Learn about the symptoms and treatment of cervical spine osteochondrosis

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

Omnipresent statistics indicate that more than 80% of people are diagnosed with osteochondrosis of the cervical spine in various stages. Meanwhile, doctors warn of the very dangerous consequences of neglected forms, which can endanger not only the health, but also the life of the patient.

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine - what is it?

Osteochondrosis itself is an irreversible degenerative-dystrophic destruction of the intervertebral discs and vertebrae. It is characterized by a violation of the integrity of the intervertebral component, which causes intervertebral hernias and protrusions, and further destruction of the vertebral bones. These changes lead to complex processes in the body and not only cause strong painful sensations, but also affect the functioning of the entire body.

Important! The process is irreversible, it is impossible to restore damaged cartilage and intervertebral discs, you can only slow down their destruction.

The danger of such a process in the cervical spine is multiplied by the presence of a large number of nerve fibers and vessels connecting the brain and the human body, as well as the proximity of the vertebral site (there are 7 of them in a small space).

Attention! The slightest compression of arteries, nerve fibers, or blood vessels in the cervical spine leads to a range of symptoms, the severity of which depends on which roots or vessels are being compressed.


There are many reasons for this dangerous disease, although it is not yet known exactly why osteochondrosis occurs in any particular area. Factors that cause cervical osteochondrosis include:


This is the most extensive factor, both quantitatively and qualitatively. It should contain:

  • sedentary work;
  • prolonged stay in a tense or uncomfortable position for long periods of time;
  • small physical activity on the spine (this contributes to the weakening of the muscle corset);
  • too much stress for the spine.
Sedentary lifestyle is the cause of cervical osteochondrosis

Nowadays, a very large number of people are susceptible to the listed factors of this disease due to the prevailing model of social life and behavior.


Spinal injuries are associated with cervical osteochondrosis in 90% of cases. Often it does not appear immediately after an injury, but rather after a certain period of time. Here the main component of occurrence will be the broken integrity of the crest.

Hormonal disorders

This factor can appear even in adolescence, during the restructuring of the child's body. This type of osteochondrosis can be treated successfully.

If osteochondrosis occurs against the background of menopause or diseases that change the hormonal background (diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis), treatment is symptomatic.

Genetic predisposition

This reason almost always occurs as a concomitant phenomenon for others. Since genetic predisposition is not in itself the basis of the disease, it is of great importance for other factors.


The manifestations of cervical osteochondrosis are very similar to many diseases, which makes diagnosis difficult. Their manifestations depend on which nerve roots are squeezed. In addition, many symptoms are associated with impaired blood flow to the brain. Despite the wide variety of symptoms, some of the most common symptoms can be identified. Their appearance and strengthening depend on the stage of development of the disease. Here they are sorted according to their frequency of occurrence.

Headache with osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

One of the first, most persistent and common symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis is a migraine headache. It is well controlled with analgesics, but as the disease progresses its intensity becomes higher and it becomes harder and harder to stop.

Headache with osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

Important! The pain can be displaced by pulsing in the temples and back of the head, it can affect the parietal region and give it to the parietal bone.

Neck pain

Usually weak at first, pain in the neck only occurs when you touch the affected area. Later, the pain can be transferred to the back of the head, shoulder, and arm (this depends on which nerve endings are pinched). At the same time, when turning or tilting the head, there is a sharp movement of the body, which becomes constant, has an increasing intensity.

Limit the range of motion and grind

Another symptom of cervical osteochondrosis is restricted movement of the head and neck. It is difficult for the patient to turn his head. There is no way to do this completely. It is impossible to tilt your head forward or backward. A characteristic crunch occurs when cornering.

Weak hands

If the nerve roots are damaged, which are responsible for the innervation of the upper limbs, weakness occurs in the arms, in severe cases paralysis can occur.

Numbness of the hands or body parts

When the roots responsible for sensitivity are squeezed, the sensitivity in the hands, fingers or the numbness of certain areas is lost. In advanced forms of the disease, (total or partial) paralysis of the hands and the entire body is possible. Again, this depends on which nerves are affected.

Numbness of the hands with cervical osteochondrosis

Hearing and visual impairment

This disease is characterized by signs such as hearing and vision loss, numbness of the lips and tongue. These organs are in close proximity and are the first to suffer from insufficient oxygen supply to the brain.

Dizziness with cervical osteochondrosis

In cervical osteochondrosis, dizziness is one of the most uncomfortable symptoms. Sometimes this can be accompanied by a loss of coordination. In some cases, you experience fainting and nausea. These symptoms are associated with impaired blood flow to the brain due to compression of the arteries and blood vessels.

