Cervical osteochondrosis, its symptoms, treatment and prevention

neck ache

In the modern world, the resonance of cervical osteochondrosis disease is difficult to overestimate. Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is much more common than in other spinal columns. Almost everyone over the age of 25 has this disease, to one degree or another.

Cervical osteochondrosis develops mainly due to a sedentary lifestyle, which is especially facilitated by the historical transition of a person from physical to mental work, which, although in a moderate degree, is accompanied by carrying out work in a sitting position.

Cervical spine osteochondrosis is a degenerative-dystrophic disease of the cervical spine, leading to damage to the intervertebral discs, common in general in osteochondrosis disease. Since this part of the spine is, by nature, quite mobile, but at the same time vulnerable due to a poorly developed muscular corset, therefore, any negative effect on the neck or back affects mainly the cervical region. Due to the fact that degenerative changes often develop in the most mobile vertebral regions, they are the nerve endings at the C5 level. . . C7 that most often suffer in the cervical region.

As the symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis are highly controversial, they are not always considered just symptoms of this disease, which often leads to seeking help from specialists in other areas of medicine. Let's consider them in more detail.

Cervical osteochondrosis and its symptoms

Because the cervical spine is very compact compared to its other parts, even a small tension in the neck muscles or displacement of the cervical spine vertebrae can cause compression or pinching of the nerve roots, which can also be subject tovessels located in this department. Well, osteophytes - bone growth, in the popular treatment called “salt deposition” and formed in the conditions of development of the cervical osteochondrosis disease, lead, as a result, only to a significant deterioration in the course of the disease.

The clinical manifestations of cervical osteochondrosis, that is, its symptoms, can be divided into reflex symptoms and root symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis.

Reflex symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis

reflex symptoms of osteochondrosis

The reflex symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis include the so-called "lumbago", expressed in the appearance of acute neck pain, which visibly worsens with any movement. In view of this, patients usually assume some forced and comfortable head position. In addition, it is quite possible that the typical "snap" occurs when turning or other head movements.

When suffering from cervical osteochondrosis, patients usually experience headaches of a restrictive nature and radiating to the eyeball or the temporal part of the head. In addition, sometimes at the same time, the acuity of visual perception can decrease, as if "everything floats before the eyes".

Vertebral artery syndrome can also develop when the nervous plexus is irritated, which is often misdiagnosed as a violation of blood circulation in the brain due to dizziness in a patient. This symptom of cervical osteochondrosis can manifest with sudden movements of the head and be complicated by nausea and possible vomiting.

In addition to the above, the reflex symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis also include cardiac syndrome, in which sensations similar to an attack of angina pectoris occur. However, such manifestation of osteochondrosis symptoms is usually associated with a complex of other signs of this disease, therefore, it usually does not cause difficulties in the correct diagnosis.

Root symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis

The root symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis, as a rule, appear due to compression of the termination of the spinal nerve - the root. In this case, the sensory disturbances that affect motor functions depend entirely on which specific nerve root is injured, namely:

  • C1 - decreased sensitivity in the occiput;
  • C2 - occurrence of pain in the parietal or occipital region of the head;
  • C3 - impaired sensitivity and the appearance of pain in the neck region, where the spinal root was injured, with quite possible impairment of speech function, due to loss of tongue sensitivity and control over it;
  • C4 - appearance of pain and decreased sensitivity in the dorsal region of the shoulder, as well as pain in the heart and liver, with simultaneous decrease in muscle tone of the neck and possible respiratory disorders of the respiratory function;
  • C5 - decreased sensation and pain on the external surface of the shoulder;
  • C6 - pain radiating from the cervical spine to the scapula, the external surface of the shoulder, the forearm and, beyond, from the wrist to the thumb;
  • C7 - the same pain as in C6, but radiating from the scapula to the posterior surface of the humerus, and further from the forearm to the 2nd. . . 4th finger, with decreased sensitivity in the area of ​​pain;
  • C8 - decreased sensitivity and pain, going from the neck to the shoulder, and then from the forearm to the little finger.

Cervical osteochondrosis and its treatment

osteochondrosis treatment

Cervical osteochondrosis is a very complex and extremely unpleasant disease, the treatment of which must be systematic, prolonged and phased. The therapeutic treatment of cervical osteochondrosis, in the first place, aims to completely stop the pain symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis and eliminate inflammation in the neck region affected by the disease.

Patients with cervical osteochondrosis are treated with classic analgesics. Although recently, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are also widely used in the treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, which effectively relieve pain and reduce inflammation activity.

Among other things, chondroprotectors are also used in the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis, which slow down the process of destruction of cartilage tissues and, according to many experts, also contribute to the process of its regeneration. In addition, patients receive the use of B vitamins, which improve the metabolic processes of the patient's body.

But the use of external gels or ointments for the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis is not effective, but it makes sense, because in the process of friction on the skin an additional massage is also performed on the cervical spine.

Physiotherapy procedures are additionally combined with traditional medicines for cervical osteochondrosis and, in particular, the use of magnetotherapy by means of special medical devices is especially effective. In addition to the items above, therapeutic massages, physiotherapy exercises and manual therapy also apply. But, in especially severe cases of the disease, an operative surgical intervention may also be necessary.

Prevention of cervical osteochondrosis disease

The prevention of cervical osteochondrosis itself is not difficult. Recommended:

  • leading an active and healthy lifestyle,
  • playing sports, or at least morning exercises,
  • competent workplace organization,
  • compliance with the work and rest regime,
  • when working for a long time in a sitting position - during working hours, warm up several times and ensure the correct position and posture of the head while working.

Selecting a comfortable pillow and mattress to sleep on is also important. But for those who already suffer from this disease, the daily use of specialized orthopedic products for comfortable sleep is strongly recommended.