The imbalance between physical and emotional stress, trauma and complications, hypothermia and colds contribute to the development of osteochondrosis. The pathology is provoked by degenerative changes in the cartilage segments and bone tissue. Increased disc mobility increases the likelihood of the process, which is confirmed by statistics of the highest prevalence in the cervical and lumbar region. In addition to the spine, the joints of the upper and lower limbs are also affected.

back pain with osteochondrosis

Types and causes of osteochondrosis

Excessive congestion of the spinal segments or joints, depending on the location and degree, is the main cause of osteochondrosis, which is divided into the following types:

  1. Thoracic osteochondrosis is a pathological process of unclear etiology, but according to clinical studies it develops as a result of:
    • hormonal disorders;
    • improper posture;
    • structural anomalies and curves;
    • injuries received;
    • professional activity related to stress or prolonged vibration of the ladder;
    • flat steps;
    • limitation of physical activity or the reverse process due to physical overload;
    • Overweight.
  2. Cervical osteochondrosis is a pathology commonly referred to as "salt deposition". The main causes of cervical osteochondrosis lie in the increased activity of the neck and the resulting malnutrition of the tissues against the background of:
    • excessive strain on the neck;
    • hypothermia and previous colds;
    • uncontrolled sports without observance of safety and security measures;
    • unfavorable conditions for meteorological factors;
    • stressful situations;
    • prolonged sitting without changing posture;
    • exposure to chemicals.
  3. Osteochondrosis dissecans or Koening's disease is a degenerative-dystrophic process that begins with dystrophy, followed by the addition of inflammation of the knee, hip, elbow and clavicle-shoulder joints. Causes include:
    • injuries received;
    • hereditary predisposition;
    • violation of the patency of the branch of the adjacent artery.

Pathological abnormalities provoke improper growth of bone tissue, displacement of discs and joints and irritation of nerve roots, which is accompanied by pain.

Symptoms of diseases

The clinical picture, depending on the type of pathology, is different. In particular, shortness of breath occurs in osteochondrosis of the chest caused by:

  • pain that increases with breathing and restriction of movement in the chest;
  • intercostal neuralgia provoked by irritation or violation of the spinal roots;
  • secondary deformities in the thoracic region on the background of kyphoscoliosis and a decrease in lung volume.

Due to the clinical picture disguised as symptoms of other diseases, the pathological process is mistaken for angina pectoris, ischemia, pneumonia, gastrointestinal disorders, as a result of which it is called "chameleon".

One of the common symptoms is dizziness in cervical osteochondrosis, which occurs due to compression of blood vessels and impaired cerebral circulation, in which insufficient oxygen and nutrients enter the brain. The pathology is manifested by additional symptoms:

  • loss of orientation in space;
  • the appearance of noise in the head and ears;
  • darkening of the eyes or flickering spots;
  • throbbing headache;
  • nausea and vomiting.

If you experience limited tongue movements and staggering while walking, seek emergency medical attention and lie down face down before the patient arrives.

The symptoms of Koening's disease range from the stage of the process, ranging from discomfort and rapid fatigue of the affected limb to pain that increases with time and an increase in the volume of the joint, visually visible.

Therapeutic activities

Treatment of the disease requires an integrated approach divided into periods. In the acute stage, drug therapy is prescribed, physiotherapeutic methods and folk remedies are additionally used. During the period of remission, recovery in resorts is recommended, but it should be remembered that the spa treatment of osteochondrosis during exacerbations will not only not be beneficial, but may be harmful.

Medication treatment

In the acute phase of osteochondrosis drugs are prescribed orally:

  • anti-inflammatory drugs to eliminate the inflammatory process;
  • analgesics to relieve pain;
  • muscle relaxants to relieve muscle spasms;
  • anticonvulsants to remove compression of nerve endings;
  • chondroprotectors for cartilage tissue regeneration;
  • sedatives to relieve stress and support the nervous system;
  • vitamin complexes in order to provide the body with the necessary nutrients and general strengthening.

Therapeutic blockades by injection directly into the affected area are used to relieve pain. The analgesic effect and the strengthening of the local blood circulation are achieved by ointments and creams applied topically on the affected area.

Physiotherapeutic procedures

Physiotherapy is prescribed both in parallel with medication and during the period of remission to maintain a stable position and prevent recurrence. For medical purposes use:

  • traction therapy and reflexology;
  • acupuncture with electrical stimulation and exposure to cold;
  • glasses and acupressure massage;
  • therapy with ultrasonic and electromagnetic vibrations.

The procedures performed by a specialist appointed by a doctor improve blood circulation, restore the functionality of damaged segments and increase vitality. Self-medication can cause recurrence, lead to deterioration and contribute to the development of pathology.