All about osteochondrosis: symptoms, treatment, causes

Osteochondrosis disease: what is it and how is it expressed? This is a fairly common pathology that appears most often in older people, but today the incidence is often observed among young people. To choose the correct treatment for osteochondrosis, it is necessary to establish the cause of its occurrence and the stage of damage to the body. Well, in order to recognize this ailment, you need to have an idea of ​​what kind of disease it is and, in general, everything about osteochondrosis. And how to get rid of osteochondrosis and alleviate the patient's condition?

What is osteochondrosis?

The diagnosis of osteochondrosis is a degenerative-destructive disorder of the spinal column. At the heart of this disease is a change in the trophism of the vertebrae, intervertebral discs, as a result of which a violation of the usual tissue structure occurs. The cartilaginous disc becomes inelastic, modifies its shape and consistency. The width of the intervertebral lumen narrows, the disturbed section of the spinal column loses its stability. Damage to the correct relationship between the vertebrae is coupled by compression of the nerve endings extending from the spinal cord, the intensity of the back muscles. As a result, neurological symptoms appear in case of osteochondrosis and pain.

Dystrophic disorders in the disc lead to a decrease in the annulus fibrosus. In this regard, the patient often has dangerous complications (spinal hernia, protrusion).

Subsequently, osteochondrosis as a degenerative disorder is distributed to the small joints of the spine, intervertebral ligaments, bone growths of the vertebrae are formed. The patient can hardly bend, unbend, in other words, flexibility disappears, vertebral subluxations occur, spinal curvatures (scoliosis, kyphosis).

According to the place of localization, the pathology affects:

  • cervical spine;
  • chest;
  • lumbar.

The first signs of osteochondrosis do not awaken immediately, but gradually. These degenerative damage to bone and cartilage tissue quickly lead to physiological aging of the body. What is osteochondrosis and how to treat it can be seen below.

What is dorsalgia?

Dorsalgia is a rather complex syndrome that occurs in various diseases. It is able to combine both back diseases and other disorders of internal organs.

Most often formed as a result of osteochondrosis, spondylosis, disc herniation, severe scoliosis. This syndrome is manifested by mild pain in the damaged area of ​​the back.

Causes of the disease

What causes osteochondrosis? The exact causes of osteochondrosis have not yet been established. There are many predisposing circumstances from which osteochondrosis appears, some of them are:

  • genetic addiction;
  • changes in the metabolic flow in the body;
  • intoxication, infectious pathologies;
  • smoking, stress leads to vasoconstriction, spasm;
  • foot diseases, due to which the spine is overloaded (flat feet);
  • overweight, obesity;
  • microtrauma of the spinal column (blows, falls, sharp shocks) and macrotrauma (bruises, fractures);
  • age-related changes;
  • hypothermia, a sedentary lifestyle, unhealthy diet lead to a lack of fluid and vitamins;
  • metabolic disorders;
  • peculiar climate (high humidity, low air temperatures).

Osteochondrosis has other causes, and each of them can appear as a result of an incorrect lifestyle.

There is a popular belief that many diseases arise from nerves. Suspicious and temperamental people often suffer from diseases of the joints, spine.

Psychological causes of osteochondrosis can also be noted:

  • insomnia, depression;
  • stressful condition, nervous breakdowns;
  • feeling of loneliness, feeling of fear;
  • sad mood;
  • psychological pathologies;
  • problems in sex life.

The psychology of this ailment has not been fully established.


In case of osteochondrosis, symptoms and treatment will depend on the site of the lesion and the stage of damage.

The symptoms of spinal osteochondrosis affecting the cervical spine are manifested as follows:

  • pain in the parietal, occipital, temporal zones, increasing with turns, neck movements;
  • tinnitus, hearing loss;
  • dizziness, flickering in the eyes, fainting;
  • visual impairment;
  • changes in blood pressure;
  • hoarse voice, snoring;
  • numbness.

Symptoms of back osteochondrosis affecting the thoracic region:

  • numbness of the skin in the chest, back, abdomen;
  • pain when raising arms, with a deep breath, as well as exhalation;
  • aching, squeezing, often sharp, sharp pains in the region of the heart;
  • discomfort and difficulty when turning the body to one side or the other;
  • severe pain in the spinal column.

Symptoms of osteochondrosis in women and men with lesions of the lumbar spine:

  • feeling of numbness, tingling, chills in the legs, buttocks;
  • high sweating;
  • pain in the lumbar region, transmitted to one or two legs;
  • varicose veins on the lower extremities;
  • feet freeze even in warm temperatures;
  • women have not constant menstruation, men have potency disorder.

When osteochondrosis treatment and symptoms are long and neglected, the damaged vertebrae are fused together, the patient is tormented by the impossibility of movements in one or another area of ​​the spine, and pain, usually, decreases or disappears completely. How to treat osteochondrosis of the spine?


In case of osteochondrosis, what to do, how to overcome it? Before starting the treatment of back osteochondrosis, the attending physician must correctly establish the diagnosis by initially examining and interviewing the patient. And yet, how to recognize osteochondrosis?

