What methods of physical therapy help with degenerative disc disease

For physiotherapy firmly entrenched the title of one of the most important components in the treatment of degenerative disc disease along with pharmaceutical pain medication, massage and exercise therapy. It is widely used in outpatient and sanatorium treatment.

Electromyostimulation in osteochondrosis

Why is it so various and popular methods of physical coercion for degenerative changes of the intervertebral disc (this process is understood under the term osteochondrosis)? Because the patient is at the time of exacerbation grateful that he relieved the pain and regained the ability to move. Pain relief achieved by taking NSAIDs. In addition to pharmaceutical drugs the doctors prescribe physiotherapy, and in some cases cost even without medication. Withdrawal symptoms of degenerative disc disease – this is the main task of physiotherapy. And here, many methods are without fail.

Purpose and goals of physiotherapy

The Effect of physiotherapy in osteochondrosis is directed on the soft tissues of the back:

  • skin;
  • muscles
  • ligaments
  • tendons.

Due to the physical influence of heat and cold, electric currents and magnetic fields, lasers and ultrasound of the affected area can relax the muscles, improve nutrition and oxygen supply. TOOOhis, in turn, reduces edema, removes inflammation, relieves pinched nerve roots. The cause of the pain and discomfort is removed.

degenerative disc disease of the lumbar

Types of physical therapy

Physical Therapy in osteochondrosis diverse and multifaceted. Select one or more procedures depending on the needs and health status of the patient. Most of the clinics and sanatoriums offer:

  • exposed to heat (paraffin, mud);
  • hydrotherapy (Charcot's douche, mineral baths);
  • the spine (Detensor-therapy and underwater traction);
  • electrical stimulation (stimulation and muscle relaxation under the influence of a weak alternating electrical current);
  • of local drug administration by using electric current, laser or ultrasound (iontophoresis, literatures, lateralising and phonophoresis);
  • ultrasonic effect on the muscles and intervertebral discs
  • treatment of low-frequency magnetic field;
  • laser irradiation of acupuncture points, the affected vertebrae and paravertebral areas;
  • reflexology using of EHF-waves
  • shock-wave therapy.

The Effectiveness of each of these procedures continues to be studied, and the safety issues and contraindications thoroughly described.


Physiotherapy treatment in case of osteochondrosis is not without purpose paraffin or mud. The calculation is simple – moderate warming relaxes the muscles, calms the nervous system, dilates the blood vessels. Lying under the warm paraffin wax or a special organic mineral mixture, the person experiences comfort, relaxes and forgets about the pain. Especially fast are the symptoms of spastic nature.

preparing for the mud therapy in osteochondrosis

The Reason for the appointment of a variety of therapy will be back pain that occurred after the surge, strong physical strain, spasm of certain groups of muscles.

A contraindication to the treatment with heat are:

  • swelling
  • inflammation
  • diseases of the internal organs;
  • high pressure
  • Oncology
  • tuberculosis
  • endocrine diseases.

When paraffin application temperature up to 55°C applied to the affected area. White paraffin wax is heated and applied with a layer of 1-1,5 cm, cover with paper or oilcloth, and top with a towel. Duration of procedure is 30 to 60 minutes.

paraffin on the back

Mud therapy can be local or in full packs. Natural mud is heated and applied to the body in a layer of 4-5 cm. To the procedure are preparing a special bed to shield the patient for deep warming. One full wrap spent about five buckets of mud.


One of the most affordable types of treatment of osteochondrosis – treatment water. Affect the sore place with mineral baths, a change of warm and cold poultices, a strong jet power shower. The first two methods are the same as warming up, and the last combines elements of massage.

The General result of water treatment will be relaxation of shortened muscles and blood flow to the affected area with subsequent beneficial effects.

Contrasting poultice can be applied even in acute and subacute moments – thanks to the ice component of the procedure does not cause swelling.

Indications and contraindications in the cases of hydrotherapy is similar to thermal treatments. Power shower is not recommended also to patients with spinal cord injuries, intervertebral hernias,in epilepsy.

physical therapy in osteochondrosis

spinal Traction

Traction is a procedure which challenged the most. However, most health centers and clinics are equipped with a variety of couches, exercise equipment, and other devices. Evidence base opponents of the method is increased and is filled with convincing arguments. It turned out that the traction, including underwater, leading to microfractures of the tissues of the intervertebral disc, thus potentially contributing to the appearance of hernias. And even the temporary cessation of pain in the neck or lower back does not justify the barbaric abuse of the vertebrae.

unlike the classic Detensor traction therapy unloads the spine without damaging the load in a natural supine position. Special edges of the mattress are arranged in such a way that there is a release trapped nerve roots and improves the nutrition of the discs.

