Rückenleiden & Ursachen

Presentations of disease: Osteochondrosis and secondary stenosis of the spinal canal

The intervertebral disk which has contracted because of deficient nourishment can no longer equally serve in the same capacity of a spacer / shock-absorber as a healthy intervertebral disk does. As a consequence, vertebras come closer and their loading increases. Under this loading the vertebra reacts: the joint gets worn-out, becomes “rougher”. Often, such roughening is accompanied by osseous growth towards the canal of the spinal cord (the cerebrospinal canal). Therefore, the canal of the spinal cord becomes narrower than that in the case of a healthy intervertebral disk. In such situations one speaks of (secondary) stenosis of the cerebrospinal canal conditioned by damage to intervertebral disks.

When such secondary stenosis of the cerebrospinal canal emerges, the nerve finds itself in a still more restricted space. Then one speaks of nerve compression.

Nerve compression makes patients complain of pains in the back and legs. Large distances are increasingly more difficult to cover on foot. Frequently, patients are forced to take a break after a few meters, rest for a while, and resume their trip only to cover a distance still shorter than the previous one. What is particularly noticeable is that many patients with secondary stenosis of the cerebrospinal canal feel relieved when slightly bending the upper part of the body forwards. Quite often this is accompanied by the fact that one feels better by walking slowly up the hill than running down. This leads to sprain of the head and cavities of joints, and subsequently – to the sprain of ligaments of internal surfaces of joints (“facets”), that is why one speaks of the facet syndrome. Such patients’ complaints are connected with morning difficulties after an active day begins. These sometimes may last for hours just like in the case of turning round when lying. In general, the facet syndrome difficulties are alleviated by continuous walking. Complaints refer to pains in the loin, sometimes irradiated from the buttock to the thigh.