How to treat osteochondrosis at home: traditional medicine and exercise

Compress for pain in osteochondrosis

The appearance of osteochondrosis cannot be left unnoticed. This will threaten the development of complex pathologies and protrusion of the vertebral discs. You can treat yourself at home, after consulting a doctor.

Treatment of this disease at the initial stage of development protects against complications and does not allow the disease to change the usual way of life.

Osteochondrosis as a disease of the spine

Osteochondrosis is a disease that affects the spine. It consists in a malnutrition of the intervertebral discs. They shrink and begin to press on the spinal discs.

Elasticity gradually deteriorates, nerve endings are clamped, pain and swelling appear. As the disease progresses, complications can occur that can worsen the quality of life.

According to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), osteochondrosis has the M42 code. In this case, juvenile osteochondrosis of the spine will be designated M42, and an adult M42. 1. If there is any doubt in the diagnosis, the code M42. 9 is used. This is called osteochondrosis of the spine, unspecified.

When dividing osteochondrosis into parts of the spine, other codes will be used. With the defeat of the cervical spine M42. 02, and with the cervicothoracic M42. 03.

Types of disease

Osteochondrosis of the spine spreads in its different parts.

What types of osteochondrosis occur:

  • cervical;
  • chest;
  • lumbosacral;
  • polysigmental, it can spread in several places at once;
  • widespread, it affects at least 2 departments;
  • osteochondrosis of the shoulder joint, hip and knee joints.
Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine on x-ray

Making a diagnosis

To establish a diagnosis, it is necessary to contact certain doctors. Osteochondrosis is treated by a neurologist or vertebrologist. After their consultation, treatment is selected.

To do this you need to carry out:

  • x-ray of the spine;
  • magnetic resonance imaging;
  • computed tomography.

The doctor may order any other tests that are required to establish the correct diagnosis.

Degrees of osteochondrosis

Osteochondrosis develops gradually and goes through 4 stages.

Characteristics of disease stages:

  • At stage 1of the development of the disease, changes begin to occur that affect the height of the spinal disc. But this is not yet noticeable. All changes occur in the intervertebral disc itself.
  • At stage 2the height of the intervertebral disc decreases and their convergence occurs. This causes the muscles and ligaments to sag. Instability of the vertebrae and the entire musculoskeletal system appears.
  • At 3 stagesof the development of osteochondrosis, noticeable symptoms appear. Changes in the vertebrae begin to occur. A protruding disc appears.
  • Stage 4the patient's body is struggling with the problem. Bone growths on the vertebrae begin to format, which can injure nerve endings. There comes a manifestation of immobility of the joint and the vertebra falls into a kind of shell.

Early treatment is quicker and provides a guarantee of complete recovery.

Reasons for the development of osteochondrosis

The beginning of the development of the disease is an uneven load on the spine. This happens with certain habits that many people do not pay attention to.

What habits can cause the development of osteochondrosis:

  • carrying a bag on one shoulder;
  • very soft sleeping place;
  • wrong shoes;
  • any injury;
  • sedentary lifestyle;
  • age-related changes;
  • overweight.

But this does not mean that osteochondrosis will necessarily develop in the presence of one of these situations.

For this, there must be other accompanying factors:

  • Frequent overexertion and a lot of stress.
  • Disruption of the digestive system and poor absorption of nutrients.
  • Heredity or pathological changes in posture.
  • Nicotine and malnutrition.
  • Pathologies when carrying a child.

Symptoms of osteochondrosis

Hernia of the neck

With the development of osteochondrosis, different symptoms will be observed in different areas of the spine:

If the cervical spine is affected, you will observe:

  • Headachesthat do not go away with medication. The quality of vision is also deteriorating, flies begin to appear in front of the eyes, and there will be noise in the ears.
  • Oxygen starvation occursdue to the arteries being compressed. Decreases blood circulation in the brain.
  • Hiccups and shortness of breath may occur.Depending on the degree of development of the disease, external symptoms of the disease may appear.

If the thoracic region is affected, pain will be felt in the chest and intercostal region:

  • May still be felt in the upper abdomen.Some initially mistake it for pain in the heart or stomach. In this case, a violation of the swallowing reflex may appear, a cough will appear.
  • In the middle of the chest, symptoms will resemble gastritis or ulcers, but the blood pressure will be high.
  • If the lower thoracic spine is affected,may mistakenly suggest exacerbation of appendicitis.