To confirm the pathology, you must pass the following examination methods:

  • computed tomography, which recognizes the state of intervertebral discs, structure, their shape, clenching of nerve endings, deformation;
  • MRI, reveals the smallest lesions in the region of the spinal column, is used when CT could not reveal an accurate result;
  • X-ray, it determines the extent of the damaged vertebrae, their location and bony appearance;
  • Doppler ultrasound, detects the degree of changes in blood flow through the capillaries that saturate the spinal cord and other organs.

Sometimes, with a thorough examination, mating pathologies that have arisen in the event of a complication of this disease (hernia, radiculitis, protrusion, kyphosis) can be identified.

The peculiarity of the diagnosis is of the greatest importance, since many symptoms and signs are very similar to the symptoms of other diseases, and the spinal process and also a disturbed intervertebral disc can be the centers of pain.

How to cure osteochondrosis of the spine?

Treatment of osteochondrosis of the spine is a rather lengthy process that involves the complex use of medications; you will also need a specific treatment regimen for osteochondrosis and an individual attitude towards each patient. The selection of the necessary treatment regimen for any patient is determined by the nature of pathological disorders, the human condition, the presence of complications of the disease.

Staged treatment is also an important condition for how to deal with osteochondrosis. First of all, with an exacerbation of osteochondrosis, treatment is aimed at eliminating pain. The patient is advised to rest, use special collars, corsets designed for self-unloading of the spine. You will need external, internal drug treatment, physical procedures.

Then you will need procedures that can prevent the formation of new exacerbations (remedial gymnastics, reflexology, manual therapy, massages).


Can osteochondrosis be cured with drugs? Medicines should be used at the time of exacerbation of the disease. They help to reduce symptoms and affect individual etiological factors in the development of the disease.

The most common medications for osteochondrosis are:

  1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.They have an analgesic effect, quickly relieve inflammation, and are able to reduce the increased temperature of damaged tissues of the spinal column. These funds are used in the form of injections, ointments, gels, tablets.
  2. Muscle relaxants.They fight the increased muscle tone that can often appear with this pathology.
  3. Chondroprotectors.Reduce the processes of cartilage destruction and lead to their restoration.
  4. Painkillersfor local action (pepper plaster, compresses).
  5. Vitamins of group E, B1, B2, B6.Increase metabolism, restore damaged tissue. It is better to use them in the form of injections.
  6. Vasodilator drugs.Designed to remove vascular spasms.
  7. Glucocorticosteroids.Relieve swelling, inflammation, increase the effect of muscle relaxants, NSAIDs.
  8. Angioprotectors.Restore blood flow, metabolism, capillary muscle tone.

Physiotherapy exercises

With a disease of the spine, the symptoms can be pronounced, so only a specialist can advise what to do with osteochondrosis.

Exercise therapy or physiotherapy exercises is an effective treatment for osteochondrosis, since gymnastics for strengthening the muscles of the back leads to the development of a muscular corset, and this delivers the same load on the spine. Thanks to constant procedures, blood circulation is restored, tissue nutrition, movements become easier.

For example, special breathing exercises reduce muscle spasm and relieve pain. But swimming can significantly relax, unload the spine.

However, for the effectiveness of physiotherapy exercises and safety, it is necessary to exercise only when getting rid of acute symptoms of the disease.


In addition to drugs, back osteochondrosis treatment also includes physiotherapy. They contribute to the acceleration of the healing processes, continue the entire period of remission, using outside exacerbations. There are plenty of physiotherapy methods and many of them are practiced specifically for back osteochondrosis and treatment, for example:

  1. Magnetotherapy- restores metabolic processes, reduces inflammation, tissue swelling, pain.
  2. Electrophoresis.Medicines used in this procedure contribute to an analgesic result, blood flow in damaged tissues is improved, metabolism is normalized.
  3. Manual therapy- reduces pain, mobility in joints can be manifested.
  4. Laser therapy- normalizes blood circulation, reduces inflammation, pain, stimulates tissue regeneration.
  5. Acupuncture.Special needles can relieve pain, relieve inflammation, and stimulate metabolic processes.
  6. Massage.Spinal osteochondrosis can be cured with the help of therapeutic massage, which eliminates pain syndrome, restores muscle tone, as well as nerve conduction.
  7. Tractionfor spinal osteochondrosis in adults. Helps to normalize mobility, blocks the progression of the disease and the manifestation of complications.

It happens that a doctor prescribes a whole range of such procedures at once to one patient. It usually depends on how osteochondrosis manifests itself and on the associated diseases. The duration of the course is from 10 to 15 days. It is advisable to repeat them 3-4 times throughout the year. In this regard, it is possible to reduce the rate of progression and the frequency of complications by several times.

Surgical Treatment

Is osteochondrosis treated with an operative method? With osteochondrosis of the spine, treatment is possible in this way. The reason for this intervention may be a late appeal of the patient to a doctor, the presence of complications or the ineffectiveness of conservative treatment.

Any options for surgical intervention help to eliminate the onslaught on the spinal cord and roots. When a person has an intervertebral hernia, then the damaged disc and the hernia itself are completely removed.

The operational method is a certain degree of risk and is performed in emergency situations.

Of course, it is unlikely that it will be possible to get rid of osteochondrosis forever, but with the help of medications, physiotherapeutic measures, massages, you can forget about the unpleasant symptoms of the disease for a certain period of time.