Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine: symptoms and treatment

With osteochondrosis of the spine, many are not familiar from popular programs from the TV screen, but from their own sad experience. Statistics - a harsh thing: up to 80% of the population suffers from this disease, which, moreover, significantly younger. If earlier on the problems in the spine mostly the older generation complained, now the children's osteochondrosis does not surprise anyone. And the blame for everything is a sedentary lifestyle and the so-called "benefits of civilization."

Osteochondrosis of the cervical region is a polyethyologic progressive disease, which is manifested by degeneration of intervertebral discs and dystrophy of the ligamentous apparatus of the spine. Everyone knows about the symptoms firsthand, but this knowledge is sketchy; try to structure them, as well as tell you about the principles of diagnosis and treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine.


  • 1Causes of osteochondrosis
  • 2Symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis
  • 3Principles of diagnostics
  • 4Treatment of osteochondrosis

Causes of osteochondrosis

Medical science can not unequivocally answer, because of what there is an osteochondrosis. It is well known that the sedentary lifestyle to which a modern person is exposed adversely affects the progression of this disease. Another interesting fact is that both hypodynamia and colossal loads in athletes lead to protrusion of discs. The leading role is played by the hereditary factor. Allocate the following reasons:

  • weighed down a hereditary anamnesis;
  • obesity;
  • hypodynamia;
  • metabolic disorders in the body;
  • traumatic injuries of the spine;
  • long static overloads and work associated with lifting weights (working at a computer, lifting weights, miners, loaders, etc.);
  • scoliosis;
  • unfavorable ecological situation;
  • flat feet and pregnancy;
  • hypothermia and stress, which often cause exacerbation of the disease.

Symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis

There are several neurological syndromes:

  • humeroscapular periarthritis;
  • radicular;
  • cardiac;
  • vertebral artery syndrome.

Shoulder-scapular periarthritis.Characterized by pain in the neck, shoulder, shoulder joint. The resulting neurogenic contracture of the shoulder joint is formed, which is protective in nature, as it protects the axillary nerve from stretching (antalgic pose). With this pose, the muscles surrounding the joint are in tension. The degree of severity of the pain syndrome depends on the degree of exacerbation of osteochondrosis: from a slight limitation the amplitude of movements in the joint to the so-called "frozen shoulder", when any movement causes severe pain. The pain increases with the removal of the shoulder and pronation, since it is these movements that increase the tension of the axillary nerve.

Radicular syndrome (cervico-brachial radiculitis).It is most common in cervical osteochondrosis. At the same time, the spine of the spinal nerve is squeezed due to the "subsidence" of the intervertebral discs, and also because of the proliferation of osteophytes or protrusion of the discs in the lateral direction. Pain syndrome is specific: intense burning, tearing, squeezing pain, which is also intensified when the patient moves his head. The neck muscles also have an antalgic posture, they are sharply tense and painful, the volume of movements is limited. There is pain in the neck, neck, anterior thorax, shoulder, between the shoulder blades. Characterized by a violation of the sensitivity of the type of "half-jacket with short sleeves".

Cardiac syndrome.The name of the syndrome is self-explanatory: the clinical picture is very similar to stress angina. At the same time, there is no organic damage to the heart, at the height of the pain syndrome, coronary blood flow is not detected by ECG, and such patients are physically tolerated. A typical sign for angina pectoris: pain passes after taking nitrates, and in the case of osteochondrosis does not change and worries for a long time. Unlike angina, the localization of pain is predominantly in the region of the heart on the left. When the rootlets of segments С8-Т1 are irritated, rhythm disturbances in the form of tachycardia and extrasystole are possible. This is not due to damage to the conduction system of the heart, but to a violation of sympathetic innervation of the cardiac muscle (extracardiac lesions). In the differential diagnosis of angina and cardiac syndrome, the leading fact is that, in addition to cardiac complaints, the patient notes the increased pain in the shoulder joint and neck, associated with lifting gravity or with abrupt movements.

Syndrome of the vertebral artery.The vertebral artery passes through the canal formed by holes in the transverse processes of the vertebrae. This artery is paired, it is responsible for the blood supply to the brain. Accordingly, any narrowing of this channel has a very negative effect on the nutrition of the brain tissue. Syndrome of the vertebral artery develops directly both with the compression of the artery itself, and with irritation of the sympathetic nerve plexus that is located around it. The pain in this pathology is burning or pulsating in the occipital region with spreading to the temples, the superciliary arches, the crown. Occurs both from one and both sides. Exacerbation patients are usually associated with the state after sleep in a nonphysiological pose, travel in transport, walking. With severe symptoms, hearing loss, dizziness, tinnitus, nausea, vomiting, loss of consciousness, increased blood pressure may occur. Such symptoms are not specific and are very similar to complaints of cerebral stroke. For this pathology, the syndrome of the Sistine Chapel is characteristic: a syncope that occurs when the head is thrown back (pronounced cerebral ischemia). It was described by the visitors of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, when they viewed frescoes in its arches. It is also possible to fall without losing consciousness with sharp turns of the head.

Principles of diagnostics

Like any diagnosis in medicine, the diagnosis of osteochondrosis is established based on patient complaints, medical history, clinical examination and auxiliary research methods. X-rays of the cervical spine are performed in the straight and lateral projections, if necessary in special positions (with the mouth open). In this case, specialists are interested in the height of intervertebral discs, the presence of osteophytes. From modern methods of research, NMR and CT studies are used that allow the most accurate verification of a diagnosis. In addition to these methods of additional research, you may need to consult with related specialists (cardiologist, ophthalmologist, neurosurgeon), and a neurologist's examination is simply vital. The neurologist is engaged in treatment of an osteochondrosis, therefore after survey of the patient he at own discretion will appoint necessary minimum of inspection.

Treatment of osteochondrosis

Osteochondrosis - a polyethological disease, for one course of therapy is not cured. You can not drink a "magic tabletochku" and everything will pass, you need to radically change your lifestyle, since the starting factor is inactivity. The most tangible results are easier to achieve in the initial stage of the disease, when complaints are minimal and there are no syndromes of compression of roots and vertebral arteries. In the acute stage of the disease, when the pain syndrome is sharply expressed, the following groups of drugs are prescribed:

  • therapeutic paravertebral block (for relief of pain syndrome and removal of muscle spasm);
  • NSAIDs (diclofenac, ibuprofen, xefokam, etc.);
  • ointments containing NSAIDs and reflex action (capsicum, finalgon, nise, etc.);
  • muscle relaxants (midokalm, sirdalud);
  • vitamins of group B (neurobion, neurovitam, etc.);

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine symptoms diagnosis principles and treatmentAs the inflammatory process subsides and the painful syndrome abates, physiotherapeutic treatment is switched. Most often, these methods are used:

  • laser therapy;
  • electrophoresis;
  • acupuncture;
  • Exercise therapy;
  • massotherapy;
  • manual therapy.

It is important to understand that osteochondrosis proceeds with periods of exacerbation and remission, so it is very important to influence the cause, and not treat the consequence.

The first channel, the program "To Live Healthily" with Elena Malysheva on the topic "The main thing is the vertical. What is the cause of osteochondrosis? "

The main thing is the vertical. What is the cause of osteochondrosis?

Watch this video on YouTube

Life-TV, Vitaly Demetovich Gitt, manual therapist, tells about the causes and symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis, and also offers exercises for his treatment.

Exercises for cervical osteochondrosis

Watch this video on YouTube

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