Cervical osteochondrosis: symptoms, causes, degrees

cervical osteochondrosis

Cervical osteochondrosis of the neck is a common pathology accompanied by unpleasant symptoms. The disease is characterized by degenerative-dystrophic processes in the spine. It is caused by incorrect body position, posture disturbances, inactive lifestyle. To reduce the symptoms of pathology, you should see a doctor in a timely manner.

What is cervical osteochondrosis?

This term is understood to be a progressive degenerative-dystrophy lesion of the intervertebral disc, localized in the cervical spine. As a result, there is deformation and thinning of the vertebral body. This causes impaired blood circulation and nerve conduction in the neck.

This disease can be isolated or combined with damage to other parts of the spine - lumbar or thoracic. According to ICD-10, cervical osteochondrosis of the spine is encoded with code M42.

Possible complications of the disease

Many people are interested in the dangers of cervical osteochondrosis. If there is no timely and adequate therapy, the pathology can lead to negative health consequences. These include the following:

  • protrusion of the intervertebral disc and the formation of hernias;
  • rupture of the disc by compression of nerves and blood vessels - if the spinal cord is pinched, there is a risk of death;
  • radiculopathy;
  • the appearance of osteophytes;
  • paresis and paralysis.

The main symptoms and signs of cervical osteochondrosis

The disease develops gradually and is initially symptomatic. Therefore, a diagnosis is often made in further cases. The main symptoms of pathology include the following:

  • Pain in the neck and occipital area worsens with physical activity or cough.
  • Moves the movement of the head.
  • Loss of sensitivity in the hand, burning in the shoulder blade area.
  • Headaches localized in the occiput and spread to the temples.
  • General weakness, increased fatigue.
  • Decreased visual acuity.
  • Tinnitus.
  • Hearing problems.
  • Heart rate increases.

Causes of cervical osteochondrosis

The first signs of the disease usually appear after 35 years. However, in recent years, the pathology begins to develop at a younger age - 18-30 years. Often, this problem is faced by people who have to be in one position for a long time.

The leading causes of cervical osteochondrosis include the following:

  • hereditary tendencies;
  • violation of metabolic processes;
  • infectious diseases, intoxication;
  • disorders in the diet - lack of fluids, vitamins, micro elements;
  • overweight;
  • trauma injuries to the spine;
  • poor posture;
  • spinal instability;
  • inactive lifestyle;
  • flat feet;
  • the influence of unfavorable environmental factors;
  • frequent body position changes;
  • has been in an uncomfortable position for a long time;
  • excessive physical activity;
  • hypothermia;
  • depressed state;
  • using the wrong sleeping pillow.

What are the different stages of the disease?

The disease develops gradually. There are 4 degrees of cervical osteochondrosis, each with a special feature:

  • The first is accompanied by the appearance of cracks on the intervertebral disc. This process is accompanied by mild pain, stiffness of movement. Pathology has an unstable path. With deterioration of the immune system or increased load, osteochondrosis worsens. If you do not take timely action, there is a risk of exacerbating abnormal processes.
  • Second - at this stage, the destruction of the intervertebral discs is constant and their protrusion is observed. This process is accompanied by pinching of the nerve endings. A person experiences constant pain that increases with movement. At this stage, there is a decrease in manpower, numbness in the hands appears.
  • The third is accompanied by the appearance of an intervertebral hernia. In such cases, muscle tissue and nerve endings are involved in pathological processes. As a result, there is pain in the neck and occipital area, a feeling of weakness in the hands. With vascular lesions, there is a risk of decreased visual acuity, dizziness and tinnitus. Sometimes the disease leads to fainting.
  • Fourth - this stage is accompanied by bone growth. As a result, the pressure on the nerve endings increases. With this form of osteochondrosis, the movement of the neck decreases, the spine becomes less flexible. As a result, a person is unable to perform simple head movements.

Why must you see a doctor right away?

If symptoms of osteochondrosis appear, you should see a doctor immediately - a neurologist or orthopedist. Otherwise, the pathology will result in dangerous health consequences.

First of all, the doctor should evaluate the physical activity and the intensity of the pain in the neck. Also, experts are interested in losing sensitivity and other disorders.

Based on the results of the initial examination, additional procedures are prescribed. First of all, radiography is done. It is done in several projections. If a hernia is suspected, CT or magnetic resonance imaging is required. If there is a violation of blood flow, rheoencephalography and fundus examination should be performed.

Treatment is prescribed based on the results of the diagnostic examination. With the development of cervical osteochondrosis, the following categories of drugs are most commonly used:

  • Analgesics - helps relieve pain.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs - eliminate inflammation and relieve swelling.
  • Antispasmodic - helps relieve muscle cramps.
  • Preparations to improve blood circulation.
  • Chondroprotectors - help restore the structure of the intervertebral disc.
  • Vitamin B - improves nerve tissue function.

