Common diagnosis of lumbar spine osteochondrosis. Symptoms

Despite the prevalence of opinion, osteochondrosis of the spine is not considered part of the aging process. Elastic discs between the vertebrae are responsible for flexing and extending the back like shock absorbers. They wear out over time and no longer provide the full range of motion. As we age, everyday stress on the spine and accidental injuries, including minor ones, can damage the posterior discs and lead to osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine.

Who is affected by lower back disease?

how does lumbar spine osteochondrosis manifest itself

In most cases, the first symptoms of osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine appear at the age of 11-12 years. The disease manifests itself vigorously until the age of sixteen, but the most severe course and common complications occur between the ages of 15 and 20.

Severe forms of osteochondrosis, which are in some way related to the excellent condition of their musculoskeletal system in general and the spine in particular, are rare in children under the age of 15. In addition, the disease takes time to develop and lasts an average of five years.

Fortunately, these diseases are much easier to treat in children than in adults.


Reflex syndromes

  1. Cervicalgia- differently manifested neck pain (pulling, tingling, shot), "creeping" feeling in the neck muscles, and reduced mobility and flexibility of the neck.
  2. The
  3. lumbagois ​​a sharp, sharp pain in the lumbar region that can be accompanied by numbness or swelling. The word "lumbago" may be replaced by "lumbodynia" or "lumboischialgia".
  4. Thoracalgia- other types of pain in the chest, shoulder blades and ribs that are constantly present or occur when the body is moving.

Compression syndromes

The occurrence of pain syndrome in lumbar spine osteochondrosis is due to:

  1. Compression of root structures (radiculopathy).
  2. Spinal cord compression (myelopathy).
  3. Spinal cord injury due to impaired blood supply.
  4. Narrowing of arteries and veins (vascular compression myeloischemia).

Methods of detecting the disease

Differential diagnostics

Not all abnormalities can be diagnosed with a simple laboratory test. Many conditions cause similar symptoms. For example, many infections cause fever, headaches, and fatigue.

Many mental disorders are caused by:

how to relieve pain in lumbar osteochondrosis
  • sadness;
  • concern;
  • sleep problems.

Differential diagnosis identifies disorders that may cause symptoms. Typically, this diagnosis is based on several tests. These tests may exclude the conditions and / or determine whether additional tests are required.

Differential diagnosis is used to diagnose physical or mental health problems that cause similar symptoms.

Differential diagnosis is also often used in the field of psychiatry / psychology, where two different diagnoses can be made for a patient with symptoms of multiple illnesses. For example, in a patient diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a differential diagnosis can be made by personality disorder, given the similarity of symptoms in both conditions.

Who is diagnosed more often?

If the disease was previously diagnosed in sick people after 45 years, today about 27% of adolescents suffer from one degree or another of osteochondrosis.

Such a huge spread of the disease is understandable - children have started to spend a lot of time in a sitting position, partly because of the computer and the internet. This is bad? Time will tell, but the fact remains - the cost of a sedentary lifestyle is high, and osteochondrosis is by far not the worst disease that can occur with such a lifestyle, but it is the most common (after obesity).

How to determine a disease and its extent?


Under normal conditions, the intervertebral discs are constantly regenerating, but the process may slow down and a disease such as grade 1 osteochondrosis may occur.

There are several reasons for this:

the degree and stage of development of lumbar osteochondrosis
  • obese;
  • metabolic disorders;
  • immunodeficient and so on.

Unfortunately, some degree of pain instability is affected by the fact that many people neglect diagnosis and treatment and try to cure the pain on their own. Ointments and various tinctures are used for this purpose. But this is the biggest mistake.

Osteochondrosis of the first degree lumbar spine can be cured quite easily by contacting a good professional and performing a number of simple procedures.

Grade 1 osteochondrosis is a compression of the lumbar intervertebral cartilage. The main symptom at this stage is minor pain when you turn or bend. Sometimes the symptoms are more intense and short-lived due to sudden movements or significant exertion.


A pronounced symptom of the disease is pain in the lumbar region, which is exacerbated by any movement. The pain can radiate over the spine.

In osteochondrosis, pain can radiate to the lower extremities.

The second stage of osteochondrosis is characterized by such severe pain that it manifests even when coughing.

Additional symptoms are associated with constricted nerve endings:

  1. The sensitivity of the lower limbs changes. The main signs are pain, numbness of the legs, high or too low sensitivity of the skin of the lower limbs.
  2. Limited mobility. A person with osteochondrosis (grade 2) notices that it is very difficult to move as the disease progresses.
  3. Increased fatigue and constant drowsiness. The patient is associated with chronic fatigue, accompanied by irritability. This symptom is explained by the pain syndrome, which constantly bothers a person.
  4. Problematic urination and pain in the kidney area.


symptoms of lumbar osteochondrosis

By the time the patient reaches stage 3, his posture has changed significantly. In more advanced cases, bone deformation occurs. At this stage of lumbar spine osteochondrosis, the patient's general physical and / or mental condition and deep energy loss are also clearly deteriorating.

