Category Archives: Spinal Hernia

Treatment of dorsopathy of cervical spine

dors-shDorsopathy of the cervical spine means degenerative changes in the tissues of the column of spine. Term “dorsopathy” means a range of pain syndromes. The main reason for degenerative changes is wearing out and ageing of the spine. According to modern researches a vertebral column is totally formed at the age of 20 – 22 years, and already from at 30 years there appear the first signs of ageing and wearing out.

Disease classification

All kinds of dorsopathy are divided into three groups:

  1. Deforming: That is kyphosis, lordosis, osteochondritis, spondylosis, sponylolisthesis and pseudo luxation.
  2. Inflammatory, degenerative and traumatic spondylopathies.
  3. Other degenerative processes of the intervertebral discs, which includes dorsalgia, it is dorsopathy under which there is no damage of the intervertebral discs.

Causes of cervical spine dorsopathy 

The following factors contribute to the development of dystrophic processes in the spine column:

  • Mechanical traumas, infections, metabolic disorder.
  • Influence of difficult environments (low temperature, vibration).
  • Irregularly distributed load on the spine, for example when the patient have a postural disorder.
  • Inherited predisposition to the development of degenerative changes.

The cervical spine is the most vulnerable part of the spine, because of its mobility, heavy load o muscles and anatomic peculiarities (height of the neck depends on the intervertebral discs).

The most widely-spread dorsopathies

The best known state of dorsopathy is osteochondritis, it is a complex of dystrophic changes in the intervertebral discs. If it is not treated and preventative measures against the complications are not performed then spondylosis will develop; when dystrophic changes will spread to the whole disc including membranes. After that the process is progressing and the vertebrae may shift forward (sponylolisthesis). On this stage protrusion or a herniated disc are often observed, as a final stage of degenerative changes. An isolated dorsopathy of the cervical spine is not so often met; usually doctors observe dorsopathy of the cervical spine.

Pathology treatment

Process of treatment of this pathology is a long-standing process and it depends on the stage of the disease. The main methods of treatment are the following:

  1. In the period of acute condition a bed rest is prescribed. It is important to arrange functional rest for the spine. It can be achieved with a special cervical collar – Schantz collar.
  2. In order to arrest the pain syndrome and to remove muscles tension the doctors usually prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines. They are applied in the form of pills or injections (intramuscularly or intravenously), and also locally (ointments, creams, gels). Diclofenac, Voltaren, Nurofen are classified as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines. Application of these medicines leads to a high risk of stomach diseases development, for example, ulcers, accomplished by bleeding. So, these medicines must be used with precautions and in complex with  protection of the stomach by special medicines. In order to arrest pain the doctors prescribe anesthetics (baralgin) и muscles relaxants (mydocalm).
  3. Warming ointments, such as Fastum gel, Efcamon, Efcamon and Espol, which have a distraction effect, improve blood circulation to the pathologically changed area, at the same time they promote swelling and inflammation of the tissues reduction, improving innervations.
  4. If these methods have not been effective then blockings are prescribed, mainly paravertebral applying lidocaine, novocaine or dexamethasone. In order to reduce a significant swelling of the nervous root while stationary treatment epidural block with corticosteroids is applied.
  5. Anti-ischemic medicines improve disorders of blood circulation in tissues and restore metabolic processes. With this aim the following medicines are also applied (vitamine Е), antihypoxant (Cytochrome, Hypoxien), vasoactive medicines (Pentoxyfilline, Nicotine acid); these medicines are prescribed when the syndrome of the compressed nervous roots is developing and progressing.

31Cartilage protectors are prescribed for chronic pain prevention. These medicines (Chondroitin Sulfate, Structum, or Dona and etc.) contain components of cartilage articularis and that is why they increase resistance of cartilage cells (chondrocytes) to the influence of inflammatory factors. Chondroprotectors have beneficial effect on tissue structure of a cartilage, they activate metabolic process in its matrix, stimulate cellular turnover of chondrocytes, so they have stimulating, regenerating (renovating) and anti-inflammatory actions. Structum reduces considerably degenerative-dystrophic changes in cartilaginous tissue of intervertebralis, delays destruction of bone tissue and regulates calcium loss. An additional point is that it accelerates regeneration of bone tissue. On the top of already administered medicine pain reduces in joints and their mobility grows. Therapeutic effect of chondroitin remains for a long time after treatment.

Course of chondroitin treatment is longstanding and continuous. These medicines in order to reduce affect on gastro-intestinal tract may be used topically in the form of ointment of chondroitin sulfate, which is spread on the skin above the affected joint till its full absorbtion. Besides, this medicine is used during physiotherapy (magnetophoresis).  The course of treatment should be repeated once half a year if necessary.

  1. Remedial gymnastics is the main method, it stipulates for creating adequate graduated physical activity, its task is to remove muscles tension and nervous roots compression, to strengthen muscles corset of the spine and to make this corset elastic. In the result of regular trainings blood circulation of the spine improves, metabolic processes in the intervertebral discs and their nutrition.
  2. Physiotherapy is used in order to remove pain and inflammatory processes (electrophoresis, magnetotherapy, laser therapy).
  3. Massage helps to remove muscles tension, improve blood circulation in tissues, and overall health.
  4. Manual therapy.
  5. Spinal column traction with the help of special equipment. The aim of this procedure is to enlarge the gap between spinal bones, to lessen the pain syndrome and to restore normal functioning of the spine column.
  6. Reflexotherapy  is a method applying specific influence on different reflexogenic zones and biologically active points of the body. Courses of acupuncture should be repeated several times a year as a supportive treatment.
  7. Patients with protrusions and herniated discs should be treated operatively in order to restore continuity of fibrous membranes of a cartilage. Surgical interference is recommended also in those cases, when dorsopathy of the cervical spine manifests itself during five or more months and standard conservative treatment turned out to be ineffective.

