The main causes, symptoms and methods of treatment of cervical osteochondrosis

Spine diseases are one of the most common and most dangerous ailments. They often show themselves insufficiently to detect them in a timely manner. One of such unpleasant and rather dangerous spinal diseases for humans is osteochondrosis of the neck. Cervical osteochondrosis is a disease in which the soft parts of the neck harden and fray, pinching blood vessels and blocking blood flow. If you start the situation and do not take any measures for treatment, complications are possible: significant pain at the slightest movement and, ultimately, disability.

osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

What are the main causes of cervical osteochondrosis?

The main factors provoking the development of cervical osteochondrosis include:

  • Insufficient physical activity and a sedentary lifestyle. This factor has long been the scourge of the 21st century. In an environment where work in the office is most widespread, where you need to spend more than one hour in a sitting position, a person's muscles practically atrophy. If you do not tone them up, doing physical exercises, there is a huge risk of getting diseases of the spine, in particular cervical osteochondrosis.
  • Old age. In old age, the muscles also lose their tone, the tissues become less elastic and harden. All this leads to the development of cervical osteochondrosis.
  • Congenital and acquired disorders in the structure of the spine. Congenital deformities include the formation of a bony outgrowth around the main artery passing through the spinal canal, and a violation of the structure of the skull at the location of the cerebellum. Acquired changes include various types of curvature of the spine.
  • Head and neck injuries. These include concussion, head contusion, vertebral fractures 1 to 7.
  • Uneven load on the spine caused by carrying heavy objects in one hand without loading the other, carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder, using overly soft pillows, as a result of which the neck is not fixed during sleep and is in a bent position.
  • Heredity can also lead to the development of cervical osteochondrosis.
  • In addition to a lack of physical activity, too frequent exercise can lead to the development of the disease.
  • In addition to all these factors, hypothermia of the neck in cold seasons and the presence of excess weight play an important role in the development of cervical osteochondrosis.

How is cervical osteochondrosis manifested?

Osteochondrosis of the neck is somewhat different from osteochondrosis of other parts of the human body. The characteristic symptoms of this disease are:

  • Pain in the neck. The hardened tissues and cartilage in the neck begin to rub against each other, pinching the nerve processes and blood vessels, due to which spasms occur and pain is felt. Often, in addition to the neck, pain radiates to the back of the head and shoulders. In individual cases, the legs and arms may hurt, which is why it is often quite difficult to identify the true cause of the pain.
  • Turning the head in different directions is very difficult, during the movements the neck crunches. This happens again due to the clamping of blood vessels and injury to the joints and cartilage.
  • Hands become weak, muscles lose their tone, and hand deformity is possible. This is due to damage to the motor neurons.
  • Lethargy, apathy, sluggishness, impaired coordination of movements, headache and nausea. Cervical osteochondrosis leads to displacement of the vertebrae, which constrict the artery running along the spinal canal. As a result, blood flow is disturbed, the brain (in particular the cerebellum, which is responsible for coordinating movements) does not receive the necessary oxygen and nutrients and functions worse and worse.
  • Visual impairment is possible, visual acuity falls. Also, the mobility of the tongue and its sensitivity can be impaired, the taste sensations are dulled.

Necessary measures for the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis

Methods for treating cervical osteochondrosis differ in the degree of the disease. The disease in the stage of exacerbation is subject to drug treatment, lighter forms are treated with the help of physical therapy, massage and physiotherapy, traditional medicine.

Physiotherapy exercises are designed to stretch the cervical spine with osteochondrosis in remission. With an exacerbated form of the disease, this type of treatment is strictly prohibited. Physiotherapy is designed to relieve pain, reduce inflammation and possible edema. The massage is performed only by experienced specialists, the most painful areas are not affected. This procedure is also performed when the disease is in remission. There is an effect on the healthy parts of the neck to increase their tone.

Drug treatment is aimed at relieving pain syndrome and eliminating its cause in the acute stage of the course of the disease, eliminating inflammation and relieving swelling, and relaxing the neck muscles. They can be injected intravenously or in the form of tablets and ointments.

Traditional medicine is used to prevent the recurrence of the disease. They increase muscle tone, due to which the neck begins to move better, and the pain syndrome is relieved. However, in order to avoid the unpleasant consequences of such treatment, for example, an allergic reaction, it is better to consult with an experienced specialist.