Osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine: symptoms and treatment

About 80% of people over 55 years experience manifestations of various diseases of the back, they should not be neglected and persons of younger age categories. So, one of the most common diseases of the spine osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine – at the present time is found in patients aged 25-45. Even young people aged 16-25 years are increasingly suffering from the symptoms and causes of this extremely unpleasant disease. Naturally there is a question about whether we can stop the trend of growth in the number of patients overall, and what to do each person as a preventive measure to avoid becoming a victim of this disease?

back pain


Insufficient attention to the disease, late diagnosis, her treatment is complicated by the fact that there are secondary diseases or complications. As a natural continuation of the pathology, begins to progress lower back pain. His treatment is not always effective, and when tightening or incorrect designated therapeutic course, there is a risk of disability. Another striking problem is the appearance of intervertebral hernia, accompanied by unbearable pain. With each passing day the chances of irreversible getting rid of the hernia getting smaller.

To recognize the disease early and to avoid these unfortunate consequences help characteristic clinical symptoms:

  • Sharp pain after a night's sleep;
  • Pain at the sharp turns of the torso or lift heavy objects;
  • The body becomes sedentary;
  • There are signs of scoliosis;
  • The sleep becomes restless;
  • A depressed mood;
  • Are also frequent urination.

Self-assessment of these symptoms might not be correct, since most of them have a common similarity with symptoms of other diseases in the spine or joints. Therefore, only a rheumatologist or orthopedic surgeon has the competence to speak about the presence of the developing degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine.


To make a differential diagnosis to correctly identify the disorder, to distinguish it from identical pathologies and to determine the treatment course helps the classification stages of this disease:

  • Stage 1 – at this time, the structure of the cartilage only begins to undergo changes. But now pathological processes roots are affected nerve endings. As a result, the pain goes to my feet. Deteriorating blood flow and inflammation arises. Pains are sharp or dull in character and occur mainly only after enhanced axle loads of the back;
  • Stage 2 begins with the destruction of the fibrous ring of the spine, the cartilage becomes thinner and the vertebrae shorten the distance between them. Pain in the second stage, a sharp and acute, sometimes for no reason at all. During this period increases the mobility of the spine along its axis, have pinched nerves, pressure on the soft tissues of a muscular corset;
  • Stage 3 is characterized by strong compression of the muscle fibers and nerve roots. Occur unbearable cramping and pain with a burning character. In the affected area feels numb. The intensive development of the disease show signs of paresis and paralysis;
  • Stage 4 – the period of growth of the already formed osteophytes (tumors with bone structure). At this stage aktiviziruyutsya changes of degenerative nature, there are arthritis in the spine and joints. The back is sedentary, and in the absence of proper treatment – completely motionless.

Diagnostic methods

Because even a perfect knowledge of the clinic and classification of degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine does not give a complete picture of pathological processes provoked by them, the doctor who treats pathological processes in the spine, diseases of the musculoskeletal system, or orthopedic doctor have to prescribe additional diagnostic testing:

  1. Radiography in frontal and lateral projections – enables to detect the distortion of the axis, the formation of osteophytes, anatomical anomalies of the vertebrae;
  2. Magnetic resonance imaging identifies the state of the whole of the affected area of the back, finds the fragments of the destroyed vertebrae, cartilage and inflammation;
  3. CT scan gives an idea about the status of the soft tissues, bones, vertebrae, the outer shell of the intervertebral disc responsible in principle for its integrity. and blood circulation in the area of localization of the disease.
acute pain

At the same time the patient gets tested for rheumatoid test, total blood counts, the contents of biochemical components. The total results of the survey can accurately establish the diagnosis and identify the stage of development of osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine.

The symptoms and treatment of degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine

Among the common reasons for pain in the back note the degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine, symptoms, treatment of which have their own characteristic features. The disease is the initial stage of degenerative disc disease related to the process of destruction of the cartilage ring of the intervertebral discs, change their height to decrease, the formation of swelling and pinching of nerve roots. With the disease may face young and elderly, regardless of gender, social status and religion. The long absence of the manifestations of the symptoms of the disease leads to loss of precious time and transition from one stage of disease to more severe forms of its development. A major distinguishing characteristic of osteoarthritis is considered to be the boundary zone of degenerative changes of vertebral tissues, which is not beyond the articular cartilage.

The reasons for the initial stage of degenerative disc disease

A number of external and internal factors leads to the development of the pathological state of lumbar axial skeleton. Osteochondrosis of the lumbar region appears as a result of certain risk factors. These include:

  • aging after 50 years;
  • incorrect posture and the anomaly of the anatomical structure of the axial skeleton, which determines the unevenness of the load on the vertebrae;
  • lifting weights with a weak core strength;
  • hypothermia of the patient and waist separately;
  • dysfunction of metabolic processes, endocrine organs, the cardiovascular system;
  • the uneven loads on the spine during the execution of work responsibilities, household chores, activities of professional and Amateur sports;
  • pathology of musculoskeletal system congenital or acquired character;
  • lack of exercise, high frequency of stressful situations;
  • excess body weight of the patient;
  • the disadvantage in human patients of vitamins, minerals, trace elements which are responsible for the health of the spine;
  • purchase of shoes with high heels, uncomfortable platforms;
  • the use of high pillows and soft mattress during rest and sleep.

