5 dangerous complications of cervical osteochondrosis, symptoms and treatment

Osteochondrosis of the human cervical spine

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is a pathology characterized by ossification of the intervertebral shock absorber with the involvement of nerve roots, as well as blood vessels. It should be noted that osteochondrosis of the cervical vertebrae develops much more often than in other parts.

This article will consider what this disease is, what are its causes, symptoms, treatment methods.

Causes of cervical osteochondrosis

Due to the following reasons, the load on the cervical spine increases, the cervical muscles, trying to compensate for the excess load, spasm, which causes a failure of blood circulation in this area. That is why this disease develops.

Heredity is one of the factors causing cervical osteochondrosis

So, the following factors are distinguished that cause osteochondrosis of the cervical spine:

  • abnormal position of the back, curvature of the spine;
  • overweight;
  • sedentary lifestyle, type of work;
  • the job requires an incorrect body position on a permanent basis (for example, an office worker presses the phone to his ear);
  • the presence of spinal column injuries in the past;
  • failures of material exchange;
  • high physical loads;
  • permanent stress;
  • heredity.

Depending on the different causes of the development of the disease, various symptoms appear, and the treatment of osteochondrosis of the neck is prescribed by the doctor in accordance with them.

Cervical osteochondrosis: the main symptoms

Symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis are somewhat different from how the disease manifests itself in other departments. This happens for one simple reason - in the neck, the vertebrae are located much closer to each other, the discs between the vertebrae are not very high. Hence, the development of pathology with the slightest pathology is possible.

Signs of cervical osteochondrosis:

  • painful sensations. The pain can be localized in various places - the neck, back of the head, shoulder, upper arm. Painful sensations appear only when the nerve root is involved in the pathological process. The back of the head begins to ache due to spasm of the cervical muscles that attach to the bone of the back of the head, failure of blood circulation.
  • Feeling of weakness in the arms. It occurs when the nerve root, which contains the nerves responsible for movement, is damaged.
  • The hand becomes less sensitive. It appears when the nerve root, which contains the nerves responsible for sensitivity, is damaged.
  • The next sign of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is limited movement in the specified area, a crunch when moving the neck. This happens because the height of the disc between the vertebrae decreases, bone growths grow on the vertebral bodies, and the small intervertebral joints of the neck are affected.
  • Dizziness with cervical osteochondrosis
  • With cervical osteochondrosis, the patient begins to feel dizzy, coordination is impaired, weakness appears, since in the processes of the vertebrae of the neck, located transversely, there is its own canal of the vertebral artery, which is involved in the pathological process. And due to the fact that fibrous tissue is formed, the vertebrae are displaced, the blood flow in these arteries becomes worse, and the blood supply to the occipital lobe and cerebellum deteriorates.
  • The patient's tongue becomes numb, vision and hearing decrease, since there is a violation of the blood supply to the occipital lobe, cerebellum.

It should be noted that the symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis in men and women do not differ in any way. The listed manifestations can be in both the first and the second.


With cervical osteochondrosis, the following diagnostic procedures are usually performed:

  • X-ray examination. It is more informative when cervical chondrosis is in the initial stages.
  • CT scan. On CT scans, the changes that have occurred in the vertebrae are visible better than on radiographs, but it is still difficult to understand the size of the pathology, whether there is an intervertebral hernia, whether the spinal cord was compressed by the hernia that appeared.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging. She provides answers to the questions listed above. Moreover, here you can also determine the direction of growth of pathology.
  • Ultrasonic duplex scanning. It is used when there is a suspicion of a reduced blood flow rate.

Methods for the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis

Everyone who has this ailment asks such questions: how to get rid of cervical osteochondrosis, what to do with osteochondrosis, is it possible to completely cure osteochondrosis of the cervical spine.

So, in this section of the article, several ways will be considered how to treat cervical osteochondrosis.It is worth noting that the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis is possible with the help of various medications, therapeutic exercises, massage, as well as surgery.