Dorsopathy preventative measures

  • Day regimen and physical activity. Special gymnastics for muscles strengthening stabilizes the cervical spine.
  • Healthy diet and weight correction, because overweight and metabolic changes will promote further progressing of dystrophic processes.

Every method from the above mentioned list is effective and relevant for treatment of this pathology; rational combination of methods will promote significant and fast therapeutic effect. It is very important to combine these methods with exercises on special rehabilitation equipment for muscles corset building.

5 methods that may help to prevent a herniated disc

Among numerous neurological problems the leading position is occupied by the herniated disc. In this case a serious deformation of the fibrous ring of the intervertebral disc can be observed, and here a rupture happens. Through this rupture some part of the nucleus pulposus is bulging, and as a result the patient experiences discomfort and acute pain. In general, people from 25 years and older suffer from the described above disease. People can live with this problem for many years and decades not knowing about its existence. This deformation is considered to be one of the nastiest forms of osteochondritis. Among the complications of the herniated disc we can name partial of full loss of ability to work or even invalidity.

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Neurologists have one opinion that the main hazard of this disease is spinal stenosis, which causes pressure on the spinal nerves and as a result there is inflammation of the spinal membranes and the spinal nerves. Due to this paralysis of lower limbs muscles happens, there is also pelvic organs malfunction, and sensitivity decreases.

Modern neurological centers in major cases accept patients with the herniated discs on the extensive-stage of the disease, when people move with difficulty and they cannot perform some elementary activities. After all, if they had applied to a specialist in time they could avoid the problem!

Preventative measures of a herniated disc

Among the basic preventative measures of a herniated disc the specialists distinguish between 5 essential methods.

  • Method №1 – moderate and regular physical activity. Simple physical exercises will keep the spinal axis in correct direction. Also it is recommended to perform regularly a “spine traction”», hanging on a horizontal bar or with the help of swimming.   Specialists in the sphere of remedial gymnastics insist that for people older than 30 years regular sports activity is obligatory.
  • Method №2 – correct matress. It is necessary to find a matress with medium or high degree of hardness, on which the muscles corset will be placed proportionally. It is strictly forbidden to sleep on leather sofas and old beds. Once you have saved money on a qualitative matress in the age of maturity you will pay for your health very seriously.
  • Method №3 – optimal products consumption with high content of calcium and  vitamin С. Milk, cheese, citrus fruits, apple, natural fresh juices will help to improve fluid-and-electrolyte balance and to provide optimal functioning of  muscles  tissues. It is not recommended to drink excessively coffee, it is better to substitute it for herbal tea, which is much more useful and not less tasty!
  • Method №4 – regular preventative massage. In order to choose the specialist and kind of massage you can arrange a visit to a neurologist. An expert will compose a preventative course of massage and give you sound recommendations.
  • Method №5 – quitting bad habits. A liver generates collagen fiber, which is a compound of intervertebral discs. Consequently smoking, alcohol consumption, and unhealthy diet early or later will lead to the damage of the intervertebral discs of the spine.

Also experts recommend to reinforce regularly the immune system, to avoid stresses, do not keep one and the same posture for a long time (for example, sedentary work, driving), to wear shoes of good quality with good arch supports. Wearing shoes with high heels provokes development of spine diseases.

We should pay attention to the state of the spines of our children. Early scoliosis prevention in schoolchildren will help to form a correct posture at the time when cartilage tissue of the vertebrae is still elastic and it is possible to make some corrections. Sound sleep, good food and optimal physical activity constitute a base of prevention of the herniated disc and many other diseases.

Post-surgery rehabilitation after disc herniation removal

Nowadays there are a lot of methods of treatment of the disc herniation of the spine avoiding operation. But in some cases it is impossible to avoid the operation, in this case the most important task at this stage of treatment is planning the rehabilitation after the performed operation of disc herniation removal. This stage of treatment should be planned very carefully in order to avoid recurrences and new protrusions and disc herniation formation.

Many people consider that the best way to recover after operation is to have rest to limit load. At that they ignore medicines and regime prescribed by the doctor, because there is no pain now in the back, there is only some pain in the place of surgical cut, which is very easy to remove with the help of usual analgesics. In fact such method of recovery is a direct way to acquiring a new disc herniation, because the muscles corset of the spine is getting weak without load, blood circulation is not improving well in the affected area and the intervertebral discs still do not get enough nutrients. Certainly the course of rehabilitation should be individually chosen for every patient, but there are some basic principles used for rehabilitation after operation, and we shall talk about them in the following article.

What types of surgical removal of the disc herniation do we know?

gr-reabNowadays the development of the disc herniation removal is directed at minimizing the surgical trauma. That is why a classical laminectomy is applied rarer now, and endoscopic methods and microsurgery removal of disc herniation are more preferable. Exactly these methods provide for a minimal operational trauma, thanks to which the recovery takes less time.

You should remember that endoscopy is a very promising method, but at the present time it has some disadvantages. For example, location and size of the disc herniation may hinder the excess to it, and it is not possible to reach the disc herniation with the endoscope.

Microsurgical operation is run with the help of microscope, in practice it is a neurosurgical operation. Under this operation the surgical trauma is bigger a little, than under the endoscopy, but there is no limitations because of the location or size of the disc herniation which is to be removed.

What is going on right after the operation?

Many people think that after the operation the treatment is fulfilled. But it is just the other way round. Even after operation some pain and neurological symptoms, sensibility disturbances may be present for some period of time. It happens because pressure made by the disc herniation is removed from the nerves roots, but irritation and swelling are present.  And now it is quite simple to cope with this problem, nevertheless some medicines should be applied.