Information about diagnostic methods

If you experience one or more symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis, it is better to consult a doctor for a diagnosis. There are several diagnostic methods for osteochondrosis, the most informative of which will be:

  • computed tomography;
  • magnetic resonance imaging;
  • dopplerography of blood vessels;
  • Radiography is used most often.

Radiography is not very meaningful for the diagnosis of osteochondrosis in the early stages. Doppler sonography of blood vessels is carried out in difficult cases, when severe symptoms appear: loss of sensitivity in large areas, paralysis, fainting.

Important! Successful treatment is possible even in the early stages of the disease and depends on the correct diagnosis.

Disease stages

The disease is characterized by an increase in symptoms and their severity. There are 4 stages.

Painful sensations in the neck in the first stage of osteochondrosis
  1. I-I are painful sensations in the neck when the affected nerve endings are touched. Pain occurs when turning the head or neck. No damage is found at the level of the spine, only injuries to the intervertebral space.
  2. II - This is the appearance of sharp pains that can be exerted on the arm and shoulder and that increase when the head is turned. Migraine headache. The pain is caused by minor destructive changes to the intervertebral discs.
  3. III-I - increased pain that becomes constant, numbness occurs, stiffness of head movements, weakness in hands, attention and memory are impaired. At this stage there are violations of the integrity of the intervertebral discs (cracks, protrusion of the articular sac), intervertebral hernias.
  4. IV-th - characterized by destruction of intervertebral discs and vertebrae, violation of the integrity of bones. Surgery is very often required at this stage as hernias can cause paralysis and immobilization of the upper limbs or the entire body.

Important! Treatment of osteochondrosis of the neck at home is possible and necessary in stages 1–2, stage 3 requires drug treatment under medical supervision.

Treatment at home

Before starting treatment, it is necessary to consult a physician-vertebrate who will make the correct diagnosis and carry out the necessary examinations. Osteochondrosis can have symptoms similar to those of heart failure (high blood pressure, difficulty breathing, attention and memory problems).

Attention! With improper or untimely treatment, cerebral ischemia, stroke, spinal cord compression, and radiculopathy are possible, and these complications of the disease often threaten the patient's life.

With a correct and timely diagnosis, home treatment should include the following components:

  • drug treatment;
  • massage;
  • special physical exercises.

All three components are very important. They need to be included in a complex treatment that will give good results over a long period of time.


Traditional massages work very well after relieving acute pain. It is recommended that the courses be held at least every 6 months. Today there is a huge variety of methods of treating cervical osteochondrosis that will allow you to choose the most suitable option.

Massage for osteochondrosis of the cervical spine
  1. There have appeared high quality manual techniques that you can use to get a good result.
  2. A new direction is osteopathy, which aims at treatment with the hands, but regards the human body as a unit of the musculoskeletal system, the nervous system and the mental system.
  3. A good solution would be a professional acupuncture course taught by an experienced specialist.
  4. Successful massage replaces hirudotherapy (leech therapy); it is not without reason that it is equated with acupuncture.

Exercises for osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

One of the factors in the onset of this disease is considered to be low stress on the muscle corset. We lead a sedentary lifestyle, spend a lot of time in the same position, often uncomfortable. Hence, 10 simple exercises for strengthening the muscle corset of the neck should be included in your daily exercise for everyone. It is especially important to deal with them when the first signs of the disease appear.

Important! Exercise should only be done after the acute pain has been relieved. With an exacerbation, it is undesirable to do it.

Exercises for osteochondrosis of the cervical spine
  1. Stand 5-7 times: Put your feet shoulder-width apart, your stomach tucked in and your shoulders straight. Raise your arms to the side and up, then bring them together at the top and bring them back, trying to join the shoulder blades. Then I'll be flat again.
  2. It is good to do it standing up, but you can also sit 7-10 times. Wrap your arms around you (like hugging), trying as hard as you can (elbows forward), then twisting your arms back and joining them by touching your elbows with your palms. Try to suck your stomach in.
  3. It is better to do it while standing, but if you get dizzy while sitting, each movement is 3-5 times. The neck is straight, the shoulders are straight. Turn your head to the left and try to touch your shoulder with your chin. Don't lift your shoulder. Repeat this process, turning your head to the right and taking turns.
  4. Do the same exercise and tilt your head back and forth as far as possible. Try to reach your chest with your chin. Bend slowly.
  5. Then very slowly and carefully make a semicircle from the left shoulder to the right, tilting your head forward. Don't make circular motions - just a semicircle. Repeat the movement in the opposite direction.

    Do these exercises with your head back as often as possible. Remember to do it slowly and only in a semicircle.

