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Osteochondrosis. Benefits of Shock Wave Therapy at the Awatage Medical Center



When we hear the word "osteochondrosis", in our imagination the image of a stooped elderly man, clutching at his lower back, with a grimace of pain on his face, is involuntarily born. Such an idea is not far from the truth. However, few people think that this problem is by no means a pathology of exclusively elderly and senile age. A complex of painful changes in the spine begins to develop at the age of 20-30, when a person is seemingly at the peak of his physical form.

Destructive processes in the intervertebral discs gradually progress over decades, often at first not manifesting themselves clinically, and the first manifestations of the disease make few people seek medical help. According to statistics, at least 70-80% of the adult population have experienced back pain at least once in their lives.

Such a high prevalence of back pain (scientifically, "dorsalgia") often misleads the doctor and the patient, as a result of which insufficient attention is paid to the treatment and prevention of degenerative-dystrophic diseases of the spine. With early and timely treatment of osteochondrosis, it is possible to significantly slow down the progression of the disease and return to the patient one of the most important values ​​- the ability to move.

What is osteochondrosis?

Osteochondrosis is a Greek term (from ancient Greek - bone and cartilage), and is defined as a complex of dystrophic disorders in the inter-articular cartilage. Simply put, these are metabolic disorders. Most often, this disease appears in women, but it is more painful in men. It can develop in almost any joint, but intervertebral discs are most often affected. Depending on the localization, cervical, thoracic and lumbar osteochondrosis are distinguished.


Osteochondrosis is the most common cause of back pain, migraine, and headaches. Many scientists consider these changes to be a consequence of the body's natural aging process. Inattentive attitude to posture, nutrition, as well as bad habits are some of the few causes of osteochondrosis.

What happens in the body with osteochondrosis of the spine?

Our spine is a pillar made up of 33-34 bones (vertebrae) and the connecting cartilage pads (intervertebral discs), ligaments, muscles and joints.

The intervertebral disc consists of the nucleus pulposus, the annulus fibrosus and the hyaline cartilage covering it above and below. In case of impaired blood circulation in the spine, a gradual drying out and a decrease in the height of the disc occurs, which leads to a loss of its strength, elasticity and elasticity.

The annulus fibrosus of the intervertebral disc is represented by connective tissue. Under the influence of the load on the spine, the nucleus pulposus is displaced towards the injury (a protrusion is formed). With a complete rupture of the annulus fibrosus, an intervertebral hernia forms, which is accompanied by severe back pain.

Stages of osteochondrosis

The emerging protrusion or hernia leads to displacement of the vertebrae and compression of the nerve roots and blood vessels. Degenerative-dystrophic changes in the intervertebral disc lead to curvature of the entire spine, damage to individual vertebrae, which are deformed, and acute bone outgrowths (osteophytes) are formed in the thickenings of their processes. The ligaments of the spine, which provided its strength and mobility, ossify.

What contributes to osteochondrosis?

First of all, a sedentary and sedentary lifestyle. We spend most of the time in non-physiological and uncomfortable positions, which contributes to irrational and asymmetrical work of the back muscles.

An example of such positions is sitting at the computer, improper habitual postures at the desk, when lifting and carrying weights, as well as performing other work in which the pressure in the discs and the load on the spine as a whole increase, 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 adequate cushioning of interactions with the support, the latter has to be done by the spinal column. The biomechanics of the skeleton is completely changed, which leads to an increase in the load on the spine and acceleration of degenerative processes.

Obesity also contributes to osteochondrosis of the spine. Excessive adipose tissue, deposited in different places, complicates the maintenance of balance and overloads the intervertebral joints.

Other risk factors are unhealthy diet (protein deficiency, increased consumption of fatty foods, sweets); smoking; increased physical activity; spinal injury; posture disorders.

Also worth mentioning is the wearing of high heels in women, abrupt cessation of training by professional athletes, nervous overstrain and stressful situations.

Stages of osteochondrosis

Stages of osteochondrosis:

What is osteochondrosis manifested in?

To make sure that you have no osteochondrosis, it is enough to answer a few questions in the negative.