  • There are pains in the lower back and legs.In this case, sometimes there is a feeling of numbness of the skin of the legs. Lumbago will appear in the lower back after any load.
  • If the lesion is severe enough, paralysis may occur.Erection and urination are impaired in men.
  • Any symptomsrequire special treatment. Osteochondrosis is treated regardless of the affected area.

First aid for pain attacks at home

Osteochondrosis can appear unexpectedly in the form of pain and lumbago. In some ways, they are similar to symptoms of stomach or heart disease.

What is dorsago?

This is an attack of severe and acute chest pain. It is provoked by an uncomfortable body position, muscle spasm. The pain is felt under the scapula and in the chest.

It looks a lot like a heart attack. But with circular movements, the pain will begin to intensify. If you do a cardiogram, it will show nothing. Using heart medications does not help.

What is dorsalgia?

This is an attack of pain in the chest area, in which the sensation increases gradually. The duration of an attack can range from several hours to weeks. They will be especially strong when inhaling or bending to any side.

Painful sensations intensify at night. These two phenomena can be observed in the acute phase of the manifestation of thoracic osteochondrosis.

Body positions for attacks of pain in the spine

First aid for seizures at home:

  1. Wrap and warm the area of ​​the body where pain is felt.Cold helps some patients. But such compresses should be done on the recommendation of a doctor and under his supervision.
  2. The patient should be placed on a flat and firm surface.For this, use a board or floor.
  3. If the pain radiates to the neck,you need to fix it with a splint.
  4. If you experience severe chest pain, a tight chest bandage should be applied.
  5. If lumbago and pain in the lumbar region,a roller is placed under it. And when the muscles of the legs are tense, he is placed under the knees and the legs are slightly bent.
  6. Anesthetic may be used.

General principles of treatment

If symptoms of osteochondrosis appear, you should go to the hospital. Treatment of this disease is usually carried out in a complex.

Measures applied: use of medication, drugs; special exercises; proper nutrition and surgery.

If the disease is chronic and the period of exacerbation has begun, the patient needs to:

  • Observe bed rest.
  • The sleeping area must be firm.
  • In case of severe pain, the patient's movement should be limited.

Treatment of osteochondrosis at home

Osteochondrosis can be treated at home if surgery is not required. To do this, you will need to be patient and follow all the doctor's recommendations.

Using a needle applicator

Home treatments:

  • Perform selected exercises from the complex of physiotherapy exercises,gymnastics can be done in the morning and in the evening, but only according to a certain scheme.
  • Depending on the place of osteochondrosis development, self-massage is necessary. If necessary, involve a specialist.
  • Various folk recipes for rubbing and tinctures are used for treatment.They are used for compresses and rubbing. Good results are obtained when using medicated baths. Herbal teas or essential oils are suitable.
  • Acupuncture or acupressure is used at home.But for this it is better to invite a specialist.
  • An inexpensive but effective method of treatment is the use of a needle applicator.It also helps with many other diseases.

Magnets help to cure osteochondrosis. The magnetic field restores blood circulation. For this, the use of a specialdevice.In this case, various techniques are used, which depend on the degree of development of the disease. This device has good treatment results.

Physical education for osteochondrosis

Exercise can improve the quality of treatment for osteochondrosis, while:

  • Recovery of muscle functions.
  • Improvement of motor functions.
  • Normalization of blood circulation.
  • Restoration of metabolic processes.
  • Providing oxygen supply to the tissues of the spine.
  • Harmful substances are eliminated from the body faster.

Moderate exercise is essential for the treatment and prevention of this disease.


A set of exercises for osteochondrosis

Exercises can be done in different starting positions.

The complex is selected individually:

  • Exercise number 1.Lying on your back, arms outstretched to the legs. At the same time, they raise their head and hold it a little in this position.
  • Exercise number 2.Lying in any position, you need to twist with your hands, bending them at the elbows, or with your hands.
  • Exercise number 3.In the supine position, you need to raise your arms up and pull them towards the ceiling.
  • Exercise number 4.Lying on the back, bring the shoulder blades together. In this position, linger a little.
  • Exercise number 5.Lying on either side, one hand is placed under the ear, and the other rests on the floor. In this case, you can rise or make swinging movements with your hands.
  • Exercise # 6.Lying on the stomach, arms stretch forward and make movements similar to swimming.
  • Exercise No. 7.In a sitting position, you can tilt your head to the sides and forward or backward. Make movements that simulate cycling.