Drug therapy

Treatment of cervical chondrosis is possible both with conservative methods and with the help of a surgeon's intervention. So how to treat cervical chondrosis with drug therapy?

A number of drugs are distinguished that can have a positive effect on the disease that has arisen:

  • drugs that have anti-inflammatory properties and are non-steroidal in nature. With their help, you can reduce pain, relieve swelling, as well as inflammation of the nerve root.
  • Vitamins belonging to group B. These funds will help improve metabolic processes in the nervous tissue.
  • Chondroprotectors. Thanks to them, it is possible to restore cartilage tissue.
  • Medicines that stimulate the rheological properties of blood, as well as its course. They increase the amount of blood flowing to the brain, allow the nerve roots to be better nourished.
  • Muscle relaxants. These drugs reduce the likelihood of muscle spasm.

The dosage for taking any folk or medication should be prescribed by your doctor.

It is worth remembering that when treating cervical chondrosis, it is necessary to combine medication with various exercises of a therapeutic nature.


How to treat cervical osteochondrosis yet? Conservative treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine also includes a set of therapeutic exercises that can alleviate the patient's condition, relieve pain, and also prevent its occurrence.

Therapeutic gymnastics is an effective and safe method of therapy for cervical chondrosis

Below are a few of these exercises:

  1. the patient should lie on the floor, turning over on his stomach, rest his hands on the floor, and then slowly raise his head. In this case, the stomach with the back must certainly maintain a straight position. You need to stay like this for a couple of minutes, and then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat all of the above two or three times.
  2. You need to sit on the floor, while inhaling, bend down, touching your chest with your chin, while exhaling, lean back, throwing your head back there.Perform ten to fifteen times. . .
  3. The patient needs to slowly rotate his head in different directions (ten times each). At the slightest suspicion of dizziness, you must immediately stop performing it.
  4. It is necessary to lie on the floor, turning over on your stomach, stretching your arms along the body, then turn your head in one direction or the other. In this case, you need to try to touch the floor with your ear. The minimum number of turns in each direction is six repetitions.

It is important to note that remedial gymnastics is one of the most effective and safe methods of therapy for cervical chondrosis.


It is important to remember that only a doctor can tell how to treat cervical osteochondrosis of the neck correctly with the use of physiotherapy, so you should not neglect his recommendations.

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine can be treated using the following procedures:

  • electrophoresis in conjunction with drugs. The selected drug must instantly get into the required area due to the use of electric current. Typically, a local anesthetic is used to relieve pain or an agent to increase blood flow.
  • Ultrasound. It has the effect of pain relief and inflammation relief, stimulation of the metabolic process.
  • Magnetotherapy. The procedure makes it possible to relieve tissue swelling, which helps to relieve pain.
  • Laser therapy. Eliminates inflammation, improves blood circulation.


It is possible to get rid of both cervical chondrosis and an ailment in other departments with the help of a surgical operation. However, for this, it is necessary to have an extreme necessity for the implementation of such a serious procedure. But in the presence of such indications, it is necessary to immediately refer the patient to the surgeon.

Surgical treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

As a rule, such surgical interventions occur with the application of minimal incisions on the neck, using a microscope, as well as neurosurgeon's tools. Usually, operations are performed when the disc between the vertebrae is completely destroyed and it becomes necessary to replace it with an artificial one, as well as to fix the replaced segment with a special titanium plate.

According to statistics, such procedures are generally calm, without complications, they last no more than two to three hours.The next day after the operation, a special head holder is put on the patient, which is fixed on the neck, and it is discharged about the fifth day after the completion of the procedure.

Despite the fact that the operation is a rather radical measure that they try not to use too often, this procedure is also extremely effective, since the next day the patient feels much lighter, pains, numbness, dizziness and other symptoms disappear, and the cervical chondrosis resemblesonly mild weakness after surgery and thus a head holder.

