Degenerative changes in the lumbar spine

Degenerative changes in the lumbar spine are one of the leading social problems: the pathology of the spine affects not only the elderly, but also young and middle-aged people, that is, the able-bodied population. In addition, the diagnosis of degenerative changes in the spine, in particular - the displacement of the lumbar vertebrae, is a poorly understood issue in roentgenology.

Interest in the question of degenerative changes in the lumbar spine is not accidental because the displacement of the vertebrae, their instability, causes the pain syndrome and the subsequent neurological disorders. And, taking into account the costs of treatment, diagnosis of the cost of disability compensation, disability, we can say that such a spinal disease is the third most costly disease after oncology and cardiovascular diseases.

Such importance of the problem of osteochondrosis (which is the form of degenerative changes in the spine) is due to a number of reasons. One of them is the high prevalence of the incidence: according to WHO 2003 up to 87% of the total working population suffer from osteochondrosis of the spine. The incidence rates in Russia are growing, while in most patients the disease is accompanied by a lesion of the lumbar spine. Lumbar osteochondrosis in the structure of the incidence of adult population in our country is about 50%, taking the first place (including the time of incapacity for work).

What determines the health of the spine?

Mobility and health of the spine are possible due to the elasticity of the apparatus of vertebral bodies, intervertebral discs and arches. In normal static conditions, the function of damping the vertical pressing forces (for example, the severity of the trunk, the head) is performed by intervertebral discs. In those cases where the articular processes are forced to perform an unusual supporting function, in the right joints, anterior displacement of the vertebrae and local arthrosis develop. With a significant and increasing vertical load, neoarthrosis of the articular processes with the bases of the arches develops. Moreover, the whole spine and the muscular-ligament apparatus of the entire body resist the applied force, adjusting to the external load. It is under the influence of summing microtraumas as a result of acute and chronic overload develop degenerative-dystrophic changes in segments of the spine and in the lumbar spine including.

What to do?

The problem of the instability of the vertebral-motor segment, which occurs under the influence of various factors, is far from resolved. The general principle of therapy of exacerbations of pain syndrome of osteochondrosis is elimination of manifestations of the disease - restrictions in movement and pain itself. This includes the exclusion of static-dynamic unfavorable loads on the diseased part of the spine, ensuring rest, especially at the very onset of exacerbation. Next, you need to take care of strengthening the spine muscles to ensure the protective function of the vertebral segment, that is, special gymnastics and an active lifestyle.