Discomfort approaches on you. At first, it only occurs after physical activities or workouts. Some people feel it in their neck, others in the base of their back or lower back. At one point, the discomfort becomes constant, whether you are sitting, standing, or lying. Sometimes the pain even radiates into the legs or arms. What can be the cause? Potentially, osteochondrosis.
Osteochondrosis is a skeletal change in the spinal area. It develops as a result of the intervertebral discs' damage and also the adjacent spine.
What is Osteochondrosis?
Osteochondrosis is a wear-related adjustment in the intervertebral disc and adjacent bone. The intervertebral discs in the spinal column are pressed together because of severe overstress. With time, the intervertebral discs can no longer regenerate as well as stay in the pressed position. Because of the pressure, osseous outgrowths develop, which can trigger pain and also severely limit the mobility of the spinal column.
Osteochondrosis can occur in any section of the spine. A differentiation is made in between:
- the cervical spinal column (osteochondrosis CS);
- the thoracic spinal column (osteochondrosis TS);
- back (osteochondrosis LS).
Causes of the Osteochondrosis
It all starts with excess pressure on the intervertebral discs. These fixed, fibrous rings are located in between your vertebra in the spinal column and work as shock absorbers for impacts. Like other components of the body, intervertebral discs also show proof of wear and tear. Depending on the level of strain, they can occur earlier in some people and later in others.
The wear and tear usually start at age 20. According to the statistics, from 60 onward, more than 90 percent of grownups are affected by wear and tear. Yet osteochondrosis is not always painful. A determined amount of wear and tear is entirely natural.
Risk Factors for Osteochondrosis
If you deal with osteochondrosis, generally, numerous unfavorable factors were causing it for a long time.
Severe physical pressure at the office:
- years of heavy lifting (building and construction sector, trade work);
- years of carrying heavy items (transportation industry, nursing care).
Unhealthy physical difficulties:
- history of herniated discs or broken vertebrae;
- intervertebral disc infections;
- back (e.g. scoliosis) or pelvic imbalances;
- being overweight;
- metabolic diseases (e.g. diabetes);
- smoking cigarettes;
- persistent coughing.
What Symptoms Occur with Osteochondrosis?
Persistent, intractable back pain is typical. Usually, when lying in the morning and while standing and walking. If you also have neck pain, it can radiate from the cervical spine, down the arms, and into the fingertips.
If there is lower back pain, it can also radiate into your buttocks or legs. Osteochondrosis can likewise be associated with a herniated disc with tingling or numbness in the arms and legs. If there is a spontaneous loss of urine or stool, call a physician right away.
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Back pain is very spread these days. One of the causes is osteochondrosis. After a thorough medical diagnosis, doctors will work with you to pick the very best treatment.
Firstly, the doctor will look through your medical history. You will be asked about when the pain started, its progression as well as signs of your pain. Then, the doctor will perform a physical examination with the help of imaging techniques. These include X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computer tomography (CT). Depending upon the findings, we also carry out neurological examinations of the spinal cord (spinal canal).
To find the root cause of your severe discomfort, the doctors will x-ray sections of your back. The spine is always recorded in two stages, partly under active strain.
With the help of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), doctors can analyze intervertebral discs, the spinal canal, nerves, vertebrae, musculature, and tendons effectively. Image-by-image, the condition of the intervertebral discs as well as the relevant change in the back can be defined.
Nerve canal contractions and back instabilities are promptly noticeable.
Throughout the acute phase, pain treatment is, of course, the priority. Strict bed rest can additionally be added to minimizing pain. We just suggest injecting pain medications into the impacted area of the spine or a targeted nerve clog for really severe and relentless back pain.
While treating osteochondrosis, the treatment is based on needs. During the initial phase, you'll need to visit regular physiotherapy and to strengthen the core muscles. Throughout the acute phase, pain treatment is, of course, the priority. Pain is usually treated with analgesics and anti-inflammatory medications or muscle relaxants.
If you have muscle tension because of incorrect posture, you will need to perform physical pain therapy, for example, with heat and massages. Strict bed rest can additionally help with minimizing pain. The doctor's recommendation is injecting pain medications into the impacted area of the spine or a targeted nerve blockage for very severe and constant back pain.
Non-surgical Osteochondrosis Treatment
Solid back and core muscles support the unstable spine as well as disencumber the vertebra. This is what promotes a better posture. Doctors can offer you targeted physiotherapy with particular osteochondrosis workouts. This way, you will learn how to minimize discomfort as well as prevent it in the medium as well as long term.
Surgical Osteochondrosis Treatment
Surgery is only an option when the other treatments haven't helped. If the osteochondrosis is triggering constant pain that significantly changes your daily life or if a herniated disc with a constriction of the nerves occurs, you'll need surgery.
The damaged parts of the intervertebral disc are eliminated in a surgery that is typically minimally intrusive, and the back canal is expanded inside the spinal column. This protects the surrounding tissue.