Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine: signs, causes
The human cervical spine consists of 7 vertebrae. It starts with the first atlas vertebra that holds the skull and ends with the thoracic region.Osteochondrosis of the cervical spineis a degenerative-dystrophic process.
The vertebrae in this region look the same as in the other regions, but they are more flexible and subject to heavy loads. It is also this department that is most responsible for many parts of the human body. The arteries of the spine are the most developed here and supply the brain with blood.
The development of the disease can be caused by many factors, including hereditary ones. With physical exertion, the displacement of the vertebrae can lead to an exacerbation of the disease and the need for therapeutic measures. The main causes of the onset and development of osteochondrosis can be:
- Insufficient physical activityand, as a result, overload. This is facilitated by physical inactivity, nutritional disorders and salt deposition, diseases of the endocrine system and digestive tract.
- Abuse and bad habits, especially smoking, which disrupts the metabolism and tissue regeneration processes.
- Inheritance. Chronic diseases are passed on from generation to generation. This is due to a lack of calcium, dystrophic processes and genetically transmitted dysplasia of the vertebral joints.
- pregnancy.Hormonal changes expose the body to additional stress, posture deteriorates, obesity occurs. All of this can only affect the course of the spinal disease.
Unfortunately, many people do not notice the symptoms of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine immediately and therefore do not start treatment in time.
Sometimes the patient perceives the absence of pain as the absence of pathology, but this is inconsiderate, since very sharp unexpected pain can appear at an unexpected moment.
This is how osteochondrosis behaves in the latent course of the disease. The pain indicator in this disease of the spine can be temporary and permanent, and also differ in the severity and intensity of the pain.
In addition, the following signs of illness can occur:
- numbness in the neck and arms;
- weakness in the neck muscles;
- feel blurred vision;
Of all parts of the spine, cervical osteochondrosis is the most dangerous in the long-term sequelae system, ie symptoms may be absent and the disease progresses. The most unpleasant and dangerous thing about the disease is a deterioration in nutrition and blood supply to the brain. This affects the pituitary function, the hypothalamus, the emotional sphere, memory, sleep and attention. Degenerative diseases of the spine have a variety of causes, and it is always easier to prevent a disease than to cure it. It is in your power to fix everything.
During the development of cervical osteochondrosis, the spinal canal narrows. The result of this phenomenon is compression of the nerve roots and the artery that runs in the canal and supplies many parts of the brain. In the first case we are talking about thecompression radicular syndromeand in the second case about thevertebral artery syndrome.
The symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis depend on the type of compressed nerve endings. Compression of one type of root leads to a partial loss of sensitivity in the parietal part of the head, while the other causes pain and discomfort in the parieto-occipital zone.
The symptoms of radicular compression syndromeare so diverse that only a specialist can understand them and make a correct diagnosis. Compression of a certain type of root causes pain in the area of the heart, shoulder blade, hands and fingers. A patient with cervical osteochondrosis may develop hiccups, unilateral thickening of the tongue, insignificant hearing loss, speech and breathing disorders.
Withvertebral artery syndrome, the patient complains of painful headaches, usually one-sided. It increases with every movement of the head. With a sharp turn of the head, a person can lose consciousness. Among other symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis, the pain of the scalp that occurs when touched lightly should be indicated. In addition, this disease can be accompanied by ringing in the ears, a drop in blood pressure, and the presence of "mosquitos" in front of the eyes.
Treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine
Various methods are used to treat cervical osteochondrosis: medication, physiotherapy, massage of the cervical collar zone for blood supply to the brain and therapeutic exercises, further observance of proper nutrition. It is the combination of all methods of treatment that gives a positive result in the fight against the disease.
With medical treatment, analgesics and anticonvulsants are prescribed to relieve pain. The doctor may also prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that help reduce the inflammatory process. B vitamins are needed, which help regenerate the inflamed area. Such treatment is carried out only with an exacerbation within a week.
In the case of non-drug treatment in the acute stage, strict bed rest and fixation of the vertebrae are used. It is recommended to sleep on an orthopedic mattress and pillow to relax the vertebrae. In a hospital, a Glisson's loop is used for the drawing process.
Outside of the exacerbation,Physiotherapycan be used. These are magnets, ultrasound, electrophoresis, detector therapy, lasers and vibration massagers. The best preventive measure isphysical therapy exercises, which must be done constantly.
On request, the doctors select a special type of gymnastics. In some cases, amassageis useful, but can be done as long as there are no hernias, protrusions, or vertebral bodies (turns). In this case, only surgery to stabilize the spine can help.
Treatment with folk remedies
In treatment, you can use popular advice. But you don't just have to focus on them! The following procedures and means are recommended for the patient at home:
- Self-massageimproves blood circulation and relaxes the muscles. Movements should be made from the center to the shoulder girdle without undue strain.
- Swimming and swimminghelps to strengthen muscles, relieves pain and tension.
- Pepper plastercan be worn for a long time. Pepper helps with inflammation;
- Mustard plastershould be applied 20 minutes before going to bed.
- sleeps on a hard bed.For the sake of simplicity, a pillow made of sawdust and herbs may be placed. The main condition is the lack of softness in the pillow. The harder it is, the easier it is for the spine;
- Vietnamese ointment.You can rub your neck gently with it, you will feel warmth and essential oils generally have a positive effect on blood circulation.
- Diet and nutrition guidelineshelp with pain relief. The enemy of the spine is overweight. Try to follow your figure and diet where you need to limit salt, a large amount of smoked and pickled foods.
It must be noted that the cervical spine is responsible for the performance of many organs, the appropriateness of movement and health. It is necessary to take care of your body and constantly take preventive measures to prevent the development of exacerbations.
There is nothing deadly about the concept of "osteochondrosis". It is possible and necessary to fight this disease. Often, the success of treatment depends on the competence of doctors, the quality of the examination, the stage of the disease itself, the patient's mood, as well as a number of measures aimed at restoring the motor functions of the spine. Stopping the pain syndrome and stopping the disease from progressing. For the most part, it is impossible to get rid of the disease completely, but with the right approach, you can alleviate the negative feelings of the disease.
Prevention of cervical osteochondrosis
All types of treatment bear fruit with different effective intervals depending on the stage and individual characteristics of the body of men and women. This means that a treatment will work well for one patient and completely unacceptable for another. What do we have to do?
The most correct and most coordinated actions of yours are:
- Attentive attitude to yourself (introspection, find out in time what is causing your aggravation).
- Exercise regularly within reasonable limits for prevention.
- Do not carry heavy things.
- Observe your posture on the computer. Sit and walk with your back straight - don't slouch!
- Avoid hypothermia.
- Use the pool and sauna regularly.
- Equip your sleeping area so that the bed is not too soft and the pillow is too high.
The treatment of acute cervical osteochondrosis is carried out by a neurologist. The neglected stage of this disease is difficult to treat. For each course of cervical osteochondrosis, medical help is provided in a complex. The patient is prescribed anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs for oral administration, as well as gels and ointments with a similar effect. Antidepressants - improve the patient's mental state, and the use of neuroprotectants has a positive effect on the metabolic processes of the brain.
Patients with cervical osteochondrosis should perform physical therapy exercises every day that help form a strong muscle corset near the cervical spine. Sport not only strengthens the muscles, but also improves the nutrition of the diseased organ. A faster recovery is facilitated by physiotherapeutic procedures as well as therapeutic massages.
And most importantly - do not self-diagnose or self-medicate. The doctor will tell you how to cure osteochondrosis of the cervical spine. Trust the professionals and be healthy!