There are three stages of rehabilitation. They are as follows:

  1. Elimination of the pain and neurological symptoms;
  2. Patient’s health balancing, domestic limitations removal;
  3. Supporting –motor apparatus restoration, removal of physical activity limitations.

What complex of some particular actions will be selected; it depends on a number of factors. Here we have to take into our consideration the flow of the disease, individual peculiarities of the organism, on the period of time during which the conservative methods were applied. In general, the rehabilitation period may last for a year, it depends on the complexity of the operation. But even in the best variant the rehabilitation period cannot be less than three months.

Usually the process of rehabilitation comprises medication methods of treatment, physiotherapeutic procedures, mechanical unloading of the spine, movement therapy, and also health resort treatment.

But the patient should be aware of some restrictions and rules and certainly to follow them. For example, you should remember that a rigid brace you cannot bear during the whole day, they can be applied only for several hours a day in order to remove load from the affected area of the spine. Otherwise you can do additional harm rather than to bring some treatment effect.

Movement therapy is a fundamental method in the process of rehabilitations, it is vitally important not to forget about it. You should perform regularly prescribed by the doctor exercises, only under this condition the prescribed complex will bring you in a short period of time to some optimized state of your health.

A slipped disc during pregnancy

A slipped disc – is a widely spread and downright unpleasant disease for the patient, because it is accompanied with quite strong pains. But fortunately, schemes of treatment of this disease have been tried and tested long time ago and in most cases it is possible to avoid an operation. But it is quite a different story after a long awaited pregnancy announcement, and a slipped disc occurs at the same moment. Usually there appears a question “what should to be done?” Patients are afraid to take a standard drug treatment, because some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines, which are used for a prolapsed disc treatment, can do harm to the child. But it is impossible to leave the problem without attention, because the situation is getting worse every day.

Is it necessary to treat or a slipped disc or not?

A slipped disc and pregnancy are the things, combination of which is not good. In some or other way, but the slipped disc should be treated; the problem cannot be left without settlement, otherwise the patient can be confined to bed in the truest sense of the word for indefinite period of time. Furthermore, during pregnancy the load on the intervertebral discs increases constantly, because the weight is constantly gaining and a baby is growing, so there is no reason to hope that compression on the nerve terminals will disappear on its own.

gr-berBut first of all in this situation you are to be sure, that you really deal with the slipped disc, or the situation is easier and it is not so dangerous. For this purpose you should consult a doctor, who will send you for magnetic resonance imaging. And if the slipped disc will be confirmed, the doctor will prescribe a proper treatment taking into consideration your pregnancy.

In this situation a process of getting the pain syndrome under control can be a little bit longer than usually, because those medicines, which can effectively remove this problem, are not recommended to be used during pregnancy. So, the doctor must make do with what he has, even to apply some folk remedies, they will give some effects, but not so fast as it is desired.

It is supposed in the above-mentioned situation, that the slipped disc occurs before pregnancy or during its early terms, when you have some cushion of time. A little bit more complicated is the situation when the slipped disc occurs during pregnancy or during its late terms, in the result of increased pressure on the intervertebral discs. In this case, the task of the doctor is much more complicated, and for disease treatment there must be applied complexes of drug-free procedures which can help not only a mother but also her child.

Why does a slipped disc occur?

gr-ber2This question is interesting for many people, but nobody thinks than the word “suddenly” or “unexpectedly” could be hardly used for a slipped disc description. This is the problem which cannot arise just in one moment under influence of one negative factor; during quite a long period of time process of the disease development had been on, before a slipped disc occurred, in this case it is osteochondritis. How often does a woman before getting pregnant think about healthy eating, sufficient physical activity, and spine disease prevention? According to human psychology, we think about a disease only when it starts to ache, consequently unpleasant problems can manifest itself in this very critical period. Indeed the disease is already developing, but it was not revealed and nothing was done to prevent its development. And when the intervertebral discs start to get additional serious load (and every day more and more load), occurrence of the slipped disc is just a matter of time.

At some certain moment a disc cannot bear the load any more, and under condition there is protrusion already, we get a full-bodied prolapsed disc. Particularly, there is serious load on the spine during the last terms of pregnancy every day and it is constant, especially if you used to work about the house in a slightly bent posture. In this posture the load is maximum possible, and even muscles are getting tired after some time under this posture.

How often may it happen?

In the past the osteochondritis and the disc herniation were considered to be the diseases of aged people and young people suffered from it in very rare cases. But nowadays these diseases are getting considerably “younger”, now a pregnant woman with a disc herniation is not a surprise, it is not considered like something extraordinary. Generally, there is not any surprise, because the majority of modern people have a sedentary life-style, which is in combination with unhealthy nutrition and very rare and excessive physical activity. In general  “full complex” necessary for the osteochondritis development and for formation of the disc herniation.

To make a conclusion is simple. You should pay more attention to your health; it will be useful for you and for your baby. You should regularly go for walks in the open air; such load will be sufficient in order to prevent occurrence of the diseases.

Separately you should pay your attention to healthy diet, consult your doctor, who can suggest you some diet and certainly he can chose for you some every day complex of physical exercises.

If you sit during the whole working day, do not forget to make some breaks every hour, you can stand up, walk for a while, and «stretch your legs». Besides, after such breaks it is much easier to work.

Symptoms of spinal disc herniation in the thoracic spine

While the osteochondritis development quite often we can face unpleasant complications, such as the spinal disc herniation, symptoms, treatment and causes of which are interesting for many people all over the world.

The spinal disc herniation in the thoracic department of spine is a process while which some separate parts of the disc fall into the area of spinal canal. The spinal disc herniation in the thoracic part of spine we can face quite often nowadays.  In spite of the fact that the disc herniation is rarer than in other parts of the spine, but it can bring to the patient a lot of unpleasant minutes, there can be chest pain, heart pain, pain in abdominal cavity organs; these symptoms require serious and complex examination of the patient.

