Osteochondrosis of the neck

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine (CS) is most commonly diagnosed in middle-aged women and men, as this area is more susceptible to stress. The first signs of the disease are often unexpressed, so it is difficult to identify the problem in the early stages of development. The manifestation of osteochondrosis is associated with the influence of many factors on the body. In order to be adequate in the treatment of osteochondrosis of the neck, it is important to identify the root causes.

neck pain with osteochondrosis

The main causes of the disease

Cervical osteochondrosis is a pathology of degenerative-dystrophic nature, in which under the influence of negative factors the tissues of the intervertebral discs in the neck begin to collapse. Over time, the disease affects other structures of the spine, as a result of which its functioning is impaired. The person begins to worry about unpleasant symptoms, health gradually deteriorates.

The main cause of vertebral degeneration is a violation of metabolic functions in the body. The vertebrae and intervertebral structures do not receive the necessary nutrients and elements. Osteophytic bone growth appears on the bone tissue. Ossification spreads over time. Launched osteochondrosis leads to the fact that the cervical spine is immobilized due to the fusion of the vertebrae.

The mechanism for triggering the development of such processes are negative factors that constantly affect the human body. The causes of osteochondrosis are as follows:

  • congenital pathologies of the structure of the musculoskeletal system,
  • hereditary predisposition,
  • heavy physical activity,
  • passive lifestyle,
  • posture disorder
  • back injuries
  • scoliosis,
  • stress, nervous overload,
  • complication after severe infectious diseases.

Degree of disease and manifestation

headache with cervical osteochondrosis

The signs of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine develop gradually. As the pathology progresses, the symptoms become more pronounced. There are 4 stages in the development of chondrosis:

  • In grade 1, there are no obvious symptoms of osteochondrosis. Sometimes the headache can be anxious as well as neck discomfort. The symptoms pass quickly after a break, but degenerative processes in the discs have already begun, in which the integrity of the pulpal nucleus is damaged.
  • When the pathology progresses to stage 2, the intervertebral cartilage is covered with cracks through which the nucleus of the disc emerges. The intervertebral space decreases, the patient complains of acute pain syndrome in a chronic form.
  • In stage 3 progression, osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is characterized by severe spinal and headaches. Due to hypoxia, brain cells suffer, a person may experience temporary paralysis of the limbs, hearing and vision problems. Hernias appear in the area of the cervix, which compresses the nerves, muscles, arteries and veins.
  • With the transition of the disease to the latter (4 tablespoons), the symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis in men and women become so pronounced that the patient can not relax and rest for even a minute. Osteophytes form on the vertebrae, which impairs the mobility of the neck, a person becomes disabled. If complex treatment is not started at this stage, the situation can end in death.

Typical symptoms

Conservatively, osteochondrosis of 1-2 degrees is treated effectively. In advanced cases, it is difficult to restore completely destroyed intervertebral structures. This means that it is important to diagnose the disease in the early stages. Therefore, it is necessary to urgently consult a doctor if a person has similar symptoms:

  • acute pain, discomfort that is localized in the neck, shoulders, back of the head,
  • severe headache and dizziness resulting from compression of the nerves and vessels of the cervical spine,
  • visual and auditory impairment,
  • muscle weakness
  • numbness, a feeling of tingling on the skin
  • dysfunction of the vestibular apparatus.

Cervical osteochondrosis at the level of the C4-C6 vertebrae is characterized by impaired sensitivity of the upper limbs, hands and fingers. If the vertebral artery is compressed, dangerous disorders occurring in the brain are disturbing. Hypoxia occurs due to insufficient blood supply and nutrition to brain cells. If the patient is not treated in time, the patient will have memory problems, swallowing function will be impaired, the squeezing in the throat where the Adam's apple is located will be impaired.

Often, even a person's voice changes, and with the progression of cervicothoracic osteochondrosis, cardiac pathologies appear.

How is the diagnosis performed?

the doctor examines the neck for osteochondrosis

If a person suspects that he is developing osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, it is necessary to visit a neurologist, who will conduct an initial examination and try to understand the root causes of the disease. During palpation it will be possible to approximately determine the stage of the pathology, how it proceeds - with or without displacement. To confirm the diagnosis, the patient will have to go through a number of such instrumental diagnostic tests:

  • Radiography. This will help determine the degree of growth of osteophytes, the size of the interstitial cavity.
  • MRI or CT. It allows you to assess the degree of destruction of the intervertebral discs, as well as the condition of other soft structures.
  • Doppler ultrasound. Helps to identify abnormalities in the functioning of blood vessels, due to which the blood supply to the brain is disrupted.

How to treat the problem?

If the diagnosis is confirmed at the time of diagnosis, based on the results obtained, the doctor selects the optimal treatment regimen for cervical osteochondrosis. If the disease has not started, you can get rid of it with medication and with the help of auxiliary procedures. At 3-4 stages the drugs are often powerless, the best solution in this case is surgery.

An effective medicine

Drug treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine in the acute period is aimed primarily at relieving inflammation, swelling and pain relief. For this purpose, the following groups of drugs are prescribed:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Eliminate inflammation, reduce swelling, relieve pain. In exacerbation of the pathology is recommended to use in the form of injections, when the symptoms subside a little, you can take pills.
  • Painkillers.
  • Muscle relaxants. Relieves muscle spasm, thus releasing nerves and blood vessels.
  • Chondroprotectants. They restore damaged cartilage structures and prevent their further destruction. For a positive effect, drugs from this group are recommended to be taken for a long time.
  • Vasodilators. They help improve blood flow, which normalizes brain nutrition.
  • B vitamins. Normalize the body's metabolism, stimulate the immune system, so soft and bone tissues regenerate faster.

Complex training therapy

neck gymnastics with osteochondrosis

With the help of therapeutic exercises it will be possible to quickly restore the affected structures of the cervical spine. You can cure the disease by following these approaches:

  • the head rotates in different directions,
  • rotational movements,
  • shoulder rotation,
  • raising and lowering the head.

Physiotherapy and massage

Cervical osteochondrosis is successfully treated with the help of physiotherapy procedures prescribed by a doctor, taking into account the individual characteristics of the organism. It is most often recommended to take the following courses:

  • magnetic therapy,
  • laser heating,
  • ultrasound,
  • electrophoresis,
  • ozokerite applications
  • hydrogen sulfide and radon baths,
  • ultraviolet radiation.

In the defeat of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, it is useful to undergo a course of therapeutic manual massage. The procedure should be performed by a trained physician who is familiar with the diagnosis and X-rays. Thanks to point impact, stroking, tapping and vibration, it will be possible to restore normal blood circulation, to establish the nutrition of the damaged areas.

Treatment with folk remedies

honey and aloe for the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis

It is possible to treat cervical osteochondrosis by non-traditional methods, but you should first consult a doctor. A compress prepared according to this recipe will help relieve pain, inflammation and swelling:

  1. Wash the cabbage leaves, cut the coarse fibers, mix well.
  2. Apply a mixture of honey and aloe juice (2: 1) on the leaves, distribute evenly over the surface.
  3. Heat the compress over steam, then apply on the neck, fixing it with stretch film and a woolen scarf.
  4. Wear a bandage for 3-4 hours.

It is recommended to make a compress daily - morning and evening.

Prevention and prognosis

With timely and adequate therapy, the disease can be cured and complications prevented. If the problem is not treated and the doctor's advice is ignored, the prognosis for recovery is disappointing. As a prevention of cervical osteochondrosis, it is important to lead an active lifestyle, monitor posture, exercise, eat properly and consult a doctor in case of suspicious symptoms.