How to treat osteochondrosis of the cervical spine at home

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine on x-ray

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is a degenerative-dystrophic disease that affects the cartilaginous tissues of the intervertebral discs, provoking pathological changes in the vertebrae. The need for hospitalization arises only during an exacerbation with a sharp deterioration in well-being, usually provoked by the compression of the vertebral artery by a displaced vertebra.

In most cases, osteochondrosis is treated at home. The patient is shown a course reception of chondroprotectors, massage and physiotherapy procedures, adherence to a sparing diet. But the main method of treating the disease is daily exercise therapy or gymnastics. Swimming, yoga, long walks in the fresh air are also recommended for patients.


In the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis, drugs of various clinical and pharmacological groups are used. To eliminate acute pain in the neck and back of the head, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, analgesics in tablets or injectable solutions are used. And the use of ointments and plasters, including those with a warming effect, helps to get rid of mild or moderate discomfort.

In case of osteochondrosis of 1 or 2 degrees of severity, chondroprotectors are included in the therapeutic regimens. These are stimulators of the regeneration of the cartilaginous tissues of the intervertebral discs and damaged ligaments, tendons, muscles. With the help of a long (from 3 months to several years) course of taking chondroprotectors, it is possible to partially restore hyaline cartilage and normalize the functioning of the cervical spine.

The concentration of active ingredients (glucosamine, chondroitin) of drugs in the area of ​​damaged tissues gradually increases. Soon, their analgesic, anti-edematous and anti-inflammatory effects begin to appear. Chondroprotectors are not used in the treatment of grade 3 osteochondrosis, since destructive processes have affected almost all connective tissue structures.

Clinical and pharmacological group of drugs used in the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis Pharmacological and therapeutic effects
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs Relief of inflammatory processes, decrease in the severity of pain and swelling, increased range of motion
Group B vitamins Normalization of skeletal muscle innervation, restoration of optimal transmission of excitation and metabolism of mediators, regeneration of damaged nerves
Blood flow enhancers Improving the rheological properties of blood and nutrition of damaged nerve roots, stimulating blood circulation in the brain, eliminating headaches and dizziness
Muscle relaxants Relaxation of skeletal muscles, release of strangulated nerve roots and blood vessels


Exercises for the neck with osteochondrosis

The use of pharmacological preparations, warming compresses, massage procedures will not help to eliminate the symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis, to stop its progression. Only regular, daily exercise therapy slows down and then completely stops the destruction of cartilage tissue. The set of exercises is compiled by the exercise therapy doctor, taking into account the stage of pathology and sports training of the patient. Under his control, the first trainings are carried out, and then the patient is engaged at home.

Neck exercises for osteochondrosis.

During the exercise, there should not be any discomfort, including vertebral-type sensations - dizziness, rise in blood pressure. Movements should be smooth, with a small amplitude. This is the only way to improve blood circulation in the cervical spine and at the same time to avoid stress on damaged intervertebral discs. Usually, exercise therapy doctors include the following exercises in the treatment complex:

  • lie on your stomach, put your hands on the floor. Keeping your back straight, raise your head and upper half of the body, linger in this position for a minute, and then gently lower. Initially, perform 3-4 times, as the muscle corset strengthens - 10-15 times;
  • lie on your stomach, stretch your arms along the body. Turn your head first in one direction, then in the other direction, touching the floor surface with your ear. Perform exercises 10 times to the right and left;
  • sit on a chair or stool, take a deep breath and lean forward, trying to touch your chin to your chest. Exhale, lean back, throwing your head back a little. Repeat 15-20 times;
  • sit down, put your hands to your forehead. Try to bend your head forward while resisting with your palms for a minute. Repeat exercise 5-7 times;
  • sit down, put your palms on your knees. Smoothly, slowly rotate your head, first to the right, then to the left. Make 10 rotations in one direction, then in the other direction.

It is strictly forbidden to train during an exacerbation of cervical osteochondrosis due to the high probability of a pinched nerve or compression of the vertebral artery. Training should also be stopped in case of SARS, flu and other infections that cause a rise in temperature.


In the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis, classical, vacuum, acupressure massage is used. Wellness treatments help improve blood circulation and strengthen the muscular system that stabilizes the vertebrae and intervertebral discs. At home, you can massage yourself 1-3 times a day in one of the following ways:

  • put your hands behind your back with a soft towel squeezed and rub it intensively on the back of the neck. At the final stage of the massage, do some vigorous patting with your palms;
  • The procedure should be started by gently rubbing the skin and then kneading. Do a few pats, pinches, chops. Use your fingertips to massage the skin around the protruding vertebrae for 10 minutes. Finish the massage with stroking and rubbing.