Home treatment

Despite constant recommendations to immediately make an appointment with a doctor, the urge to self-medicate is great, and many patients are worried about how to treat cervical chondrosis at home.Yes, it is possible, but still it is better to combine home treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine with the advice of qualified specialists.

In search of an answer on how to treat chondrosis of the neck on their own, patients usually stumble upon references to the use of alternative methods of therapy designed to reduce the degree of painful sensations, increase blood circulation, prevent a decrease in working capacity, there are also recommendations for exercise therapy, massage of the neck-collar zone.

On the one hand, all this is true, but do not forget that information obtained on all kinds of forums and other dubious places may not only not help, but also harm.

However, there are a couple of recipes that can reduce pain:

  1. for example, warming up. For these purposes, mustard plasters, hot sand, pepper plasters, etc. are well suited.
  2. You need to cut the potatoes into small slices, mix it with honey (1: 1 ratio). The result is a substance that is somewhat reminiscent of an ointment, which can be used as a compress once a week.


The massage will help relieve pain as well as tone your back and neck muscles.

Self-massage will help relieve neck pain and tone muscles.

For self-massage, the following technique is mainly used:

  • stroking (the hand should move gently, there is no need to apply effort, from which folds are formed);
  • kneading (is a noticeable effect on the muscles, stroking, grabbing, squeezing in the problem area);
  • vibration (tapping, shaking, tapping of an oscillatory nature occurs. Among other things, a trigger point massager has become quite popular, which is suitable for these purposes).


To prevent a person from developing osteochondrosis of the cervical vertebra, it is necessary to pay due attention to preventive measures.

  • First of all, you should understand that if you are involved in any kind of sports, it significantly reduces the likelihood of developing osteochondrosis.
  • It is also important that the diet contains foods high in calcium and magnesium (seafood, beans, dairy products, spinach, etc. ).
  • Do not neglect the warm-up during sedentary work.
  • Sleep on a comfortable pillow and mattress.


In order not to develop cervical chondrosis, it is possible to use massage as a preventive measure. The techniques here are the same as for self-massage: stroking, squeezing, rubbing, kneading.

Carrying out therapeutic massage for the prevention of cervical osteochondrosis

It is always worth remembering that all this must be done extremely carefully, without using excessive force, because if you overdo it, the situation can only worsen. . . The procedure must be carried out in a supine position, in extreme cases - in a seated position, but not in any way standing.

Manual therapy

With the help of manual therapy, it is possible to get rid of both acute and chronic painful sensations, as well as prevent chondrosis of the neck, the appearance of pain by improving posture and increasing the range of motion of the neck.

So, the main techniques are highlighted:

  • to warm up the muscles, relieve tension from them, a relaxing massage is performed.
  • Further, exerting an impact on the return of joint performance using traction, the so-called method of mobilization is used.
  • There is a sharp impulse that targets the most endangered areas. It is normal for a crunch to be heard during this manipulation. It means that the composition has returned to its place.

Do not forget that in order to carry out manual therapy, a masseur needs a special qualification that allows him to carry out these manipulations perfectly.Otherwise, you can easily injure a person, not only sick, but even healthy.


If, with cervical osteochondrosis, it is not possible to cure the patient at the initial stage of the disease, and also if no action is taken to cure the detected disease, then there is a high probability of negative consequences:

  • the discs between the vertebrae can shift, causing paralysis, which can be fatal.
  • Distribution of osteophytes (bone growths). A frequent occurrence, which is characterized by the formation of bone growths inside / outside the vertebrae, it irritates the nerve roots, muscle tissue. Hence, the appearance of spasms, edema, increased load on the vertebrae.
  • Decrease in the height of the vertebrae. It occurs due to the destruction occurring inside, which lead to deformation of the spinal column.
  • The development of an intervertebral hernia, accompanied by strong, acute pain, noticeable problems with independent movement.
  • An artery runs through the spine that carries oxygen to the brain. If it is transmitted, oxygen starvation can occur, which can lead to damage to the entire spinal column.