Causes of the disc herniation in the thoracic part of spine

Doctors underline a number of main causes of this disease in the thoracic part of the spine. They are the following:

  • Breakage of the disc in the result of the influence of high pressure. For example, lifting some loads in bent posture or landing in the sitting position after fall. If the strength of blow is very big, fracture of spine of intervertebral disc breakage is possible.
  • Disc breakage as a result of “fatigue” of the spine. Small load today can lead to the disc breakage in several years. Unserious traumas lead to weakening of the fibrous ring of intervertebral disc. In the result of these traumas the fibrous ring is getting weak considerably and it can provoke breakage even after light load.
  • Age. As a rule, from the disc herniation in the thoracic part spine can suffer people of middle age (from 20 to 50 years old). The reason is that modern people in this age get the most physical load. Children suffer from this disease very rare.

Symptoms of the disease

Pain under this disease will appear generally only after irritation of the nervous tissues. If you do not consult a qualified orthopedist and neuropathologist in time, it may lead to complete paralysis of legs. As a rule, girdle pain is one of the main symptoms of the presence of the disc herniation in the thoracic part of spine.

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Besides, there can be sensitivity loss in limbs and weakness of muscles.

Under such disease, there can be observed increase of reflex activity of muscles.

Doctor will obligatory ask if there are not any problems with defecation and urinary bladder functioning. Usually there are such problems because of force impact on nervous tissues, which are responsible for intestinal tract and urinary system functioning. If the patient has noticed such problems he has to inform his doctor obligatory. In this case it may be necessary interference of neurosurgeon.

Diagnosis establishment and treatment of the disc herniation

gr-sim2In order the doctor will prescribe you effective treatment it is necessary to establish a correct diagnosis. For such disc herniation it is necessary to make X-ray study. But, unfortunately, with the help of this method it is possible to define the pathology in the thoracic part of spine.

Today X-ray study can be substituted by more modern method of diagnostics. It is magnetic resonance imaging. Magnetic resonance imaging gives more precise result and as a rule it has no side effects. Besides, this procedure is entirely painless.

If carried out investigations proved the disc herniation in the thoracic part of spine, it does not mean in all cases that an operation is obligatory. Clinical presentation is of high importance. If conservative treatment shows positive results and clinical presentation is getting better, then it may happen that the operation is not necessary at all. In those cases when conservative treatment is not effective, and state of the patient is getting worse, an operation should be performed.

At primary stages of the disease, conservative treatment is used. If the disease is not progressing and the patient feels good, the doctor may not use some special treatment. It is quite enough just to observe the patient all the time.

The patient needs complete rest under the disc herniation in the thoracic part of the spine, when pain is intense enough. The doctor in this case the doctor will suggest you to take sick days, to reduce physical load, to have more rest and to walk in the open air. If the pain becomes unbearable, then analgesics are prescribed. First of all, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines are prescribed.

If these medicines do not bring any relief to the patient, then some narcotics are prescribed. These medicines can lead to drug addiction; that is the reason why doctors prescribe them very rare.

Epidural anesthesia is one more method to remove the pain syndrome in the patient. Usually this method is applied before operations or in cases of short-term anaesthesia, when other medicines are not effective.

Operative methods of treatment

Laminotomy and discectomy are traditional surgical methods of treatment of this disease. Laminotomy is a dissection of several vertebral archs and diskectomy is a removal of some part of the disc or the whole disc.

Except the above mentioned methods, there are two traditional methods of treatment; they are microdiscectomy and endoscopic discectomy. Under microdiscectomy damage of neighbouring to the spine tissues is minimal; all operations are done through a very small cut. During an operation the surgeon can observe the whole process of removal of the part of the disc through special mini cameras.  Endoscopic discectomy is applied much rare in medical practice than other methods of the disc herniation removal.

Disc herniation. Treatment without operation

The disc herniation of the spine is a widely spread disease, the process of its treatment is not very difficult, but it is a very prolonged process. To cope with this disease is possible, but it is very important to establish a correct diagnosis in time. In this case treatment can be performed with minimum “losses” for the patient. Some people prefer traditional medicine and methods, believing that they will help them to cure.

Indeed, they often traditional medicine can cut the pain syndrome. But are the effective enough not to apply to a doctor? This question is not so simple as it can seem, so it is necessary to consider it more in details.

Non-operational treatment of the disc herniation, what is it?

pboGenerally, most of the diseases of the spine presuppose almost identical treatment. To tell the truth last time a number of new methods of treatment were developed, they use advanced technologies, sometimes they are very surprising, but their effectiveness is a matter of discussions, we should talk about them later. And now we are interested in the standard scheme of classical conservative treatment.

So, how should we treat the disc herniation if we want to avoid an operation?

First of all we should provide for the patient a bed rest for two or three days. After that it is possible to get down to the regime of limited activity and gradually, while recovering, to return to normal life style. But as in the cute period of the disease passive lying in the bed is not enough to cut the pain sensations, it is necessary to apply some medicine.

Medicines application as the first step of treatment

Pharmaceutical treatment of the disc herniation of the spine presupposes first of all application of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines. These particular medicines give an opportunity to remove inflammation and to reduce swelling. And in the result the compression on the nerve roots will decrease, and the pain syndrome will not be so intense. In this case medicines may be used in different forms, as injections so as pills. Injections are used if the pains are very intense, practically unbearable. In this situation it is possible to use anesthetics; usually they are applied in the form of blocks.  It is quite effective and powerful method, which can give to the patient relief from pains for quite a long period of time. To tell in other words, injections for the disc herniation treatment are used in the most complicated situations.  There is only one disadvantage, anti-inflammatory medicines influence the gastro-intestinal tract not in a very good way. So, it is their side effect while long period of their application; it is necessary to weigh their effects against their presupposed negative consequences. At the same time when we talk about the medicines for the disc herniation treatment, practically always we mean nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications.

