Osteochondrosis is a disease in which degenerative-dystrophy occurs in the tissues of the spine. Development of damage to the discs, joint surfaces adjacent to them, vertebral body, ligamentous apparatus. As a rule, initially with bone necrosis, pathological changes occur in the bones and ligaments. Furthermore, a person makes a guess about the onset of the disease only when he begins to suffer complications of the condition - back pain, decreased sensitivity, muscle atrophy and dysfunction of internal organs.
This disease is common among modern people: according to various sources, up to 90% of the world's population suffers from osteonecrosis. Basically, the disease affects people already 30 years old. Today, lumbar necrosis is most commonly detected (in about half of cases).
Stages of bone necrosis
The disease develops in humans in stages. In the first advanced stage of the disease, dehydration of the myeloid nucleus begins. As a result, the height of the disc is reduced, and cracks form in the annular fibers. However, pathological changes do not occur outside the disc.
At the second stage, the convergence of two adjacent vertebrae is observed due to a decrease in the height of the disc, the attachment point of muscles and ligaments. Due to the sagging ligaments and muscles, excessive mobility of the vertebrae appears, causing an unstable development of the vertebral movement. During this stage, the vertebrae can slide or displace, and a degenerative vertebra is formed.
The third stage of osteonecrosis development is characterized by pronounced morphological changes in the intervertebral discs. Formation of disc prolapses and protrusions occurs, and appendages develop in the disc and non-vertebral joints.
At the beginning of the fourth stage, adaptive changes are observed in the affected vertebrae. In this case, the human body adapts to the excessive motor ability of the vertebrae, overcoming it. As a result of immobilization of the spine, bone cells appear - the bones grow out of the edges on the adjacent surface of the vertebral bodies. A bone-building substance that can damage nerve roots. Fibrous changes in the disc and joints gradually occur. As a result, a shell type is formed on the vertebral motor segment, and the manifestations gradually disappear.
Causes of bone necrosis
Experts make different assumptions about the causes that contribute to the development of osteonecrosis. These reasons are known as mechanical trauma of the spine, a disorder of the metabolism in the body, and are susceptible to genetic diseases. But the obvious cause of the development of the disease is difficult to determine due to the prevalence of the disease. It is common in young and old people; physically strong and poorly trained.
You may sometimes hear the opinion that the symptoms of osteonecrosis are due to the deposition of salt in the human spine. Patients often report salt deposits if they hear scratching and scratching sounds in their joints. In fact, the disease develops due to lack of tissue nutrition. As a result, their structure is gradually regenerated. Bone and cartilage tissues are constantly being renewed. If a person has regular adequate physical activity, the tissue becomes more elastic. But in people with sedentary lifestyles, such fabrics are less durable.
In addition, overweight, poor posture, negative environmental conditions, specific body position during work, uneven development of skeletal muscle, pregnancy, stress, loweringBody temperature, infection can be the cause of bone necrosis.
Thus, the range of factors that provoke the development of the disease is very wide. The minor role in this process is due to blood flow and nutritional properties of cartilage and bone tissue. There are no vessels in the adult vertebral disc, so the disc receives oxygen and all the necessary nutrients from neighboring tissues. Therefore, for the normal nutrition of the spinal disc, it is necessary to continuously activate blood circulation in surrounding tissues. This process can be accelerated by keeping muscles active.
Symptoms of bone necrosis
The manifestations of the disease can vary greatly and depend directly on the stage of disease development. The most pronounced symptoms of the disease appear when the pathological process spreads to the posterior part of the ligament and ligament to the posterior. During the activation of the pathological process, the patient develops reflex and compression neurological syndromes.
Osteochondrosis can manifest itself in different parts of the body, so the symptoms of the disease are broad. Patients with bone necrosis may experience pain in the extremities or numbness, sometimes pain in the chest, genital dysfunction, headache. At the same time, one is not even aware that the cause of such manifestations is bone necrosis.
If the patient has necrosis of the thoracic spine, the symptoms may resemble the manifestations of heart disease: angina, myocardial infarction. That is why sometimes the wrong treatment is done, leading to further progression of osteonecrosis. Therefore, if you suspect the development of this disease, a person should immediately consult a doctor and undergo the necessary studies.
Osteochondrosis is mainly manifested by intense pain and discomfort in the back. In some cases, pain occurs intermittently. It may disappear for a while. But for everyone, the appearance of pain is a very worrying and disturbing symptom. It is important to think and determine exactly what caused the pain. For example, it could be a vigorous physical activity, lifting weights.
The next indicative symptom manifested by osteoporosis of the cervix is numbness of the arms and legs as well as pain in them. Similar symptoms are typical for other types of bone necrosis. Usually, the pain develops in the left leg or arm, sometimes it spreads to the heart, below the ribs. In the event of such manifestations, it is not advisable to immediately take heart medication or other diseases but to listen carefully and assess the nature of the pain, its change depending on the condition of the pain. Current patient. All of their observations should be told in detail to the doctor, after which the patient is assigned to massage, gymnastics and other treatments. Contact with a specialist in the early stages of the disease will bring more effectiveness in treatment.
