How osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is manifested: causes and treatment
Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is the most common disease of the musculoskeletal system. As a rule, almost all representatives of both sexes over 40 years of age suffer from this disease. Today there is a steady trend towards rejuvenating this disease. Osteochondrosis of the neck is increasingly being diagnosed in young people and high school students. The problem with the disease is that it is chronic.
A deformation of the spine is seen as an irreversible process.
It can only be stopped by stopping pathological changes at a stage that is harmless to health.
What kind of disease is that?
The question of what cervical osteochondrosis is only became topical in the last decade, when this disease became an epidemic. The disease affects all age groups and social strata of the population. Osteochondrosis of the neck has become a national problem, which has led to the development of programs for its treatment and prevention.
This disease is a complex of dystrophic changes in the spine, when intervertebral discs are deformed and destroyed, which play an important role in almost all processes in the body. If the structure of the cartilage tissue is disturbed, it becomes thinner, changes in density and elasticity. This leads to the pinching of the nerve roots, which in abundance deviate from the spine.
Osteochondrosis of the cervical vertebra causes compression of the blood vessels that supply the brain. This is a rather dangerous phenomenon that can cause a number of serious complications. Without adequate treatment, cervical spine instability leads to impaired brain activity, often leading to disability and death.
Causes and Symptoms
This disease was not treated for medical treatment until this century as it poses a real threat to the health of the nation. The dislocation of the cervical vertebrae caused the disability of almost every second employee throughout the year. This phenomenon forced the specialists to consider more precisely the conditions for pathological changes in the spine.
According to the results of a study on several thousand patients, the following causes of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine were found:
- Little physical activity.Passive lifestyle leads to exhaustion of the back muscles, which serve as a kind of support corset for the spine. The situation is exacerbated by the deposition of salts, formed from lactic acid, which is not used to cover muscle exertion. A weakened spine deforms quickly and loses mobility.
- obesity.Obesity is the number 1 enemy for the musculoskeletal system. In addition to the high stress on the spine, the fat tissue absorbs the nutrients that are necessary to keep the muscle and intervertebral cartilage in good shape. This tendency leads to polysegmental osteochondrosis of the cervical spine when all seven discs are destroyed.
- Longer stay of the body in a static position.This is common with drivers, dispatchers and knowledge workers. After a long stay in a compressed state, the cartilage returns to its original shape with a deviation of hundredths of a millimeter and gradually loses its elasticity. Over time, an unnatural configuration becomes the norm for intervertebral discs.
- Wrong power supply.In order for all body systems to function without deviations, the required amount of fats, proteins, minerals and vitamins must be included in the diet. Inadequate, irregular and irrational nutrition leads to changes in tissue structure and their rapid destruction.
- Injuries and injuries to the back.Damage to the vertebrae leads to a redistribution of pressure on the cartilage, which leads to pathological changes in shape and structure.
- Other musculoskeletal disorders,, including rheumatism, bone tuberculosis and scoliosis.
Very often the instability of the cervical spine is a result of a genetic predisposition, when the disease is inherited for no significant and visible reason. Complications can only be prevented if treatment is started on time. To do this, you need to know what the primary signs of cervical osteochondrosis are.
This disease develops slowly and is almost invisible to humans. The first symptoms do not differ in strength and brightness. This is the special deceit of the disease. Patients diagnosed with irreversible changes in the spine are usually given an appointment with a neurologist. The sensations can vary greatly depending on which vertebra was affected.
The first signs of pathological changes in the spine appear as follows:
- Discomfort in the neck. They manifest themselves in dull pain, tingling and burning. Symptoms worsen after prolonged standing or walking.
- Numbness in the back of the head, shoulders, hands and toes. Loss of skin sensitivity.
- Difficulty turning and tilting the head, raising the arms to an upright position.
- Pain in the back of the head, forehead. The unpleasant sensations increase with nervous tension or physical exertion. There is constant tinnitus.
- shooting in the area of the heart and organs in the abdominal cavity. A characteristic sign of cervical osteochondrosis is that taking pain relievers does not bring relief.
- Dizziness, dark eyes, and fainting. Loss of consciousness occurs after sudden movements of the head or body.
- General deterioration in health. This is reflected in decreased performance, chronic fatigue and apathy. The emergence of indifference and interest in the joys of life.
- weakening of the sensitivity of all organs. Hearing decreases, eyesight and smell deteriorate.
- Impaired coordination of movements, numbness of the tongue and impaired diction.
If you do not respond to such symptoms, the consequences of the disease can be serious. The most harmless are persistent headaches and tingling in the chest. The progression of cervical osteochondrosis leads to severe migraines, high blood pressure, and severe impairment of the coordination of movements in the arms and legs. A spinal hernia can put a patient in bed forever. The most dangerous complication is compression of the spinal cord. It inevitably leads to paralysis and death of a person. Treatment of the disease must be started at the earliest stages.
In order to make the correct diagnosis, a comprehensive examination of the patient is carried out. Only in this way the doctor can determine the extent of the pathological changes in the spine and prescribe the correct treatment.
The following activities are performed with the patient:
- survey on lifestyle, symptoms and medical history;
- external physical examination;
- blood and urine tests;
- magnetic resonance imaging;
- ultrasonic display;
- duplex scanning.
Based on the diagnostic results, the doctor receives a complete clinical picture of the disease. After an accurate diagnosis, treatment is prescribed. It is carried out extensively using all available methods. The following types of therapy are prescribed to the patient:
- are taking medication.Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed to relieve pain. Chondroprotectors help strengthen bone and cartilage tissue. Different groups of vitamins can restore body tone and keep it at the desired level. Medicines are used in the form of tablets, tinctures and ointments. All drugs are taken only as directed by a doctor. Self-medication is unacceptable.
- Physiotherapy.Such procedures as heating, UHF, magnetic fields and laser irradiation relieve muscle spasms well and restore their mobility. After physiotherapy, the patient relaxes the muscles, reduces inflammation and pain.
- Manual therapy.Therapeutic massage has a positive effect on the spine. With the help of skillful movements, salt deposits are removed, cramps and tension are relieved. The spine is stretched, which releases the nerve endings and relieves pain.
- Remedial gymnastics.This type of treatment only starts after the pain has been relieved. The goal of physical therapy is to lose weight, burn lactic acid, and build a strong muscle frame around the spine.
The treatment is usually carried out in a complex manner with maximum application of all available methods. With a strong exacerbation, the patient is prescribed bed rest.
Even a severe form of osteochondrosis can be stopped and the progression of the disease prevented. To do this, a person needs to introduce several simple but binding rules into their life.
The prevention of osteochondrosis consists in performing the following activities:
- regular exercise therapy;
- correct and balanced diet;
- clothes and shoes selected for the season, especially in the cold season;
- constant use of vitamins and chondroprotectors prescribed by a doctor;
- only use orthopedic furniture for work and rest;
- Avoiding long-term stay of the body in an uncomfortable position;
- regular visits to sanatoriums and seaside resorts.
The patient must undergo a preventive examination at least once a year. At the first signs of an exacerbation of the disease, you need to immediately consult a doctor.