Life is movement!

So, the pain syndrome is totally removed or taken under control. Many people consider the treatment to be fulfilled and they can return to their usual active style of life.  But it is absolutely incorrect, because particularly from this moment we should think about different methods of treatment of the disc herniation, because the task of all manipulations done before were to bring relieve to the patient’s life.

Movement therapy and massage are the most widely spread methods of the disc herniation treatment. They are quite old methods, well established and their effectiveness has been proved long ago. As we consider the diagnosis «the disc herniation of the spine», non-operative treatment must be complex and to comprise obligatory some modern methods:

  • High Intensity Laser Therapy (it decrease the herniation considerably)
  • Electrophoresis with karipazim (course for 30 days)
  • Laser therapy (Multiwave Locked System)
  • Hivamat device (pain will be remove during two sessions)

The point at issue is that the disc herniation will not disappear, the organism should adapt to it, to work out new movement stereotypes and etc.  Yes, there is a chance that the disc herniation in some time will be reabsorbed, but it is far from being a rule for all patients. In order to help the organism to adapt as soon as possible, some special exercises and massage are applied. They allow to bring to normal tonus the weak muscles and to relax overtired muscles, which were cramped. In the result the muscles corset functioning and ligament apparatus of the spine improves, and it gives an opportunity to prevent new protrusions and disc herniation formation.

Treatment of the disc herniation with the help of traditional medicine

pbo2Traditional methods of the disc herniation treatment have a wide variety of methods, but all of them are aimed at simple warming of the affected area of the spine. This really helps to decrease the pain syndrome for some time, because the blood circulation is improved after warming. But at the same time these methods have a number of disadvantages.

First of all, the disc herniation of cervical or lumbar part of the spine is the most often established diagnosis, treatment of which is the most complicated. The majority of the of present traditional methods are aimed at the disc herniation treatment in the lumbar part of the spine, particularly at removing the pain syndrome; in this part of the spine the disc herniation is formed more often than in other parts of the spine. But for treatment of the disc herniation in the cervical part of the spine this method is not applicable, because it is very difficult to warm the neck to an adequate degree, and at the same time not always it is possible to achieve the expected result.

The second problem is that the improvement of the blood circulation has only temporary effect, and there is a risk that in some period of time after warming the situation will be getting worse because of the increased swelling. People who tried to get rid of the disease by warming, for example, in the baths (so called Russian sauna) faced this problem.

That is why self-treatment of the disc herniation of the spine is an unrewarding and risky occupation. Yоu should consult a doctor before you start to apply traditional methods of the disc herniation treatment.

Which methods of treatment of this disease are apllied?

The best variant is to find some good health resort which specializes in the disc herniation treatment. In such health resorts, they usually employ educated and quite experienced specialists, and they can actually help you. Also in the health resorts they usually use all possible and proven methods of treatment, so results always meet your expectations. But frankly speaking the expenses will be quite high and not all people can afford such enjoyment.

The other variant, which is not cheaper, is to treat the disc herniation of the spine in China. It should be mentioned that widely advertised and popular method of treatment in this country is acupuncture, which effectiveness was not proved. The only effect of this treatment is the removal of pain and as we have already said before the decrease of the pain syndrome is not equal to full recovery.

One more method of a very disputable effectiveness is the treatment with the help of laser and hirudo therapy, but it is a separate topic for discussion.

Summarizing this article we would like to draw your attention to the fact that the most important on the primary stage of treatment is a correct diagnosis and professional treatment; but the most important thing is to prevent this disease formation.

Posterior median disc herniation of the spine

As it is already well-known the disc herniation is very unpleasant, if not to say more. And one of the most unpleasant variant of the diagnosis is the posterior median disc herniation of the spine. What are its manifestations?

Why the posterior median disc herniation is dangerous?

In general we use term “median” if the breakage of the disc goes strictly along its radius. If we talk about anterior median disc herniation, it is not so dangerous and the worst possible is the pain syndrome. And if we talk about posterior median disc herniation, this case is very underhand and much more dangerous to the patient.

zmdYou should remember that the posterior back disc herniation penetrates into the spinal canal, and as a result there appear compression of the spinal cord or horse tail, and because of it there is an innervation of the internal organs and limbs. There is no sense to recite all negative consequences in details, but it is very easy to understand that a neglected case of this disease will do the patient a lot of harm.

There is one more problem; treatment of this type of the disc herniation is much more complicated. It turns out that it is hidden and it is quite difficult to reach it. Even if you can reach the place where it is, the situation does not become much easier, because the surgeon is to operate in a very close position to the spinal cord. Any incorrect movement will lead to permanent consequences.

Moreover this particular type of the disc herniation requires urgent surgical interference. Pain is a surgical indication under other types of disc herniation, in the above mentioned case it is much worse, because we talk about proper functioning of many internal organs. On the other hand the doctors do not want to risk to the last (and there is always a risk while operation on such type of the disc herniation) and they try to eliminate the problem with the help of conservative methods of treatment. It should be noted that in major case it is possible to eliminate the problem because our organism has great abilities of   self-restoration.

Why does this type of the disc herniation occur?

This question arises in minds of almost all patients, who got this diagnosis. The irony is that this question should bother them before the problem appeared. Then, more probably it would be possible to avoid it.

If to consider this question in details, first of all you should understand what is a vertebral column; it is a perfectly balanced and very reliable mechanism. But, the same as other mechanisms, it has an ability “to brake” and “to become weak”, if the conditions of its application and use far from being ideal. We should concentrate our attention on the intervertebral disc as on the most hurtable part of this mechanism under the ills of life.

