Back pain and low back pain – often caused by Discopathy.
Below we will look at the methods of treatment of Discopathy.
The spine is formed by vertebrae that have small, porous intervertebral discs. They form a fibrocartilage joint which allows a small amount of movement between the individual vertebral bodies, and plays the role of a link that holds them together. Their role as shock absorbers in the spine is crucial in transferring the weight of the head and shoulder girdle to the pelvis and legs.
Each intervertebral disc is made up of an outer fibrous ring, in the center of which is a core with a jelly-like structure. The fibrous ring is made up of several layers of type 1 and type 2 collagen. The first type of collagen is located on the outer part of the ring, where more strength is needed. This is very important so that it can withstand the forces of pressure exerted on the core. On the other hand, the fibrous ring also protects the bone structure of the vertebrae from damage when greater compressive forces are applied. The soft core contains free fibers in a medium of semi-liquid protein gel. It absorbs the stress of the forces of pressure on the vertebrae and at the same time keeps them separated from each other.
There is one intervertebral disc between every two vertebrae, except for between the first cervical vertebra (atlas) and the second (axis) where there is no such disc, due to the peculiarity of their functionality. The intervertebral cartilaginous discs are 23 in number – 6 cervical, 12 thoracic and 5 lumbar.
Due to the peculiarity of this structure, certain changes in the seemingly healthy intervertebral discs are possible. When severe changes occur in the fibrous ring or nucleus that impair its functionality and integrity, the main symptom is back pain, which is diagnosed as discopathy.
It can occur at any level in the spine, but is more common in the lumbar region, followed by the cervical and rarely in the thoracic.
Causes of Discopathy are:
- Degenerative changes in the intervertebral discs – 40 years ago 25% of people showed an increased level of changes in one or more areas, and for people over 40 years this was 60%. Over time, the nucleus dehydrates and the level of proteoglycans decreases. The elastic function of the nucleus decreases and cannot effectively absorb the forces of pressure between the vertebrae. The thickness of the intervertebral disc decreases with age, which is due to and decreases in total body height.
- Possible injuries to the spine, which affect the structure of the intervertebral discs and weaken their function. Small cracks can be observed, which compromise the strength of the fibrous ring. This is a prerequisite for the pressure exerted on the nucleus to cause a more serious rupture over time, to push it out to the spinal canal, at the base of the spinal nerves.
Symptoms of Discopathy:
- Pain of varying intensity, located in the area close to the damaged intervertebral disc.
- Numbness or muscle spasms, again, in the affected area of the spine.
- A combination of the previous two, which are already associated with impaired blood circulation, which can also cause irritation of the roots of the spinal nerves. This leads to a feeling of tingling and muscle weakness along the course of the affected nerve.
You can see all this with the following video:
Treatment of Discopathy
Treatment of discopathy with allopathic medicine:
- Medication treatment
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs – ibuprofen, diclofenac, indomethacin, nimesulide, noramidopyrine and others in the form of tablets, capsules, creams, and gels.
- Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – oral forms of prednisone and methylprednisolone
- Epidural injections of corticosteroid
- Conservative treatment includes
- Bed rest with a slight reduction in risky physical activity
- Physiotherapy and rehabilitation (kinesitherapy), manual therapy
- Weight control to normal values
- Laser therapy
- Prolotherapy – injection of glucose, dextrose, platelet plasma, bone marrow or adipose tissue into the affected area
In case of severe pain and inability to control the symptoms, you can contact a specialized medical center.
Treatment of discopathy with Alternative Medicine
- Homeopathic treatment of discopathy:
- Pain and tingling coming from disorders of fibro-cartilage structures:
RUS TOXICODENDRON 9 CH, ARNICA MONTANA 9 CH, POTASSIUM BICHROMICUM 5 CH, RUTA GRAVEOLENS 5 CH, RADIUM BROMATUM 9 CH
Treatment of discopathy with Ayurveda medicine
Ayurveda believes that this problem is due to the imbalance of Vata energy.
- Panchakarma procedures
- Snehana – external therapy with body oil
- Bashpa Sweda – steam therapy with herbal decoctions
- Ruksha Sweda – heat therapy with cotton bags filled with herbal powder
- Virechana therapy – use of a laxative
- Matra Vasti – enema with healing oil
- Kashaya Vasti – enema with healing oil, herbal decoction, and honey
In Bulgaria, treatment of discopathy with the methods of Panchakarma is carried out in an Ayurveda clinic.
Treatment of discopathy with yoga poses
You can start a practice by gradually going through several stages.
- Stage 1 perform lighter postures, in the period of acute and severe pain
- Stage 2 is performed when the pain is reduced
- Uttitha Ardha Shalabasana
- Ardha Chakrasana
- Stage 3 is performed when the pain has disappeared
In each of the three stages, one hour before or 2 hours after the evening meal, Pawanmuktasana can be performed to reduce the blockages in the flow of Prana energy, which is characteristic of Discopathy.
You can sit in a chair with an upright spine and palms on your knees. Breathe diaphragmatically, deeply, and rhythmically through the nose. For 5 minutes, pay close attention as you inhale to inflating the abdomen then pressing the abdominal muscles to the spine while exhaling. This will reduce back pain and have a beneficial effect in the treatment of discopathy.
Sample video for a yoga class in the treatment of discopathy:
Often, mild to moderate discopathy can be treated conservatively and non-operatively. If you experience severe and excruciating pain with spinal movement disorders, muscle weakness, and tingling in a certain area of the body, it is a good idea to tell your doctor. The presence of the next stage of increased discopathy – disc herniation – is possible.