Exercises for osteochondrosis.

Exercise is an effective method of treating osteochondrosis: it helps to tone muscles, improve the functioning of the functions of the musculoskeletal system and joints. It is recommended to use in parallel with other methods, such as massage, manual therapy.

Osteochondrosis is a disease of the spine, characterized by degenerative changes in the intervertebral discs, leading to loss of their density and integrity (cracks appear). Loading on the spine can cause the disc to move into the spinal canal (disc protrusion) or the nucleus pulposus to protrude from the surrounding annulus fibrosus (intervertebral herniation).

As a rule, the development of the disease is promoted by a sedentary lifestyle, rare physical activity (decreases the tone of the musculoligamentous apparatus of the spine). Special exercises can slow down the course of osteochondrosis.

Regular exercise therapy aimed at stretching the vertebrae has a positive effect on the condition of the spine and the body as a whole:

  • back muscles are strengthened;
  • improves the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the cartilage and bone tissues of the spine;
  • normalizes blood circulation, metabolism in cartilage;
  • the process of eliminating toxins and toxins is accelerated.

A set of therapeutic exercises is used both to alleviate the condition with osteochondrosis and to prevent the onset of the disease.

osteochondrosis and its treatment with exercises

The figure shows part of the spinal column, the area where the intervertebral disc is located (between the vertebrae) is surrounded by a black circle. The intervertebral disc plays the role of a shock absorber - it protects the vertebrae from rubbing against each other when walking, sitting and straining. With an inactive lifestyle, in the human body, the metabolism is disturbed, as a result of which the intervertebral discs do not receive the required amount of nutrients; this is how degenerative changes begin, the nucleus pulposus loses moisture and the elasticity of the disc. This, in turn, leads to an increased load on the vertebrae, and indeed on the entire spine and back muscles.

The effect of exercise

In the acute period of the course of osteochondrosis, therapeutic exercises are not used. To improve the patient's well-being, stretching of the spine along its axis is prescribed. An increase in the distance between the vertebrae leads to muscle relaxation, a decrease in irritation of the nerve roots (decrease in pain). With an exacerbation of the disease, it is recommended to change the soft bed to a hard one.

Therapeutic exercise has a positive effect in the early stages of the development of osteochondrosis. It stimulates the biological and physiological processes within the body: blood circulation improves, muscle tone improves, the functions of the spinal movement segment are restored.

In general, the regular use of therapeutic exercises helps to:

  • strengthen the muscles of the hands and the musculo-ligamentous apparatus;
  • improve blood flow and lymphatic circulation;
  • improve metabolic processes in the affected tissues of the spine;
  • correct wrong posture;
  • restore the motor and support functions of the spine.

In the early stages of osteochondrosis, physiotherapy is aimed at reducing the irritation of the nerve roots in contact with the affected intervertebral discs. Despite the positive result of the use of gymnastics, it is necessary to perform only those exercises that do not cause increased pain.

Indications for exercise therapy.

The main objective of the exercise is to strengthen the muscles, the cartilaginous tissues that support the vertebrae. The exercises should be done slowly, without sudden movements, completely relaxed.

Do not overwork during classes - only moderate loads contribute to recovery (metabolism improves, muscle condition improves, work of the spine resumes, shock-absorbing functions of intervertebral discs).

It is not recommended to perform exercises with acute pain and without first consulting a doctor. It is better to engage in physical education under the supervision of a qualified specialist (physiotherapist), but you can do it yourself.

To achieve a positive result, training must be carried out every day. First, all exercises are repeated no more than 5 times, then the number of approaches is increased to 10-12 times (as the muscles get stronger).

The frequency of performing physiotherapy exercises.

All exercises prescribed by a doctor for the treatment of osteochondrosis should be performed regularly. In addition, patients whose activities are related to sedentary work are recommended to warm up directly at the workplace (when possible, but preferably every hour).

Strengthening the muscles is necessary at any opportunity. Even light workouts with their regular performance will help avoid recurrences of the acute phase of osteochondrosis and reduce the intensity of pain.

The effect of using physical therapy exercises for spinal diseases is felt immediately after classes (with properly selected gymnastics). The choice of a set of exercises should be made by a doctor based on the general picture of the disease (the stage of development of osteochondrosis, the type of damaged structures, the form of the disease).

You don't need to stop exercising. If you feel unwell, there is no relief, you need to contact your doctor - he will prescribe a new set of exercises.

When is exercise contraindicated?

