Back and neck injuries, heavy physical exertion, sedentary lifestyle, pregnancy, old age - all these are the causes of diseases of the spine, the support of the human body. The symptoms of osteochondrosis - cervical, thoracic or lumbar - are different, so none, even the most subtle signs, can be ignored. The sooner treatment begins, the sooner recovery will come. If you notice the first manifestations of the disease in yourself, consult a doctor and undergo an examination.
what is osteochondrosis
One of the most diagnosed diseases of the spine is osteochondrosis, the signs of which are found in every third person after 35 years. It mainly affects older people with excess weight, former athletes or workers whose professional activities are associated with heavy loads. Based on the statistics of recent years, it is clear that the disease is getting younger. Girls and boys who prefer a sedentary lifestyle no longer surprise doctors with complaints of back pain.
Osteochondrosis is a disease of the spine, in which there is a degenerative-dystrophic lesion of the intervertebral discs. If left untreated, the destruction of the vertebrae themselves begins, which leads to disability, atrophy and paralysis of the limbs. Such a problem can also result in spinal cord stroke, sciatica, kyphosis, protrusion. At the first signs of the disease, you should seek help from a doctor.
Each grade of this dystrophic spinal disorder is characterized by its own symptoms and signs. There are four stages in total. In the first stage, pathological changes occur, expressed in dehydration and decrease in the height of the intervertebral disc. In the second, the sagging of the vertebral muscles and ligaments is corrected, spondylolisthesis (displacement, curvature of the disc) is diagnosed. The third stage is characterized by the appearance of prolapses and bulges of the discs. At the last stage, deformation of the vertebrae occurs, on which bone growths grow - osteophytes.
The signs and symptoms of osteochondrosis depend on the stage of development in which it is found. The type of disease also plays an important role. Osteochondrosis affects different parts of the spine: cervical, thoracic, lumbar. Some patient signs may not be associated with the spine, for example, heart or headache pain, numbness of the fingers and toes. The patient at the same time complains that his neck hurts or pricks in his chest. It is very important to seek help in the hospital. The treatment of the disease lasts approximately 3 months, plus a year for rehabilitation.
The most common symptoms of osteochondrosis:
- back pain between the shoulder blades;
- sensation of a lump in the throat;
- loss of sensation in the extremities;
- High temperature;
- numbness of the extremities.
If we consider the signs depending on the type of disease, problems with the cervical vertebrae are dangerous due to the proximity to the brain. Here is a partial overlap of the blood vessels that carry blood to the head. Symptoms of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine are:
- cloudiness in the eyes;
- noise in the ears;
- "drift" when walking;
- pain in the back of the head, arms, shoulders.
This type of disease affects the heart, as a result of which the patient begins to complain of such symptoms:
- pain in the chest, back, shoulders;
- angina pectoris;
- sensation of a lump in the throat;
- episodes of shortness of breath;
- difficulty breathing;
- Numbness of hands and feet.
A disease that affects the lower spine causes problems with the pelvic organs. Sexual function suffers. Signs of lumbar osteochondrosis are:
- pain in the coccyx, sacrum, lower back;
- spasms of the muscles of the thighs, calves, buttocks;
- shots in the legs;
- limb numbness;
- poor joint mobility;
- exacerbation of diseases of the genitourinary system.
Symptoms of wandering osteochondrosis
This concept means osteochondrosis, which develops in two parts of the spine, for example, the cervicothoracic type of the disease. In this case, the patient will feel painful signs that will appear first in one place on the back, then in another, ie. the location of the pain will move. In this case, the patient can diagnose a violation of the cardiovascular system and even take medication to treat this problem, which cannot be done without a medical examination.
Signs of osteochondrosis
Depending on what affects the disease, doctors distinguish four groups of syndromes, each of which is characterized by its own symptoms. Osteochondrosis syndromes are as follows:
- static syndrome. This concept refers to a change in the shape of the spine. There is a violation of posture - a person begins to lean, slouch, lower one shoulder under the other. Scoliosis appears.
- neurological syndrome. The disease affects the nervous system. The person complains of tingling, numbness. Neurological symptoms develop into complications in the form of paralysis or seizures.
- vascular syndrome. Here we are talking about squeezing the vessels by the processes of the vertebra. This situation is often observed in the cervical form of the disease. The result is a violation of blood circulation, lack of oxygen to the brain, leading to cloudiness, dizziness, nausea, hearing and vision loss. With thoracic or lumbar osteochondrosis, chronic ischemia of internal organs is observed.
- trophic syndrome. It is characterized by insufficient nutrition of tissues with essential substances. As a result, ulcers, inflammations and other defects appear on the skin.
The first signs of osteochondrosis.
At the initial stage of the disease, as well as at the last, the patient does not experience any discomfort. Only a doctor can identify a problem at this stage of development, for example, when diagnosing another disease or during a medical exam. Diagnostic methods are as follows:
- x-ray of the spine in two projections, if necessary, x-ray of a single vertebra;
- magnetic resonance imaging (determination of intervertebral disc herniation, evaluation of the state of the spinal cord);
- discography (examination of the intervertebral disc);
- electrophysical examination (determination of the degree of damage to the nerve pathways).