets and capsules, similar to the injection method:
- NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
- myotropic antispasmodics (medicines to relieve muscle spasm)
- vegetocorrectors (autonomic nervous system tone stabilizers)
- vasodilators (to improve blood flow and tissue trophism)
- dosage forms of chondroitin and glucosamine
- sedatives and antidepressants (to relieve emotional tension and chronic stress)
- vitamin and mineral complexes
Tablet preparations for the treatment of lumbosacral spine osteochondrosis are prescribed for a long period (up to 2 months or more).
- Therapeutic Exercises (LFK)
- Selection of orthopedic products
Osteochondrosis, which affects the most mobile segments of the lower spine, can exacerbate existing internal organ problems and lead to serious health consequences:
- protrusions and intervertebral hernias
- decreased sensitivity in the front of the thighs
- weakness of calf and toe muscles
- ischemic infarction of the spine
- pelvic organ dysfunction (sphincter dysfunction, impotence)
- paresis and paralysis
To avoid possible complications, it is recommended to regularly engage in therapeutic exercises and minimize the effect of provocative factors.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to offer help during acute pain in lumbar osteochondrosis?
In case of sudden acute pain, it is necessary to adjust the lower back. This will immobilize the spasmodic muscles and shift the load from them. Then, if possible, lay the patient on his back, placing a pillow under the bent knees. To reduce the pain, you should take a medicine with analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect (NSAIDs). Furthermore, you can use a diclofenac-based ointment or gel or its analogue, or apply a cold compress (no more than 10 minutes). It is very important to exclude the load on the spine and consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Is It Possible To Exercise With Lumbar Osteochondrosis?
Physical education with lumbar osteochondrosis is not only not prohibited, but also recommended (except for the period of acute pain). However, care must be taken not to allow axial loading on the spine and to categorically refuse to sit, jump, and lift weights. A set of exercises should be chosen by a specialist on an individual basis.