Performing exercises for osteochondrosis helps to improve well-being, prevents fusion of the vertebrae during destructive processes in the spinal discs. Its use is basically recommended for all patients, but exceptions are possible.

Conducting exercise therapy is contraindicated in such cases:

  • acute period of the course of osteochondrosis;
  • postoperative period (in the early stages of recovery of the spine);
  • neurological diseases accompanied by impaired coordination of movement;
  • High blood pressure;
  • disorders of the vestibular apparatus;
  • blurred vision (severe myopia), high intraocular pressure;
  • dysfunctions of the cardiovascular system (for example, arrhythmia);
  • deterioration of the patient's condition due to a complication of a chronic disease, a serious illness.

Physical education is not carried out: fasting, after eating or with excessive physical exertion.

A positive result from the use of physical education is possible with an integrated approach to the implementation of therapeutic exercises. In this case, only those exercises should be done, after which the condition of the muscles improves significantly (working capacity increases, tension decreases).

If you feel worse during or after gymnastics, it's best to stop them and make sure you go to the doctor.

Cervical osteochondrosis: what exercises are effective?

The disease manifests itself in different segments of the spine, but degenerative-dystrophic changes are most often observed in the cartilaginous and bone structures of the cervical region. The main reason is the constant stay in an uncomfortable and tense position. Those most likely to develop the disease are people over 25 years of age.

To perform physiotherapy exercises with cervical osteochondrosis, special physical training is not needed. Each patient can easily do the following exercises:

  1. We sit on a chair, straighten our backs, stretch our necks. Then we make 5-10 slow turns of the head: to the left and right side (we try to turn the neck as much as possible). The result of physical education is an improvement in the motor functions of the cervical vertebrae.
  2. In a standing position, tilt your head down, trying to bring your chin to your chest. Repeat the slopes 10 times. (If it is not possible to reach the chest, we try to bring the head as close to it as possible).
  3. We sat at the table, leaning on it with our elbows. We put the palm of the hand on the temple, tilt the head to the side, while creating resistance with the hand (hold in this position for about 10 seconds). We do the exercise no more than 10 times with a break of 8-10 seconds. The effect of performing such gymnastics is to strengthen the lateral muscles of the neck.
  4. We lie on our stomach to ensure complete relaxation of the muscles. We pass our hands along the body (palms up). Then, with slow movements, we turn our heads to the left, then to the right (up to 10 turns in each direction), constantly returning to the starting position - face down.
  5. We sit down, lean forward, inhale deeply (the head reaches the chest). Exhaling, we return to the starting position, throw our head back. We repeat the exercise 10-15 times.

It is recommended to perform all exercises in combination with other types of therapeutic exercises. Systematic conduct of such physical education with cervical osteochondrosis strengthens the muscles and helps relieve pain.

Exercises for the muscles of the shoulder girdle.

The shoulder joint connects the clavicle, shoulder blade, and arm bones, providing greater mobility of the upper extremity. Incorrect posture, which has been formed over the years, leads to a decrease in its functions - stooping and stiffness of the shoulders appear. With chronic tension of the shoulder girdle, the mobility of the ribs worsens, breathing becomes difficult.

Exercises aimed at developing the muscles of the shoulder girdle are used as prevention of the occurrence of diseases of the spine - osteochondrosis and intervertebral hernia.

It is not recommended to start exercising after injuries or damage to the shoulder joint without consulting a doctor.

When doing gymnastics, it is necessary to monitor posture, the correct position of the legs (they should be shoulder-width apart) and the body (you cannot lean forward). Only then will the load on the back, arms, neck muscles and shoulder girdle be evenly distributed.

The first exercises are performed slowly, then gradually increase the speed of movements. This technique of performing gymnastics prevents the appearance of muscle pain after exercise.

Exercises for the development of the shoulder girdle, shoulders, consists of the following exercises:

  1. We separate the feet at shoulder height, putting the hands on the belt. We make turns with our shoulders forward, then in the opposite direction.
  2. I put the injured hand on the good shoulder. We put the second hand on the elbow of the diseased limb, carefully pull the injured arm up.
  3. We take our hands behind the back, connect them in a lock so that the diseased limb is on top. Gently pull the affected arm with the healthy limb down.

This type of exercise improves blood circulation, accelerates metabolic processes in damaged tissues. Gymnastics in the school physical education program has a similar effect.

With osteochondrosis, power loads are undesirable, as they can increase pain. A regular light warm-up gives a positive effect: a feeling of joy appears, the pain disappears.

In case of cervical and shoulder disease, in addition to exercises, the use of compresses based on Dimexide and Bishofit is allowed.

