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Osteochondrosis with radicular syndrome: how to identify and cure the disease?
Osteochondrosis with radicular syndrome: how to identify and cure the disease?

Back pain is not only constant discomfort, which is the reason for frequent visits to the doctor, but also the reason for a significant decrease in the quality of life. Statistics show that in 70% of cases, the cause of pain is changes in the area of the vertebral discs of a degenerative nature, in particular, osteochondrosis with radicular syndrome.

Description of the problem

The name of the variety of this disease - radicular syndrome - was formed in connection with the location of the degenerative process of a pathological nature. It is in the root of the spinal nerve endings that changes occur, entailing pain.

The spinal nerve endings provide a motor and sensitive supply of the integument of the skin with nerves, and are also responsible for the process of movement of the skeletal muscles, the work of internal organs and the diaphragm.

When these roots are damaged, there are unpleasant symptoms such as "shooting" pain in the neck-collar zone, chest and back. Sometimes the pain radiates to the buttocks and abdomen, as well as internal organs.

In addition to pain, osteochondrosis with radicular syndrome of the spine is often accompanied by the following manifestations:

  • Violation of sensitivity;
  • Partial loss of the ability to perform voluntary movements (paresis);
  • Trophic changes, including hair loss, severe pallor and cyanosis of the skin, hypertrophy, that is, a painful increase in muscles;
  • Changes in tendon reflexes (detected by neurological examination).

If one or another sign is found, you must immediately contact a specialist, since osteochondrosis, and even with complications, it is important to start treating as early as possible in order to save yourself from possible consequences and surgical intervention.

Overview of key symptoms

To diagnose a disease, doctors must conduct the necessary examinations, as well as tests and procedures that will identify all the symptoms that are present. It is with their help that it is possible to determine not only the presence of osteochondrosis with radicular syndrome, but also its variety.

Symptoms for inflammation of the first spinal root of the spine may be as follows:

  1. The head hurts in the region of the crown, the crown and the back of the head grow numb;
  2. The head hurts both in the crown and in the back of the head, there is numbness in these areas, and there is also sagging of the skin and muscles under it on the chin;
  3. There is pain in the side of the neck where the lesion takes place, as well as numbness;
  4. There is obvious swelling of the tongue from the side of inflammation, minor speech disorders, sagging skin on the chin;
  5. The collarbone, shoulder blades, shoulder girdle, as well as the liver or heart hurt. There is a feeling of muscle weakness in the shoulder blades;
  6. The neck hurts, the shoulder girdle on the hand on which the lesion occurred. The skin of the shoulder becomes numb on the outside, it is difficult to move the arm in the shoulder joint;
  7. It hurts not only the neck, but also the shoulder girdle through the scapula up to the thumb. The hand goes numb. Due to a violation of the tone, it is difficult to move the arm;
  8. The neck, shoulder blade, shoulder and forearm hurt from behind and outside up to the index and middle fingers. The skin becomes numb. Difficulty moving the arm;
  9. The whole arm hurts from the neck to the little finger. The skin grows numb, it is difficult to move the limb.

All of the above pains, regardless of which spinal root is damaged, arise unexpectedly and sharply and intensify during the movement of the neck (when bending and turning). A decrease in sensations occurs only in a state of complete rest and immobility.

There is also such a type of osteochondrosis with radicular syndrome of the spine, as osteochondrosis in the thoracic region.

It is much less common than in the cervical spine, since this part of the body is stronger and more resilient. Typically, the problem is caused by a spinal hernia.

Symptoms in this case extend not only to the outer part of the body, but also to the internal organs. That is why patients more often turn to specialists with symptoms of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine.

The painful sensations also arise suddenly and very sharply and are released at rest. In this case, with the slightest movement, the pains resume with the same intensity. As a rule, the patient can accurately name the time at which the pain began.

Symptoms of the radicular syndrome in osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine can be as follows:

  1. It hurts in the area of the shoulder blades, from the armpits to the elbow from the inside. The skin becomes numb. It also hurts in the throat;
  2. The spine hurts in the area between the shoulder blades, as well as around them, under the arms and in front along the intercostal spaces to the lower edge of the chest. Numbness in this case is characterized as "shingles", as from the skin being pulled by a narrow and short T-shirt. The scapula may move slightly from its normal position due to muscle weakness. It hurts not only in the pharynx, but also in the esophagus and in the stomach. A foreign body may be felt in the esophagus;
  3. Girdle pain covers the area from the angle of the shoulder blades and below, to the edge of the ribs and epigastrium in the front part. The skin becomes numb and the muscles tighten more. The stomach, the sternum, and the heart hurt;
  4. The pain covers the area from the bottom of the ribs to the center of the abdomen, front and back. Stomach and intestines hurts;
  5. Discomfort from the center of the abdomen and below, to the groin area.

Feelings can intensify with deep inhalation and exhalation, during coughing or sneezing, in the process of sudden hand movements. At the same time, it is not always possible to get rid of them by simply lying on your back, since in this position the load on the vertebrae only increases.

Possible causes of the disease

What is the reason for osteochondrosis with radicular syndrome? What should you watch out for in order to avoid the above symptoms?

The most common problem provocateurs are as follows:

  • Spinal hernia;
  • Osteochondrosis itself and its complications;
  • Congenital types of defects in the structure of the lumbar or thoracic spine;
  • Constant overload of the spine;
  • Passive lifestyle;
  • Injuries, tumors, cicatricial changes;
  • Hormonal changes;
  • Hypothermia.

As a rule, the development of the radicular syndrome itself does not occur immediately after exposure to one or another pathogen.

It is preceded by changes in the intervertebral discs of a pathological nature, which in turn initiate the formation of a hernia. Moving, it compresses the spinal roots, making it difficult for venous blood to drain from them. The result is non-infectious inflammation and adhesions around nerves and tissues.

How to get rid of: choosing a treatment

The doctor who examined, took into account all possible causes of the disease and carried out the necessary tests, can prescribe a comprehensive treatment, which includes the following measures:

  • Compliance with bed rest;
  • Drug therapy;
  • Physiotherapy and massage course;
  • Manual therapy;
  • Physiotherapy.

The first condition, that is, bed rest, must be observed throughout the entire period of exacerbation of osteochondrosis, since it is the state of rest that helps reduce pain, and also relieves the body of stress.

Review of several pharmaceutical preparations

Pharmacy drugs that are prescribed by a doctor are divided into five groups depending on the purpose of their use:

  • Pain relievers such as "Baralgin", "Ketarol" or "Analgin" reduce painful manifestations and greatly facilitate the course of the disease;
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Movalis, Diclofenac or Nurofen not only prevent pain, but also relieve inflammation;
  • Muscle relaxants are aimed at relaxing the muscles around the affected vertebrae, as well as relieving spasms;
  • B vitamins are needed to activate metabolic processes in the affected tissues;
  • Chondoprotectors help restore cartilage tissue in the area of the vertebral discs and joints between them.

As an additional treatment, a specialist may prescribe physical, reflex or laser therapy. The latter option is one of the most common today, as it helps restore circulatory activity and relieve pain.

Remember that the treatment of osteochondrosis with radicular syndrome for each patient should be individual in nature, and only a qualified specialist can choose the correct treatment regimen.

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