Treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine: drugs, massage, exercise therapy

osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

Treatment of cervical osteochondrosis is a set of procedures aimed at getting rid of pain attacks and restoring vertebral tissues. It is possible to achieve effective results in treatment if you regularly use all the methods with strict adherence to the instructions for their implementation.

pinched artery in cervical osteochondrosis

How the disease manifests itself

The spine has a complex structure. The coherence of the work of the whole organism depends on the preservation of each component in a healthy state. The seven cervical vertebrae are located close to the base of the brain, in which all vital centers are concentrated.

The destruction of the segments, changes in the structure of the intervertebral discs lead to the following symptoms:

  • headache that appears in the neck and passes to the occipital region;
  • the muscles of the shoulder girdle gradually atrophy;
  • there is insomnia, bad mood;
  • there are problems of an ophthalmic nature: floating dots before the eyes, blurred vision, blurry surrounding objects;
  • slightly impaired coordination of movements;
  • painful sensations spread to the shoulders and forearms, as well as to the jaw;
  • often there is a violation of sensitivity in the hands, manifested by numbness and a feeling of "running goosebumps".

Excruciating pain syndrome exhausts the patient. Early diagnosis will allow timely start of therapeutic measures, so as not to lead to surgical intervention. Conservative treatment is carried out on an outpatient basis and at home. Changing the lifestyle and quality of nutrition, strict adherence to recommendations during sleep and wakefulness will stop the pathological process and allow you to live a full life.

Drug treatment of cervical osteochondrosis

The chronic course of osteochondrosis alternates between acute periods and remission pauses. Medicines are prescribed throughout the illness and only a doctor prescribes them. The drugs relieve pain, eliminate inflammation, regenerate damaged tissues and treat the cervical region. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, tablet forms, injection into the muscle, vertebrae, local exposure with ointments, gels are used.

  1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have proven to be an effective anesthetic in the treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical region, while also acting on inflammatory processes. If there are signs of inflammation, it is advisable to use NSAIDs, but they have a number of side effects, especially manifested by a negative effect on the gastric mucosa. Therefore, when administered orally, along with non-steroidal drugs, drugs are prescribed to protect the stomach, which suppress acid formation.
  2. Painkillers are used primarily for local neuromuscular blockades. Pain that does not relieve with the help of non-hormonal drugs is stopped by direct injection into active points or into the vertebral body.
  3. Glucocorticosteroids are steroid drugs that are synthetic analogues of hormones produced by the adrenal cortex. For the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis, corticosteroids are prescribed to eliminate severe pain, combat progressive inflammation, improve metabolic processes, and have an immunomodulatory effect.
  4. Calming agents to improve sleep and general well-being - tincture of valerian or peony. Weak sedative drugs with prolonged use are not addictive, and are effective in combating neurological disorders.
  5. Chondroprotectors are necessary to stop the destruction of cartilage tissue, followed by the growth of bone processes. Chondroitin with glucosamine, which is part of the preparations, fills the structure of the vertebrae with the missing chemicals that improve cell nutrition, the ability to synthesize and self-renew. To achieve a lasting effect of treatment, drugs must be taken for a long time, and in some cases for life.
  6. Improving cerebral circulation is important in the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis. The drugs will eliminate dizziness, improve cell trophism, reduce the sensitivity of nerve roots, and dilate blood vessels.
  7. With vasospasm, blood pressure rises. When fixing high numbers of systolic and diastolic indicators, antihypertensive drugs "ambulance" are taken -.
  8. During the acute course of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, decongestants with a diuretic effect are prescribed. The removal of excess fluid will prevent an increase in blood pressure, reduce the load, and improve metabolism.
  9. Taking a multivitamin complex with a sufficient amount of minerals and trace elements improves metabolism and ensures the normal course of biochemical processes in the body.
neck massage for osteochondrosis


One of the additional ways to get rid of pain and discomfort in the neck and upper limbs is massage. The impact of hands on the muscles of the collar zone improves local blood microcirculation, relieves muscle tone by increasing the load, and also heals the neck itself. Bringing the muscles to a working state improves the excretion of accumulated lactic acid, relaxing the muscle tissue.

