Complex treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

Osteochondrosis is a common degenerative-dystrophic disease, in which the structure and function of the vertebral and intervertebral discs are disrupted, causing a violation of the intervertebral nerve roots and thus causing symptoms. Osteochondrosis is a chronic pathology that arises under the complex influence of causes - from the evolutionary and anatomical features of the human skeletal structure to the influence of external factors, such as working conditions, lifestyle, overweight, injuries and others. Often, osteochondrosis of the cervical and lumbar spine is diagnosed as the most prone to stress. The treatment of cervical osteochondrosis is complex and long-term, primarily aimed at relieving symptoms and preventing complications.



Damage to the upper spine can appear in many symptoms, depending on the location and severity of the dystrophic process, as well as how seriously the cervical spine root structure is affected. Often, patient complaints are reduced to symptoms that at first glance are not related to each other, which can complicate the diagnosis and further treatment of the disease.

In general, clinics for cervical spine osteochondrosis are the following series of syndromes:

  • Vertebral, characterized by various types of pain in the occiput and neck.
  • Spine, in which symptoms of motorized and weak sensory disturbances are observed, in addition, disturbed trophism of the cervical zone causes gradual atrophy of the muscles in the shoulder and arm belts.
  • Radicular, expressed in symptoms of pain in the peritoneal organs and chest, which requires careful diagnostics to distinguish osteochondrosis and diseases of internal organs.
  • Vertebral artery syndrome in cervical osteochondrosis - a vestibular disorder characterized by headache, hearing loss, dizziness, and loss of consciousness.

This phenomenon occurs when the cause of cerebral ischemia is due to violation of the vertebral arteries and poor blood supply.

How to treat cervical osteochondrosis?

Osteochondrosis of the cervical segment develops gradually, and patients usually seek treatment that is already at the stage of clinical manifestations that interfere with quality of life, during periods of exacerbation. How to treat osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, decided only by a doctor after an appropriate diagnosis, self-treatment in this case is unacceptable.

Treatment of neck osteochondrosis aims to eliminate pain, inflammation, partial recovery of the affected tissue structure and prevention of complications.

Treatment should be performed especially on outpatients, any procedure at home can only be performed in conjunction with a medical prescription, after instrumental diagnostics and laboratory.

In further cases, at the stage of development of severe neurological lesions and concomitant pathology, treatment of patients in cervical osteochondrosis with possible surgical intervention may be indicated.

Remedy for cervical osteochondrosis

This consists in prescribing a course of medications that relieve the symptoms of pain and inflammation. In the acute period, medications are indicated in the form of injections, after the pain subsides, the patient takes the pill, the agent acts locally in the form of an ointment, and continues to receive the injection.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. They are considered as the drug of choice in the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis to relieve pain and inflammation. This is a drug based on diclofenac and indomethacin, available in different dosage forms. They reduce swelling of soft tissues, thus reducing pain, local remedies have a warming effect, which increases blood flow in the affected cervical area. The drug is used for 5-10 days, sometimes up to 2 weeks. In the acute period, NSAIDs are prescribed in the form of injections, after a few days the patient switches to the tablet form. Keep in mind that long-term treatment with NSAIDs has a negative effect on the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract, for this reason, the course of treatment usually does not exceed 10 days.

Drug treatment

Sedatives such as percent, glycerin, valerian tincture, peony, herbal tea are recommended for prolonged pain and to reduce the risk of neuroticicization of the patient, which contributes to the effectiveness of cervical osteochondrosis treatment. Local irritants. These are ointments, gels, ointments that have a warming, irritating and annoying effect. They are not used in the treatment of acute stage. They contain biologically active substances from plants and animals, for example, bee venom or snake. This group includes viprosal, apizartron, menovazin, nayatoks. If there is hypersensitivity to the components of the drug and with a high irritating effect, it is better not to use it, so as not to cause even greater edema. Vitamin. During the period of further treatment and recovery, multivitamin complexes are recommended for use. Usually this is a group of vitamin B, whose representatives are involved in ensuring normal nerve conduction, as well as vitamins A and C, to strengthen the walls of blood vessels and increase blood flow. Taking vitamins reduces vestibular disorders - intoxication syndrome, dizziness, hearing loss.

