Cervical osteochondrosis is the most common disease of the spine in people of working age. Ongoing degenerative-dystrophic changes in the intervertebral discs constantly lead to pathological changes in the vertebrae and ligaments.
It is rarely found in the early stages of the disease because a sick person may initially confuse their symptoms with normal fatigue or mental stress.
However, with the first violations, it is possible to prevent the subsequent pathological process in the cervical spine by conservative treatment and lifestyle changes.
Symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis
The most common symptoms 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. Occurs due to damage to the root of the motor nerves that innervate the muscles of the hands.
- Decreased sensation occurs when the sensitive nerve is compressed or damaged.
- Restriction of movements in the neck.
- Loss of coordination in movements.
- With severe compression, the blood supply to the brain deteriorates significantly, which can lead to vision impairment, neurological disorders, and hearing loss.
With a long course, cervical osteochondrosis disrupts the function of the lungs and heart. The most characteristic symptoms of osteochondrosis in the cervical region are pain and dizziness, they have their own developmental characteristics.
Pain in cervical osteochondrosis
In people with cervical osteochondrosis, painful manifestations occur due to damage to peripheral parts of the nervous system. Painful sensations can be permanent, in medicine it is defined by the term cervical, and the pain can also appear suddenly, sharply, that is, the "neck room" develops.
A leading role in the development of pain is given to painful impulses released from receptors present in the region of the pathologically altered part of the spine.
Pain in osteochondrosis has the following characteristics:
- Neck pain most often occurs in the morning. Dizziness, awkward movements, aggravated by cough. Pain in the neck can spread to the shoulders, upper back and chest. Gradually, the pain is less pronounced in the evening.
- Periodically, a sick person may experience sharp pains, which are described as "shooting", "piercing".
- The pain often spreads to the arm and reaches the hand, where it manifests itself with numbness of the fingers.
- Cervical osteochondrosis is a common cause of recurrent pain in the occipital region of the head.
- Pain in the chest is possible, and in its manifestations such discomfort often resembles heart pathology.
Pain in cervical osteochondrosis leads to limited mobility and muscle stiffness. In addition to pain, sensitivity is reduced in the neck, arms and shoulder girdle.
Dizziness in cervical osteochondrosis is caused by a violation of the openness of blood vessels that supply and supply oxygen to different parts of the brain.
The degree of vasoconstriction affects the intensity and duration of vertigo. The manifestation of this symptom of osteochondrosis is often accompanied by:
- feeling the floor vibrate under your feet;
- balance loss;
- impaired vision, flickering flies and flashes in front of the eyes.
After rest, dizziness may stop and immobility is ensured, but this phenomenon will disappear completely only after a course of treatment for osteochondrosis.
Causes of cervical osteochondrosis
Changes in osteochondrosis of the cervical spine are associated with malnutrition and circulatory disorders. A similar pathology develops under the influence of the following causes:
- Impaired metabolism.
- Hypodynamics, ie insufficient physical activity.
- Transplanted injuries.
- Permanent binding position of the body. Long-term tension in the neck muscles often occurs in drivers and office workers.
- Abnormalities in the development of the spine, including scoliosis, incorrect posture.
In recent years, there has been an increasing trend in the number of patients with cervical osteochondrosis among adolescents. Doctors attribute this to computer games and nervous tension.
Patients diagnosed with cervical osteochondrosis should begin drug treatment as soon as possible. This prevents additional changes in the tissues of the spine and quickly improves overall well-being.
Below we review the main groups of drugs used in the treatment of osteochondrosis.
|Name of the drug / group||Application|
|NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)||These drugs reduce inflammation and swelling, and under their influence the pain disappears.|
|Vasodilators (antiplatelet agents)||Drugs that improve blood flow and nutrition of damaged nerves.|
|Muscle relaxants||Drugs that relieve muscle spasms.|
|B vitamins||Assign to improve the flow of metabolic processes in the body.|
|Chondroprotectors||Drugs that restore pathologically altered cartilage tissue.|
|Analgesics||Prescribed for severe pain.|
Because of the number of side effects of NVPS, the dose of medications and their general course of use should be chosen by the physician individually for each patient. Make sure you consider all the contraindications.
Treatment of cervical osteochondrosis in the background of drug therapy and during recovery is carried out by other methods. The most common group of them includes herbal medicines, exercise therapy, physiotherapy, special diet. All these methods help to improve metabolic processes, normalize blood circulation, strengthen the muscle corset and reduce inflammatory reactions. Compliance with the whole set of therapeutic measures allows not only to get rid of anxious feelings, but also to prevent further pathological changes in the discs and vertebrae.
In patients with osteochondrosis, the doctor recommends physical exercise after relieving acute pain. Specially selected exercise therapy strengthens the muscles of the neck and the entire spine, increases disc nutrition and blood circulation.
Exercises that lead to complete restoration of joint mobility in the early stages of osteochondrosis.
The simplest exercises for cervical osteochondrosis are to bend the head to the sides, forward and backward. A doctor who will take into account all the changes identified in the spine during the examination of the patient will help you choose the right set of exercises.
The use of herbs for osteochondrosis aims to eliminate inflammation, swelling and strengthen metabolic processes in the body. The following recipes are popular:
- 10 grams of sea buckthorn, 40 grams of maple leaves and 50 grams of willow bark should be finely chopped and mixed well. The broth is prepared from two tablespoons of the collection and half a liter of water, all boiled, brewed and cooled for 10 minutes. This decoction should be drunk in a glass twice a day for at least two weeks.
- Horseradish compress. Horseradish leaf should be poured with boiling water, glued to the neck and secured with a scarf. Such a compress is best done at night, you will feel a slight burning sensation when using.
Proper nutrition in osteochondrosis will help to normalize metabolism. There are no strict diets for this disease, except in cases where you need to lose weight, changes in the discs often occur with obesity.
For people with osteochondrosis, make sure that the daily menu includes protein, they are found in meat, dairy products, fish, poultry, legumes, cereals. When these products are combined with plant foods, the protein is well absorbed.
Strong coffee, tea, alcohol should be avoided, as these drinks do not allow the absorption of important trace elements.
Medication, exercise, diet, and physiotherapy help a person with osteochondrosis. Massage, swimming and yoga give excellent results to relieve pain and strengthen the muscle corset. Most importantly, the chosen treatment should be carried out several courses a year, which will allow you to forget about the exacerbations of osteochondrosis.
Action is everything
Osteochondrosis develops with physical inactivity, which means that you need to change your lifestyle to improve the functioning of the spine in this area. Physical activity, daily exercise, careful exercise allow you to forget about the unpleasant feelings in osteochondrosis. Sedentary people should take regular breaks during the working day to perform simple physical exercises.