Symptoms and signs of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

A woman is concerned about the symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis

A sedentary lifestyle, office work, lack of sufficient physical activity and the peculiarities of modern nutrition lead to the spread of a huge number of diseases that are inherent in our urbanized society.

Leadership among them is rightfully occupied by cervical osteochondrosis.

And all because the weak muscle corset and the fact that these 7 discs have more mobility than any other part of the spine receive constant physical activity in the form of the need to constantly maintain the head in the desired position, tilt and turn.

Causes of the disease

Previously, osteochondrosis was considered a disease of adulthood, and people who lived for more than 40 years suffered from it. But every year the age threshold of the disease falls, and it "gets younger", which led to a predisposition to the disease of young people who are 18-20 years old.

The main reasons for the appearance of such pathologies:

  • Violation of posture in adolescence.Young people now do not want to monitor their posture, which leads to its violation.

  • Overweight.The appearance of excess weight increases the load on the spine.

  • Curvature of the back.The risk of osteochondrosis with a curvature of the back increases.

  • Back injury.A back injury causes irreparable harm to any part of the spine.

  • Metabolic disease.In case of metabolic disorders, there is also a high probability of developing osteochondrosis.

  • Hard physical labor.Too hard physical labor also leaves indelible imprints on the health of the spine in general and on the cervical region in particular.

  • Low level of physical fitness.The level of physical fitness also affects the condition of the spine, and the lower it is, the weaker the spine.

  • Mistakes when performing complex exercises.Athletes may have problems with osteochondrosis during training with gross errors in their work.

  • Stress.The nervous tension of modern man and constant stress also cause disorders in the cervical vertebrae.

  • Sedentary lifestyle.A sedentary lifestyle or inactivity greatly affect the vertebrae.

  • Past illnesses.Osteochondrosis can develop after infections and hypothermia.

The disease is, in fact, the result of muscle spasm, which does not allow the cervical vertebrae to move easily, worsening the blood supply to the tissues, while posture is disturbed, as a result of which dystrophic processes in the vertebrae themselves, as well as in the intervertebral discs, begin to activate, causing narrowing of the intervertebralholes and pinched nerve roots.

Pain in the neck with osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

Main symptoms

Symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis are somewhat different from other parts of the spine.

A tighter fit of the vertebrae leads to the fact that even the most minimal change in one of them compresses or displaces any nerve or vessel, and also compresses the spinal cord.

It is because of this that a violation of the functions of the body can be recorded: a disorder in the sensitivity of the skin, dizziness.

Clinical manifestations:

  • Pain in the neck and shoulders, which also extends to the back of the head, the region of the ears and eyes, and does not subside even at night.
  • Pain in the upper extremities, which increases with exertion.
  • Decreased sensitivity of the upper limbs, weakness in the muscles, movements become difficult.
  • In the morning, the neck muscles are tense, and the head turns tight, it seems that the neck has been "rested".
  • Turning or tilting the head, sensations of pain in the neck.
  • From time to time, the limbs become numb, there is a burning or tingling sensation.
  • An unpleasant throbbing pain periodically appears in the neck and nape.
  • Violent head movements cause blurred vision, dizziness, or may cause fainting.
  • The occurrence of tinnitus.
  • Decreased visual acuity and hearing.
  • There is a numbness of the tongue.
  • There are heart pains that do not respond to trinitroglycerin, but their intensity changes due to a change in body position.
  • Headache occurs in the occiput, crown and temples.
  • In the region of the cervical region, the so-called "withers" arise, that is, connective tissues grow.

Signs of cervical osteochondrosis

Cervicalgia (pain and muscle tension in the neck)

Cervicalgia, manifested by tension and pain of the neck muscles

Cervicalgia is a pain syndrome in which pain and tension of the muscles of the neck are characteristic, the cervical region loses its mobility, dizziness may occur, clarity of vision is impaired, autonomic dysfunction may appear.