A set of exercises for thoracic osteochondrosis.

Spinal deformation in the thoracic region is the result of poor posture, weakening of the spinal muscles due to lack of regular training. Degenerative changes in this part of the spine often lead to disruption of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems: angina pectoris, arrhythmia, pulmonary and heart failure appear.

This is why physiotherapy is so important. Performing a correctly selected set of exercises will allow you to resume the motor functions of the spinal segments, free the locked vertebrae, reduce pain attacks.

Elimination of the main symptoms of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine contributes to physical education, which consists of the following exercises:

  1. To perform the exercise, you need to take a roller with a diameter of up to 10 centimeters (a rolled-up towel will do). We lie on our backs, put a roller under the thoracic region (its lower part). Putting your hands under the back of your head, slowly raise your back (repeat several times). Then we shift the roller along the column (up), do the exercise again. The uniform study of different parts of the thoracic region stretches the spine and tones the muscles.
  2. Get on all fours - bend your back as much as possible, stay in this position for a few seconds (keeping your head straight). After that, we take the starting position, then we repeat the exercise.
  3. Lie on your side, bending your knees. We pull the right leg up (tighten the muscles, move the thigh to the side as much as possible), fix the position of the leg for 5-10 seconds and lower it. We repeat the same with the second section.
  4. We lie on a flat surface with our stomach down, put our hands under our heads. While inhaling, we raise the shoulders and body, while exhaling, we return to the starting position. We do the exercise at least 3-4 times. As the muscles get stronger, we increase the number of approaches.
  5. We sit on a chair (with a back), lean on it with our backs. We lean back to feel the muscles of the thoracic region stretch. After that, we make smooth bends forward. It is necessary to do 4-5 such approaches.

Doctors do not recommend overloading the muscles during exercise therapy. Only moderate gymnastic exercises can bring benefits and pleasure, help restore the spine after illness.

Exercises for lumbar osteochondrosis.

There is an opinion that back pain is humanity's payment for walking upright. After all, it is this section of the spine that bears the entire load when walking, acting as a shock absorber.

As practice shows, people who neglect an active lifestyle suffer from lower back pain much more often. Daily exercise helps not only to get rid of unpleasant pain, but also to prevent the development of degenerative-dystrophic processes in the bone and cartilage tissues of the musculoskeletal system.

Therapeutic exercise for lumbosacral osteochondrosis strengthens, stretches the dorsal and abdominal muscles. In the first lessons, the exercises are performed lying down: in this position, the load on the back is small, there is no risk of increased pain.

The positive effect of the use of gymnastics is manifested in the following:

  • improvement of blood and lymphatic circulation;
  • normalization of metabolic processes in bones, cartilage tissues of the spine;
  • elimination of congestion in the pelvic organs;
  • muscle strengthening;
  • traction of the nerve roots of the spinal cord;
  • restoration of the functions of the musculoskeletal system.

Gymnastics promotes protein production in muscle tissues. Entering the body, they stimulate the work of the main systems.

The following exercises can alleviate the condition with lumbar osteochondrosis:

  1. We lie on our back, firmly press the lower back to the floor, bending the knees. We stretch our hands to our legs, try to hug them (while not ripping the lower back off the floor! ). We stay in this position for 5 seconds, go down, relax the muscles. Repeat the exercise 40 times (for two series).
  2. We bring the legs together, pull them to the stomach, bending at the knee. We bring our legs together with our hands, fix the position, after which we slowly stretch our head to our knees. We sink to the ground (slowly), returning to the starting position.
  3. Get on all fours, keep your back straight. We cross with our hands to the left, bending the torso in the same direction, and then to the right (when turning, we keep the body bent for several seconds). Repeat the exercise (at least 10 times).
  4. Starting position: on all fours. Raise your head as you arch your back. Then we do everything in the reverse order: we lower our heads, gently arching the spine.
  5. We stand upright: keep our legs straight, put our hands on the belt. We lean forward and backward as much as possible. You need to do 10 deep inclines in each direction.
  6. We sit on the floor: we raise our hands (palms "face" forward), bend to the legs, trying to touch the toes with our hands. This type of gymnastics helps to strengthen the spinal and abdominal muscles: when leaning forward, the back works, while backwards - the press.

Treatment of lumbar osteochondrosis should be aimed at restoring the functions of the spine, eliminating pain, and is carried out in a complex way. In addition to drug therapy, massage procedures, traction, physiotherapy exercises have a positive effect. Strengthens the muscle corset, helps reduce the load on the spinal discs.