Osteochondrosis of the cervix is a degenerative disease in which the intervertebral discs become thinner, as a result of which the anatomy of the cervical vertebrae changes and the nerve endings and vessels located nearby are damaged. As the degenerative process progresses, it also covers the surrounding structures. The disease is characterized by a variety of symptoms, such as neck pain, dizziness, nausea, limited mobility of the spine and significantly impairs the quality of life of the patient.
What is cervical osteochondrosis
The cervical region is the most mobile part of the spine. It consists of 7 vertebrae, between which are intervertebral discs. The latter ensure the integrity of this area and perform the function of shock absorption. The discs have a complex structure: inside there is a pulp surrounded by a dense fibrous ring.
With age and under the influence of increased load, the height of the intervertebral discs decreases. Metabolism is disturbed in the nucleus, the fibrous ring gains cracks. As the disease progresses, the discs protrude, extensions and hernias appear. Osteophytes appear - bone growths that restrict spinal mobility and cause pain.
Pathological changes occur near the spinal cord and nerve roots. In case of their compression, a reflex muscle spasm appears. In this case, a person has pronounced symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis.
Causes of the disease
Osteochondrosis develops under the influence of a number of reasons. There are several theories that explain the nature of this disease:
- involuntary - the cause of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is the wear of the intervertebral discs;
- physical - the disease develops due to excessive impact on the vertebrae and intervertebral discs;
- autoimmune - a person's immunity destroys the intervertebral discs over time;
- vascular - nutrition of cartilage and bone tissue is disturbed, which is associated with pathological changes in the vessels;
- hereditary predisposition - the disease occurs in people with a predisposition to degenerative diseases of the spine.
Important! None of the theories explains the cause of cervical osteochondrosis more.
The impetus for the disease can be a combination of several factors:
- wrong posture, flat feet;
- sedentary work, sedentary lifestyle;
- excess weight;
- congenital injuries and pathologies of the spine;
- excessive physical activity;
- hormonal changes;
- bad habits;
- vascular diseases;
- genetic predisposition.
The more such factors are combined, the greater the chance of developing the disease and the faster the dystrophic processes will develop.
Symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis
The symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis do not appear immediately. For a long time, the patient may not be aware of the onset of the disease and pay attention to the health condition only after the onset of pain.
In the first stage of the disease, when the thickness of the discs decreases slightly, you may feel a slight discomfort in the neck if you stay in an uncomfortable position for a long time. In the second stage, extensions appear, which are felt by the stiffness of the movements in the cervical region.
Further development of the disease leads to persistent pain and deterioration of well-being. There are additional signs of cervical osteochondrosis, significantly worsening the quality of life:
- persistent pain in the cervical region and collar area;
- severe stiffness in the neck muscles;
- pain during movement and at rest;
- limited mobility in the neck;
- numbness of the fingers;
- headaches and dizziness may join.
In addition to the usual signs, there are several syndromes of cervical osteochondrosis:
- Vertebral. Due to damage to the cartilage and bones of the spine, its mobility is limited, pain appears.
- Vertebral artery syndrome. Due to the spasm of the vessels responsible for the blood supply to the brain, there is tinnitus, headache, fainting and blurred vision.
- The root. Symptoms are accompanied by rooting of the nerve roots, as a result of which the patient feels pain in the shoulder area, numbness of the back of the head, fingers and pain in the edges of the shoulders.
What is dangerous osteochondrosis of the cervix
Patients often consider osteochondrosis of the cervical spine as a disease that does not bring serious consequences. But this is a misconception. The pathology causes disturbances in the functioning of vital structures - nerves and blood vessels. If treatment is not taken in time, the consequence of the disease can be a violation of cerebral circulation, muscle weakness and atrophy, a violation of the functions of organs and internal systems.
Also, osteochondrosis leads to limited movement of the spine and loss of sensitivity of the hands. Such significant changes are a serious reason to seek medical help and undergo complex treatment.
A neurologist deals with the diagnosis of cervical osteochondrosis. At the first meeting, he assesses spinal mobility, the quality of reflexes, and defines areas of pain. If during the collection of the anamnesis it turns out that the patient is worried about a number of symptoms, you may need to consult other specialists:
- endocrinologist and others.
For the diagnosis of osteochondrosis, a comprehensive examination is used. From radiation diagnostic methods, radiography, computed tomography and MRI are used. MRI, due to the high degree of visualization, makes it possible to establish the diagnosis even at an early stage of pathology. Duplex scanning of the arteries in the neck and head area is recommended if the patient complains of headache and dizziness. Examination allows you to assess blood flow and the condition of blood vessels.
In addition to the listed diagnostic methods, the following are described:
- Ultrasound of internal organs, heart;
- X-ray of the chest;
- laboratory research.