What is necessary for normal functioning of the intervertebral discs? Sufficient nutrition (water, nutrients and  microelements)  and sufficient physical activity. Exactly with these components we face problems nowadays most often, and modern life is the main reason for these problems.  Exactly this disease is “getting younger”, if before only aged people suffered from this disease, now it is widely spread among young people.

So, what is insufficient? First of all there is lack of necessary nutrients and microelements. It is not a secret that nowadays a lot of people “sin by” not very proper meals, content of necessary for the organism components in such meals is below normal.  But it is only one problem, and it is possible for people to settle it more or less easy.  There is one more, and it is much more serious. Particularly, it is a sedentary life style. Why is it so critical?  For the sole reason that the intervertebral discs do not have their own blood vessels, respectively, nutrition they have to get in a very strange way with the help of diffusion from the neighboring tissues.  And physical load and movements are necessary for this process to go in a proper way. Otherwise, even if your nutrition is absolutely correct, and all necessary microelements are present in your organism, they are not able to get to the intervertebral discs.  And now, please, think is there sufficient physical activity in your life? And in this case we do not mean excessive physical load, they also can lead to the disc herniation formation, we mean usual movements, walking, running and so on and so for.

Which processes do take place in the intervertebral disc in the situation, if it does not get sufficient nutrition? Everything is very simple it starts to lose its properties. Among other things the nucleus pulposus of the disc starts to lose water, and as a result it the disc loses its absorbing ability. In the fibrous ring under condition of lack of nutrients some problems also appear; the fibrous ring keeps the disc in its natural place. This fibrous ring starts getting weak, cracks starts to appear in it gradually. At the same time load on the disc is not decrease and in some cases it even increases (if the patient has gained some weight).

It is easy to understand that sooner or later the fibrous ring will not be able to bear the pressure of the nucleus pulposus and it will start to “retreat”, to bulge, in the result of the last protrusion appears, it is the first stage of the disc herniation formation. As the protrusion formation almost never is manifested by some symptoms, so the person does not even guess about the problem. Some more time passes, the fibrous ring “retreated” and the person acquires a true disc herniation.

How to treat the disc herniation?

Nowadays conservative methods of treatment are most widely spread; they give an opportunity to avoid surgical interference. But to tell the truth in some cases it is impossible to avoid operation, nevertheless it is prescribed by the doctor only as a last resort, only if it is really necessary, the conservative methods are not effective and the disc herniation starts to influence the internal organs functioning.

Conservative methods of treatment, how do they work?

Conservative treatment is prescribed for almost all patients. And only in case that they are not effective an operative interference can be prescribed.

Usually such treatment starts from a bed rest prescription for several days, after which a regime of limited physical activity is prescribed. This prescription must give an opportunity for the spine to relax and to rest, and as a result the compression of the nerve roots decrease.

Also pharmaceutical treatment is started. In this case the most widely nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines are applied.  They remove inflammation and swelling quite effectively, and thanks to this the pain syndrome is also cut.  But such medicines have some disadvantage; they cannot be used for a long period of time, because side effects start to appear, mainly in the area of the gastro-intestinal tract. That is why the doctor should weigh expected effects against the risk of such side effect appearance.

For cutting very strong pain syndromes except nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines some analgethics are used. But there are also some precautions in their use. According to human psychology if there is no pain so there is no disease. That is why, when the pain syndrome is cut, the patient starts to move actively and to increase the load on the back. But indeed the disease has not disappeared somewhere and when the medicines stops to work, the pain syndrome will return back and it will be more intensive. Doctors try to use analgesics as less as possible, they prescribe them only if it is necessary to cut very strong pain syndromes.

When the pain syndrome is under the control, it is possible to start the next stage of treatment. In this case different physiotherapeutic methods of treatment are applied, but the main method is massage and therapeutic exercises.  Just individually selected exercises give an opportunity to bring into order the muscles corset, and also to provide sufficient physical load, which creates all necessary conditions for optimal interchange of elements in the area of the spine.

As a rule, this method of treatment will give an opportunity to the majority of patients to get rid of problems, but they are to understand that have to change first of all their life style.

Spinal disc herniation in newborn babies

Spinal disc herniation in newborn babies is a congenital anomaly, because of which one or several vertebrae during the process of their development do not close in the area of neural spines, as a result there is an interspace, into which spinal cord and its capsules fall. The most often cases of this disease occurs in the lower back,  but in some cases we can see it in other departments of spine. The severity of the disease is defined by the size of nervous tissues which do not have proper shielding.

This disc herniation can be found in the embryo with the help of Fetal Ultrasound, so fetal testing of this disease is possible.

Why does the spinal disc herniation occur in newborn babies?

gr-detNow nobody can name a real cause of development of this disease , but there is common opinion that the most important factor in this case is vitamin starvation.

That’s exactly why doctors always recommend before impregnation and during early terms of pregnancy to take folic acid. If you follow this recommendation then the risk of development of such defects is minimum possible.

An additional point is that, this disease is congenital, but at that not a genetic disease.  There is such judgement that if a woman has delivered a baby with such defect, there is a possibility that her other pregnancies will have the same anomaly. But as a matter of actual practice, if a pregnant woman starts to take care about her organism in order to get all necessary vitamins and minerals for normal development of the baby, then occurrence of this defect is almost eliminated. So, the spinal disc herniation in newborn babies can be a problem only in one particular case when there is lack of vitamins and minerals and during next pregnancies it may be avoided.

Which types of  split cord malformation exist?

We can distinguish between two main types of split cord malformation  — a split cord malformation with herniation and a concealed one.

Concealed split cord malformation is the most widely spread defect; it is considered to be a light form of the disease. In this case the shape of only one vertebra is slightly changed. The majority of people having this type of the disease do not have any problems and they do not notice any problems or symptoms of this disease; there is only some deepening under the affected area of the spine.

