Cervical osteochondrosis is considered the most common disease of the spine in people of working age. The ongoing degenerative-dystrophic changes in the intervertebral discs steadily lead to pathological changes in the vertebrae and ligamentous apparatus.
The disease is rarely detected in the first stages of its development, since a sick person at first can mistake his symptoms for ordinary fatigue or mental stress.
But it is precisely with the first violations that it is possible, through conservative treatment and by changing the lifestyle, to prevent a further pathological process in the cervical spine.
Symptoms indicating cervical osteochondrosis
The most common signs of cervical osteochondrosis include:
- Pain. Painful sensations of varying severity can be not only in the neck, but also in the hands and head.
- Weakness in the upper limbs. It occurs due to damage to the root of the motor nerves that innervate the muscles of the hands.
- Decreased sensation occurs when a sensory nerve is compressed and damaged.
- Restriction of movements in the neck.
- Loss of coordination in movements.
- With severe compression, the blood supply to the brain is significantly worsened, and this can lead to visual impairment, neurological disorders, and hearing loss.
Cervical osteochondrosis with a long course disrupts the functioning of the lungs and heart. The most characteristic symptoms of osteochondrosis in the cervical region are pain and dizziness, they have their own characteristics of development.
Pain in cervical osteochondrosis
Painful manifestations in people with cervical osteochondrosis occur due to damage to the peripheral parts of the nervous system. Painful sensations can be constant, they are designated in medicine by the term cervicalgia, and pain can also appear suddenly, sharply, that is, a "neck chamber" develops.
The leading role in the development of pain is assigned to painful impulses that depart from the receptors present in the region of the pathologically altered part of the spine.
Pain in osteochondrosis has the following characteristics:
- Neck pain occurs mostly in the morning. Aggravated by turning, awkward movements, coughing. From the neck, pain can spread to the shoulders, upper back and chest. Gradually, by evening, the pain becomes less pronounced.
- Periodically, a sick person may experience sharp pains, they are described as "shooting", "piercing".
- The pain often radiates to the arm and reaches the hand, where it is manifested by numbness of 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, such discomfort in its manifestations often resembles cardiac pathology.
Pain in cervical osteochondrosis leads to restriction of movement, to muscle stiffness. In addition to pain, there is also a decrease in sensitivity in the neck, arm, and shoulder girdle.
Dizziness in cervical osteochondrosis occurs due to a violation of the patency of blood vessels that feed and supply oxygen to different parts of the brain.
The degree of vascular compression affects the intensity and duration of vertigo. The manifestation of this symptom of osteochondrosis is often accompanied by:
- sensation of the floor shaking under your feet;
- loss of balance;
- deterioration of vision, flickering flies and flashes before the eyes.
Dizziness may stop after rest and immobility is ensured, but this phenomenon will completely disappear only after a course of treatment for osteochondrosis.
Causes of cervical osteochondrosis
Changes occurring in osteochondrosis in the cervical spine are due to malnutrition and blood circulation. A similar pathology develops under the influence of the following reasons:
- Disturbed metabolism.
- Hypodynamia, that is, insufficient physical activity.
- Transferred injuries.
- Constant forced position of the body. Prolonged tension of the neck muscles often occurs in drivers, office workers.
- Anomalies in the development of the spinal column, these include scoliosis, poor posture.
In recent years, there has been a tendency to increase the number of patients with cervical osteochondrosis among adolescents. Doctors attribute this to computer games and nervous strain.
Drug treatment of patients diagnosed with cervical osteochondrosis should begin as early as possible. This prevents further changes in the tissues of the spine and quickly improves overall well-being.
Below we consider the main groups of drugs used in the treatment of osteochondrosis.
|Name of the drug / group||Application|
|NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)||These medicines reduce inflammation and swelling, which causes pain to subside.|
|Vasodilators (antiplatelet agents)||Drugs that improve blood flow and nutrition of damaged nerves.|
|Muscle relaxants||Drugs that relieve muscle spasm.|
|B vitamins||Assign to improve the flow of metabolic processes in the body.|
|Chondroprotectors||Medicines that restore pathologically altered cartilage tissue.|
|Analgesics||Prescribed for severe pain.|
Since NVPS have a number of side effects, the dosage of drugs and the general course of their use must be selected with a doctor individually for each patient. Be sure to consider all contraindications.
Treatment at home
Against the background of drug therapy and during the recovery period, the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis is also carried out by other methods. The group of the most common of them include herbal medicine, exercise therapy, physiotherapy, adherence to a special diet. All these methods help to improve metabolic processes, normalize blood circulation, strengthen the muscular corset, and reduce inflammatory reactions. Compliance with the whole complex of therapeutic measures allows you to get rid of not only discomfort, but also prevent further pathological changes in the discs and vertebrae.
After the relief of acute pain in patients with osteochondrosis, the doctor recommends doing physical exercises. Specially selected exercise therapy strengthens the muscles of the neck and the entire spine, enhances disc nutrition and blood circulation.
In the early stages of the development of osteochondrosis, it is exercises that lead to the complete restoration of joint mobility.
The simplest exercises for cervical osteochondrosis are tilting the head to the sides, forward, backward. A doctor who will take into account all the changes in the spine identified during the examination of the patient 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 buckthorn, 40 grams of birch leaves and 50 grams of willow bark must be chopped and mixed well. The broth is prepared from two spoons of the collection and half a liter of water, all this is boiled for 10 minutes, infused and cooled. You need to drink this decoction in a glass twice a day for at least two weeks.
- Horseradish compress. A sheet of horseradish should be doused with boiling water, attached to the neck and fixed with a scarf. Such a compress is best done at night, when using it, a slight burning sensation will be felt.
Proper nutrition in osteochondrosis will contribute to the normalization of metabolism. Hard diets for this disease do not exist, except when you need to reduce weight, because changes in the disks often occur with obesity.
Be sure to have proteins in the daily menu for people with osteochondrosis, they are found in meat, dairy products, fish, poultry, legumes, cereals. Protein is well absorbed if these products are combined with plant foods.
Strong coffee, tea, alcohol should be abandoned, as these drinks do not allow the absorption of important trace elements.
In addition to medicines, exercises, diet, physiotherapy helps a person with osteochondrosis in treatment. Massage, swimming, and yoga give excellent results in relieving pain and strengthening the muscle corset. Most importantly, the selected treatment methods should be performed several courses a year, this will allow you to forget about exacerbations of osteochondrosis.
Movement is everything
Osteochondrosis develops with physical inactivity, which means that in order to improve the functioning of the spinal column in this area, it is necessary to change your lifestyle. Physical activity, daily exercises, sparing sports allow you to forget about the uncomfortable sensations in osteochondrosis. People engaged in sedentary work need to periodically take breaks during the working day to perform simple physical exercises.