Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis

Is unpleasant neck pain accompanied by dizziness, general weakness and fatigue? All of this should be a wake-up call for everyone, as any of the symptoms listed may indicate the development of cervical osteochondrosis.

It is necessary to treat such alarming symptoms responsibly, because if there is no timely treatment, the pathology can lead to the formation of more serious consequences, including intervertebral hernias.

What is osteochondrosis of the cervical spine?

Cervical osteochondrosis is a degenerative disease of the spine, in the development of which the structure of its connective tissue changes.

The disease is often disguised as a violation of other types, but a timely visit to a specialist allows you to make a timely diagnosis and begin treatment immediately.

Degenerative changes in cervical spine tissue are most commonly found in the medical history of adults (45-59) and the elderly (60-74).

Even so, it should be noted: in modern society, there is a rejuvenation of the disease, which is confirmed by the periodic diagnosis of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine in children and adolescents.

It is important that osteochondrosis can occur in isolation and concurrently with the defeat of other parts, particularly the thoracic, lumbar and sacral parts.

Causes of cervical osteochondrosis

Today it is impossible to mention the exact cause for the occurrence of degenerative processes occurring in the intervertebral disc. There is no confirmation that cervical osteochondrosis is a dementia phenomenon.

A number of studies conducted by scientists from various countries prove that osteochondrosis of the cervical spine has provoking factors.

Among the causes of the tendency to develop osteochondrosis of the neck, there are:

  • low activity levels, inactivity and inactive lifestyle;
  • types of work involving static loads on the cervical spine;
  • overweight, inadequate level of physical development;
  • violation of the process of development of connective tissue;
  • chronic spinal cord injuries;
  • spinal deformities, use of uncomfortable pillows, mattresses for rest;
  • genetic predisposition.

A large number of reasons are related in one way or another related to the natural processes of obsolete body systems, as well as the possible development of pathology of bone and cartilage tissue.

What are the dangers of cervical osteochondrosis?

Decreased levels of movement and limited joint flexibility, loss of muscle elasticity and other signs of body aging are inevitable, natural processes that accompany a person in ontogenesis.

Pain disorders that occur during movement much earlier than the natural age of aging often result in loss of quality of life and even disability.

To determine how to treat cervical osteochondrosis, you need a professional consultation from your doctor. In the absence of professional, timely diagnosis and necessary treatment, the disease will continue, which can not only lead to deterioration of well -being, but also serious disorders in the functioning of the nervous and vascular systems.

The main signs and symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis

The structure of the human skeleton, the ability to walk upright and the impressive size of the head have led to the fact that some parts of the spine are the most vulnerable, particularly the cervix.

Among the striking structural features of the cervical spine, should be highlighted the presence of vertebrae, especially small in size and a large number of muscles, which are associated with this disease such as osteochondrosis the most common disease.

Pain is the most common spinal disease syndrome. Depending on the affected area, it can focus on:

  • in the collarbone and / or shoulder;
  • along the entire length of the cervical spine;
  • not the anterior surface of the sternum.

It is quite difficult to determine the main symptoms of the disease independently, because in most cases, the disease is insignificant and very nonspecific:

  • pain in the areaneckespecially in the evening;
  • severity,backache;
  • a little numbtingling in the shoulders, hands;
  • difficulty,clicking while turning the head.

The development of the disease is accompanied by a number of major symptoms that are already noticeable.

Vegetative-dystonic symptoms

It is characterized by pain in the neck, especially felt in the area just below the back of the head.

Painful sensations often occur during prolonged stay in the same position, for example, in the morning.

Neck muscles tense, there is difficulty in moving the hands to the side, stiffness on finger movements.

Due to the compression of the vertebral arteries, neurological manifestations are often found:

  • recurrent headaches;
  • nausea;
  • fainted.

Spinal symptoms

Localization of the area - on the left side of the back of the chest.

