Discopathy combines different degrees and location of damage to the spine. In most cases it is due to degenerative and less often to traumatic changes of the smoothing vertebrae. The modern way of life determines a definite tendency to increase the frequency of discopathies and decrease the age of those affected. More and more young people are complaining of back, neck and lower back pain. They are provoked by exertion, sudden movement, weight lifting, colds, as well as by heavy physical activity or lack of such and last but not least overweight.

Structure and function of the spine

The spine is an ingenious, unsurpassed work of nature. It has an S-shape and consists of 7 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar vertebrae and ends with the sacrum and coccyx, which are fused into a fixed bone. It is composed of hard bone segments – vertebrae and elastic intervertebral discs that change their shape. They are a kind of shock absorbers that separate the vertebrae from each other and take the load. The individual vertebrae are connected to each other by joints that make the spine mobile. Thanks to this structure of anatomical structures, the spine has the properties: strength, elasticity and mobility. A healthy back supports the whole body. This is possible thanks to the three natural curves that are supported by healthy and elastic muscles.

Common problems

When all the above elements are healthy, the back can perform its functions without experiencing pain. The most common spinal problems are related to the intervertebral discs. The discs are pads formed by soft tissue located between the vertebrae. They can swell, rupture, tear or wear with age. When this happens, the discs cannot seal the vertebrae, the load is distributed unbalanced and this can lead to back pain and tingling and weakness in the limbs.

  • torn fibrous ring. The intervertebral disc consists of a pituitary gland and a fibrous ring that surrounds it. Sudden, abrupt movements can lead to a violation of its integrity, as well as to stretched muscles and joints. The nerve endings located in these structures react and provoke a pain syndrome.
  • convex disc – as a result of squeezing.is from adjacent structures, part of the fibrous ring can protrude and compress the spinal nerves and cause local pain, as well as tingling in the limbs.
  • rupture of the fibrous ring. This condition is also known as a disc herniation. In it, the fibrous disc is torn, allowing the pith nucleus to come out, mechanically compressing and chemically irritating nerve structures. There is pain, local muscle spasm. With time, numbness and weakness of the limbs appear.
  • spondylosis – when the discs and joints wear out, spikes begin to form over time, which can irritate nerve structures.

Diagnosis and treatment of discopathy

In case of back pain and discomfort, it is necessary to undergo a medical examination. It includes taking a detailed history, determining the neurological status and diagnostic tests such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging and electromyography. This will help the neurologist to make an accurate diagnosis, conduct proper medical treatment and provide focus on physiotherapy and kinesitherapy procedures. After medical control of the acute phase, the physiotherapist aims to prepare a program of therapeutic gymnastics to relieve pain and improve statics. This will help strengthen the muscles needed to maintain the natural curves of the spine and ensure proper load distribution. Improper and late treatment can lead to chronic pain and aggravation of the problem.

Tips for a healthy back

  • do spine strengthening exercises. Lack of physical activity can have a negative impact on posture and biomechanics of the body, disrupting the natural curves of the spine and hence the overload of certain segments.
  • overweight. Being overweight increases the curves of the spine in the anterior-posterior position, which often involves the pelvis and lower limbs, exacerbating the problem.
  • tension and emotional stress. Emotional stress resulting from our hectic daily lives can often lead to reflex muscle spasm and trigger painful symptoms.
  • tension and emotional stress. Emotional stress resulting from our hectic daily lives can often lead to reflex muscle spasm and trigger painful symptoms.
  • Bad biomechanics. If you suffer from back pain, start watching for harmful motor parasitic habits that can provoke the appearance of your problems. Eliminate prolonged sitting or standing. Balance between rest and movement. Listen to the needs of your body.

* This article is informative and cannot replace consultation with a doctor. Before starting treatment, be sure to consult a specialist.

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