Chondroprotectors. This is a substance that contributes to the recovery of cartilage tissue of the cervical segment vertebral disc. These include glucosaminoglycans and chondroitin sulfate. Treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine with chondroprotectors is carried out for a long time, 6-12 months.

Orthopedic treatment

Unpleasant symptoms in the cervical spine are often provoked and exacerbated by incorrect body position during sleep, prolonged stay in a state of compulsion, or trauma. Therefore, treatment complexes also include methods such as:

Neck collar

Neck collar, or Shants collar. It is prescribed individually for each patient, after consulting a physician, as it is available in several types. The collar is a compact frame roller that binds at the neck and fixes the vertebrae at the required position. Thus, the neck does not bend and the head does not turn to the side, which ensures immobilization of the diseased area, which is important in the acute period. Shants neck collar can also be made in the form of two rollers with an inflatable layer, in which air is injected with a rubber ball. Interlayer inflation between the rollers stretches the spine, which makes it possible to increase the gap between the articulars in the cervical spine. The degree of elongation is determined by the doctor, it is not recommended to solve this problem on its own, to avoid damage to the neurovascular bundle of the neck. During the recovery period, the inflatable collar is fully applied, which maintains the movement of the neck and head.

Collars can be worn at home, no more than 3 hours a day, general wear rate around a month. The rules of final application are determined by the doctor, depending on the severity of the condition and symptoms.

Proper body posture. During sleep, the body must be in an anatomically correct position, when the nerves and cervical spine are not compressed, this can be done using an orthopedic mattress and pillow. While awake, the patient needs to control his or her body position, and choose tables and chairs with the appropriate height. Stretches. The treatment procedure consists of stretching the ligaments of the spine to increase the distance between the vertebrae by 1-3 mm. Traction helps reduce or completely eliminate compression of the root disc herniation or vertebral bone growth. The procedure eliminates intervertebral dislocations, reducing muscle contraction. Traction should be performed in a stationary position by a physician, and after the procedure, the cervical spine is fitted with a collar or similar device for several hours. Course of treatment with an average extraction of 10-20 sessions.


Massage for cervical spine osteochondrosis is an important and mandatory part of treatment, along with a course of medication. It is prescribed during the remission period, to speed recovery and prevent relapse. Massage used both the classic manual and its kind from oriental medicine methods.

A well-executed massage stimulates blood circulation in the neck and collar zone, repairs trophism of damaged tissue, relieves muscle and vascular spasms, and provides relief to patients. The general course of massage treatment is 10-14 procedures, daily or every other day, every 3-6 months. If there is severe pain, massage treatment of osteochondrosis is not performed. At home, you can do your own massage of the diseased cervical zone.

Physiotherapy training

Exercise therapy is always done, except for severe periods with pain. Training for cervical osteochondrosis can be done at home, although it is recommended to do this under the supervision of an instructor until proper implementation is achieved. Training set consists of:

Turn your head to the side. Head tilted back and forth. Raise the shoulders with a steady or relaxed hand, holding for 15-20 seconds in this position. Static load, when the flexor and extensor muscles of the cervical region are tense in rotation, the head does not move.

The number of repetitions is 5-7 times, the session lasts 15-20 minutes. As part of the treatment complex, exercise therapy training helps speed recovery and increase remission.

Physiotherapy and reflexology

In the treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, electrophoresis with NSAIDs, anesthetics, hormone medications are used, diadynamic currents, laser therapy and shock waves are also effective. Physiotherapy in the early stages of development can lead to complete healing, and in difficult cases, increase remission time. This method of treatment is used during the recovery period after exacerbation treatment.

Reflexotherapy, as a method of affecting certain points on the skin of the body, where internal organs are projected, is also used during the recovery period and helps relieve inflammation, improve blood flow, relieve tissue congestion and reduce muscle spasms. From the methods of treatment, acupuncture, acupressure and hirudotherapy are most commonly used - placing medical leeches on the skin of the cervical area.

The use of this method can shorten the time and quantity of medication taken, and encourage recovery.

