Depending on the location of the spinal cord lesion, each department is characterized by its own symptoms of osteochondrosis. Some of them are directly related to the structures of the spine, the rest - to a violation of the innervation of those organs and structures belonging to the affected section. Typical symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis. belong to several groups or syndromes:
- vertebral artery;
Vertebrogenic syndrome in cervical osteochondrosis
Due to changes in the bones and cartilage tissues of the spine in osteochondrosis. Violation of mobility in the joints of the spine, a decrease in the distance between the vertebrae lead to their deformation and restriction of movement in the cervical region.
Degenerative-dystrophic changes in the intervertebral discs are not necessarily age-related, they may be the result of excessive load, poor posture, etc. , which is especially noticeable in the cervical spine. Osteochondrosis of the cervix appears as a consequence of such causes even at a young age.
Tissue changes may be reversible, however, morphological signs in osteochondrosis are always present and diagnosed radiologically: dehydration, shrinkage, and degeneration of the intervertebral discs.
With the deterioration of the process - the formation of bone growths in the vertebrae. Vertebrogenic syndrome is the main one in any form of osteochondrosis. Its manifestations in the cervical region:
- Violation of the mobility of the cervical spine;
- Pain when turning or tilting the head;
- Changes in the structures of the spine (body and discs).
During a worsening of the pain process in the cervical region (cervicalgia), they are also disturbed in a stationary state. It is characteristic that the pain radiates to the occipital region of the head (cervicocranialgia), sometimes spreading throughout the head, becoming intense, unbearable.
vertebral artery syndrome
Compression of the vertebral artery as a result of degenerative processes in the spine (or tissue edema during periods of deterioration) is manifested by impaired blood flow and symptoms of hypoxia in the brain. Dizziness, nausea and vomiting, changes in total blood pressure and intracranial pressure, tinnitus, lethargy and impaired coordination are observed.
Not only mechanical compression as a result of osteochondrosis of the cervical region, but also irritation of the artery walls, their nerve endings contribute to the appearance of specific symptoms.
Severe migraine-type headaches, fainting with sharp head curves are typical manifestations of vertebral artery syndrome in cervical osteochondrosis.
Compression of the nerve roots of the cervical region, reflex spasms of blood vessels as a result of osteochondrosis give manifestations in the region of the heart. Cardiac syndrome is manifested by pain in the sternum, palpitations, weakness, feeling of shortness of breath. With exacerbations of osteochondrosis, cardiac syndrome can be combined with spikes in blood pressure.
Compression of the nerve roots emerging from the cervical spine is manifested by movement disorders (paralysis, semi-paralysis) and tenderness in the areas they innervate.
Signs of conduction disorders in cervical osteochondrosis:
- 1-2 pairs of roots: headache in the back of the head, numbness or increased sensitivity;
- 3-4 pairs of roots: localization of pain and sensory disturbances in the pharynx (tongue), larynx (hair, difficulty swallowing), throat, ears;
- 5-6 pairs of roots: pain and movement disorders in the arms, shoulders, shoulder blades;
- 7 pairs of roots: the lesion causes impaired movement and numbness of the fingers - middle and index finger, 8 pairs - ring and little fingers.
Confirmation of the diagnosis
A variety of symptoms in cervical osteochondrosis are associated with the impact of the process on nerve roots and trunks, which will result in sensory disturbances, motor function, pain, and circulatory disorders of the innervated areas.
Difficulties in diagnosis arise if the patient has symptoms of hypertension, cardiac disorders, and neurological symptoms, which may mask a stroke or transient cerebral ischemia.
Sudden loss of consciousness can be both a sign of osteochondrosis with vertebral artery syndrome, as well as an acute cerebrovascular accident. Pallor, weakness, tachycardia that accompany the condition are possible in both cases, as reactions of the autonomic system.
Another syndrome in cervical osteochondrosis, which requires close differential diagnosis, is cardiac. Equally important is identifying the dependence of blood pressure jumps on osteochondrosis.
Depending on the prevailing symptoms, the examination plan for cervical osteochondrosis includes:
- X-ray examination of the spine;
- CT and MRI of the spine and brain;
- Electrocardiography and ultrasound of the heart;
- Holter AD;
- General blood test.
The intensity of the manifestation of symptoms during periods of worsening osteochondrosis of the cervix may require not only a prolonged examination, but also hospitalization in case of suspicion of the risk of emergency conditions: acute neurological or cardiological pathology.