In the process of gradual disruption of the structure of the intervertebral disc, compression and, as a consequence, violation of nerve roots occurs, which leads to narrowing of arteries and veins, which in turn leads to the formation of radicular syndrome and ischemia.

Circulatory disorders cause:

  • severe migraine headaches;
  • dizziness;
  • visual disturbances, tinnitus;
  • autonomic function disorders.

In rare cases, manifestations of cardinal syndrome are detected, accompanied by pain in the heart muscle, air pressure, and heart rhythm disturbances.

The stage of development of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine and their characteristic symptoms

The process of development of the disease is relatively slow, but at the same time it has 4 stages that can be clearly detected:

  • osteochondrosis of the cervical spine degree 1 - the occurrence of minor discomfort and pain during prolonged walking, static position. The onset of seal formation in the intervertebral disc;
  • osteochondrosis of the cervical spine degree 2 - a bright painful sensation. To relieve pain, manual therapy and appropriate medications are used;
  • osteochondrosis of the cervical spine grade 3 - the presence of obvious lesions on the connective tissue in the affected area;
  • osteochondrosis of the cervical spine grade 4 - the final stage of development of the disease, which is characterized by damage to almost all parts of the spine.

The last stage of development of the disease requires surgical intervention, which requires a long recovery.

Diagnosis of the disease

If there are special symptoms to diagnose and treat osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, you should see an orthopedist or neurologist.

As part of the diagnostic measures, the specialist will determine mobility and pain in the neck area, as well as assess the level of sensitivity, and identify other functional disorders.

Among the most effective diagnostic methods, it is customary to distinguish:

  • X-rays of the cervical spine, performed in various projections;
  • CT (computed tomography);
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) if hernia / protrusion is suspected.

If there is a circulatory disturbance, rheoencephalography can also be used, as well as fundus examination.

Possible complications

Lack of timely treatment can lead to serious complications, including:

  • protrusion of the intervertebral disc(hernia formation / protrusion);
  • ruptured intervertebral disc, accompanied by pinching of nerves and blood vessels, which can be fatal;
  • radiculopathy(damage to nerve roots), osteophyte formation (spine on the vertebral body) with numerous manifestations of paresis and paralysis.

How to treat osteochondrosis of the cervical spine?

Treatment of cervical osteochondrosis is determined by a specialist and depends on the stage of development of the pathology, the form of its course and the characteristics of the clinical manifestations of the disease.

Today, the most effective methods of treating this disease are:

  • treatment with conservative methods, including drugs / non -drugs;
  • surgical intervention;
  • a combination of complex techniques.


Consider the effect of physical factors on the affected area. With an integrated approach and implementation of all competent procedures, improvement becomes apparent in the second or third month of treatment.

Among the most popular areas of physiotherapy prescribed for the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis are:

  • electrotherapy;
  • shock wave therapy;
  • magnetotherapy;
  • balneotherapy;
  • laser therapy;
  • vibration massage.

Neck massage for osteochondrosis

The sequence must be performed carefully, without the use of coercive force. Violation of massage techniques can lead to negative consequences.

The starting position of the massage is the "prone" or "sitting with the back straight" position.

All massage techniques are based on techniques such as:

  • caressing - affects the surface layer of the skin. It is performed with the palms and fingertips down from the back of the head, to the third level of the upper back;
  • squeezing - affects the inner layer of the skin in the upper third of the back. It is performed with two fingers (thumb and forefinger), performed on the neck;
  • rubbing - the main purpose is to warm the skin and increase blood flow to the desired area;
  • kneading - affects the lying tissue, must be used with caution, because illiterate use can aggravate the condition.

Physiotherapywith cervical osteochondrosis

There are specific exercises for the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis. The most effective are:

Stretching yourself

Starting position: sitting / standing with back straight.

Execution sequence: while maintaining the starting position, try to lower the shoulders as low as possible, while stretching the top of the head upwards.