In addition to drug therapy, other methods are prescribed. These include massage, recovery gymnastics, physiotherapy. The use of osteopathy is very effective. In this case, a mild effect on the affected muscles and vertebrae is carried out. In some cases, doctors are advised to wear a special orthopedic device - Shants collar.

Manual therapy is considered an effective method of treating pathology. The method is chosen individually. This procedure consists of the effect of points on the musculoskeletal elements. Thanks to this, it is possible to activate blood flow, improve lymphatic movement, and normalize metabolic processes. Manual therapy improves the mobility of the musculoskeletal system, strengthens the immune system, and helps prevent complications of osteochondrosis.

Spinal traction is often used. For stretching, special equipment is used. This procedure helps to increase the distance between the spine to normal size and to overcome disturbances in the structure of the spine.

If acute cervical osteochondrosis is observed and an intervertebral hernia appears, which provokes a decrease in sensitivity and circulatory disorders, there is a need for surgical intervention.

The duration of treatment depends on the severity of osteochondrosis. Often, therapy is carried out in a long course. To improve your situation, you definitely need to adapt to your lifestyle. To do this, you need to eat right, give up bad habits, and play sports.

Prevention of neck osteochondrosis

To prevent cervical osteochondrosis, you need to adhere to certain recommendations:

  • timely removes curvature of the spine;
  • enter sports to form a muscle corset;
  • eat foods that supply the body with calcium and magnesium;
  • normalize weight;
  • follow the doctor's recommendations while working on the computer.

Cervical osteochondrosis is a serious pathology that leads to negative health consequences. To overcome the violation, it is necessary to make a timely diagnosis. Therefore, any discomfort in the neck area must be a reason to see a doctor.

How is it treated?

Doctor consultation: taking anamnesis, myofascial diagnostics, functional diagnostics.

How is it?

Collect anamnesis - analyze the disease, identify limitations and contraindications, explain the principles of kinesitherapy, characteristics of the recovery period.

Myofascial diagnostics is a manual diagnostic method, in which the doctor evaluates the range of motion of the joint, identifies painful seals, edema, hypo- or hypertonic muscles and other changes.

Functional diagnostics (performed in the rehabilitation room) - the doctor explains how to perform specific exercises on the equipment, and observes: how the patient performs it, with the amplitude of what movement it can do, what movement causes pain, with what weight canpatients, how the cardiovascular system responds. Problem areas identified. Data is entered into the card. Emphasis is given.

Based on the results of the initial examination by the doctor and functional diagnostics, an initial individual treatment program is created.

It is advisable to be with you:

  • for pain in the spine - MRI or CT (magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography) problem areas;
  • for joint pain - x-rays;
  • in case of concomitant illness - excerpts from medical history or outpatient cards;
  • comfortable clothes and shoes (sports)

Start classes with instructors

At the beginning of the treatment cycle, the doctor together with the patient prepares a treatment plan, which includes the date and time of the treatment session, follow-up visits to the doctor (usually 2-3 times a week).

The treatment process policy consists of treatment sessions in the rehabilitation room of training equipment and sessions in the gym.

The recovery simulator allows you to give the right dose to individual muscle groups, by providing an adequate mode of physical impact. The treatment program is compiled by the doctor individually for each patient, taking into account the characteristics of the organism. Control is carried out by qualified instructors. At all stages of recovery, it is important to observe proper movement and breathing techniques, know your weight standards when working on a simulator, adhere to a prescribed treatment regimen and follow expert recommendations.

Articular gymnastics sessions help restore visual coordination, improve joint mobility and elasticity (flexibility) of the spine and are an excellent preventive system for free use.

Each treatment cycle - 12 sessions. Each lesson is supervised by the instructor. The duration of one treatment session is from 40 minutes to 1. 5 hours. The instructor makes a program, taking into account the comorbidities and condition of the patient on the day of trainingTeaching techniques of conducting exercises and monitoring the accuracy of implementation. Every 6th lesson, a second consultation with the doctor is done, changes and additions are made to the program, depending on the dynamics.

How many loops are needed?

This is individual for each person and depends on the development of the disease.

Important to know:

  • how long have you had this problem (disease stage);
  • how your body is prepared to do physical activity (do you do gymnastics, whatever type of sport);
  • what results you want to get.

If the disease is in its early stages and the body is ready, one treatment cycle is enough. (example - young people aged 20-30, sports. We focus their attention on the techniques of exercise, breathing, stretching, excluding "wrong" exercises that are dangerous for the affected area. Such patients are trained, gain skills "respect their bodies"», Accept suggestions in case of degradation and continue to do it yourself).

Each organism is individual, and the program for each patient is individual.