So usually, patients diagnosed with osteonecrosis complain of discomfort in the spine in different locations, pain of different intensity and characteristics. . They have a higher degree of fatigue, which manifests itself in both mental and physical work. Sensitivity can be impaired in different areas of the body, usually the limbs. In addition, the patient may notice cold hands and feet. Symptoms of degenerative cervical vertebrae are often dizziness and headache. Vision can also be markedly reduced.
If a patient suffers from necrosis of the lumbar spine, then in this case a variety of disorders of the human reproductive system can appear. After treatment of lumbosacral bone necrosis, men often notice an improvement in potency. At the same time, if necrosis of the spine develops in a woman, then this can complicate conception, as well as pregnancy. In addition to these symptoms, with bone necrosis, other manifestations are possible: muscle spasm, difficulty moving, pain with the scan, etc. v.
Diagnosis of bone necrosis
The most important moment in the diagnosis of osteonecrosis is to collect a history, moreover, the most important moment in this process is to ask the patient, the patient must elaborate all complaints. with your doctor. If some of the symptoms of the disease are identified by the characteristic features of osteonecrosis, there are also many important signs to distinguish it from the manifestations of other diseases. Disorders of many organs, manifested in osteonecrosis, often resemble the symptoms of gastritis, angina, and stomach ulcers. That is why every symptom in osteonecrosis must be studied and analyzed in detail.
During the diagnosis, the doctor takes into account the patient's age and the development of symptoms. To clarify the diagnosis, additional methods are used to study. Usually in this case, x-ray examination is practiced. To determine the patient's condition, a survey X-ray of the spine is performed. If there are more specific complaints, practice X-ray targeting the lesion site.
Myelography is considered to be a relatively difficult diagnostic method. This exam involves injecting contrast fluid into the spinal canal. In this case, there is a risk of spinal cord injury, as well as an allergic reaction. But at the same time, this method is considered informative if it is necessary to determine the presence of a spinal hernia.
In addition, the use of computed tomography and nuclear magnetic resonance has been practiced. However, they are relatively expensive, so they are practiced mainly when it is necessary to make differential diagnoses, as well as to determine the presence of a spinal tumor.
Treatment of bone necrosis
For the treatment of spinal necrosis to be effective, it is necessary to provide not only an accurate diagnosis, but also an integrated approach to the problem. As a rule, the doctor will prescribe treatments depending on which part of the spine is affected. The main therapies for the cervical spine, as well as the thoracic and lumbar spine are massage, manual therapy, acupuncture, electrical stimulation, exercise therapy, vacuum aspiration therapy, scissors and otherother methods. It is also possible to parallel treatment with folk remedies.
The doctor prescribes treatment to ensure that the symptoms that bother the patient are eliminated, as well as the cause of the spinal diseases. Stop the pain with physical therapy, medication. In addition, special exercises are also practiced to cure spondylolisthesis.
One of the main methods of treating degenerative cervical vertebrae and other musculoskeletal conditions is the use of physical therapy exercises. For this, special rehabilitation equipment is used. By regularly performing specialist-selected exercises, you can improve blood circulation and activate your metabolism. As a result, the nutrition of the intervertebral discs is improved, and the load on the spine is reduced.
Physiotherapy involves manipulating the body of various physical factors. With the help of low-frequency currents, magnetic fields, lasers, pain is effectively reduced, inflammation is reduced, while drug therapy is more effective. With the help of massage, you can reduce muscle tension and pain, while activating blood circulation. Manual therapy can relieve acute and persistent pain in the joints and spine, increase range of motion, and also have a general positive effect on the body. Spinal stretching is used to relieve severe pain. It is performed on special equipment. During this process, the disc space increases, the shape of the spine is restored. Drug treatment is mainly carried out during exacerbations.
But in most cases, even effective treatment can only slow the progression of the disease, preventing exacerbations. Full recovery is possible only in the early stages of bone necrosis. It is important to note that the duration of treatment depends on the severity of the disease progression, the method of treatment, and as well as how carefully the patient performs all prescriptions and doctor's recommendations. Usually, the duration of active treatment lasts from one to three months. After surgery, one person recovers in about a year. If conservative treatment does not bring the expected results, and there are special indications, the doctor appoints surgical treatment.
Prevention of bone necrosis
People who already have osteonecrosis symptoms should try not to overload the spine and minimize the pressure on the disc. Always try to keep your back straight, avoid spinal injuries. A comfortable bed for a night's sleep is important: you need to choose a separate orthopedic mattress. You should not lift weights heavier than 10 kg, and to lift an object you must first sit down, grab the object and then stand up with it. Women should not wear heels that are too high. Additionally, people who complain of back pain should perform muscle-strengthening exercises every day. Should swim whenever possible.