Osteochondrosis of the neck

In middle-aged women and men, osteochondrosis of the cervical spine (CS) is diagnosed more often because this section is more sensitive 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 occurrence of osteochondrosis is associated with the influence on the body of many factors. In order for the treatment regimen for neck osteochondrosis to be adequate, it is important to discover the root causes of the occurrence.

neck pain with osteochondrosis

The main causes of the disease

Osteochondrosis of the cervix is a pathology of a degenerative-dystrophic nature, in which, under the influence of negative factors, the tissues of the intervertebral discs in the cervical area 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, the health condition is gradually deteriorating.

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. Osteophyte bone growth occurs in bone tissue. Ossification spreads over time. Initiated osteochondrosis leads to the fact that the cervical spine, due to the melting of the vertebrae, becomes immobile.

The motivating mechanism for 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,
  • violation of residence,
  • back injuries
  • scoliosis,
  • stress, nervous overload,
  • complications after severe infectious diseases.

The degree and manifestation of the disease

headache with cervical osteochondrosis

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

  • In grade 1, there are no obvious symptoms of osteochondrosis. Sometimes a headache can be troublesome as well as discomfort in the neck. Symptoms pass quickly after rest, but degenerative processes have already begun in the discs, in which the integrity of the pulposus nucleus is disrupted.
  • When the pathology has progressed to stage 2, the intervertebral cartilage is covered with cracks, through which the disc nucleus emerges. The intervertebral space shrinks, the patient complains of acute pain syndrome of a chronic form.
  • In the third stage of progression, osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is characterized by severe vertebral and headache. Due to hypoxia, brain cells suffer, a person may experience temporary paralysis of the limbs, problems with hearing and sight. Hernias appear in the area of the cervix, which press on nerves, muscles, arteries and veins.
  • With the onset of the disease to the last (4 tablespoons), the symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis in men and women become so pronounced that the patient can not rest and rest even for a minute. Osteophytes form in the vertebrae, due to which the mobility of the neck is impaired, a person becomes incapacitated. If complex treatment is not started at this stage, the situation can end in death.

Typical symptoms

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

  • acute discomfort pain, which is localized in the neck, shoulders, back of the head,
  • severe headaches and dizziness resulting from compression of the nerves and vessels of the cervical spine by the vertebrae,
  • violation of visual and auditory functions,
  • muscle weakness
  • numbness, nodular sensations flowing through the skin
  • failure of the vestibular apparatus to function.

Osteochondrosis of the cervix at the level of C4-C6 vertebrae is characterized by impaired sensitivity of the upper limbs, hands and fingers. If the vertebral artery is congested, the dangerous disorders that occur in the brain are troubling. Due to insufficient blood supply and nutrition of brain cells, hypoxia occurs. If the patient is not treated in time, the patient will have problems with memory, swallowing function will be impaired and squeezing in the throat where Adam's apple is located will be disturbed.

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

How is the diagnosis performed?

the doctor examines the neck for osteochondrosis

If a person suspects that he is developing osteochondrosis of the cervical vertebra, it is necessary to visit a neurologist who will perform an initial examination and try to discover the main causes of the development of the disease. During palpation, it will be possible to roughly determine the stage of the pathology, as it progresses - with or without displacement. To confirm the diagnosis, the patient will need to undergo a series of such instrumental diagnostic studies:

  • Radiography. It will help determine the rate of osteophyte growth, the size of the inter-articular gap.
  • MRI or CT. 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 impaired.

How to deal with the problem?

If the diagnosis is confirmed during the diagnosis, based on the results obtained, the doctor selects the optimal treatment regimen for cervical osteochondrosis. If the disease does not start, you can remove it with medication and with the help of ancillary procedures. In 3-4 stages, the drugs are often powerless, the best solution in this case is a surgical operation.

Effective medicine

Medical treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine in the acute period is mainly aimed at relieving inflammation, swelling, and relieving pain. For these purposes, the following groups of drugs are prescribed:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Eliminate inflammation, reduce swelling, relieve pain. With a worsening of the pathology, it is recommended to use it in the form of injections, when the symptoms subside slightly, you can take pills.
  • painkillers.
  • Muscle relaxants. Relieve muscle spasm, thus freeing nerves and blood vessels.
  • Chondroprotectants. They restore damaged cartilaginous structures and prevent their further destruction. For a positive effect, medicines of this group are recommended to be taken for a long period.
  • Vasodilators. They help improve blood flow, due to which the nutrition of the brain is normalized.
  • Group B vitamins. They normalize metabolism in the body, stimulate the immune system, due to which soft and bone tissues regenerate faster.

Complex exercise 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 the following methods:

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

Physiotherapy and massage

Osteochondrosis of the cervix is successfully treated with the help of physiotherapeutic procedures, which are prescribed by a doctor, taking into account the individual characteristics of the organism. Most often, it is recommended to follow the following courses:

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

With the loss of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, it is beneficial to undergo a manual therapeutic massage course. The procedure should be performed by a trained physician who is familiar with the diagnosis and radiographic images. Thanks to the point blow, stroke, caress and vibration, it will be possible to restore normal blood circulation, to place food on the damaged areas.

Treatment with folk remedies

honey and aloe for the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis

It is possible to treat cervical osteochondrosis with unconventional 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 leaf, cut the thick strands, cook well.
  2. Apply a mixture of honey and aloe juice (2: 1) on the leaves, spread evenly on the surface.
  3. Heat the compress over steam, then apply to the neck, securing it with adhesive film and a woolen scarf.
  4. Wear a bandage for 3-4 hours.

It is recommended to do a compress every day - 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 prophylaxis for cervical osteochondrosis, it is important to lead an active lifestyle, monitor posture, exercise, eat properly, and consult a physician in case of suspicious symptoms.