Split cord malformation with herniation is considered to be a serious form of the disease, because the defects of the vertebrae are much more serious.  The most noticeable symptom of this disease presence is the disc herniation, in which there are membranes and the spinal cord, and also cerebrospinal fluid. But very often it may happen that nerve roots are not damaged and they are normally functioning. The situation is more serious when in the herniation there is not only the spine cord and its membranes, but also nerve roots and columns. In this case a newborn baby has a number of serious motor and sensibility disturbances.

What are the symptoms of this disease?

gr-det2As we have already mentioned, under the concealed split cord malformation, symptoms are not revealed practically. And split cord malformation with herniation manifests itself very seriously, there are the following symptoms:

  • Leg defects and incorrect position of legs;
  • Full or partial paralyses with sensory anesthesia;
  • Almost always herniation and hydrocephaly are revealed at the same time. If this disease is not treated it will lead to serious disturbances in the brain functioning in its advanced form;
  • Practically always there are problems in the urinary bladder up to its paralysis, and in the result of this there is involuntary urination, fast spread of infection and destruction of kidneys. Very often anus and straight intestine are also paralyzed.

Is it possible to treat this disease?

Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to treat this disease. It is the very case, when you have to take care beforehand in order to prevent this disease, because it is almost impossible to cure patients with this disease in the full meaning of this word.

In general, a patient with such disease is usually under constant control of the doctor, it is especially important for children which except herniation have hydrocephaly. In order to cope with problems with urinary bladder there used some hygienic means of nursing and a number of urological procedures. Some special diet is recommended in order to cope with chronic constipation, which is the result of disturbances in straight intestine functioning.  This diet suggests consumption of big quantity of crude vegetable fiber.

Some physiotherapeutical prosedures help to restore partially motor functions thanks to these procedures ill children can become entirely independent. Otherwise an invalid chair will be necessary.

Is it possible to use back traction techniques at home?

Now this method of treatment arises many discussions and disputes. On the one hand, logically it is correct to stretch the spine, in order to decrease the compression of the nervous terminals and to remove the pain syndrome. On the other hand, determination “to set” discs is entirely wrong, because a disc is in its place and the problem is in a newly formed bulging.

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When is the back traction used?

Opinions of doctors differ about this problem. Some of them recommend applying the traction nearly for all diseases treatment, others consider this method of treatment to be harmful and they think it can provoke bulging formation and appearance of prolapsed discs. The truth (as usual) is somewhere in between.

Traction is really harmful for treatment of degenerative-dystrophic damages (for example, osteochondritis). In this situation it can just relive the pain only for a short period of time, but at that it can accelerate degenerative-dystrophic processes.

Try to imagine, the fibrous ring is damaged and more over we try to stretch it additionally! To which results can it lead? Except acceleration of the fibrous ring ruining and a new bulging disc formation? Under the best of circumstances it can lead to a short term relief of pain, but at that the problem will not disappear, and pain will return very soon. It is possible to give you more detailed explanation why the pain is removed for some time when traction is performed, but it returns after some time, but there is no use to do it right now.

So, we understand now, that for treatment of osteochondritis, traction (power stretching of the spine) will bring more harm than usefulness. On the other hand, these exercises for the spine stretching are necessary as one of the elements of remedial gymnastics. They give an opportunity not to damage the spine and to make muscles of the spine and ligaments more elastic.

Traction is really very useful when it is necessary to set vertebrae to their places. For example, for fractures treatment this method is absolutely justified. It is possible that it will be useful on the first stage of treatment of vertebrae instability, but only in complex with further vertebra fixation in its proper state.

Is it necessary to perform?

As we have already looked into the matter of treatment, in some cases the back traction is nevertheless is necessary. But these cases are quite rare, besides, it is not applied for osteochondritis and similar to it diseases (for example, a prolapsed disc). Statement of some specialists that is possible to treat the prolapsed disc with the help of the back traction let us leave to be their guilt; this method has not showed any serious improvement while treatment in the state of patients from the ancient Greece time. But for some disease treatment it can be applied. It is true, that sometimes to perform it at home is not the best idea, so, first of all you should consult a doctor.

Just the other thing is the back traction, which is performed in the individual complexes of movement therapy. These exercises are necessary for the herniation treatment, but they can be chosen only by a qualified specialist, and it is possible to perform them only after the pain syndrome is taken under control.

Such exercises give an opportunity to improve the elasticity of the ligaments and spine muscles, to strengthen the muscles corset of the back and ligamentous apparatus of the spine. These particular exercises fulfil the role treatment and preventative measures in the “struggle” against the osteochondritis manifestations.

Surgery for a herniated disc. Is it possible to avoid it?

We have talked about the osteochondritis quite in details and a lot. We talked about one of the problems which appear under this disease, it is the disc herniation, and it is the result of the osteochondritis. Topic of the operation which task is to remove the herniated disc material is under a hot discussion, there are a lot of opposite opinions about it. Surgeons consider it the last resort method for removal of such herniation, the only effective, other specialists; on the contrary consider it to be potentially dangerous. It is true they forget to tell that the conservative methods of treatment are not always effective, and finally the operation is inescapable.

But in this case, surgeons consider this variant of the disc herniation to be advanced, and to make the operation is more dangerous and difficult, and possibility of the positive result is lower. Besides, they think that it is better to operate as soon as the disc herniation is revealed. Other specialists, on the contrary, produce their arguments; and some “magic circle” of discussions is formed, and it is possible to go round it eternally. And what is possible indeed, is it possible to avoid the operation while treatment the disc herniation of the spine?

«Age disease», or what is the osteochondritis?

gr-pozvIn general this disease leads not only to the disc herniation. In leads to many others very unpleasant manifestations. Usually it is considered as “an age related disease”; it results in degenerative-dystrophic changes and a lot of people suffer from it. It is true that nowadays this disease is becoming ‘younger”. Which changes appear under osteochondritis?

