Spinal_columnOsteochondrosis is a complex of dystrophic disorders in articular cartilages. It can develop practically in any joint, but intervertebral disks are most often affected. Depending on localization there are such types as cervical, chest and lumbar osteochondrosis.

Reasons of osteochondrosis development

The main reasons for osteochondrosis development are:

  • a wrong position of the head and neck;
  • conditions of the high load in the backbone;
  • hereditary predisposition;
  • various traumas and injuries of the backbone;
  • age phenomena.

Stages (degrees) of osteochondrosis development

Osteochondrosis is a complex of dystrophic disorders in articular cartilages. It can develop practically in any joint, but intervertebral disks are most often affected. Depending on localization there are such types as cervical, chest and lumbar osteochondrosis.

shey_hondroz1 degree — preclinical

At this stage changes in the area of the backbone are minimum. Patients are disturbed by limited pain in the backbone, there is tension of muscles in the back.

If osteochondrosis develops in areas of the cervical department of the backbone, there is cervical painful lumbago (cervicago) or the expressed pain and sensitivity changes in the neck (cervicalgia). Tension of neck muscles, morbidity rate in the area of acanthas of the cervical vertebras are typical symptoms.

In case of affection of the thoracic spine there can be thoracalgia (various pains in the thorax). However, thoracalgia with osteochondrosis is observed quite seldom that is caused with small mobility of the thoracic spine.

If osteochondrosis affects the lumbar department of the backbone, the patient is suffered from lumbodynia , when there are pains in the area of the lumbar department of the backbone.

2 degree — discogenic radiculitis

When osteochondrosis has the second stage, there are nerve-point pains in the backbone. The painful place corresponds to the area of the affected segment. Along with it patients say about fast fatigue, inability to carry out former physical activities. There is an intensive pain in the neck or back after insignificant physical activity on the backbone.

At this stage there is serious metabolism disorder in the vertebral pulp. The result of all these processes is dystrophy of cells and gradually a complete fracture of the vertebral pulp.

At the same time at this stage there is disorder of the collagenic structure of the fibrous ring and this causes reduction of the height of intervertebral space. All these degenerate changes cause instability of the affected backbone segment. Due to instability the patient feels the constant tension of muscles of the back (a reflex protective reaction).

At the second stage of osteochondrosis a back pain can be at coughing, sneezing, bending of the head forward. If pain was only in the backbone at the first stage, at the second stage pain can be in various areas.

1ecc54b0d6675c25a25b521b1d2cfc603 degree — vascular and radicular

At this stage the fibrous ring has a set of fractures, cracks, it consists of fragments.

Fixing of vertebras between themselves is weak, there is mobility of vertebras, removal of one vertebras concerning others. So, in the lumbar department vertebras tend to shift to posteriorly (this state is called pseudospondylolisthesis). There can be incomplete dislocations of vertebras in the cervical department of the backbone.

Intensive physical activities (for example, weight-lifting) against III stage osteochondrosis can lead to formation of hernia of the disk. This causes a severe pain in the area of the affected segment, its nutrition is broken.

Against the background of the described changes there is sensitivity disorder in the area for which the affected segment is responsible for. At the same time there are motive frustrations – partial or full loss of the motive function.

4 degree — emergence of the scar tissue in intervertebral cartilages

At this stage of osteochondrosis the vertebral pulp is replaced with the connective tissue. At the same time yellow and interspinal sheaves are exposed to destruction.

The changes which are at this stage can lead to disorder of the blood-flow in the largest radicular arteries. It may cause chronic cerebro-vascular insufficiency of the spinal cord which is performed with the syndrome of alternating lameness. The main complaints at this syndrome are weakness and numbness of feet, which the person has when walking, and does not at rest.

The IV stage of cervical osteochondrosis can lead to disorder of blood circulation in the vertebrobasilar system. Thus there are complaints to headaches, decrease in memory, ringing in the ears, deafness.

One of the heaviest complications of the IV stage osteochondrosis is a spinal ischemic stroke. The spinal stroke can be shown by a set of symptoms which will depend on a place and the size of affection. The most widespread ones are paralyzes of extremities, disorder in sensitivity of various parts of the body and disorder of organ functions in “responsibility zones” of vertebral segments.

Clinical evidences (symptoms) of osteochondrosis and an approach to its treatment have some features depending on localization and the stage of osteochondrosis.

Treatment of osteochondrosis

Physiotherapy exercises (LFK) is the main method of non-invasive treatment of osteochondrosis. It consists in creation of the dosed and directed loading which provides release of nervous roots from squeezing, forms and strengthens a muscular corset, develops a correct bearing, gives force and flexibility to muscles and ligaments, promotes prevention of complications.

It is achieved by regular training sessions on the rehabilitation equipment and articulate gymnastics. As a result of doing exercises blood circulation improves, the metabolism and nutrition of the intervertebral cartilages are in norm, the intervertebral space is bigger, the muscular corset is formed and loading on the backbone is considerably decreased.

The best results are provided by the integrated approach to treatment — the combination of exercise therapy and drug treatment allows us to achieve excellent results within the minimum time.



Osteochondrosis of the cervical spineSpinal_column1

Thoracic spine osteochondrosisSpinal_column2

Lumbar spine osteochondrosisSpinal_column3

Osteochondrosis sacral

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