Osteochondrosis therapy consists of eliminating symptoms, achieving stable remission. A patient with cervical, thoracic, and lumbosacral pathology is hospitalized for acute back pain, usually caused by a dislocated intervertebral disc. In all other cases, osteochondrosis is treated at home. It consists of the use of pharmacological drugs, compliance with the preservation regimen, physical education and gymnastics.
What is osteochondrosis
Osteochondrosis is a degenerative dystrophic pathology that progresses rapidly without medical intervention. Under the influence of negative factors, the intervertebral discs lose their ability to retain moisture. This leads to a violation of trophism, a deficiency of nutrients in cartilage tissue. Intervertebral discs become denser, thinner, their surface covered by radial cracks.
They are no longer capable of performing a shock-absorbing function, which leads to instability of the vertebral structures, their displacement beyond the limits of the spinal canal. Vertebral bodies are also deformed - bony growths (osteophytes) are formed in them.
Trophic intervertebral disc disorder occurs due to excessive physical exertion, a sedentary lifestyle. In older people, the pathology appears due to the body's natural aging - a decrease in collagen production, a slowdown in regeneration processes. The following diseases can also cause the development of osteochondrosis:
- autoimmune pathologies - rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus;
- endocrine diseases - hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus;
- disorders of hematopoiesis, blood circulation, metabolic disorders.
Prerequisites for the destruction of the intervertebral discs are obesity, smoking, wearing high-heeled shoes, congenital and acquired anomalies of the spinal structure.
In the early stage of development, the pathology is asymptomatic. Mild back pain occurs after physical exertion, disappearing after a brief rest. But over time, its intensity increases. Pain is worse when bending, turning, climbing stairs. Other characteristic signs of osteochondrosis appear:
- crunching, clicking when walking or changing body position;
- restriction of movement.
In the remission phase, back pain is mild. Discomfort occurs with hypothermia, weight lifting and climate change.
Methods for the treatment of osteochondrosis at home
The drugs with which it would be possible to restore the destroyed discs and vertebrae have not yet been synthesized. Therefore, osteochondrosis therapy aims to prevent disease progression. All methods used in the treatment are based on the acceleration of blood circulation, replenishing the nutrient reserves in cartilage and bone tissue.
The use of orthopedic appliances allows the patient to feel better. For cervical pathology, Shant collars are used, for thoracic and lumbar osteochondrosis - soft bandages with a heating effect or elastic corsets with rigid plastic or metal inserts.
The drugs of first choice in the symptomatic treatment of osteochondrosis are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Intramuscular administration of solutions allows to stop acute pain.
If the pain syndrome is not very pronounced, you can get rid of it by taking pills.
Mild discomfort is eliminated by local application of gels and ointments.
Receiving chondroprotectors and carrying out physiotherapy will not have a therapeutic effect like daily physiotherapy and gymnastics. The set of exercises is individually developed for the patient by the physiotherapist. Not only the location of the pathology is taken into account, but also the patient's physical fitness, the radiological stage of osteochondrosis. The complex must include the following exercises:
- in case of damage to cervical structures - tilts, turns, head rotation;
- with the defeat of the thoracic and lumbar discs - leaning, turning the body, walking with high knees.
The main tasks of exercise therapy are to improve the supply of nutrients to the blood tissue, strengthen the muscular structure of the back to stabilize the discs and vertebrae. But when performing exercises, microtrauma to the vertebral structures is unacceptable. Therefore, all movements should be smooth, slightly decelerated, with small amplitude.
For any pathology of the musculoskeletal system, nutritionists recommend limiting the use of salt and spices in the diet, which often leads to the formation of edema. Food should not be salted during cooking, but during the meal. Of the seasonings, it is only necessary to choose those that do not alter the electrolyte balance in the body, for example, cinnamon, cardamom, dried paprika.
It is necessary to limit, and it is better to totally abandon fried foods, smoked products, semi-finished products, fast food.
