Osteochondrosis.  Photo from www.sciencephoto.com

What is it?

Although that "Hondros" in Greek means "cartilage", under osteochondrosis often do not realize all the damage to the cartilage, and the only problem with the cartilage spine. Osteochondrosis structure is broken, and therefore the function of the intervertebral discs — special cartilaginous structures that ensure our flexibility and mobility of the spine. As the disease progresses, irreversible changes occur in the vertebrae themselves.


Causes osteochondrosis are internal (endogenous) and external (exogenous).

Endogenous causes include intrauterine violation of the spine, and a family history of age-related cartilage.

The main exogenouscause degenerative disc disease — Incorrect load distributionspine, which leads to a change in the field of cartilage overpressure. Disease may provoke a spinal injury, infection, weakened back muscles, stooped posture and lateral S-shaped curvature of the spine, dragging heavy and prolonged retention of just uncomfortable position.

Osteochondrosis may develop not only in people with poor posture engaged in mental work, but also those who are well-trained physically — for example, the athletes and movers. In addition to purely mechanical reasons, the development of osteoarthritis also cause metabolic disorders (mainly calcium and phosphorous), lack of trace elements and vitamins (magnesium, manganese, zinc, vitamin D). It is possible that an important role in this is played by genetic predisposition.

What's going on?

When lifting weights, jumping, falling, static loads appear microtrauma of the intervertebral discs. If this happens regularly, damaged spinal discs over time, lose their elastic properties, flattened, and the distance between the vertebrae decreases. This means that exhaust from the spinal cord nerve roots clamped occurs pain. Simultaneously the clamping area neurovascular there is swelling of the beam, which leads to even more of its infringement, and increased pain. If intervertebral disk has already begun to break down, it ceases to absorb even more injured, and gradually the spine loses its flexibility.

What way?

The main symptom of osteoarthritis — pain. Depending on where the damaged intervertebral discs, may be ill: neck, shoulder, arm, back and even chest. Sometimes a person thinks that he has a heart problem, and in fact, it's aching nerve being pinched as a result of degenerative disc disease. Simultaneously with the pain man often feel stress and muscle numbness. If constricted blood vessels that feed the brain, a headache, dizziness, ringing in the ears, double vision, nausea and vomiting, fainting.


With such complaints refer to a neurologist or traumatologist. It will examine the spinal column, check how things are going with the cerebral circulation., And if necessary appoint radiography, CT, or Magnetic resonance appropriate imaging of the spine.


Treatment of degenerative disc disease — a lengthy process that requires a man of great strength of will and free time. Methods of controlling the disease missing: medication, manual therapy, traction, acupuncture, massage and physiotherapy. Someone prefer to be treated by traditional medicine — can massage and bee venom. In those cases where osteochondrosis complicated by hernia of the intervertebral disc, the man sent for surgery.


For the prevention of sciatica and degenerative disc disease, experts advise the following:

  1. Timely correction of spinal curvature and posture disorders in the early school years.
  2. Actively engage in physical exercise, which will form the muscular system. No "standing" near the wall and the "efforts" do not sit directly replace your muscles, which have to take care of your posture, even when you do not think about it.
  3. Stick to your diet by eating foods with plenty of vitamins, calcium and magnesium (fish and other seafood, cabbage, spinach, beans, nuts, seeds, peas, whole-grain bread and fresh milk).
  4. Fight obesity.
  5. When carrying heavy loads to ensure even load on both hands, wearing backpacks instead of bags. Lifting weights just using your legs and not the spine, as do weightlifters.

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