Detensor therapy in osteochondrosis

The Procedure lasts about 30 minutes. The course is required to undergo 12 sessions. Immediately after stretching on the Mat-detentore allowed to sit for 1 hour. This time, you can devote a walk or lie down on normal beds.

The Procedure prescribed in remission with osteochondrosis, lumbago, limitation of mobility.

Express local anesthesia

Electro-, Phono-, literatures are examples of local anaesthetic drugs, which are accelerated by electrical impulses, sound waves or focused beams. The nature of the physical effects in each case its own, but the result is the same – a quick dispatch of the drug to the site of pain. As active substances used procaine, lidocaine, hyaluronidase, nicotinic acid, caffeine. The result is analgesia.

Electrophoresis in osteochondrosis

This kind of physical therapy in osteochondrosis prescribed in the acute phase. A contraindication can be heart disease, pacemaker, epilepsy, hypersensitivity treatments, pregnancy.

by Electric, magnetic, and ultrasound procedures

With the huge variety physiotherapy in osteochondrosis is aimed at warming and relaxing muscles, improving blood flow. Due to the peculiarities of each energy carrier can pick up individual treatment for each patient:

– UHF relaxes and warms the muscles;

– electrical tones relaxed stretches and releases tension from the spastic muscles;

– shock-wave therapy breaks up the calcium buildup and fibrosis, improves metabolism in the intervertebral discs;

– magnetic therapy to improve blood supply to the affected areas and removal of hypertonus of muscles in the field of osteoarthritis.

All hardware procedures should be prescribed by a doctor and be supervised by trained staff. Contraindications to treatment in case of osteochondrosis – pacemaker, epilepsy, cancer, pregnancy, individual intolerance.

laser Treatment

Focused rays in the treatment of degenerative disc disease of the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar began to use relatively recently. Nowadays doctors have proven the efficacy of the method, actively looking for the best technology of laser application and the optimal modes of exposure.

Laser therapy for degenerative disc disease

Experimentally proven benefits of laser therapy in the treatment of degenerative disc disease by the irradiation of the reflex points, groups of vertebrae, the spinous and transverse processes of the vertebrae. It is known that the laser promotes tissue regeneration of the intervertebral disc, improves circulation, reduces inflammation and swelling.

The Procedure is used for the relief of pain and in remission for recovery disks. The advantage of laser therapy is the absence of contraindications. It is safe even for older patients and in cases complicated with diseases of the cardiovascular and endocrine system.


  1. Alekseev V. V., Barinov A. N., Kukushkin M. L., Podchufarova E. V., Strokov I. A., Yakhno N. N. Pain: a textbook for physicians and students / edited by N. N. Yakhno. – M.: Medpress, 2009. – 302 p.
  2. Berlizov A.V., Valko V. V., V. I. Ugnivenko Nizkoenergeticke lasers in traumatology and orthopedics. – Moscow, CJSC "RIYADH". – 52 p.
  3. Bubnovsky S. M. Manual on kinesitherapy. Treatment of back pain and hernias of the spine. – M., 2004. – 112 p.
  4. European guidelines for the treatment of nonspecific pain in the lumbar-sacral region in terms of primary care: abstract / ed. by N. N. Yakhno, E. V. Podchufarova. – M.: Practical medicine, 2010. – 24 p.
  5. Lee I. V., Kocheva E. G., Shabrov A.V., Pirogov S. V., Vinogradova L. Yu., Fedorova T. F. Assessing the effectiveness of the combined effects of pulsed magnetic fields and currents nanoimpulse in the treatment of patients with polyneuropathy // Vestnik St. Petersburg University. – 2009. – Vol. 1. – P. 11.
  6. Nonspecific pain in the lower back: clinical recommendations / ed. by S. F. Ardesa. – M.: Komplektservis, 2008. – 70 S.
  7. Pavlenko S. S. Pain in the lower back (epidemiology, diagnostic classification, modern trends indiagnosis, treatment and standardization of care): a guide. – Novosibirsk: Novosibirsk state medical University Libmemstat, 2007. – 172 p.
  8. Podrushnyak E. P. Diagnosis, prevention and treatment of osteochondrosis in people of different age. – K., 1975. – 28 p.
  9. Podchufarova E. V., Yakhno N. N. Pain in back and limbs // Diseases of the nervous system / edited by N. N. Yakhno. – M.: Medicine, 2005. – S. 313-318.
  10. Khabirov F. A. Clinical neurology spine. – Kazan, 2001. – 472 p.