Physiotherapy and reflexology

Things to do at home

If the patient's condition is possible, the manifestations of cervical osteochondrosis can be treated at home. For example, therapeutic training can be done at home if there are no contraindications and continuous supervision by a specialist is not required. It should be noted that the appearance of pain and cramps in the neck is a reason to stop and seek qualified treatment.

The application of local medicines in the form of ointments, gels, patches is also done at home, strictly according to medical prescriptions.

In addition, home treatment is possible using several physiotherapy tools - for magnetotherapy and ultraviolet radiation, and tools for reflexology.

Folk remedies are also used in the form of compresses and bandages on sore cervical areas from grated potatoes, radish leaves, propolis, aloe vera and other herbal ingredients. Traditional methods of treating cervical osteochondrosis are palliative, while relieving pain, edema, warming the affected part, and they should not be limited.

All methods for treating cervical spine osteochondrosis should be complementary and performed by consulting a physician, after a thorough diagnosis.

Medical treatment of cervical spine osteochondrosis involves the use of conservative methods to provide adequate pain relief, and there is no significant threat of disruption to the patient's daily activities.

Symptoms of the disease

Bending, lifting, twisting and twisting continuously for many years, of course, has a negative impact on the health of the neck and the quality of its structural components. With this recurring neck pressure, it is not surprising that about two-thirds of people experience neck pain at some point in their lives. Painful sensations can worsen the symptoms of diseases such as osteochondrosis.

Attention! Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is considered one of the most common pathologies. The disease most often strikes people of working age, leading an inactive lifestyle.

Symptoms of the disease

This disease is not initially symptomatic. However, if there are symptoms such as persistent headache, as well as pain in the heart and under the scapula, the disease needs immediate and effective treatment.

The degenerative process can lead to the following manifestations:

  • acute pain;
  • double vision;
  • dizziness;
  • numbness in the shoulders;
  • weakness in the shoulders, arms.

This discomfort and loss of mobility can have a significant impact on career, family and quality of life.

The cervical spine is made up of seven bones called the vertebrae, which are separated from each other by a disc filled with a material such as a protective jelly. This structure provides the ability to stabilize the neck, rotate it smoothly from side to side, and tilt it back and forth.

Over time, this natural shock absorber will wear off and may start to deteriorate. The space between the vertebrae is narrowed and the nerve endings are pinched. This process is known as cervical osteochondrosis. Of note is that research shows that approximately 25% of asymptomatic people under the age of 40, and 60% over the age of 40, have some degree of osteochondrosis. As osteochondrosis develops, the neck becomes less flexible, the pain in it increases, there is a feeling of stiffness, especially towards the end of the day. It is for this reason that osteochondrosis develops.

Attention! The complications can be life threatening.

Diagnostics and treatment features

The diagnosis of the disease includes the following general manipulations:

  • initial inspection;
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging);
  • X-ray examination.

Medication therapy is the basis for the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis in combination, along with massage. Effective treatments include the following:

  • ;
  • electrostimulation;
  • manual therapy.

Physical therapy can also help reduce pain for a long time. The most commonly used methods include:

  • acupuncture;
  • electrophoresis;
  • micro electrical stimuli;
  • laser therapy.

Usually, this treatment of cervical osteochondrosis takes about 14 days.

Simultaneously with the use of ice or heat, with the help of special medications, can relieve pain and control pain and inflammation. In addition, training for the tie and shoulder area, performed independently, or with professional help, will also help. Exercise helps maintain flexibility. Exercise, especially stretching the neck as much as possible, is important to maintain flexibility in the neck area. Special training groups should be developed individually by a doctor or physiotherapist.

Medications that can provide relief include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers.

Attention! You should not use this medicine for more than seven days without consulting your doctor, as kidney failure may be one of the unwanted side effects.

Steroids and muscle relaxers can also be used.


Treatment during exacerbation

In the acute phase of the disease, when unusual pain dominates the clinical picture, the main purpose of medical therapy is to relieve pain. In such situations, for a limited time, carefully and efficiently, and only under the supervision of a doctor you can take analgesics (for example, tramadol, oxadol, ortofen), or more complex medications (arcoxia). They can relieve pain and muscle tension.

