How to treat osteonecrosis: causes and symptoms

How to treat osteonecrosis

Osteoarthritis is a common disease of the musculoskeletal system. Its manifestations are mild discomfort and severe pain, limiting the patient's activities. In advanced cases, the pathology can lead to surgery and even disability. Preventing and preventing disease reduces the risk of occurrence or helps to achieve a positive treatment outcome.


Osteochondrosis is a disease that occurs due to a combination of many factors such as genetics, a person's lifestyle, and environmental conditions.

The disease is characterized by damage to the articular cartilage, as well as the underlying bone tissue. Normally, cartilage fibers provide flexibility and mobility to the spine, but they can wear down, lose elasticity, and deform under pressure from other vertebrae.

The most common causes of the development of pathology are:

  • genetic predisposition.
  • Weaknesses of corsets.
  • Postural disorders and curvature of the spine.
  • Mechanical damage of the spine.
  • Excessive physical activity.
  • Nervous-emotional stress.
  • Passive lifestyle.
  • Digestive tract diseases.
  • Wearing tight shoes, uncomfortable high heels.
  • General dehydration.
  • Lack of an important nutrient, beriberi.

Types of osteonecrosis


This disease is included in the list of most frequent complaints of patients of working age, who spend up to 8-10 hours a day at the computer. Often, the patient does not take the pain seriously, which leads to the development of complications. If you don't want to experience constant pain in your neck, head, and shoulders, it's important to get prevention as early as possible, and if necessary, seek medical attention as soon as possible.


The disease may have no symptoms. Often it is accompanied by pain in the back, neck, forearms. In the severe stage, thoracic osteosarcoma is manifested by symptoms such as pain in the limbs, ringing in the ears. In addition, thoracic sclerosis may be accompanied by nausea, morning headaches, pain and blinking, and sweating. To treat the disease, medication and therapeutic exercises are enough.


The lumbar spine is very vulnerable. If you are not engaged in strengthening your back muscles and do not monitor your posture, there is a risk of developing unpleasant symptoms. Osteoarthritis is characterized by low back pain, pain in the hip area, and so-called low back pain.

Take precautions. Keep your lower back warm, trying not to get too cold. Do not carry or lift objects heavier than 10 kg. If you are lifting heavy objects, do not jerk or make sudden movements. Refuse any physical work in a reclined position. If you're going to mop the floor, use a mop or squat down.

Developmental stages and symptoms of osteonecrosis

The disease goes through 4 stages, accompanied by many different symptoms. In the initial stage, the pathology occurs in the nuclear zone of the intervertebral disc. Excessive load causes a decrease in the height of the disc and the appearance of cracks in the annulus. A person may feel slight discomfort when they are in a static position for a long time or, conversely, when they are moving too actively.

In the second stage, the distance between the vertebrae continues to decrease, the muscles and ligaments of the vertebrae lose tone and sag. This leads to increased mobility of the vertebrae with the discs affected, the risk of displacement or herniation. In the second stage, discomfort and pain appear, especially with certain types of loads or in certain positions.

With grade 3 osteonecrosis, the discs prolapse and protrude, the development of fibrosis of the disc joints is possible. A person stiffens, becomes inactive. At this stage of pathology, pain is evident depending on the location of the lesion.

In stage 4, the body tries to adapt to the dysfunction of the spine. This can be expressed in osteosarcoma - osteoblasts. They act as a vertebral fixator. But it can cause pinched nerves and other injuries.


When examining the patient and taking the history, the specialist will make the primary diagnosis, suggesting the presence of disease by a visually detectable curvature in the transverse or longitudinal plane of the spine. . After the initial consultation, the surgeon or neurologist may order further testing. After determining the location of the disease and its stages, treatment can be initiated, the aim of which is to eliminate the causes of pain.

The most common diagnostic methods:

  • X ray;
  • CT;
  • Magnetic resonance imaging;
  • Doppler ultrasound.

Methods of treatment of osteonecrosis

The treatment gives good results only when it is regular, consistent and systematic. The treatment strategy of the first stage is aimed at pain relief, the second phase is the activation of blood supply and metabolism in the affected areas of the spine, and the third phase is physical therapy andmanual tricks.

With osteonecrosis of any part in the acute stage, accompanied by severe pain, the doctor may prescribe vertebral blockade by giving oral novocaine, lidocaine and other drugs to relieve muscle tension inmovement of the spine, reducing swelling and muscle tension.

Combinations of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antispasmodics, analgesics and vitamin complexes (group D, nicotinic acid) are considered effective. As a topical therapy, ointments are prescribed - chondroprotectors and substances with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory components.

It is important to remember that medication only helps to deal with severe pain in the moment. Physiotherapy treatment helps to get rid of the unpleasant manifestations of the disease in the long run.

The most commonly used therapies include:

  • Acupressure;
  • Acupuncture;
  • electrophoresis;
  • manual therapy;
  • Massage;
  • physical therapy.

What does the lack of treatment lead to?

Osteochondrosis is best corrected in the early stages of formation before the onset of the syndromes of spondylolisthesis, accompanied by chronic headaches and pain in the shoulder blades, heart and lower back. Over time, the disease leads to a change in the overall structure of the spine due to the active compensatory dilation of the connective tissue, fibrous capsule, and bone.

The clinical picture of the disease depends on the localization of the pathology, the degree of development of the process and the individual characteristics of the patient. Displaced, bulging, and herniated discs lead to unpleasant consequences.

Common symptoms:

  • violation of blood circulation in the tissues;
  • pinched nerve;
  • dysfunction of the spinal canal;
  • edema and tissue fibrosis.

Therefore, the treatment of osteonecrosis must be initiated as soon as possible and be done in a complex manner with a focus on neutralizing the inflammation and eliminating the pain. If the disease manifests itself for a long time, in an advanced stage and diagnosed with a herniated disc in the cervical vertebrae, surgery may be required.


Prevention of osteonecrosis and its treatment are closely linked. Their goal is to improve the patient's quality of life. If you have a sedentary job, take frequent breaks. Get up every hour and a half and do simple exercises that help relieve muscle tension in your neck and back. Try to sit at the table correctly: back straight, shoulders relaxed. Choosing such chairs, the backrest can provide maximum support for the spine: this way it will not be overstretched.

To prevent an attack of the disease, it is best to perform a regular massage session. Massage can improve blood circulation and lymph flow, enhance metabolism in muscle tissues, and prevent stagnation. As a result, there is an improvement in overall health, increased vitality and some painful symptoms disappear.

Recommendations for the prevention and prevention of the development of osteonecrosis:

  • Limit yourself when lifting weights. Allowable weight up to 10 kg.
  • Carry your weight evenly on both hands.
  • A systematic set of simple exercises aimed at strengthening the spine, muscles, ligaments and joints.
  • Go swimming if you can.
  • Try not to sit for long in one position.
  • Take supplements containing mucopolysaccharides - the building blocks of cartilage.

Prevention of spondylolisthesis is a less difficult task than further treatment. Think about your health and start taking care of it before it reminds you of itself.