The frequency of diagnosis of degenerative disc disease of the lumbar axial skeleton is determined by the number of its risk factors that are present in a patient's life.

Diagnosis of disease

Definition of degenerative-dystrophic lesions of one of the five lumbar vertebrae the axial skeleton includes the conduct of diagnostic procedures. They are appointed by the doctor. To consult a specialist who knows how to treat lumbar degenerative disc disease, collects anamnesis of illness, clarifies the time and characteristics of onset, intensity and localization of pain. The state of the muscle fibers in the affected area is determined by visual inspection. Using the method of palpation allows the doctor to see a picture of the symmetry of the vertebrae and the distance between them. The final diagnosis is established after receiving the results of additional research. These include:

  • radiography performed in two projections and provides an opportunity to see the position of the vertebrae, the height of the discs, seal the boundary of the bone plates and growths;
  • magnetic resonance imaging, which is a special research method to determine the state of the vascular system and the fibrous ring in the zone of degenerative-dystrophic lesions.

The purposes and methods of treatment of pathology

The results of diagnostic procedures form the basis of the scheme of treatment of degenerative disc disease of the lumbar axial skeleton, which pursues certain goals. These include:

  • the decrease in the intensity of pain syndrome, caused by degenerative-dystrophic lesions of one or more vertebrae of the lumbar axial skeleton;
  • normalization of metabolic processes in cartilaginous tissue, recovery and eliminate the risk of further destruction;
  • reducing the burden on the nerve fibers;
  • increased blood flow in the tissues of the spine with massage, physiotherapy procedures;
  • strengthening the muscular frame of the axial skeleton through regular exercise, physical therapy, recommended by the instructor.

Therapy chondrosis of the lumbar spine, the symptoms and treatment of which has its own characteristics, consists of reception and application of pharmaceutical preparations, recipes of traditional medicine, methods of alternative treatment, including hirudotherapy. Effective Supplement in the solution to the problem of pathology serve as physical therapy, water, massage, gymnastics and exercise classes, including special exercises physical therapy. Drug therapy which include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, chondroprotectors, vitamin complexes with trace elements and minerals.

For very severe pain are assigned lidocaine or novocaine blockade is performed by injecting injections in the affected area of the vertebrae. For local applications are assigned ointments, gels, creams, patches, with warming, anti-inflammatory effect. The physiotherapeutic treatment is the healing passage of courses of electrophoresis, diadynamic currents, exposure to ultraviolet light, procedures manual, shock wave and acupuncture. In the absence of positive dynamics, the emergence of gruzevich protrusions assigned to surgery. In order to avoid the development of complications in the first symptoms, treatment should be started immediately.

Lumbar osteochondrosis

Lumbar osteochondrosis is one of the most common forms of the underlying disease, actually degenerative disc disease. Lumbar degenerative disc disease, symptoms of which are equally determined men, and in women manifests as pain that is focused within the region of the sacrum, reflected in its symptoms and in the lower extremities, often self-defined by patients as "a pinched lumbar nerve."

Protrusion of lumbar osteochondrosis

Protrusion of interest to us in this area are developing more often, moreover, protrusion be the cause of lower back pain. By itself, lumbar, given its location and especially in those most affected by the occurrence of certain functional problems. That is, when viewed from one side of this statement, we can distinguish that our center of gravity directly refers to lumbar, accordingly, that it accounts for a significant portion of the loads. When considering, on the other hand, you notice that a large amplitude of motion, again, falls on this, the lumbar. Given this, the greatest propensity for injury (and we are interested in the protrusions), accounted for by the disks centered in the lumbar. In addition, we must not forget that the changes to the disks in this and, of course, in other areas occur on the background of age-related degenerative processes.

We remind our readers that are actually protrusions. The coupling disks with each other in the spine is provided by disk-based cartilage tissue. The main components of the intervertebral disc is the nucleus pulposus and fibrous ring, which is provided by the fixation within the vertebral disc. Exposure to certain factors and conditions provoking the possibility of a rupture of this ring, against which, in turn, comes bulging out of the nucleus. As a result of this process is developing a hernia. As for the protrusion, it is already developing as a result of similar duration of the process, but without associated rupture of the ring – in this case it is simply subject to thinning and not break, because the kernel is stuck right through the ring. Actually it is a protrusion and is defined as protrusion.

With regard to symptoms of protrusion, it is reflected in the following:

  • a feeling of stiffness in the lower back;
  • pain in the lumbar;
  • lower back pain of a chronic nature;
  • sciatica;
  • numbness, pain, tingling toes, in the feet;
  • disorders of urination (in rare cases, this pathology).

Principally to the protrusion of lumbar disc used conservative treatment. Meanwhile, significant in the development of protrusion often accompanied by severe symptoms resistant to treatment, in this case not to do without surgical intervention.


Primarily the treatment of degenerative disc disease is a multicomponent and rather complex in its implementation. Mostly all the measures of treatment are summarized in the following points:

  • medication;
  • if necessary – surgical treatment;
  • diet;
  • physiotherapy.

The exacerbation of the disease requires, above all, respect for patients in bed. The main recommendation for this part of the hard/solid sleeper. Highly expressed in the manifestations of the seizures requires at minimum motor load and a speedy appeal to the appropriate specialist.