  6. Neck exercises for osteochondrosis
  7. It is also better to do it standing up, but you can also sit for 5 seconds. 3-4 times. Clench your fists and support your chin. Forcefully press your fists with your chin for 5 seconds, then place them behind you on the occipital bone and press again. This exercise works well for the neck muscles.
  8. Sitting 7-10 turns on each side. Put your hands on your hips, tilt your head forward as far as you can. It is good if you can manage to rest your chin on your chest. Now turn your head alternately to the left and right without lifting your chin from your chest.
  9. Do this at least 3-4 times while sitting in a low-back chair. With your shoulders straight, try to look at the wall behind you.
  10. Do the exercise 5-7 times while sitting on a chair with your hands between your knees. Bend to the side as you inhale, sit up straight as you exhale. Do it alternately left and right.
  11. Lie on your stomach and lean forward. Try this 5-6 times. Make it as high as you can and hold it out longer.

Tip! Exercise at an appropriate time, possibly during a break or when your neck is getting tired from a tight posture. Can't be too much here. The main thing is not to do it many times at the same time.

Treatment with folk remedies

Treatment of spinal problems with folk remedies is mainly about warming the affected area. When using recipes for the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis, care should be taken, as being close to the brain can make too much heating harmful rather than beneficial.

The girl is tormented by osteochondrosis of the neck

Important! It is necessary to use recipes with a mild effect that do not cause severe irritation.

Grandma's ointment

To prepare you need:

    10 ml of iodine; 10 ml of camphor oil;
  • 10 analgesic tablets;
  • 300 ml of alcohol.

Tablets should be crushed into powder and mixed together. The resulting composition is applied to the neck in a thin layer.


  1. potatoes. It is good to apply a compress of grated potatoes with honey at night.
  2. shit. Fresh horseradish leaves should be held over steam, cooled and applied for 10-15 minutes. to the neck.
  3. hops. Mash unsalted lard (1 tablespoon) and add ground fresh or dried hop cones (1 teaspoon). Apply the resulting mixture to the back of the head as a compress overnight.
  4. aloe. Take 1 part of crushed aloe leaves, 2 parts of honey and 3 parts of vodka. Mix everything and let it steep for 12 hours. Do not apply the compress for more than 15 minutes.
Neck compressions for osteochondrosis


Traditional treatment should consist of anti-inflammatory drugs that are needed regularly to relieve severe pain, as well as drugs that are designed to mobilize the body to fight the disease: vitamins, neuroprotectors, chondroprotectors.

In addition, depending on the problems encountered, drugs are prescribed that relieve symptoms that occur when a certain part of the nerve roots is damaged. These can be drugs:

  • pressure reduction;
  • to improve eyesight;
  • to relieve numbness.

Anti-inflammatory drugs

In the initial phase, severe pain can be controlled with pain relievers.

Anti-inflammatory nonsteroidal drugs are prescribed during an exacerbation to reduce inflammation and pain. These drugs are available in tablets, capsules, or solutions for injection. Part is in the form of ointments for external use. The course of treatment should be determined by the doctor.

Important! Long-term use of drugs from a range of anti-inflammatory nonsteroidal drugs can cause gastrointestinal tract (GIT) lining even in a healthy person. In gastrointestinal diseases, treatment with analgesics leads to aggravation.


It is absolutely necessary to take vitamins of group B (B)1,B6,B12). They help improve the functioning of the brain, have a positive effect on the functioning of the nervous system and improve the transmission of nerve impulses, which has an effect on improving the general condition.

These vitamins can be taken depending on the scheme or in combination in the form of intramuscular injections, which significantly improves the effect. In the early stages of the disease, they are shown as tablets (vitamin complexes) or dietary supplements (they are not recognized by official medicine).

Drugs that improve cerebral blood flow

Neuroprotective agents are drugs that affect the way the brain works. This includes a large group of drugs that affect various processes that improve memory and concentration.

These drugs are prescribed when the blood supply to the brain is impaired as a result of vascular compression.

Attention! Neuroprotectors must be prescribed by a neuropathologist.


Chondroprotectors have a special place - drugs that improve the nutrition of the cartilage tissue of the spine and slow down its destruction. Their positive effect has not yet been clinically proven, but they are used as dietary supplements and approved through hygienic and medical examinations.

Important! These drugs can be helpful in stages I and II. In the future, they are unlikely to achieve the desired effect.

About nutrition and nutrition

With cervical osteochondrosis, it is important to eat foods and herbs that contain B vitamins. This can be:

  • poultry meat;
  • porridge;
  • chamomile;
  • mint;
  • mother and stepmother;
  • celery.
Poultry in the diet for cervical osteochondrosis

Fresh vegetables and fruit are displayed. It is undesirable to use salt, its amount should be reduced to a minimum. This is due to impaired blood circulation in the brain. There is no need to increase your calcium and potassium intake.

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is an insidious disease that can lead to complex pathologies that lead to disability. At the same time, correct behavior, moderate physical activity, and systemic treatment can slow down development or even stop it for a long time. Live happy and be healthy!