The most useful food for osteochondrosis is steamed or cooked in a small amount of water. It is advisable to include in the daily menu a little fatty fish (salmon, herring) to remove cholesterol from blood vessels.
Massage for osteochondrosis
Classic segmental acupressure massage is used in the treatment of osteochondrosis to eliminate muscle hypertonia and restore optimal blood circulation. The masseuse works on the spasmodic muscles by rubbing, stroking, vibrating, cutting movements. Neurologists recommend visiting the massage room not only for treatment but also to prevent painful relapses.
Manual or hardware vacuum massage is also in demand. In performing medical procedures, glass, ceramic, plastic and bamboo pots are used. They are installed at biologically active points and then move slightly along the surface of the body. The combination of vacuum and mechanical action allows you to get rid of all symptoms of the disease in 5-7 sessions.
Compressive mixes are prepared just before the procedure. They are spread in a thick layer over the skin, covered with plastic wrap and warm cloth, and the dressing is fixed with gauze or elastic bandage. If the mixture does not contain any substance with a local irritant effect, it should be left overnight. The compresses with tinctures of cinquefoil, red pepper and essential oils keep for about 1-2 hours.
Most of the time, fresh leaves of burdock, horseradish, dandelion, plantain and cabbage are used for procedures. They are crushed, a tablespoon of honey is added and evenly distributed over the skin. Sea salt compresses eliminate stiffness well. A teaspoon of salt is diluted in 0. 5 cups of warm water, moistened with a sterile napkin and applied to the painful area.
Infusions and Decoctions
Doctors recommend drinking at least 2. 5 liters of fluid a day for osteochondrosis. In addition to water, fruit juices and jams, you can use herbal infusions. To prepare a vitamin drink, 5 dried fruits of rosehip, viburnum, blueberry, juniper and barberry are placed in a thermos, 2. 5 cups of boiling water are poured. After 3 hours, the infusion is cooled, filtered and taken in 100 ml 3 times a day after meals.
A blueberry leaf decoction is also helpful. Pour a tablespoon of dry vegetable raw material into a small saucepan, pour 0. 5 liters of hot water and bring to a boil. Cook under lid for about 10 minutes, let cool. Take 3 tablespoons 2 times a day after meals.
At home, you can make applications with ozokerite or paraffin - substances that retain heat well. They are sold in pharmacies in the form of coarse crystalline powders. About 100 g of the free-flowing mixture is melted in a water bath at a temperature of 50-60 °C and then cooled to 40 °C. Take a flat wooden spatula or wide brush and apply a coat of hot mass in the skin over the affected vertebral structures. After drying a little, the same amount of ozokerite or paraffin is distributed. In total 3-4 coats are applied. From above, the frozen dough is covered with a film, a thick cloth and left for 1 hour.
The most therapeutically effective for osteochondrosis of any saber rub location. In a dark glass container with a volume of 1 liter, place half a cup of crushed dry rhizomes and a cup of gram. Pour up to the neck with vodka or 96% alcohol diluted in an equal amount of water. Insist in a warm place for 2-3 months, periodically shaking the bottle. Do not filter, but if necessary, pour a few tablespoons of a brown liquid and rub on the back for pain.
If desired, you can add a red pepper pod or 2-3 cloves of garlic while you insist. For people with sensitive skin, rubbing should not be done with vodka, but with vegetable oil.
In the treatment of osteochondrosis, salt baths are used, which have a tonic and general strengthening effect on the patient's body. 200 g of sea salt are dissolved in 2 liters of hot water. The bath is filled with warm water, the concentrated solution is poured and carefully shaken. The procedure takes no more than half an hour. Then take a shower and scrub well with a towel.
In order for the intervertebral discs not to start collapsing, it is necessary to exclude from the usual way of life all the factors that cause their destruction. It is impossible to stay in one body position for too long to expose the spine to excessive loads. Doctors recommend quitting smoking by replenishing your diet with fresh fruits and vegetables.