The third stage is characterized by the appearance of a narrowing of the intervertebral foramen in the background of previous changes. Injuries to intervertebral discs are formed, and vessels in the neck and muscles are damaged. The patient has dizziness and pain in the back of the head.


The terminal phase occurs when the intervertebral disc degenerates and the disc area is destroyed. At this stage, discretization reaches its maximum or, worse, disappears completely. Postural imbalance is acute, movement and flexibility are extremely limited.

Stage 4 osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine is often characterized by severe pain and a higher degree of physical and / or mental deterioration. Both growth and energy levels are steadily declining. Stage 4 is generally considered irreversible.

Medical consultation

Which doctor should I go to?

When independent therapies eliminate the analgesic effect, the patient begins to ask the question: which doctor is treating osteochondrosis? The first person you can turn to for treatment of osteochondria of the lumbar spine is your local therapist. But in this situation, he acts as the dispatcher, as he will not be able to prescribe full treatment - this is not his area of ​​expertise.

Probably referring you to a neurologist. This specialist will do the necessary research and help you build a treatment program. The therapist may also refer to a vertebrologist. This doctor deals directly with diseases of the spine.

Scales and Tests

Quality of Life Survey

diagnostic possibilities of lumbar osteochondrosis

A common feature such as quality of life is particularly important for a group of patients with co-morbidities, as they may affect the effectiveness of treatment. This is especially important for comparing the results of several studies, for economic analysis, and for understanding the problem as a whole.

The methods for assessing quality of life are as follows:

  • Oswestry Quality of Life Questionnaire.
  • Roland-Morris questionnaire.
  • Stratford scale.
  • Quebec Back Pain Scale - a questionnaire on how back pain affects your daily life).

Pain Balance

Pain is an uncomfortable feeling and emotional experience associated with tissue damage. It is intended for the body to respond and prevent further tissue damage.

Methods for assessing pain syndrome include:

  • Won the Korf Chronic Pain Rating Scale.
  • McGill Pain Questionnaire.
  • Oral pain scale.

Evaluate treatment results

  • McNab's subjective rating scale.
  • Patient satisfaction scale.
  • Prolo functional and economic performance scale.
  • Lumbosacral output scale.
  • Nurik scales.

Hardware Test



provide a detailed bone structure in the spine and are used to rule out back pain resulting from

  1. Spondylolisthesis.
  2. Tumors.
  3. Cracks.

Calcium in the bone blocks X-ray penetration, and the image of the bones is perceived as a shadow on the film. X-rays provide excellent visibility in every detail, as bone is mainly made up of calcium. However, the plates and nerve roots do not contain calcium, so X-rays do not fix these structures. Thus, X-rays cannot be used to diagnose disc herniation of the disc herniation or other causes of pinched nerve.

X-rays should not be taken during pregnancy.

Complexes and possible consequences

Complications and possible consequences of lumbar spine osteochondrosis include:

    Radiculopathy is a condition characterized by disease of the nerve roots.
  • Muscle weakness - Common symptoms: fever, tiredness, flu-like symptoms, paraesthesia, weight loss and changes in consciousness.
  • Neurogenic bladder - problems with the nerves that control the bladder and urine
  • Damage to lower motor neurons.
  • Raynaud's phenomenon is a condition in which seizures occur, narrowing of the capillaries of the fingers and toes.
  • Neck, back and leg pain.


Treatment may vary depending on the severity of your symptoms and the extent of your daily activities.

Here are some treatments your doctor may prescribe based on your pain level:

  1. Non-surgical treatment- Not all patients with osteochondrosis require surgery. More conservative treatments for mild to moderate pain.
  2. Spondylodesis- surgery to treat osteochondrosis.


prevention of osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine

Prevention of lumbar osteochondrosis is the elimination of risk factors leading to the disease. Eliminating the factors is the main preventive measure.

Physical activity is normalized, the back muscles are strengthened, the maximum load on the lower back can be prevented, and the development of diseases leading to low back pain can be prevented, all of which are used to prevent the symptoms of lumbar osteochondrosis.

Moderate exercise, lifestyle changes, and proper nutrition can help prevent painful and motionless symptoms.

If you notice symptoms of osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine, do not tighten it and see a doctor immediately. A disease detected in time is easier to treat and progresses without consequences.