Most of all the intervertebral discs suffer from it. These cartilage plates have excellent absorbing abilities, at that they are quite unpretentious and very “patient”. But when is the osteochondritis developing they lose their properties, particularly to absorb the loads.

Additionally the lack on nutrition which is common with the osteochondritis leads to damages and in its turn it leads to the disc herniation appearance. Special attention should be paid to nutrition of the intervertebral discs. It is notorious that in this cartilaginous tissues there are not any blood vessels and they get their nutrient materials in the very interesting way from the neighboring tissues by diffusion. And in that is the sense of the problem.

First of all, the discs can get sufficient quantity of nutrient materials under condition that these materials are enough in the neighboring tissues. And if to take into our consideration nowadays style of life of the most people which prefer fast food, in which there are not any healthy components, it is a real problem, because there is nothing to supply to the discs.

Secondly, the diffusion can work properly only if the person moves, has some physical activities, in other words there must be necessary loads on muscles and ligaments of the spine. Nowadays for many people it is a problem, because they lead sedentary life, without any physical activities. This style of life is determined very often by necessity, for example particular nature of profession or job.

How the disc herniation is formed?

What is an intervertebral disc? How does it look like? There is a nucleus pulposus inside it, this nucleus pulposus is responsible for absorbing property of the disc. There is a fibrous ring around the fibrous pulposus; the task of the last is to keep the nucleus pulposus in its place. As we have already understood under the influence of the osteochondritis the nucleus pulposus starts to lose its properties. What is going on further?

The lack of nutrition affects also the fibrous ring. It starts to weaken, some cracks appears in it. At the same time, the nucleus pulposus which lost its properties has the same loads as before. As a result it starts to make high pressure on the fibrous ring in “the mode of a bush hammer”, all loads which take the spine, automatically goes to the fibrous ring. As the fibrous ring has been damaged because of lack of the nutrients, it cannot resist any more the normal pressure endless, at some certain moment the nucleus pulposus will find some weak point, which gets the main loads. What will be the result? The wall of the fibrous ring which is under pressure starts to bulge, the protrusion appears finally.

Process of protrusion formation practically always goes without any symptoms, so this stage of the disease is “successfully overlooked” by people. The most offensive thing is that on this stage of the disease it is possible to stop it. But the disease is not revealed and the protrusion is going on its development, and at some moment the fibrous ring cannot stand the pressure and it breaks, through this breakage the nucleus pulposus goes out of the intervertebral disc. This is the disc herniation.

This slopped nucleus is firm enough to make serious pressure on the neighboring with the disc nerve terminals and nervous roots of the spinal cord; this causes the pain syndrome and neurological symptoms. The organism on the level of reflexes tries to immobilize the affected area with the help of muscles tension, after some time the muscles become “tired”, and the muscles spasms start, which increase the pain syndrome.

When does the risk of operation arise?

You should not think that the appearance of the disc herniation automatically leads to operation. Indeed the operation is always considered to be the last resort method, which is applied in the most serious cases. Namely, when it is not possible to cope with the pain syndrome for a long period of time, and the disc herniation starts to disturb the functioning of the internal organs. The last reason is a direct surgical indication, because for example, the disc herniation in the lumbar part of the spine can disturb the functioning of the pelvic organs, there can appear some serious problems in the bladder and intestinal tract functioning, under some serious cases even the paraplegia is possible. In the last case even operation cannot always return mobility to the paralyzed legs.

In other cases, doctors use conservative methods of treatment very successfully.

Let us try to avoid operation?

gr-pozv2In general, not any doctor will send you directly to the surgical table. Practically always he/she will try to treat you with the help of conservative methods. It’s a good thing that in the majority of cases this treatment is quite successful and gives the necessary results. So, what is the conservative treatment?

First of all bed rest is prescribed for the patient for several days, a little bit later it is changed for partial time bed rest and etc., till the moment the patient can return to his/her usual normal and active way of life.

The main medicines prescribed for the disc herniation treatment are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. They give an opportunity to remove the inflammation in the affected area, and thanks to this the compression of the nervous roots decreases and it means that the pain syndrome will be removed. But there is one problem, it is not possible to apply these medicines for a long period of time, they have some negative adverse effects. That is why these medicines can be applied only by a doctor’s prescription and only under his control.

During the acute period of the disease, when the pain is the strongest, along with the anti-inflammatory medicines the doctor can prescribe some analgesics. The patient should understand, that the absence of pain does not mean full recovery; this is only temporary effect of the medicine applied. The doctor prescribes them only to soothe sufferings of the patient.

The statement “if there is no ache, so there is no problem” is a mistake, it can cause to worth situation, because the problem has not disappeared, and additional loads will bring only harm.

On this stage of the disease this treatment is sufficient. In some cases strong drugs can be used, which remove inflammatory more effectively (but they bring more harm to the organism), and muscle relaxants, which give an opportunity to cope with the spasm of muscles, and some other medications. Also analgesic blocks are widely used, under which injections with analgesic medication are administered around the affected area, in most cases it is novocain. This block will be effective for sufficiently long period of time and remove the pain syndrome very effectively.

Movement is life!

When it is possible to cut the pain syndrome, then a real treatment can start. You do not need any medications; the main stress is made on the movement therapy and massages. The task is very easy, it is necessary to bring the ligaments and the muscles of the spine to a normal “working” state, to improve diffusion on the area of the spine. In some cases even a special diet can be prescribed. It is true the main task of this diet is to get rid of the excessive weight (it is also a very important thing), but also to supply the organism with all necessary nutrient materials.

When there are problems with the back the most effective preventative measure is sufficient physical activity (without excessive loads on the back), it prevents development of osteochondritis and disc herniation appearance.