Pilates & Yoga

In order to prevent osteochondrosis, exercises are used that are used when doing yoga or Pilates.

Yoga Exercises:

  • It is necessary to stand firmly on your feet, straight, and your feet are drawn together.
  • The arms are lowered down along the body.
  • The ribcage should be extended.
  • In this position, you must stand for at least 5 minutes.

This yoga element will help in carrying out preventive measures for osteochondrosis.


  • in the initial standing position, hands are on the shoulders, you need to press your hands on your shoulders, while exhaling smoothly, every 15 minutes;
  • in the same starting position, hands down, make circular movements with the head in different directions, while you need to monitor your breathing.

Massage and Physiotherapy

When treating osteochondrosis, one cannot do without the use of physiotherapy procedures.

Methods Used:

  • Stretch the spine using a special mat. This method is called detensor therapy.
  • Magnetotherapy is used to improve blood circulation, get rid of edema.
  • Ultrasound will help relieve inflammation.
  • Phonorez is used to administer drugs using ultrasound.
  • EHF helps to stimulate the body and helps to restore the mobility of the vertebral discs.
  • Laser therapy relieves inflammation.
  • The vibration is used to massage the desired area.
  • Darsonvalization refers to the old methods of treatment. It consists in the action of high-frequency electric current.


Treatment of osteochondrosis is not complete without the use of drugs. Depending on the degree of development of the disease, tablets or capsules for oral administration may be used; ointments and injections.

What will the drugs do? They will reduce pain, stop inflammation, repair tissue, improve circulation and relieve depression.

Acupuncture and manual therapy

Will acupuncture help with osteochondrosis? Its use can be included in the complex of therapeutic measures.

When using acupuncture, a person will feel a decrease in pain, an activation of the production of cortisol, which will help get rid of inflammation; restoration of blood circulation and enhancement of the effect of sedatives. Acupuncture sessions should be done by a specialist.

Used manual therapy techniques:

  • Special massage.
  • Mobilization or automobilization.
  • Manipulation, which involves various movements that will be aimed at improving joint mobility.

These treatments can prevent many diseases.


Useful nutrition for osteochondrosis

When detecting osteochondrosis, nutrition should adhere to certain principles, these include:

  • selection of low-calorie foods;
  • compulsory use of fermented milk products;
  • inclusion of plant-based foods in the diet;
  • nutrition should be balanced;
  • exclude all harmful products;
  • observe the drinking regime.

Eat more foods that contain vitamins and minerals. This enhances the therapeutic effect and makes preventive measures more effective.

Doctorate Exercises

Exercises can be aimed at treating osteochondrosis of different departments.


  1. In a standing position, you need to throw your head back and stand there for about 30 seconds.
  2. In the same position, you need to turn your head in different directions.
  3. With your head tilted to your shoulder, hold it there for 20 seconds.
  4. Sitting on a chair, raise your hands up and hold them there.

This type of treatment is included in the package of measures taken.


To avoid osteochondrosis, it is necessary to engage in prevention. Even if the treatment is successful, prevention measures cannot be abandoned.

These measures will help prevent many other diseases:

  • Organize your workplace correctly.This is especially true for office workers. You need to choose the height of the table and chair, the computer should be at the right distance;
  • It is necessary to pay attention to the design of the sleeping place.The pillow and mattress must be orthopedic;
  • To avoid the development of osteochondrosis, in food give preference to vegetables, fruits, lean fish and meat; milk products should always be in the diet.
  • Exercise.Morning exercises every day for 10 minutes is able to maintain vitality, do not consume alcohol and nicotine.
  • Periodic massage sessionsof the back and other parts of the body.

Prevention is also needed for people who do not suffer from symptoms but are at risk. This refers to people over 40 - 45 years old, as well as the elderly, regardless of their type of activity.


Osteochondrosis is a common disease that affects quite a few people. But at the initial stage of development, it is treatable and cannot worsen the quality of human life. When using a complex treatment, the effect will be achieved quite quickly.