The spine crunches: is it dangerous or not?
Some people perceive a crunch in the spine as a normal phenomenon. In others, he causes fear for his health. Should I take this seriously? Why does the spine crunch? This phenomenon occurs in absolutely healthy people in the performance of any physical exercise, and may also indicate a disease. How to recognize, hide behind this phenomenon pathological processes in the body or is it still the natural behavior of the joints?
The nature of the crunch
Until now, doctors are arguing why the vertebrae crunches, trying to reveal the true cause. According to one version, all the blame for the gas bubbles accumulated in the joint area. The synovial fluid contains oxygen dioxide, a large number of which expands the intra-articular space. Cavities with low pressure form. According to the theory, the crunch is caused by the bubbles of this gas, falling between the articular surfaces.
Another version of the cause of the crunch calls the shock wave, which occurs when the formed gas bubbles collapse. Some experts consider the crunch as the norm peculiar to joints and conditioned by their structure. Another reason for this is seen in excessive mobility of the joint, displacement of the vertebrae.
Usually a crunch in the spine is heard when performing any movements aimed at stretching the joints. These can be physical exercises, such as leaning forward, sideways, turns. Normally, if sounds are heard only at the beginning of the action, and then disappear. The spine crunches, as a rule, after a long stay in one position.
In a healthy person, this phenomenon should not cause discomfort. Often, these sounds occur when performing a professional massage, when the manual therapist puts them in place when the vertebrae is displaced. If the crunch is accompanied by pain in the back, which are permanent, this may indicate the presence of the disease.
What diseases are accompanied by a crunch?
If the spine regularly crunches, the reasons may not be the most harmless. Perhaps this is one of the symptoms of the following diseases:
- Osteochondrosis. The cervical and lumbar parts suffer most often. The crunch is associated with the deformation of the intervertebral discs, the proliferation of bone tissue.
- Kyphosis, lordosis. Curvature of the spine leads to changes in bone and muscle tissue, while the movements are accompanied by a crunch.
- Osteoarthritis. The reason is the same - the change in the tissues of the joint.
- Injuries and surgeries.
- Spondylolisthesis. Displacement of the vertebrae makes it difficult for the musculoskeletal system to function properly.
- Protrusion is the displacement of the intervertebral disc, extending it beyond the spine.
Some diseases of the spine lead to the formation of osteophytes in the joints - outgrowths of the cartilaginous tissue, which can cause a crunch, and in a neglected form, even obstruct the movement. If symptoms are found, you should consult a specialist for diagnosis and immediate treatment.
When the spine crunches, the detection of the disease begins with a doctor's examination. He will draw conclusions about the presence of the disease and send one of the examinations: X-ray, ultrasound, MRI, myelography, computed tomography. It will be necessary to pass blood and urine tests. The most effective method of determining the disease in the case of the spine is MRI.After carrying out the diagnosis, the doctor will be able to determine whether the fears were vain or the patient still has spine disease. It is good to identify the disease at an early stage, so it will be easier to treat. Therefore it is better to be reinsured and undergo a survey. If the doctor does not detect pathologies, you can be sure of the health of the spine and not be frightened by the occasional crunch. If you do not find the disease on time, you can wait for irreversible consequences that can not be cured, and perhaps even lie under the knife.
In order for the crunch to pass, you need to cure the disease that causes it. To do this, doctors use anti-inflammatory drugs, painkillers - this treatment helps at an early stage. As part of the complex therapy used therapeutic massage, specially selected physical exercises, physiotherapy. Does the spine crackle for a long period of time, painfully and constantly? Perhaps the disease has already passed into a chronic stage. In this case, surgical intervention may be required.
If the spine crunches in the child
Such symptoms can seriously alert parents. But this is not always justified. When a child crunches his spine, but it does not cause him discomfort or pain, the baby does not complain and does not show concern, then talk about the natural process of growth of a small organism. In infants, a crunch appears due to a lack of fluid in the joints, this is a normal phenomenon that eventually passes. Of course, it is better to inform the district pediatrician about this, just do not panic: most likely, such manifestations do not carry danger.
A doctor can prescribe a massage for prevention, which is very useful for a growing body. In adolescents, the spine crunches for the same reason - bones, joints and muscles grow rapidly. For prevention, the child must receive sufficient for his age the amount of physical exertion, less to sit in one pose at the computer. If after a brief movement the crunch passes, there are no other symptoms, then it is not dangerous and is quite natural. In the presence of painful sensations or a constant, impassable crunch during the movement, one must hurry to the doctor, because the earlier the disease is revealed, the easier it will be to cope with it.
Crunch in the cervical spine
It is necessary to distinguish the origin of the crunch by its location in the spine - cervical or lumbar( the thoracic is inactive and rarely has such manifestations).The cervical region is the most mobile, often people hear crisp sounds even with the usual turn of the head to the side. They appear in the morning, after a long stay in one position or sleep on a high pillow, in the evening - after a busy day, long work at the computer.
The reason may also be increased flexibility of the spine due to the mobility of the intervertebral discs. Diseases that may manifest as a crunch in the cervical region are osteochondrosis, arthrosis, spondylolisthesis. The sound effect accompanying these diseases is associated with changes in bone tissue, its proliferation and deformities. Symptoms usually include painful sensations, stiffness of movements. You can crunch up the spine in the cervical section with curvatures: kyphosis, lordosis, scoliosis. Such diseases themselves pass, they need to be taken seriously and consult a doctor for help.
The lumbar spine assumes the greatest load. This is its most flexible part, which is responsible for the turns, the torso of the trunk, the raising of the legs. In addition, he is responsible for the vertical position of the body, is the center of gravity. Most often, he suffers if a person engages in sports associated with lifting weights, or is forced to undergo heavy physical stress due to work. The vertebrae crunches in the lower back because of the deformation of the intervertebral discs. In itself, a crunch in the spine is not treated, since it is either a safe manifestation of the joints, or one of the symptoms of spine disease.
In the latter case, the treatment is directed to the disease itself, but not to the elimination of the crunch. When diagnosing osteochondrosis, prolapse, protrusion, accompanied by the formation of osteophytes, prescribe a course of manual therapy, acupuncture, osteopathy. A therapeutic massage is used, a specially selected set of physical exercises, more aimed at strengthening the muscles that support the lumbar region.