Osteochondrosis in Older Adults: Types and Causes
Types of osteochondrosis in seniors:
Depending on the location of degenerative changes, the following forms of the disease are distinguished:
Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine. This is the most common pathology of the musculoskeletal system. The disease leads to the development of a long-lasting headache, which cannot be relieved with ordinary analgesics. Pain syndrome is localized in the occipital region and temples, and aggravated after sleeping or when a person is in a sitting position. Also, patients may experience a change in the mobility of the arms and neck, the occurrence of dizziness, tinnitus, decreased visual acuity, the appearance of flies, a sudden loss of consciousness, frequent attacks of hiccups, etc.
Osteochondrosis of the lumbar spine. It provokes the appearance of pain and lumbago in the legs and lumbar region, the intensity of which increases after physical activity. Often there is numbness of the lower extremities and the odds of paresis or paralysis are increased to a great extent. Patients may also report pelvic dysfunction: urinary incontinence, and erectile dysfunction. Pathology often leads to the revival of complications – unstable vertebrae can fly off the sacrum, which leads to damage to internal organs.
Thoracic osteochondrosis. The disease rarely leads to the development of pronounced pain syndrome, so a number of patients are unaware of the appearance of this condition. Painful sensations are mainly located in the area of the ribs and shoulder blades, in addition to the upper abdomen. The first signs of the disease resemble the symptoms of a heart attack, cholecystitis, gastritis or stomach ulcers. It is also characterized by increased pain during deep breathing and cough.
Causes of Osteochondrosis in seniors:
With age, degenerative changes develop in all tissues and organs of the human body. The ligamentous apparatus of the vertebral column loses its elasticity and calcifications often develop, which are accumulations of calcium salts. As a result, the spine loses its normal mobility: an elderly person cannot bend, or turn their head in a normal way.
The first signs of the development of degenerative-dystrophic changes occur in those above the age of 40. Over time, they slowly progress. However, there are a number of provoking factors that can significantly increase the speed of unwanted processes, and worsen the condition of connective tissue elements.
These factors include:
Reduced physical activity;
Excessive physical exertion
Various spinal deformities;
Violation of metabolic processes;
Various injuries of the spine.
The elderly in the United States can utilize 2019 Medicare advantage plans found here https://www.medicareadvantage2019.org/ if they’re 65 & above for covering copay as well as deductible.