Intensity of execution: at least 10 times (2-5 seconds), at least 3 times a day.

Massage yourself

Inventory: terry towels.

Starting position: sit / stand, grip the neck with a towel, hold the end with your hands.

Procedure: pull the ends of the towel alternately, kneading the neck muscles gently.

Important! During training, it is necessary to ensure that the towel does not slip and does not grip the neck.

Gymnastics (bending / lengthening, rotation, bending)

Starting position: sitting / standing with back straight.

Execution sequence: from the starting position, perform a smooth flexion / elongation, rotation or tilt of the head, first in one direction, then in the other.

Performance intensity: 5-7 movements in one direction.

Remedies for cervical osteochondrosis

This is especially important during exacerbations, because through the cervical spine important blood vessels pass, providing nutrition to the brain.

As a method of treatment, tablets, injections, ointments, as well as other topical agents prescribed by the attending physician may be used.

Important! Self-medication with drugs from various groups is unacceptable and can cause disability, death.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

One of the most effective medications, often used for osteochondrosis in the form of injections, but is also available in the form of tablets, patches and ointments.

The main direction of action is to reduce pain, eliminate swelling and inflammation.

Relax the muscles

Provides effective muscle tension reduction, which can significantly reduce pain.

The recommended treatment period is 2 to 4 weeks.

Anti-inflammatory, analgesic and warming ointment for cervical osteochondrosis

To increase its effectiveness, anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs contain steroidal substances in their composition.

The heating action of the ointment is intended to relieve pain, as well as warming, which activates blood flow at the place of application of the drug.


They are used to slow down the degenerative process and accelerate the regrowth of connective tissue. Has a cumulative effect.

Recommended dosage regimen: from 2 to 6 months.

Nutritional characteristics in the treatment and prevention of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

Proper nutrition is an undeniably important component of maintaining the health of the body.

In the context of prevention or treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, his diet, although helpful, but at the same time is a very significant component.

The main goals of proper nutrition in the treatment or prevention of osteochondrosis are:

  • elimination of possible deficiencies of nutrients necessary for the implementation of metabolic processes in the tissue of the intervertebral disc;
  • maintain optimal weight;
  • reduces the risk of vascular changes, prevents circulatory disorders.

Principles of diet

Nutrition for cervical osteochondrosis is based on the principles of rationality and function:

  1. Minimize inhibition - a healthy diet is varied, balanced and at the same time saturated with all the necessary ingredients.
  2. Adhering to drinking rules is an important component in preventing intervertebral disc tissue degradation.
  3. Reduce salt intake - eliminates the possibility of increased load on the blood vessels and maintains water and electrolyte balance.
  4. Limit the use of starches and sugars, to eliminate the possibility of metabolic disorders.

Prohibited and recommended foods

Nutrition in the treatment and prevention of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine requires the exclusion of such products that clog the body such as:

  • alcohol which disturbs the electrolyte balance of water and causes tissue dehydration;
  • fatty meats and smoked meats that are difficult to digest;
  • acidic, spicy foods that increase inflammation;
  • semi -finished products that adversely affect the digestive process;
  • sweets, sugars that interfere with blood circulation.

The list of recommended foods includes easily digestible foods from plants and animals, rich in protein, complex carbohydrates and fiber, including:

  • chicken, rabbit, lean beef and pork;
  • Fish and seafood;
  • dairy products, eggs;
  • grains of various kinds;
  • Wheat bread;
  • fruits, vegetables, berries and herbs.


The basis of the health of the human cervical spine is a strong back, its health is due to:

  • adequate level of physical activity;
  • maintain optimal weight;
  • comfortable beds with anatomical pillows and quality mattresses;
  • maintain proper posture;
  • a combination of prolonged seating with periods of rest and physical warm -up;
  • adherence to proper nutrition.

In addition, it is recommended to avoid neck injuries and, of course, lifting unbearable loads.