How to treat osteochondrosis: causes and symptoms

how to treat osteochondrosis

Osteochondrosis is a common disease of the musculoskeletal system. It manifests itself as slight discomfort and severe pain, which limits a person's activity. In advanced cases, the pathology can lead to the need for surgery and even disability. Disease prevention and prevention reduces the risk of its occurrence or helps to achieve positive treatment results.


Osteochondrosis is a pathology that occurs as a result of a combination of factors such as genetic predisposition, human lifestyle, and environmental conditions.

The disease is characterized by damage to the articular cartilage, as well as the underlying bone tissue. Normally, it is the cartilages that provide the flexibility and mobility of the spine, but they can wear out, lose their properties, elasticity and deform under the pressure of other vertebrae.

The most common causes of the development of pathology are:

  • hereditary predisposition.
  • Weakness of the muscular corset.
  • Postural disorders and scoliosis.
  • Mechanical spinal injury.
  • Excessive physical activity.
  • Neuro-emotional stress.
  • Passive lifestyle.
  • Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Tight uncomfortable shoes, high heels.
  • General dehydration.
  • Lack of important nutrients, beriberi.

Types of osteochondrosis


This disease is included in the list of the most common complaints of working-age patients who spend up to 8-10 hours a day at the computer. Often, patients do not attach importance to pain, which leads to the development of complications. If you do not want to have constant pain in your neck, head, and shoulders, it is important to do prevention as soon as possible, and if necessary, visit a doctor as soon as possible.


The disease can be asymptomatic. It is often accompanied by pain in the back, neck, and forearm. In the advanced stage, thoracic osteochondrosis is characterized by symptoms manifested by painful conditions in the arms and legs, tinnitus. Also, chondrosis of the chest can be accompanied by nausea, morning headache, pain and flickering in the eyes, sweating. Medicines and therapeutic exercises are sufficient measures to treat the disease.


The lumbar spine is very vulnerable. If you do not engage in strengthening your back muscles and do not monitor your posture, there is a risk of developing unpleasant symptoms. Chondrosis is characterized by pain in the belt in the lower back, pain in the hip area and the so-called

Take precautions. Keep your lower back warm, try not to chill it. Do not carry or lift objects heavier than 10 kg. If you are lifting something heavy, do not jerk or make sudden movements. Refuse any physical work in a bent position. If you are going to mop the floor, use a mop or squat down.

Stages and symptoms of osteochondrosis development

The disease goes through 4 stages, accompanied by different symptoms. In the initial stage, the pathology occurs in the area of the pulp core of the intervertebral disc. Excessive loading causes a decrease in disc height and the appearance of cracks in the fibrous ring. A person may feel a little discomfort when he is in a static position for a long time or, conversely, when he moves too actively.

In stage 2, the distance between the vertebrae continues to decrease, the spinal muscles and ligaments lose tone and relax. This leads to increased mobility of the vertebrae with affected discs, the risk of displacement or subluxation. In the second phase, discomfort and pain appear, especially with certain types of load or in certain positions.

In osteochondrosis of the 3rd degree, prolapses and protrusions of the intervertebral discs are formed, the development of arthrosis of the intervertebral joints is possible. The person experiences stiffness, becomes inactive. At this stage of the pathology, pain is clearly felt depending on the location of the lesion.

In the 4th stage, the body tries to adapt to the functional disorders of the spine. This can be expressed in bone neoplasms - osteophytes. They act as a fixator of the vertebrae. But it can cause pinched nerves and other injuries.


When examining the patient and taking an anamnesis, the specialist makes a primary diagnosis, suggesting the presence of the disease by a visually noticeable curvature observed in the transverse or longitudinal plane of the spinal column. After the initial consultation, the surgeon or neurologist may prescribe additional examinations. After determining the localization of the disease and its stages, treatment can be started, the purpose of which is to eliminate the cause of the pain.

The most common diagnostic methods:

  • x-ray;
  • CT;
  • MRI;
  • doppler ultrasound.

Methods of treatment of osteochondrosis

Treatment brings good results only when it is regular, consistent and systematic. The therapeutic strategy of the first phase is aimed at pain neutralization, the second phase is the activation of blood flow and metabolic processes in the affected areas of the spine, and the third phase includes physiotherapy and manual procedures.

With osteochondrosis of any department in the acute phase, accompanied by severe pain, the doctor can prescribe a paravertebral block by administering novocaine, lidocaine and other drugs to relieve muscle tension in the spinal movement segment, reduce swelling and muscle tension.

Combinations of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antispasmodics, analgesics and vitamin complexes (group D, nicotinic acid) are considered effective. Ointments - chondroprotectors and agents with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory components are prescribed as local therapy.

It is important to remember that drugs help to cope only with severe pain at this time. Physiotherapy treatment helps to get rid of unpleasant manifestations of the disease in the long term.

The most commonly used therapies include:

  • reflexology;
  • acupuncture;
  • electrophoresis;
  • manual therapy;
  • massage;
  • physiotherapy.

What does lack of treatment lead to?

Osteochondrosis is best corrected in the initial stage of formation before the appearance of the syndrome of vertebral pathologies, accompanied by chronic headaches and pain in the shoulder blades, heart and lower back. Over time, the disease leads to a change in the overall structure of the spinal column due to the active compensatory expansion of connective, fibrillary and bone tissue.

The clinical picture of the disease depends on the localization of the pathology, the degree of development of the process and the individual characteristics of the patients. Displacement of intervertebral discs, protrusions and hernias lead to unpleasant consequences.

Frequent manifestations:

  • violation of blood circulation in tissues;
  • pinched nerves;
  • spinal canal dysfunction;
  • edema and tissue fibrosis.

Therefore, the treatment of osteochondrosis should be started as soon as possible and carried out in a complex manner with an emphasis on neutralizing inflammation and eliminating pain. If the disease manifests itself over the years, is in an advanced stage and a herniated disc of the vertebrae is diagnosed, a surgical operation may be required.


Prevention of osteochondrosis and its treatment are inextricably linked. Their goal is to improve the quality of life of patients. If you have a sedentary job, take regular breaks. Get up every hour and a half and do simple exercises that relieve tension in the neck and back muscles. Try to sit properly at the table: your back is straight, your shoulders are relaxed. Choose such chairs whose backrest can provide maximum support to the spine: so that it will not be overstrained.

To prevent the onset of disease, it is good to periodically go through a course of massage. Massage can improve blood circulation and lymph flow, improve metabolic processes in muscle tissues and stop stagnant processes. As a result, there is an improvement in general well-being, increased vitality, and some painful symptoms disappear.

Recommendations for the prevention and prevention of the development of osteochondrosis:

  • Limit yourself when lifting weights. Allowed weight up to 10 kg.
  • Carry the weights evenly on both hands.
  • Systematically do simple exercises aimed at strengthening the spine, muscles, ligaments and joints.
  • Go swimming if possible.
  • Try not to sit in one position for a long time.
  • Take food supplements that contain mucopolysaccharides - the elements that make up cartilage.

Prevention of osteochondrosis of the spine is a less difficult task than its further treatment. Think about your health and start taking care of it before it reminds you of yourself.