Lumbar osteochondrosis: symptoms and treatment

What is lumbar osteochondrosis

Lumbar osteochondrosis is a common disease that reduces the quality of life of people and is one of the causes of disability.

Pathology is more common in people over the age of 40. It is characterized by gradual development and therefore requires appropriate conservative or surgical treatment.

Development mechanism

The main mechanism of the development of osteochondrosis is malnutrition of the cartilage tissue of the spinal structure.

The disease includes several pathogenic factors:

    Cartilage tissue malnutrition caused by malnutrition is the main cause of pathology.
  • Degeneration (damage and destruction) of cartilage in the spine (intervertebral discs, joint surfaces of vertebral processes).
  • Inflammation and tissue edema, blood congestion, pain.
  • Changes in the ratio of lumbar anatomy (flattened discs and reduced height), resulting in a reduction in the diameter of the holes between the vertebrae through which the vertebral roots pass.
  • The nerve fibers at the root of the spinal cord are compressed, resulting in impaired transmission of impulses, and subsequent development of corresponding neurological symptoms.

The changes in cartilage composition develop gradually over a long period of time. The timely implementation of preventive and therapeutic measures can slow the progression of the disease.


Lumbar osteochondrosis is a multi-cause disease that develops due to many reasons:

  • Genetic susceptibility determines the nutritional characteristics of cartilage tissue at the genetic level.
  • Endocrine, digestive system, cardiovascular system organ diseases.
  • Inflammatory autoimmune diseases affect the joints of the spine (rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatism).
  • Abnormal human metabolism.
  • Systemic heavy physical labor, increased spinal pressure, weightlifting.
  • Spinal injuries are delayed, especially in the lumbar spine (this reason destroys the proportion of vertebral components and subsequently causes the development of malnutrition and degeneration).
  • Congenital spinal abnormalities or defects.

In the context of the following risk factors, it is more likely to realize the negative impact of the cause:

  • Increase in weight, which will increase the burden on the spine.
  • Long-term system discovery of the human body while standing.
  • Wrong posture.
  • Hypothermia, including locally on the back.
  • The whole body is under stress, lack of sleep, unreasonable work and rest.

Understanding the causes and risk factors will enable effective preventive measures to be implemented.

Symptoms of lumbar osteochondrosis

The appearance of the following characteristic symptoms indicates the possible development of osteochondrosis:

  • Lumbar pain, which initially appears when the load on the spine increases. Then it becomes permanent, with tensile or painful properties and gradually increases.
  • The calf pain at the root of the spinal cord is irradiated.
  • Increase the tone (tension) of the back muscles in the waist area.
  • The muscle strength of one or both legs is weakened.
  • Periodic "shooting" back pain caused by local hypothermia and physical exertion.
  • The skin sensitivity of one or both legs is impaired, accompanied by numbness and tingling.
  • "Cold feet"-cold touch of the skin caused by arterial vasospasm, which is caused by compression of the autonomic nerve fibers at the root of the spinal cord.
  • Sweating violation-dry skin or increased sweating on the legs.
  • Violation of autonomic innervation leads to skin peeling with impaired sensitivity.

Osteochondrosis is a chronic disease. The clinical symptoms will gradually increase over a long period of time. The improvement period (remission period) is aggravated by pathological deterioration, accompanied by an increase in clinical symptoms. After exposure to irritating factors (hypothermia, physical and emotional stress, stress), severe paroxysmal pain may increase, which is caused by inflammation and swelling of soft tissues in the spinal nerve root area.

Depending on the epidemic symptoms, the disease has several clinical forms:

    > Reflexive, low back pain is a recurrent paroxysmalLow back pain develops after exposure to irritating factors. Low back pain-Pain occurs in the lower back and radiates to the hips or legs.
  • Radicitis-The pathological process is accompanied by compression of one or more roots, and the clinical manifestations are mainly neurological symptoms, including violation of skin sensitivity and reduced muscle strength.
  • Radical anemia-compression will affect arteries and blood vessels, and severe movement disorders will occur.

Each clinical form of osteochondrosis does not develop in isolation, they usually combine with each other. As the condition progresses, the patient's condition worsens. Severe damage to the cartilage structure can lead to disability.


The diagnosis of lumbar osteochondrosis is based on visualizing changes in vertebrae, intervertebral discs and soft tissues.

