Cervical osteochondrosis is the most common disease of the spine in people of working age. Continuous degenerative-dystrophic changes in the intervertebral discs lead to persistent pathological changes in the vertebrae and ligaments.
It is rarely seen in the early stages of the disease, as a sick person may initially confuse their symptoms with everyday fatigue or mental stress.
But it is with the first violations that conservative treatment and lifestyle changes can prevent further pathological processes in the cervical spine.
Symptoms suggestive of cervical osteochondrosis
The most common signs of cervical osteochondrosis are:
- Pain. Painful sensations of varying severity can occur not only in the neck but also in the hands and head.
- Weakness in the upper extremities. It occurs due to damage to the roots of the motor nerves that innervate the muscles of the hand.
- Decreased sensation occurs when a sensory nerve is compressed and damaged.
- Restriction of neck movement.
- Loss of movement coordination.
- In case of strong compression, the blood supply to the brain deteriorates significantly, which can lead to impaired vision, neurological disorders, and hearing loss.
Long-term cervical osteochondrosis disrupts lung and heart function. The most characteristic symptoms of osteochondrosis of the neck region are pain and dizziness, they have their own developmental characteristics.
Pain in osteochondrosis of the neck
Painful manifestations in people with cervical osteochondrosis occur due to damage to the peripheral parts of the nervous system. Painful feelings can be permanent, referred to in medicine as cervicalgia, and pain can occur suddenly and sharply, i. e. , a "cervical ventricle. "
The leading role in the development of pain is given to painful impulses that leave receptors in the region of the abnormally altered part of the spine.
The pain of osteochondrosis has the following characteristics:
- Neck pain usually occurs in the morning. Turning, awkward movements, cough aggravating. From the neck, the pain can spread to the shoulders, upper back and chest. Gradually, by evening the pain will become less pronounced.
- Sometimes a sick person may experience sharp pain, called a "shot, " a "piercing. "
- The pain often radiates to the arm and reaches to the hand where it manifests as numbness in the fingers.
- Cervical osteochondrosis is a common cause of recurrent pain in the occipital region of the head.
- Pain in the chest area is possible, the manifestations of such discomforts are often similar to the pathology of the heart.
Pain in osteochondrosis of the neck leads to limited mobility and muscle stiffness. In addition to pain, the sensitivity of the neck, arms and shoulders decreases.
In cervical osteochondrosis, dizziness occurs due to a violation of the permeability of the blood vessels that feed different parts of the brain and carry oxygen.
The degree of vascular compression affects the intensity and duration of vertigo. Manifestation of this symptom of osteochondrosis is often accompanied by:
- feeling the floor tremble under your feet;
- loss of balance;
- deterioration of vision, flickering of flies and flashing in front of eyes.
Dizziness may disappear after rest and immobility, but this phenomenon will only disappear after treatment of osteochondrosis.
Causes of cervical osteochondrosis
Changes in osteochondrosis of the cervical spine are a consequence of malnutrition and blood circulation. A similar pathology develops for the following reasons:
- Impaired metabolism.
- Hypodynamics, ie insufficient physical activity.
- Injuries transmitted.
- The body is in a constant state of compulsion. Prolonged tension in the neck muscles is common in drivers and office workers.
- Developmental disorders of the spine, these include scoliosis, improper posture.
In recent years, there has been a trend to increase the number of patients with cervical osteochondrosis among adolescents. Doctors attribute this to computer games and nervous exercise.
Patients diagnosed with cervical osteochondrosis should be started on medication as early as possible. This prevents further changes in the tissues of the spine and quickly improves general well-being.
The main groups of drugs used to treat osteochondrosis are examined below.
|Name of the drug / group||Application|
|NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)||These medications reduce inflammation and swelling that cause the pain to go away.|
|Vasodilators (platelet aggregation inhibitors)||Medications that improve blood flow and nutrition to damaged nerves.|
|Muscle relaxants||Medicines to relieve muscle cramps.|
|B vitamins||Assign to improve the flow of metabolic processes in the body.|
|Chondroprotectors||Medicines that restore abnormally altered cartilage tissue.|
|Analgesics||It is prescribed for severe pain.|
Because NVPS has a number of side effects, the dosage and general route of administration should be individualized by the physician for each patient. Be sure to consider all contraindications.
Treatment at home
In the context of drug therapy and during the healing period, cervical osteochondrosis is treated by other methods. The most common group includes herbal medicine, movement therapy, physiotherapy and adherence to a special diet. All of these methods help to improve metabolic processes, normalize blood circulation, strengthen muscle ligaments, and reduce inflammatory reactions. Adherence to the full range of therapeutic interventions allows not only to get rid of discomfort, but also to prevent further pathological changes in the plates and vertebrae.
After relieving acute pain in patients with osteochondrosis, your doctor will recommend physical exercise. Specially selected movement therapy strengthens the muscles of the neck and entire spine, enhances the nutrition of the disc and blood circulation.
In the early stages of the development of osteochondrosis, exercises lead to complete restoration of joint mobility.
The simplest exercises for cervical osteochondrosis are tilting the head sideways, forward, backward. The doctor, who takes into account all the spinal changes identified during the patient’s examination, will help you choose the right set of exercises.
The use of herbs for osteochondrosis is aimed at relieving inflammation, swelling and enhancing metabolic processes in the body. The following recipes are popular:
- 10 grams of sea buckthorn, 40 grams of birch leaves and 50 grams of willow bark should be cut and mixed well. The broth is made from a collection of two spoons and half a liter of water, all boiled for 10 minutes, poured and cooled. This decoction should be drunk twice a day in a glass for at least two weeks.
- Horseradish compress. The horseradish sheet should be poured over boiling water, fastened to the neck and fastened with a scarf. It is best to make such a compress at night, it will have a slight burning sensation when used.
Adequate nutrition for osteochondrosis contributes to the normalization of metabolism. Hard diets for this disease do not exist unless you need to lose weight, as obesity often causes changes in the plates.
Make sure your daily diet for people with osteochondrosis includes proteins found in meat, dairy, fish, poultry, legumes, cereals. Protein is well absorbed when these products are combined with plant foods.
Strong coffee, tea, alcohol should be omitted, as these drinks do not allow the absorption of important trace elements.
In addition to medications, exercises, and diet, physiotherapy helps treat patients with osteochondrosis. Massage, swimming and yoga give excellent results in relieving pain and strengthening the muscle band. Most importantly, the treatment methods you choose should be done in several courses a year, allowing you to forget about the worsening of your osteochondrosis.
Movement is everything
Osteochondrosis develops with physical inactivity, which means that lifestyle changes are needed in this area to improve spinal function. Physical activity, daily exercises, gentle sports allow you to forget about the unpleasant feelings of osteochondrosis. Sedentary workers should occasionally take a break during the workday to perform simple physical exercises.