Symptoms and treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is a disease of the spine, characterized by degeneration of the intervertebral discs., with the presence of a significant decrease in its height, reactive growth of marginal osteophytes, as well as spinal disc sclerosis.

The vertebrae of the cervical region are quite close to each other. The muscular skeleton in this area has a relatively weak development, therefore, cervical osteochondrosis, even in the case of a slight load, leads to displacement of the spinal disc, followed by compression of nerves and blood vessels.

The affected cartilaginous tissue on the disc from osteochondrosis gradually changes and degenerates into bone formation. As a result, the disc hardens and shrinks in size, and eventually loses its cushioning properties between the vertebral discs, which causes pressure on the nerve endings, with the appearance of further pain.

The intervertebral disc of the cervical region is a fibrocartilaginous plate. In the center of the disc is the nucleus, which is surrounded by the annulus fibrosus, i. e. , tendon-like tissue. Intervertebral discs do not have a vascular system, and therefore nutrition occurs with the help of other tissues.

An important source of the intervertebral disc is the spinal muscles, it is their dystrophy that leads to the symptoms of osteochondrosis. In the process of lifting weights, jumping or performing other physical exercises, the shock absorbing function of the spine maintains the necessary distance between the vertebrae. The disorder is pathological. Photo below.

Protrusion of the intervertebral disc of the spine - a sign of osteochondrosis

I want to emphasize, because protrusions (the main sign of osteochondrosis) are more likely to form in the lumbar spine, and therefore complications appear - intervertebral hernia.

Intervertebral disc protrusion is prolapse (bulging) of the disc without rupture of the fibrous ring.

The outflow of the nucleus pulposus, that is, the rupture of the fibrous ring, is a herniated disc - the final stage of osteochondrosis.

Because of development

  1. Infection.
  2. Drunk.
  3. Metabolic diseases.
  4. Age changes.
  5. genetic predisposition.
  6. Lack of fluids and vitamins in the diet (malnutrition).
  7. Spinal cord injury.
  8. Overweight.
  9. Bad ecology.
  10. Postural disorders.
  11. Rachiocampsis.
  12. Flat feet.
  13. A sedentary lifestyle.
  14. Segmental instability in the spine.
  15. Long stay in an uncomfortable position (pressure on the disc).
  16. Frequent jerky movements or changes in body position.
  17. Excess load on the spine due to the use of uncomfortable shoes, such as high heels.
  18. Physical training.
  19. Uneven muscular skeletal system.
  20. Pregnancy.
  21. stressful situation.
  22. Excessive alcohol consumption.
  23. Smoking.
  24. Hypothermia.
  25. Being in a cold environment for a long time.
  26. Nervous tension.

Signs and symptoms

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine has the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness, headache. It should be emphasized that in most cases the symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis are accompanied by headaches. This condition is associated with pressure on the cervical canal and head. Usually, these symptoms and pain syndromes cause serious discomfort to a person, reducing performance. In addition, the headache increases with various body movements;
  • dizzinessappears during a sharp turn of the head to the side;
  • Pain in the chest and armsduring the period of osteochondrosis of the cervical region, it is very similar to the symptoms of angina pectoris, that is, burning or pressing pain in the heart. In most cases, pain in the hand is accompanied by tingling and numbness;
  • Lumbago- This is the most common symptom of cervical osteochondrosis. An unpleasant sensation similar to a strong pain extends to the fingers;
  • Numb tongue. The appearance of symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis causes restriction of tongue movement. In this regard, many patients complain of changes in the tone of the vocal cords (they become very rough), as well as speech.
Pain is the main symptom of cervical osteochondrosis.


So, diagnosis and treatment are carried out by medical specialists - vertebrologists, orthopedists, neurosurgeons, with the help of visual examination of patients related to complaints of limited mobility or disability. Examine the patient while sitting, lying, standing, resting or moving. The degree of damage to the spinal area is determined according to a special scheme.

Determination of the localization, level and nature of pain, increased tension in the muscles along the spinal column is done by feeling the spine. Bending, twisting, bending the body shows range of motion in the affected area.

In the future, osteochondrosis is diagnosed using MRI, computed tomography or radiography. Checking the condition of the vessels of the cervical region requires the appointment of a duplex scan or ultrasound tomography.


In the early stages of cervical osteochondrosis treatment, pain in the neck increases

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine and its complications are treated using conservative methods aimed at eliminating pain syndrome, spinal root dysfunction, as well as preventing the development of dystrophic changes in the spinal structure. In cases where conservative treatment is ineffective, then, according to certain indications, surgical treatment (operation) is carried out, the amount of which depends on the clinical manifestations of osteochondrosis and the extent of the lesion.

The treatment of osteochondrosis directly depends on the severity of the course of the disease, age-related changes, the treatment methods used, the implementation of recommendations and prescriptions of the attending physician carefully. . Usually, at the beginning of treatment, there is an increase in pain in the cervical spine, but soon they are stopped by the use of drugs, physiotherapy procedures, as well as performing physical procedures and therapeutic massage.

The most effective result in the treatment of osteochondrosis is the complex treatment of diseases of the musculoskeletal system as a whole.


Exercises and gymnastics for osteochondrosis in the cervical spine help reduce pain, strengthen cervical muscles, so that osteochondrosis reduces the likelihood of recurrence.

  1. It is advisable to start withsimple exercise - ten turns of the cervical spine that is not sharp. Gymnastics is performed as follows: the head turns in one direction, while freezing at a certain point for a few seconds, then on the other side, repeating the procedure. During the exercise, the head should not be lowered, the gaze should be directed in front of you.
  2. Exercise - tilt the head. The head is tilted to the left to touch the shoulder joint with the ear, and the shoulder must be relaxed. We repeat on the right side. The above exercise restores shock absorbing properties. Photo below.
  3. Therapeutic exercises on the cervical spine for osteochondrosis
  4. Stretching exercises for neck muscles.We bend the neck and tilt the head forward and back. In the process of moving forward, the chin is pressed to the chest and held in the same position for a few seconds. As a result, we screw the head back to its original position and tilt it back. The exercise is repeated ten times.

As you can see, exercises or gymnastics for the neck are very simple, but very effective. The main thing is to exercise regularly..


Osteochondrosis is not a sentence! Drug treatment, massage, therapeutic exercises are quite possible at home.

Massage of the cervical spine with osteochondrosis is carried out in the presence of someone close to you. Massage oil is used to reduce discomfort.

To perform the procedure, the neck is prepared, thereby placing the patient on a wide surface, and placing a folded towel under the shoulder blade.This action will help stretch the neck muscles and lengthen the spine. For some time, the patient's muscles relax. As a result, the patient sits on a chair with a straight back..

After a certain time, the neck is lubricated with massage oil. Oils take into account drugs that have a headache-relieving effect. Such oils usually contain capsaicin, which heats up when applied, thus providing a comfortable environment at the time the massage is performed.

So, the sequence begins as follows, the trapezius muscle is palpated, which descends from the top of the neck to the shoulders. Knead hard enough to feel pressure, but gently, without pain. The left side muscles are massaged with the right hand. Each muscle is counted for five minutes, then allowed to rest and repeat.

The massage is finished by wrapping the massaged area with a warm towel, after which bed rest is desirable.. Proper massage exercises cause drowsiness.