Osteochondrosis forces the body to keep the muscles in the lumbar region tense, reducing the load on the spine. The patient looks for a more comfortable position and tries not to change it to relieve discomfort.
The disease is progressive, therefore, at different stages there are corresponding signs, the diagnosis of which helps the doctor to prescribe the correct treatment. Symptoms of lumbar osteochondrosis:
- in the first stage there is pronounced discomfort and unobtrusive pain in the lumbar spine;
- the second stage is accompanied by the destruction of the fibrous ring, which leads to the convergence of the vertebrae with each other;
- this is followed by the formation of an intervertebral hernia and significant deformation of the spine, accompanied by intense pain;
- the fourth stage of osteochondrosis of the lumbar region leads to complete disability of patients: the destruction becomes more intense, preceded by sharp pain and difficulty in movement.
At each stage, the picture of the development and further treatment of osteochondrosis depends on the localization of the disease in a certain part of the lower back. The therapy is aimed at relieving pain, eliminating inflammation, normalizing the metabolic processes of the cartilage tissue of the spinal discs.
Osteochondrosis of the lumbar region is a dangerous degenerative disease of the spine, leading to degenerative processes. It is localized in the relevant area and is characterized by ossification of the cartilage or destruction of the ridge discs. More than 80% of the course is accompanied by pain that radiates to the leg. Pain symptoms are caused by pinching of spinal nerve roots by overgrown tissues, in medicine they are called lumboschialgia.
Signs in the initial stage
Symptoms of lumbar osteochondrosis are accompanied by dull pains, which, as a rule, remain unnoticed. Unpleasant sensations appear in the back or buttocks after moving weights and sudden movements. The processes of initial degradation of the intervertebral lumbar region begin.
The vertebral ridge functions without particular changes, but the morphological processes of drowning of cartilage tissue continue to progress, accompanied by the following signs:
- increase in non-cinate processes;
- minimal disc displacement with fibrous capsule rupture.
Clinical symptoms - shooting pain after physical exertion and prolonged (frequent) sitting in an uncomfortable position.
Sometimes the first stage is called preclinical, since lumbar osteochondrosis may practically not manifest itself.
Symptoms of this stage are chronic pain that radiates to the pelvic organs, buttocks or legs. Both relapses and remissions are characteristic. In general, the deterioration is observed after physical exertion.
Progressive processes lead to the formation of a hernia with all the resulting consequences:
- neurological symptoms (dizziness, headache, loss of consciousness, tinnitus and loss of consciousness);
- problems with the kidneys and genitourinary system (uncontrolled urination);
- problems with the cardiovascular system (arrhythmia).
At the third stage, treatment, in addition to medicinal methods and physiotherapy, may include surgery to avoid compression of the spinal cord and the development of unwanted complications.
The last stage is accompanied by calcification of the damaged disc. The pains become much weaker, but the deformation of the spine continues. The body, activating the protective mechanism, begins the processes of ossification, which leads to a decrease in the epidural space, increased compression of the spinal cord and disruption of the work of all systems controlled by it. In simple terms, cartilage turns into bone and grows. From here, many dangerous symptoms appear, characteristic of the third stage, but in a more acute form.
Long-term complex treatment and surgical intervention is necessary.
How to distinguish where the lesion is located
Pinching of certain nerve endings and segments has its own manifestations and symptoms of osteochondrosis:
- with damage to the roots of the spine L1, L2 - severe pain, numbness in the inguinal area and the inner part of the thighs. The progression of osteochondrosis of the lower back, accompanied by a hernia, is characterized by lumbosialgia in both lower limbs;
- when localized in the L5 lumbar region, shooting pain is characteristic with irradiation to the thumb, reduced sensitivity;
- with numbness on the outside of the thigh to the lower leg and shooting pain, the problem is a pinched S1 nerve root.
Treatment is prescribed after MRI diagnosis.
Symptoms of osteochondrosis of the lumbosacral region
The localization of the disease has a direct impact on its course and symptoms. Degeneration of the lumbar spine can cause myelogenous lameness. The lower spinal cord receives limited blood supply, causing weakness in the legs when walking and frequent urges to urinate. After adequate rest, the symptoms disappear.
Ischemia of the neurons of the cauda equina is the main cause of caudogenic intermittent claudication:
- anemia of the peripheral parts of the legs;
- feeling of numbness and tingling when walking;
- over time, the symptoms rise from the legs to the inguinal region of the genitals;
- strength in the legs is restored after rest.
Lifting heavy objects in the presence of lumbar osteochondrosis can cause pinching of the artery of Adamkiewicz and complicate the course of the disease of the spine. There is paralysis - from mild to severe, incontinence of waste products, atrophy of muscle tissue, formation of bedsores.
Causes contributing to the development of osteochondrosis
In most cases, it is believed that the development of osteochondrosis gradually progresses as a result of bipedalism, but additional provoking factors play an important role in the formation of the spinal disease, which includes: lack of physical activity, impaired metabolic processes, excess weight, weight lifting.
The complex interaction of unfavorable factors, the formation of prolapse (bulging of the disc) leads to narrowing of the epidural space and pinching of the neural roots.
Medical methods to deal with the disease
The treatment of lumbar osteochondrosis at different stages is carried out after an accurate diagnosis of the location, stage and individual characteristics of the patient. The main methods are physiotherapy, reflex effects, drug support aimed at reducing pain and stopping inflammation, herbal medicine. If treatment is ineffective or impossible without surgery due to neglect of the disease, surgical intervention is necessary.