They allow to distinguish osteochondrosis from other pathologies with similar symptoms.
Treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine requires an integrated approach and includes medication, physiotherapy, massage, exercise therapy, manual therapy, carboxytherapy and other modern techniques.
The main purpose of drug exposure is to relieve pain, eliminate dizziness, normalize nerve root function, and also stop or slow down degenerative changes in cartilage tissue. Depending on the diagnosis are assigned:
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the form of drops, injections, tablets, ointments - to relieve inflammation and pain;
- hormonal drugs - to stop the inflammatory process in case of ineffectiveness of the previous ones;
- muscle relaxants - medicines that relieve spasms and thus improve blood circulation;
- B vitamins in the form of tablets and injections - to improve the conduction of nerve impulses and nutrition of nerve tissue;
- sedatives - for chronic or severe pain, sleep disturbances;
- Chondroprotectors - drugs that aim to improve metabolic processes in cartilage tissues.
Depending on the symptoms, medications may be prescribed to improve microcirculation in the brain, decongestants, metabolism and others.
In addition to the use of drugs, for the treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervix in the acute phase, traditional physiotherapeutic methods are used, such as laser and magnetotherapy, electrical stimulation, phono- and electrophoresis.
Important! A good effect is given by massage, manual therapy, osteopathy and reflexology. They aim to eliminate restrictions on the work of the spine, relieve pain and regulate the functioning of internal organs.
Along with traditional medical procedures, innovative methods are used. How to treat cervical osteochondrosis of the spine is determined by the attending physician. The following methods are assigned:
- Carboxytherapy. The treatment is performed with the help of subcutaneous injections of carbon dioxide, which causes a series of biochemical reactions. As a result, microcirculation is improved, swelling and pain are reduced, and local defense processes are activated. The procedure is absolutely safe. It is often applied to patients for whom drug therapy is contraindicated. The number of injections depends on the problem and varies from 5 to 10.
- Ozone therapy. The procedure relieves pain and inflammation, and the effect lasts for a long period. The introduction of ozone near the spine improves tissue nutrition and the flow of waste products, as well as reduces the activity of enzymes that provoke degenerative changes in cartilage.
- PRP - therapy (plasma therapy). Platelet plasma is injected into the muscles located near the spine. The procedure has a pronounced stimulating effect on regenerative processes in all structures of the spine, slows down the process of destruction of cartilage tissue, relieves muscle spasms, pain and improves local blood circulation.
- Shock wave therapy. Allows you to quickly eliminate muscle spasm, increase blood circulation and eliminate tissue overload.
- Taping kinesio. Taping Kinesio helps to relax the muscles and at the same time has a supportive effect on the spine. The method helps relieve inflammation and swelling, restores joint mobility.
Non-pharmacological methods include kinesiotherapy (exercise therapy), caterpillar therapy, musculoskeletal therapy, and local cryotherapy. The choice of a method for the treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervix remains with the physician, who focuses on the diagnosis and the individual characteristics of the patient's body.
A plan on how to treat cervical osteochondrosis is designed taking into account the stage of the pathology and the presence of concomitant diseases.
If you pay attention to preventive measures, you can prevent or slow down the development of osteochondrosis:
- Lead an active lifestyle, but avoid excessive physical activity.
- They undergo preventive treatment 2p / year.
- Avoid or minimize heavy lifting.
- For sleep, use an orthopedic mattress and pillow.
- When working on the computer, turn on the heat every 1 hour.
- Balance your diet by eliminating unhealthy foods.
- Take regular physical therapy.
Important! With osteochondrosis, swimming is recommended. Water discharges the spine and the movements form a strong muscular corset.
To protect and unload the spine, if necessary, it is recommended to use orthopedic devices. To improve metabolic processes in cartilage and slow down its destruction, do not forget to take chondroprotectors.
Treatment in the clinic
The clinic offers comprehensive diagnosis and modern effective methods of treating cervical spine osteochondrosis: carboxytherapy, interstitial electrical stimulation, general magnetotherapy, shock wave therapy, osteopathy, ozone therapy, local cryotherapy and others.
At the service of visitors:
- comfortable offices;
- modern equipment;
- qualified doctors;
- meeting reception;
- polite staff.
When choosing treatment methods, clinic physicians consider the diagnosis, the patient's body characteristics, and lifestyle. They provide recommendations for preventing and preventing further relapses of the disease.
In addition to treating cervical osteochondrosis in our country, the clinic offers prevention courses, including reflexology, physiotherapy and exercise therapy.
If you are concerned about cervical back pain, make an appointment with a professional. They will help you eliminate the manifestations of the disease, give recommendations for prevention, diet and lifestyle.