Nonsteroidal drugs, which are mostly taken as pain relievers, can also eliminate the cause of pain - inflammatory edema, which blocks blood vessels and nerves.

The use of muscle relaxation allows you to relieve muscle spasms, normalize the condition of the cervical vertebrae, nerve endings and blood vessels. The use of vitamins is very important.

For severe nerve end compression, doctors recommend anticonvulsants. If the pain cannot be treated in any other way, then it is blocked with novocaine.

If cervical spine osteochondrosis is in the acute stage, and is accompanied by severe pain, the specialist also prescribes local administration of lidocaine, a corticosteroid to relieve muscle tension in the spinal movement segment and reduce pain.

In the treatment of acute pain, medicines are given by injection, then it is possible to continue treatment in tablet form, and alleviate the state of health by using ointments.

Antidepressants are prescribed as a supplement in certain cases. This medication helps psychologically to withstand the onset of severe and specific pain disorders associated with the cervical spine.

Recommendations for treatment in remission

The duration of treatment in the mild level indicates:

  • activation of blood circulation in the large ducts and at the periphery;
  • increased metabolism;
  • restoration and renewal of bone tissue and cartilage structure.

For this purpose, it is best:

  • anti-inflammatory gels and ointments containing steroids and analgesics;
  • ointment, whose action is directed at the warming point of the diseased area, is able to increase blood flow to the diseased area, improving tissue nutrition.

Chondroprotectors (chloride ointments and tablets) help restore cartilage intervertebral discs.

Massage creams and ointments with bee venom, plant extracts have regenerative, anti-inflammatory, analgesic effects. A therapeutic sequence that, if done correctly, can be done at home to relieve discomfort. In order not to harm the body, you need to follow a few simple rules:

  • do not press the neck and back too hard;
  • all movements should be from top to bottom.

Topical anesthetic creams include capsaicin. The cream is also effective in treating pain associated with osteochondrosis. You should apply the cream to the area where the sensation of pain most often occurs.

Attention! Be sure to wash your hands after rubbing the cream, especially capsaicin, as the cream can cause irritation to the skin of the hands or other parts of the body that will touch the hands.

Unpleasant symptoms such as dizziness in osteochondrosis occur due to vasospasm and inflammation of the nerve tissue. To overcome this help vasodilators and ways to improve blood circulation in the vestibular apparatus.

Vitamin B is also included in the complex therapy of cervical osteochondrosis, as it has the following properties:

  • restores tissue sensitivity;
  • reduces neurological damage.

You need to be careful with the fact that, although there are many different types of quality medications that can help overcome osteochondrosis, taking many of these medications is often accompanied by obvious side effects. It happens that the condition of the back improves, but difficulties appear in various organs. Therefore, medicines are only intended to complement the complex of other methods to combat the disease.

Thanks to the integrated approach to treatment, can achieve the positive dynamics of the healing process only if the entire spectrum of therapeutic measures is carried out consistently, systematically and systematically.

Often, patients do not notice pain in the neck area, which causes complications.

Treatment with surgery

If the pain persists after six months, during which a competent medication is performed, and daily activities become more difficult, the doctor may recommend surgery. This operation aims to stop the movement of the affected cervical spine. This will require disc removal, as well as the insertion of metal tools or bone grafts to help maintain or restore normal disc height and neck stability and alignment. Special plates can be used to provide the desired fixation between the two vertebrae.

Treatment with surgery

Attention! Patients should be aware that surgery that results in severe neck pain is far more unreliable than surgery to relieve the pain of osteochondrosis in other parts of the body. Therefore, if the only major symptom is neck pain, surgery can only be recommended as a last resort, and once all the treatment options tried have failed.


Methods of preventing recurrence neutralization are formed by complex physiotherapy training and therapeutic sequences. Proper prevention is the key to success.

It is also very important to pay attention to the fact that you should adhere to a normal daily diet that minimizes, if not completely eliminated, the intake of salty and spicy foods to minimize swelling and increase metabolism. It is also useful for doing yoga and swimming. Among the non-traditional methods, acupuncture and hirudotherapy are often used.