If you answered yes to at least one of the questions, you should not hesitate to contact a specialist: an orthopedic traumatologist or a neurologist. The above symptoms are most often found in osteochondrosis, but they can also be in other, more serious diseases. In addition to a medical examination, additional examination methods may be required (x-ray of the spine, computed or magnetic resonance imaging).

In the absence of adequate treatment, weight loss and atrophy of the limbs occurs, posture and mobility of different parts of the spine are impaired. Back pain syndrome progresses, leading to the patient's disability.

When the hernias of the intervertebral discs compress the nerve roots, such formidable symptoms as impaired sensitivity and weakness of the muscles of the limbs, excruciating radicular pain in the back and extremities (which cannot be treated with conventional pain medications), urinary and fecal incontinence can develop.

Prevention of osteochondrosis

Prevention measures are quite simple. They include an active lifestyle (athletics, running, swimming are preferred), daily exercises for the back muscles. Without the latter, it is impossible to create a full-fledged muscle corset that stabilizes the structure of the spine and will reduce the load on the intervertebral discs and joints.

lechit_osteohondroz_kiev_awatagePrevention of osteochondrosis

Also important are the fight against excess weight and proper nutrition, giving up bad habits. It should be remembered about the hygiene of carrying weights, avoid jerking movements when lifting heavy objects, evenly load the back. For everyday purposes, backpacks are preferred over shoulder bags.

It is worth avoiding hypothermia of the back in the cold season, as well as injuries and bruises of the spine.

Treatment of osteochondrosis

The effect of treatment depends on the form of the disease, the severity, correctness and timeliness of treatment. A complete cure is possible only in the initial stages.

But it is possible to prevent exacerbations of osteochondrosis, not to feel pain for years. If a person had osteochondrosis, but now he does not feel discomfort, this does not mean that he has passed without a trace. Changes in the spine are fundamentally irreparable, but it is possible to ensure that they do not affect the patient's quality of life.

The main task is to suspend the development of the disease and do everything possible so that some of the pathological changes in the spine disappear, and symptoms such as back pain, cold snap and numbness of hands, feet, headaches, dizziness, etc. disappear or decrease.

Also, the treatment of osteochondrosis should be complex, that is, include many methods aimed at different symptoms and links of the pathological process. A number of drug and non-drug treatment methods are used:

1. Medication therapy:

The place of shock wave therapy (SWT) in the treatment of osteochondrosis of the spine

Shockwave therapy is a method of exposure to regulated infrasonic shock waves, which are focused in a given area of ​​the body, providing a precisely targeted therapeutic effect without damaging other tissues of the body.

Since the 90s of the twentieth century, the method of shock wave therapy has been widely used to treat diseases of the musculoskeletal system, as restorative procedures for injuries and slow bone fusion. The high effect of shock wave therapy in the treatment of spinal pathology is confirmed by long-term observations of leading European clinics.

Treatment of osteochondrosis with shock wave therapy at the Awatage clinic

The shock wave exerts mechanical pressure on the affected tissue. It improves microcirculation and metabolic processes at the cellular level in cartilage, bone and muscle tissue. Thus, the root cause of osteochondrosis of the spine is eliminated, namely, metabolic disorders in the cartilage tissue of intervertebral joints and discs.

The pressure of the shock wave leads to the formation of, among other things, the so-called cavitation bubbles. When cavitation bubbles burst in the human body, the released energy causes the destruction of calcium deposits in soft tissues, as well as bone growths (osteophytes) on the bodies and arches of the vertebrae.

Shock wave therapy stimulates the functioning of fibroblast and osteoblast cells, which are responsible for the formation of connective tissue, including bone tissue.

The closest analgesic (analgesic) effect of shock wave therapy is associated with a rhythmic high-energy effect on nerve endings in painful areas, which causes inhibition of the nerve impulse. A further decrease in pain syndrome can be explained by the stimulation of microcirculation (blood circulation in small vessels) and the growth of new capillaries (angeoneogenesis - for the first time in medicine) in the focus of degenerative-dystrophic processes.

The shockwave effectively eliminates spasm of the back muscles, which can also be one of the leading causes of pain.

Shock wave therapy can be successfully used with all methods of complex treatment of osteochondrosis, which will accelerate the onset of the desired effect.

Advantages of SWT in the treatment of spinal osteochondrosis: