Lumbar osteochondrosis: symptoms and treatment, causes, diagnosis, stages, prevention

Lumbar osteochondrosis

People with lumbar osteochondrosis always avoid sudden movements, bend gently and turn to the sides, sit down and stand slowly. Therefore, they tried to prevent severe tingling in the lower back, forcing it to freeze in a position on the body. Osteochondrosis is also manifested as cru contraction, clicks, and limited mobility. Its treatment is usually conservative, but if the discs and vertebrae are severely damaged, surgical intervention is required.

What is lumbar osteochondrosis

Lumbar osteochondrosis is a degenerative dystrophic pathology that initially affects the intervertebral discs. Due to insufficient nutrient supply, they lose their ability to retain water. The regeneration process slows down and the disc becomes flat and brittle. The distance between adjacent vertebrae is reduced, so bone tissue grows in order to stabilize the lumbar joint affected by osteochondrosis. Formation of osteophytes-bone growth, soft tissue structure, nerve roots and blood vessels are damaged during displacement.

Pathological stage

The stage of osteochondrosis is the stage of disease development, which is characterized by certain destructive changes in the intervertebral disc and vertebral body. It was installed using X-ray inspection. The images obtained clearly show specific signs of destruction of the vertebral structure. Each stage corresponds to the severity of osteochondrosis (a set of symptoms). The higher it is, the more difficult it is to receive conservative treatment for the disease.

Stages of lumbar osteochondrosis Radiological signs and clinical manifestations
First (pre-clinical) There is no sign of osteochondrosis on the X-ray film. Sometimes, after physical exercise or resting on the leg for a long time, you may feel discomfort in the lower back
seconds Lordosis straightening is rare-vertebral body tilted and deformed during menstruation. The height of the disc is slightly reduced. Painful sensations occur more frequently and last longer.
Third place There is subchondral sclerosis in the endplate, many crescent processes disappear, and the disc height is moderately decreased. In addition to lumbar spine pain, the clinic also has exercise tightening and stiffness.
Fourth place The light-emitting process is deflected outward and backward. There is compensatory growth of bone tissue, forming multiple osteophytes. Pain occurs when moving and stationary

Causes of diseases

The cause of the disease

Increased lumbar spine load is often the cause of osteochondrosis. The disk is constantly micro-damaged and there is no time to recover in time. A large part of them are gradually destroyed, which triggers the bone deformation of the vertebrae. This pathological condition may also cause the destruction of lumbar spine segments:

  • Congenital or acquired abnormalities-flat feet, scoliosis, kyphosis, hallux valgus, hip dysplasia;
  • Systemic pathology-rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, lupus erythematosus;
  • Endocrine and metabolic diseases-gout, diabetes, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, obesity;
  • Previous injury-vertebra subluxation and fracture, spinal cord injury;
  • Diseases of the circulatory system, including a sedentary lifestyle.

One of the main reasons for the development of osteochondrosis is the natural aging of the body. After 50 years, the recovery process slowed down, collagen production decreased, and ligament condition deteriorated.

The characteristic symptoms and signs of the disease

In the initial stages of development, osteochondrosis has no clinical manifestations. After a working day, a person's lower back will be slightly sore due to a muscle strain, so he does not see a doctor. But the severity of the symptoms will gradually increase-the body bends and turns, sensory disturbances, and stiffness will quickly increase the pain.

Apical syndrome

This is the name of the spinal cord root disease, which can lead to motor, autonomic and pain disorders. Severe 3-4 degree osteochondrosis develops into nerve root syndrome. During these stages, intervertebral hernias form, compressing the roots of the spine. The pathology is based on the types of low back pain, low back pain and lumbar sciatica. In addition to severe pain, neurological syndrome also has numbness, tingling, crawling peristalsis, reduced sensitivity or complete lack of sensations.

Ischemic Syndrome

Ischemic syndrome with osteochondrosis

In the later stages of lumbar osteochondrosis, the herniated process may compress large blood vessels. The pelvic organs no longer receive enough nutrients, which leads to disruption of their functions. Malnutrition of the spinal cord is also disturbing, with neurological deficits-intermittent laurels, decreased temperature and pain sensitivity.