The pain can be tingling, throbbing, and can also "shoot through".

It is worth making even the slightest movement, sneezing or coughing - as soon as muscle tension is given by pain.

There are also problems with turning the head or tilting it to the side, when the patient has to do this with the whole body.

In addition, patients experience dizziness, occipital pain, tinnitus, numbness in the back of the head and numbness of the hands.

The reasons for its occurrence may be:

  • Hypothermia.
  • Uncomfortable position of the head during sleep.
  • Sedentary work, which forces you to keep your head in an uncomfortable position for a long time.
  • Physical activity that leads to muscle strain in the neck area, including sports training in the gym.
  • Injuries of the cervical spine.
  • Tissue infections or tumors.

Pain in the back of the head, in the shoulders and arms, as well as pain while turning the head, indicate the presence of the initial stage of a chronic disease, such as osteochondrosis.

Cervicocranialgia or posterior cervical symptom (pain in the cervico-occipital region)

Cervicocranialgia radiating to the shoulder

Cervicocranialgia is a pain in the cervical-occipital region, the occurrence of which is closely associated with an injury to the cervical spine, a degenerative lesion, or its inflammation.

Its distribution often reaches the frontotemporal lobe, shoulder and arm, and can also be unilateral. In this case, the parties do not change.

The intensity of this pain is moderate, its intensification is observed with head movements, palpation of the cervico-occipital muscles, as well as with prolonged stay in a position that is uncomfortable for the head.

Usually, the causes of these pains can be either osteoarthritis or osteochondrosis of the cervical spine.

In these cases, the pain may press, shoot, or throb. Light movements of the head, coughing, muscle tension can cause bouts of exacerbation of pain.

The main complaints that patients complain about:

  • Inability to turn and tilt the head, for which it is necessary to move the whole body.
  • Numbness of the occipital region and hands.
  • Noise in ears.
  • Dizziness.
  • Pain in the occipital area, etc.

Cervicobrachialgia or shoulder-shoulder syndrome (brachiaglia)

Cervicobrachialgia, in which the hands hurt and go numb

Cervicobrachialgia is detected with numbness of the hands, along with deep breaking and, often, stabbing pain in the hands or in the forearms, as well as a feeling of weakness in the upper limbs.

This usually happens at night.

The disease can develop reflexively, for the most part, those who are engaged in heavy physical labor, and 9 out of 10 are women, are affected by the disease.

In this case, vegetative-vascular, muscular-tonic and neurodystrophic manifestations can be observed.

For reflex syndromes, a very characteristic feature is the presence of muscular-tonic reactions, such as muscle spasm.


Massage is one of the methods of treatment of cervical osteochondrosis

Treatment should be comprehensive.

At the same time, it is necessary to apply both drug and non-drug principles of treatment, not forgetting about the prevention of possible diseases.

By drug treatment, we mean the use of drugs that relieve pain and inflammation, as well as drugs that improve cerebral circulation.

If there is a pathology in the form of muscle tension, then it is recommended to take relaxing drugs and vitamin-mineral complexes in therapeutic doses.

An important role in the treatment is given to the methods of physiotherapy:

  • water procedures.
  • Paraffin applications.
  • Electrophoresis.
  • Magnetotherapy.

The widespread use of alternative therapies also helps to combat this disease. But, in spite of everything, therapeutic exercises remain the most effective means of treatment.


In order for all the problems related to osteochondrosis to bypass you, you need to remember all the reasons that push for the appearance of the disease.

Since the main reason is a sedentary lifestyle, do not forget about morning exercises and a walk, and be sure to include exercises with the neck muscles in your daily gymnastics. And do not forget that circular movements of the head can lead to neck injuries, so you should not include them in the exercises.

And also do not forget that a preventive examination of school-age children by an orthopedist is mandatory.

Form a strong muscular corset, be athletic.

Eat those foods that can replenish the body with minerals such as calcium and magnesium, vitamins.