Two types of techniques are used to eliminate the consequences of cervical osteochondrosis:

  1. Massage of the collar zone is carried out by a specialist in compliance with the exact instructions on the permissible load. The movements consist of stroking, kneading and intense massaging movements. Reducing pain and improving the motor activity of the upper shoulder girdle confirms that the procedure was carried out correctly.
  2. Impact on active points with pressure movements is a less popular, but effective way. The execution of this technique requires special training of the massage therapist.

After the session, you can not overstrain the neck muscles, therefore, it is recommended to wear an orthopedic collar of medium hardness for three hours. This measure will consolidate the effect of the masseur's efforts.

Not always a massage course can bring a positive result in the treatment of the cervical region, there are contraindications, ignoring which leads to sad consequences:

  • oncological diseases of various localization;
  • active form of infection with Koch's wand;
  • systemic blood diseases;
  • hypertension in the stage of decompensation;
  • dermatological lesions of the skin of the collar region and neck;
  • aortic aneurysm;
  • necrotic processes in the bones with the formation of suppuration.

Physiotherapeutic procedures for cervical osteochondrosis

Additional treatment of cervical osteochondrosis with the help of physiotherapy is always included in the therapeutic complex for cervical osteochondrosis. The use of this method allows the treating doctor to reduce the dosage of pharmaceuticals, to minimize the possibility of complications and allergic reactions. Conducting a full course guarantees the normalization of metabolism, an increase in the circulation capacity of blood vessels, and the elimination of pain.

Types of physiotherapy for osteochondrosis of the cervical:

  1. Electrical stimulation - the use of high-frequency current to influence the muscles of the neck and shoulder girdle. During the session, the effect of thermal heating of the neck appears, blood circulation improves, unpleasant sensations are eliminated.
  2. Magnetotherapy - exposure to a pulsed magnetic field on a diseased area. Waves penetrate to a depth of up to 7 cm, providing a cumulative healing effect. Pain, inflammation are eliminated, a stable therapeutic effect is observed until the next course of magnetic therapy. Procedures can be carried out in outpatient clinics and at home, for this purpose special devices are used.
  3. Laser therapy is an alternative medicine method based on low-intensity laser radiation. The beams are directed to the region of the cervical vertebrae and along the nerve roots. The laser removes pain and inflammation reactions, promoting tissue regeneration.
  4. Detensor therapy is used to stretch the vertebrae and relax the muscles and connective tissue of the back. Under the weight of one's own body, there is a gentle "straightening" of the segments of the spine, an improvement in metabolic processes, with the disappearance of muscle spasms, the structure of the spinal column is restored.
  5. Balneotherapy - the healing properties of mineral waters are most often used in sanatoriums.

Bathing has the following goals for the treatment of the cervical region:

  • muscles relax, pain disappears and blood microcirculation improves;
  • metabolic processes are accelerated, toxins are removed from the body;
  • ions of iodine and bromine react and together with hydrogen sulfide, oxygen from water penetrate into the body and improve cell nutrition.
exercises for cervical osteochondrosis


Significantly improve the condition and reduce the number of pain attacks in osteochondrosis of the cervical spine will help regular performance of special exercises. The instructor in physiotherapy exercises is engaged in the recommendation and drawing up of a medical complex. The specialist will teach you the correct technique for performing exercises and plan the training scheme and the number of exercises.

It is necessary to start classes only in the inactive phase of the disease. Exercise therapy relaxes muscles, regulates metabolism, allows you to forget about acute pain attacks, dizziness, and poor health. You can perform therapeutic movements at home, after consulting with a specialist.

When performing exercise therapy exercises, for maximum benefit, you must follow some rules:

  • before the start of the lesson, you need to make sure that you are in good health;
  • movements should be performed slowly and smoothly, without jerks;
  • recommendations on the number of exercises must be followed exactly with the instructions of the instructor;
  • if during the lesson there is a sharp pain, you must immediately stop the lesson;
  • inform the physiotherapist about the changes.

An approximate list of exercises for the treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine:

  • in a sitting position, smoothly turn your head in different directions;
  • lower the head forward and downward by touching the lower jaw of the body;
  • tilt the neck back without raising the lower jaw;
  • put your head on the inside of the hand so that the arm is in a bent position with emphasis on a hard surface, tilt your head, creating resistance with your hand, repeat for each hand;
  • tilt your head down, at the same time creating resistance with your hand;
  • lower your arms down, perform a static exercise, keeping your shoulders raised.