Vertebral Syndrome

Due to the decrease of the distance between adjacent vertebrae and the growth of bone tissue, the lumbar spine segments gradually deform. The continued compensatory tension of the back muscles and subsequent atrophy exacerbates this situation. A person's gait and posture can change pathologically, including due to improper load redistribution. The possibility of involvement of other parts of the spine and leg joints during destructive degeneration is greatly increased.

Pain syndrome

There is a huge sciatic nerve in the lower back, formed by the spinal nerve root of the nerve bone. When it is affected by a herniated intervertebral disc, it will have bone growth, spastic muscles, sciatica-typical symptoms of lumbar osteochondrosis. Acute pain that spreads along the sciatic nerve to the thighs, knees, and legs (lumbar disc herniation). Another specific sign of pathology is low back pain or low back pain in the waist after the low temperature turns sharply.

Diagnostic method

Diagnosis of osteochondrosis

During diagnosis, the most useful X-ray image is generated in two projections. Perform an MRI to examine the affected lumbar spine in more detail. This study allows you to evaluate the status of spinal cord, soft tissue structure, blood vessels, and nerve roots. Evoked potentials, electron microscopy, and electromyography can be used to determine the degree of damage to the nerve trunk. Records are used for targeted inspections of affected discs.

Treatment method

A comprehensive method has been practiced to treat lumbar osteochondrosis. Treatment aims to eliminate pain, restore range of motion, and prevent pathology from spreading to healthy discs and vertebrae.


The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, glucocorticoids, and muscle relaxants can eliminate low back pain. In treatment, drugs are used to improve blood circulation. The patient must prescribe vitamin B, a chondroprotective agent.

Physiotherapy practice

This is the most effective and economical way to treat osteochondrosis. After 1-2 months of physical therapy every day, not only the muscles of the lower back are strengthened, but the muscles of the entire back are also strengthened, the posture is improved, and the blood supply to the damaged connective tissue structure is accelerated. Exercise therapists advise patients to maintain slow, steady turns and torso bends, shallow squats and lunges.


Patients with lumbar osteochondrosis can perform all types of massage-vacuum, acupuncture, connective tissue, segmental massage. But the most popular is the classic. During the meeting, the masseur performs basic massage movements: stroking, rubbing, kneading, and vibrating. The goal of this procedure is to eliminate muscle spasms, improve blood circulation in the affected area, and strengthen skeletal muscles.

Physical Therapy

In the acute and subacute phases, patients are required to undergo electrophoresis or telephone therapy with glucocorticoids, anesthetics and group B vitamins. In the remission phase, laser therapy, magnetic therapy, shock wave therapy, and UHF therapy are often performed. Ozokerite therapy, paraffin therapy, hirudo therapy, mud therapy, ra and hydrogen sulfide bath can also be used.


The main indication for surgery is a herniated disc invading the spinal cord. During the operation, the intervertebral hernia was removed and the spinal canal was decompressed. The most commonly used surgical methods for lumbar osteochondrosis are microdiscectomy, puncture gasification or laser disc reconstruction, implant placement, and spinal segment stabilization.

Traditional Medicine

After the main treatment, in order to obtain stable relief, homemade ointments, herbal tea, compresses, oil and alcohol wipes were used. Folk remedies do not affect the cause of osteochondrosis. Therefore, they can be used to eliminate weakness, soreness, hypothermia that cause a heaviness in the lower back, drastic changes in weather or increased physical activity.

Consequences of not getting treatment

Almost all complications of lumbar spine chondrosis are caused by intervertebral hernia. Discogenic myelopathy is particularly dangerous and cannot always be eliminated even with surgical treatment. It manifests as pelvic disease, including bowel and urination disorders. Complications of osteochondrosis also include nerve root syndrome-a common cause of acute tingling in the lower back.

Preventive measures and prognosis

The prognosis is good when diagnosing pathology of severity 1-2. It responds well to conservative treatment, and in young patients, it may even partially restore the tissue of the intervertebral disc. With the development of complications, the prognosis of a complete recovery is poor.

Prevention of lumbar osteochondrosis is to control weight, eliminate excessive load, and treat endocrine and metabolic diseases in time. Neurologists and vertebral surgeons recommend going to the swimming pool for water aerobics, Pilates and Nordic walking.