Backstab. Why osteochondrosis occurs and how to treat it | Healthy life | Health

The lucky ones who have never had back or neck pain in their lives can be counted on the fingers. After all, pain in this area is one of the most common pain syndromes, and in addition, the reason for every third visit of patients to a doctor.

What to do so that the back hurts less often, and how to recover if it has entered and does not let go, told traumatologist-orthopedist, senior lecturer of Moscow Regional Research Institute named after A.I. V.F. Vladimirsky, Candidate of Medical Sciences Dmitry Zubkov.

Osteochondrosis is one of the most common diagnoses in our country. Russian doctors put it on 48-52% of the adult population. Their foreign colleagues, having heard such a diagnosis, are perplexed, because nowhere, except for the post-Soviet space, osteochondrosis is not considered a disease, it is just aging of the spine (sometimes premature). And what we call osteochondrosis is defined worldwide as musculoskeletal pain (MSP).

Eliminate dangerous

There are many reasons for back pain. Some of them (about 7%) can be infections, injuries, inflammatory diseases (Bekhterev’s disease) or even tumors (cancer, sarcoma). In another 4-7% of cases, pain occurs due to compression radiculopathy, that is, sciatica. This chronic pathology occurs when the spinal canal narrows (stenosis occurs) and everything that is in it is subjected to compression. In other cases, the same non-specific musculoskeletal pains that are familiar to all of us occur, the main cause of which is damage (mechanical, metabolic, inflammatory) of the soft tissues of the musculoskeletal system.

Therefore, it is advisable to see a doctor before starting treatment so that he can rule out the dangerous causes of back pain.

Pain syndrome

But ordinary non-specific musculoskeletal pain is no joke. It is because of them that able-bodied people are forced to sit on sick leave for a long time, postponing their work and personal affairs. After all, as a rule, back pain knocks a person out of the saddle for 3-4 weeks. And since most of the SMB suffer, including people who are not old, full of vitality and plans, this diagnosis is indeed perceived as a treacherous stab in the back. SMB usually occurs in middle age. If by the age of 30 the back hurts in 1% of people, then by the age of 59 – in 82.5%.

Many are sure that the cause of pain is hernia – a protrusion of the nucleus of the intervertebral disc into the spinal canal after the destruction of the fibrous ring and a decrease in the elasticity of the disc. In fact, this is not always the case. Hernias can also be silent. The appearance of pain, even without infringement of the nerve root, is more often caused by inflammation in the tissues, which occurs due to the fact that the cartilaginous plates age prematurely, wear out, and the vertebrae, deprived of protection, begin to beat against each other. And it is the inflammation and spasm of the muscles surrounding the spine that gives pain.

Due to the constant inflammation in the back, problems with blood vessels and nerves also develop. Against this background, neuropathy, pain in the shoulder and hands may subsequently occur. In addition, the blood supply to other organs is disrupted, and the entire body suffers.

It is not for nothing that among the causes of primary disability, it is pain in the back that occupies 41%, because from 5 to 30% of patients with MPS will eventually need surgical treatment. Of course, it is better not to lead to such situations, but to be treated in a timely manner, as well as to engage in prevention. But, unfortunately, only every third patient with MBS goes to the doctor, while 70% self-medicate.

How to be treated correctly

There are several ways to do this, but they are not alternative. For the treatment to be effective, it is important to combine several or even apply all methods, and not dwell on any one. Here they are:

1. Epidural foraminal blockade. This is an injection of a glucocorticosteroid into the focus of inflammation. Relieves even very severe pain and inflammation. But after such an emergency method, you should not lie down on the sofa to watch the TV, but go to the exercise therapy instructor – to work out, to strengthen the muscular frame.

2. Conservative therapy. A bilateral effect is required: it is necessary to remove inflammation in the tissues and relieve muscle spasm. Therefore, the most effective combination of drugs: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and muscle relaxants. NSAIDs relieve inflammation and have an analgesic effect. When taking some of these drugs, side effects from the stomach and heart can be observed. Therefore, it is better to choose those NSAIDs (for example, aceclofenac) that have fewer side effects on the aforementioned organs. Often spasmodic muscles become a secondary source of pain, which, in turn, starts a vicious cycle of “pain – muscle spasm – pain”. Muscle relaxants of central action (for example, tolperisone) not only relieve muscle spasm, but also improve its blood supply, thereby “breaking” the vicious circle of pain.

Long-acting preparations with the prefix long are not only more convenient – they are used only once a day, but also provide a more uniform concentration of the active substance in the body throughout the day. It is important to pay attention to whether this or that drug has a sedative effect and give preference to those muscle relaxants that do not cause drowsiness. In this case, you do not have to give up an active lifestyle, you can continue to drive, play sports, perform work tasks that require high concentration.

3. Massage, manual therapy, osteopathy. After the medications relieve acute pain, you can move on to these methods. They will help increase blood flow in the muscles that feed the spine, reduce inflammation.

4. Physical therapy, physiotherapy, balneo-, reflexotherapy. Methods of physical therapy and rehabilitation are very effective, but individual. Sea water and algae help someone better, needles help someone. But physiotherapy has a positive effect on everyone.

The load will save the back

According to our expert, the majority of “vertebral” pains could be prevented: even without the use of medical methods, but only with control:

– posture. It is very important to learn how to stand, walk, sit correctly. By the way, it is safer for your back to sit with a soft pillow under you. But you still need to sit down. No wonder Mendeleev worked standing at the desk. And if you are already sitting, get up more often and stretch.

It is also very important to be able to carry weights. It is necessary not to bend over them, but to squat with a straight back, and take them in both hands, distributing the load equally. Then the entire weight of the burden will fall on the muscles of the legs, and not on the back. It is better to carry weights by placing them on your back. And if you need to carry the load in front, then you need to press it to yourself as tightly as possible, and in no case should you carry it on outstretched arms.

The concept of “orthopedic mode” includes the right choice of mattress and pillow. The mattress should be firm or semi-rigid. The width of the pillow should be equal to the width of the shoulders. And the height must be chosen individually, depending on the position in which the person sleeps. Those who sleep on their backs need a pillow 10-15 cm high (the harder it is, the lower it is). And those who sleep on their side or on their stomach should calculate the height of the pillow individually, it should be equal to the distance from the base of the neck to the bone on the shoulder (for semi-rigid pillows), and you need to add another 5 cm if the pillow is soft. This height will keep the cervical region at the same level with the entire spine. Then the vessels of the neck will not flow in.

gait. For this, the right shoes are very important (preferably with an individual orthopedic insole). It is also important to choose the right running shoes, they must have good cushioning. Running in sneakers, you can break the spine.

weight. Everything is clear here: excess weight is an extra burden. So you have to lose weight. And for this, it is important to have a balanced diet and proper physical activity. Nutrition should contain more protein, amino acids – so that there is something to build cartilage tissue from. And sweets should be limited. Drinking regimen is also important – it is better to drink at least 1.5 liters of water per day.

physical activity. You can choose whatever you like – fitness, dancing, Nordic walking, hiking. But this alone is not enough. Our cartilage can only be nourished if there is sufficient power loading (dumbbells and bodyweight work). Therefore, three times a week, such a load must be present necessarily.


Leave a Reply