Osteochondrosis is a complex of dystrophic disorders in articular cartilage. It can develop in almost any joint, but intervertebral discs are most often affected.

It should be noted that in the English medical literature, the term osteochondrosis refers to a completely different group of orthopedic diseases, which in Russian are called osteochondropathy.

Causes of osteochondrosis

The root cause of osteochondrosis of the spine is upright posture.

In the process of growing up in a person, the vascular bed in the intervertebral discs is physiologically reduced, so their nutrition occurs diffusely. This complicates the restoration of intervertebral discs after injuries and stress. Inadequate diet aggravates osteochondrotic processes. Cartilage loses elasticity and strength, its shape and consistency change.

The irrational and asymmetric work of the spinal muscles negatively affects the discs, namely: with incorrect habitual postures, with insufficient warm-up, when carrying bags on the shoulder, when using soft pillows and mattresses. Flat feet can act as a stimulator of pathological processes. If the foot does not provide proper cushioning of interactions with the support, later the spinal column has to do more. Obesity also contributes to osteochondrosis of the spine. Excess adipose tissue, being deposited in different places, complicates the maintenance of balance and overloads the intervertebral joints.

Varieties of osteochondrosis

Depending on the localization, I distinguish:

  • cervical
  • chest
  • lumbar osteochondrosis

The main symptoms of osteochondrosis

The main symptom of osteochondrosis is pain. Depending on where the damaged intervertebral discs are located, it can hurt: the neck, shoulder, arm, back, and even the chest. Sometimes a person thinks that he has heart problems, but in fact, it hurts a nerve that is pinched as a result of osteochondrosis. Simultaneously with pain, a person often feels overstrain and numbness of the muscles. If the blood vessels that feed the brain are compressed, headache, dizziness, tinnitus, double vision, nausea and vomiting appear.

Prevention of osteochondrosis

Experts advise the following:

    • Timely correction of curvature of the spine and posture disorders in early school age.
    • Actively engage in sports, which will allow you to form a muscular corset. No “standing” against the wall and “trying” to sit up straight will replace your muscles, which themselves should take care of your posture, even when you are not thinking about it.
    • Stick to a diet, eating foods with sufficient calcium and magnesium (fish and other seafood, cabbage, spinach, beans, nuts, seeds, peas, wholemeal bread and fresh milk from healthy cows) and a complete set of vitamins.
    • Fight excess weight.
    • When carrying heavy loads, ensure an even load on both hands, wearing backpacks instead of bags. Lift weights only using the legs, not the spine, as weightlifters do. Avoid twisting of the spine when moving the load. And – hang, hang, hang on the horizontal bar, not only stretching the spine, but also strengthening the arms.
    • Always sit with your back as straight as possible. Try to limit the time spent in a forced flexion position. A pose is acceptable when the head rests on the hand.
    • Sometimes standing is better than sitting. Sitting – the maximum load on the disk. Standing – the load on the disk is 30% less than sitting. Lying down – the load on the disk is 50% less than sitting.

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