Several tool research methods are specified for this:

  • X-ray is a technique that allows you to visualize overall changes. Due to availability, it has become widespread.
  • Computed tomography is a method of X-ray tissue scanning layer by layer with high resolution, allowing you to visualize the smallest changes.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging-due to the resonance effect of the nucleus of organic matter in a magnetic field, tissue visualization is carried out. This means scanning layer by layer, eliminating the radiation exposure to the patient.

In order to determine the nature and severity of the functional changes that may occur in the body, additional examinations are required. It includes blood tests, urine tests, liver and kidney tests, and electrocardiogram. Based on the analysis of all examination results, the doctor draws a conclusion and chooses the appropriate treatment.

Lumbar spine treatment

The treatment of lumbar osteochondrosis is very complicated, including the following aspects:

  • General advice and diet.
  • Medication.
  • Surgical intervention.

The choice of treatment direction is made by the doctor. Based on the results of clinical and other examinations, he determined the best treatment plan.

General advice and diet

General recommendations should be accompanied by the treatment of lumbar osteochondrosis, regardless of the severity of the pathological process, these recommendations include:

  • Reasonable nutrition, limited fatty fried foods, no alcohol in the diet.
  • Limit strenuous exercise, including staying in one position for a long time.
  • Rationalization of work and rest system-every working hour should have a little rest (usually 10 minutes is enough). If the work is standing or standing still, you can do some exercise.
  • Quit bad habits, because nicotine and alcohol will accelerate the process of malnutrition and cartilage tissue degeneration.
  • Eliminate the influence of stress factors, negative emotions worsen the progress of any pathological process in the body.

Implementing general recommendations can prevent the progression of the pathological process and improve the effectiveness of other therapeutic areas


The drug prescription is carried out during the conservative treatment of osteochondrosis.

Various pharmacological categories of drugs are used:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs-reduce the severity of inflammation in tissues and pain. Provisions reduce the intensity of the exacerbation of osteochondrosis.
  • Muscle relaxants-drugs can reduce the tension of striated muscles in the spine area, thereby reducing tissue tension and compressing the spinal roots.
  • Adrenal hormone glucocorticoid-reduce inflammation.
  • Diuretics-reduce the severity of edema in the soft tissues of the area affected by the pathological process of the spinal structure. Therefore, the manifestation of the pathological process is reduced and the damage to the spinal nerve root is reduced.
  • Cartilage protective agent is an agent that protects cartilage tissue from damage and helps its partial recovery.
  • Group B vitamins-normalize the metabolic process in nerve tissues and improve the functional status of spinal nerve roots damaged after infringement.
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)-improves the structural state of the microvasculature and has an antioxidant effect, which is achieved by binding and neutralizing free radicals ("fragments" of organic molecules containing unpaired electrons and destroying the cell membrane structure)of.

The dosage and duration of drug use are determined by the attending doctor based on the results of the study and the effectiveness of the previous treatment.


In the case of significant changes and in the case where the desired result is not achieved after conservative treatment, surgery for lumbar osteochondrosis should be performed. The goal is to eliminate defects in the altered cartilage tissue and then eliminate plastic. In modern medical institutions, surgical operations are performed using minimally invasive endoscopic techniques. Simultaneously with surgical treatment, drugs that help speed up the healing process of postoperative wounds and avoid the development of complications have been prescribed. Due to the use of modern minimally invasive technology, the time spent by patients in the hospital can be significantly reduced.


Preventing the development of lumbar osteochondrosis includes implementing simple recommendations. The important thing is to limit the burden on the spine, give up bad habits, rationalize work and rest, and ensure adequate sleep. The purpose of the diet is to limit the intake of fried, high-fat foods, adequate vitamins, minerals and plant fiber. This will make it possible to normalize the functional state of the digestive system and improve the nutrition of the cartilage structure of the musculoskeletal system, thereby slowing down the degeneration process.

The prognosis of lumbar osteochondrosis is good. The disease is characterized by gradual development. In the absence of treatment measures, the clinical manifestations of osteochondrosis are accompanied by increased symptoms. At the same time, the person's condition worsens and the manifestations become permanent. They cause great discomfort and reduce the quality of life. To avoid negative symptoms, you should seek qualified medical help immediately.