Chondrosis is a serious disease, manifested by degenerative-dystrophic process in the cartilage tissue which makes up the intervertebral discs. In 80% of cases it occurs in men and women older than 55 years, but may appear in people at a young age.
The main danger of the disease lies in the fact that in the initial stages it is virtually asymptomatic. When the first signs of disease, to eliminate it can be very difficult and sometimes impossible.
What is the difference between chondrosis from osteoarthritis
This question can put a person far from medicine, to a standstill. Many inexperienced patients believe that these are two different names for the same phenomenon. However, the difference between the concepts is still there.
Chondrosis is the initial stage in the development of osteoarthritis. This is the stage of the disease, where the pathological process captures only the vertebrae and does not extend to the surrounding tissue.
Under the influence of various factors the cartilage becomes thinner and is destroyed, is replaced by fibrous. Then there is the ossification of the surrounding layers. There is pain, stiffness in the movements and other unpleasant symptoms.
The disease can develop in any part of the spine: cervical, thoracic or lumbar. It can capture the cartilage tissue and in other areas. If the pathology appears in the cartilaginous parts of the ribs, it is called intercostal chondrosis.
Low back pain is the next stage of the disease. It occurs when the destructive process involves not only the drives but also the ligaments, vertebrae, and cartilage. Possible compression of the nerve roots, which leads to severe pain.
Chondrosis: symptoms and signs
Chondrosis is the initial stage of the development of serious disease, so its symptoms often are mild. Sometimes they are completely absent.
The main manifestations of the disease include:
- Pain in the back
As a rule, they are weak, but because the patients rarely go for this reason to the doctor. They can occur after exercise or prolonged stay in one position (if you work at a computer, driving, etc.). Their localization can differ depending on the affected spinal segment (cervical, thoracic or lumbar). Sometimes the patient can be “shot”, but they quickly pass.
- Characteristic crunch
This is a specific sound that occurs during movements and turns. It appears in that case, if an abnormal condition develops in the cervical or thoracic spine. If the patient has intercostal or thoracic chondrosis, this feature is practically absent.
- Numbness and tingling
In the area of the affected vertebrae can result in unpleasant sensations: tingling, burning, etc. If the discomfort caused by the pinched rear or front horn of the spinal cord, it is called radicular syndrome. Sometimes the disease leads to numbness in the neck or shoulders, which is very scary patients.
- The deterioration of the psychological state
If the pain is constant and aching in nature, it leads to insomnia and anxiety. The person becomes irritable and aggressive.
These are the basic signs of chondrosis, to which may be added other symptoms, specific to a particular section of the spine.
The lack of treatment at the initial stage leads to the progression of the disease and its transition into the next phase of osteochondrosis. It differs from the previous compression of nerve endings and more severe pain. At this stage, diagnosis of disease is facilitated: the development of chondrosis is possible only by using magnetic resonance or computed tomography.
Signs of cervical chondrosis
The pathological process in the cervical spine can manifest itself in different ways. In some cases, the patient experiences severe pain when turning the head, in other situations, the discomfort increases gradually. On the development of problem eloquently the following symptoms:
Cervical chondrosis – the most dangerous kind of disease, because it can lead to compression of the artery that supplies blood to the brain, and compression of individual elements of the spinal cord.
In the acute form of disease the person is difficult even to turn his head because of simple movement causing severe pain as “lumbago”.
Breast chondrosis: key features
This is the least common form of the disease. This is due to the low mobility of the thoracic spine. Discs are not subjected to heavy loads and practically not injured, and therefore the pathological process captures them rarely and slow.
In the early stages the symptoms of the disease are virtually absent, and therefore diagnosis is very difficult.
The main manifestations of the disease include:
- discomfort in the back area;
- pain in the chest;
- the distribution of discomfort in the left arm, shoulder blade or in the neck.
Due to unexpressed symptoms of breast chondrosis is often confused with other diseases: intercostal neuralgia, disorders of the heart, etc. to Distinguish pathology allow three special features:
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- the dependence of the intensity of pain from movement and physical activity;
- the lack of communication between it and the consumption of nitroglycerin;
- localization of pain in the spine, noticeable when prostukivanii.
Early diagnosis is very important because the development of chondrosis in the sternum leads to poor circulation and the appearance of serious violations in the work of the lungs and heart.
Signs of lumbar chondrosis
A key symptom of lumbar chondrosis – a feeling of tightness and pain in the lower back. In the early stages of the disease they occur only in the presence of precipitating factors: prolonged stay in one uncomfortable position, physical activity, hypothermia, etc.
Acute chondrosis is characterized by severe pain, which becomes more intense even when sneezing or coughing. Unpleasant sensations give in the buttocks, lower limbs and sacrum. In severe forms of the disease the patient is difficult to even get out of bed, bend down to lift any object.
The progression of the disease can lead to numbness in the calf, thigh or buttocks. These symptoms are caused by compression of nerve endings and the gradual transformation of illness in low back pain.