All exercises are performed in a sitting position with a straight back. Each movement is performed 8-10 times.

Self-massage for treatment

Self-administered massage is an effective treatment. The advantage of the procedure is the possibility of manipulation at any time. The patient feels with what force to press on the cervical region, so that a pleasant warmth is felt, and not soreness.

Self-massage technique:

  • You can perform massage movements with both one and two hands;
  • you need to capture the entire surface of the neck;
  • you need to start the session with smooth stroking, lightly pressing on the skin;
  • the next step is rubbing the muscles with the edge of the palm or thumbs;
  • active seizures of muscles with palms with pulling to the sides;
  • slight tapping in the collar zone;
  • you need to finish with stroking movements.

Each action is performed for 30 seconds, the total time for self-massage should be approximately three minutes. All manipulations are performed at a slow pace, each person determines the pressure force individually.

neck collar for osteochondrosis

Orthopedic mode

Treatment of cervical osteochondrosis cannot do without medical devices designed to unload the vertebrae and surrounding tissues:

  1. The Shants collar is one of the most prescribed medical devices for unloading and treating the neck. The neck brace is intended for use during wakefulness during possible tension of the neck muscles: long work at the computer, cooking and others.
  2. Orthopedic pillow for good rest during sleep. The product is selected individually, taking into account the length of the shoulder girdle. When using a therapeutic pillow, the spine is not subjected to unnatural deflection, the blood supply is not disturbed, the person feels rested.
  3. The orthopedic mattress is intended for the treatment of diseases of the spine: osteochondrosis, protrusions, intervertebral hernias. The therapeutic effect is based on the principle of stretching the segments of the spine in a vertical position.

Diet therapy in the treatment of the neck

It is necessary to follow the principles of proper nutrition in the treatment of osteochondrosis. Nutrition should be low-calorie, with a sufficient content of vitamins and minerals.

What not to include in your daily diet:

  • pickles;
  • sausages and smoked meats;
  • mayonnaise and sour cream with a high fat content;
  • sugar and confectionery;
  • sweet carbonated drinks;
  • alcohol.

Allowed products:

  • dairy products rich in calcium;
  • aspic from fish or beef legs;
  • natural juices;
  • low-fat varieties of fish and meat;
  • fresh fruits and vegetables.
sea ​​buckthorn tea for cervical osteochondrosis

Alternative methods of treatment of cervical osteochondrosis

Ancient recipes of healers are an excellent addition to the treatment of the neck. The experience gained over the years allows us to use only the most effective products, prepared independently from available natural ingredients. Herbs, medical alcohol and animal derivatives can serve as a medicinal base.

Popular treatment recipes:

  1. Three medium lemons, without peeling, twist in a meat grinder. To the resulting mass, add five chopped heads of garlic and half a glass of honey. Pour boiling water over the mixture and let it brew for two hours. Drink 100 ml every morning on an empty stomach.
  2. Prepare 200 grams of pine buds and grind with two glasses of granulated sugar. Therapeutic mass is taken daily, 1 tablespoon.
  3. Mix a small amount of honey with aloe juice, and add a little alcohol. The resulting solution is used for rubbing in the cervical vertebrae.
  4. Crush boiled potatoes and add honey. Apply the resulting composition to the sore spot, fix it with cling film on top and wrap it with a warm blanket. It is fashionable to leave the compress for 3 hours.
  5. The ground raw material from hop cones is mixed with butter to the consistency of an ointment. Rubbed into sore spots to relieve pain and inflammation.

Despite the plant origin of the components of traditional medicines, their use can be harmful.

Therefore, before using this method, it is necessary to exclude possible contraindications:

  • tendency to allergic reactions;
  • damage to the skin in the area of intended use;
  • individual intolerance to the component;
  • inflammation in the acute phase;
  • pathology of the stomach, liver, kidneys when administered orally.


The health of the whole organism depends on the state in which the spine is located. To prevent the appearance of degenerative-dystrophic changes in individual segments, simple rules will help:

  • lead a healthy lifestyle without bad habits;
  • exercise regularly;
  • eat right, avoiding the appearance of excess weight;
  • if you experience persistent pain in the neck, contact an orthopedist for medical advice.

Treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is a long process that requires patience and strict adherence to the doctor's prescriptions. A positive result depends on the quality of the therapeutic manipulations and the attitude of the patient himself.