Special massagers can be purchased at a pharmacy or medical equipment store - wooden, equipped with protrusions, or electric. Such devices and devices make it easier to carry out massage at home. Some models have a heating function, there are several speed modes.

Applicators have proven their worth in the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis. They are small rugs or rollers with many sharp spikes. Upon contact with the skin, irritation of the receptors located in the subcutaneous tissue occurs. Blood begins to flow to the damaged discs and vertebrae, normalizing tissue trophism.

Folk remedies

After the main treatment of osteochondrosis, achieving stable remission, vertebrologists are allowed to use folk remedies, but only with proven clinical efficacy. The therapeutic effect of most compresses or rubbing is to increase the body temperature in the neck area due to irritation of sensitive nerve endings. It is inappropriate to use funds that are positioned as regeneration stimulants. Trace elements, vitamins, other biologically active substances are not able to penetrate from the skin surface into the vertebral structures and restore them.

Infusions or tinctures for internal use have various therapeutic properties. Some of them can slow down or weaken the effect of pharmacological drugs. Therefore, the advisability of using folk remedies should be discussed with a vertebrologist or neurologist.

Before applying the compress or appliqué mixture, rub a small amount into the crease of the elbow. If after an hour on the skin does not appear redness, rashes, small rash, then you can proceed with the treatment.

Compresses and applications

Ozokerite and paraffin neck applications

Physiotherapy procedures with ozokerite and paraffin can be carried out at home. These natural hydrocarbons have approximately the same melting point and are therefore often combined with each other. Paraffin and ozokerite are sold in pharmacies and are relatively inexpensive. They are mixed in a 1: 1 ratio and melted in a water bath, and then cooled to 40-45 ° C. With a wide brush or wooden spatula, a layer of warm mixture is applied to the back of the neck and wait for it to solidify. Another layer is distributed on top. In total, the procedure is repeated 4-5 times. Application time is 1-2 hours.

The most popular procedure for the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis in folk medicine is a compress. Especially popular is the application to damaged discs and vertebrae of fresh, greased with honey, cabbage leaves, horseradish, burdock, plantain. But the best therapeutic effect is provided by a compress with a solution of sea salt. For its preparation, a tablespoon of coarse crystalline salt is diluted in 200 ml of warm water. A large sterile napkin is moistened in the solution and applied to the neck until it dries completely.


Vodka or ethyl alcohol diluted with water in a 1: 1 ratio is used to prepare grits. For people with sensitive skin, it is better to insist vegetable raw materials in olive, sunflower or flaxseed oil. Most often, in the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis, rubbing with various parts of garden horseradish is used - leaves, roots, flowers, arrows. They are cut into small pieces, placed in an opaque glass or ceramic container, tamped and poured with vodka or oil. Insist in a warm place, where the sun's rays do not penetrate for 1-2 months, periodically shaking for better extraction of bioactive substances. Rub the rubbing into the back of the neck 2 times a day.

Instead of horseradish, you can use the leaves of nettle, burdock, saber, plantain. Traditional healers recommend adding 3 drops of vegetable oils of juniper, fir, pine, a tablespoon of gum turpentine to 0. 5 liters of the finished tincture.

Herbal infusions

Herbal infusions and teas - one of the means of traditional medicine for articular pathologies

With cervical osteochondrosis, you need to drink plenty of fluids - in the absence of contraindications, up to 3 liters daily. This promotes the elimination of slags, toxins, tissue decay products, and harmful mineral salts from the vertebral structures. The consumption of about 2 glasses of herbal infusions per day will also eliminate sluggish inflammatory processes, muscle spasms, relieve pain and stiffness of movements. Thyme, chamomile, sage, coltsfoot, marigolds, bear ears, corn silk are used for their preparation.

How to make a healing tea:

  • pour a teaspoon of dry plant materials into a thermos;
  • pour in 2 liters of boiling water, leave for 2-3 hours;
  • cool, strain, take 0. 5 cups 3-4 times a day after meals.

A decoction of birch buds will help improve well-being, increase the range of motion in the cervical spine. 2 tablespoons of raw materials are poured with 2 cups of hot water and simmered over low heat for 15 minutes. Cool, filter, take 100 ml three times a day with meals.

On the Internet, there are often recommendations about the use of a large number of dishes with gelatin - jellied meat, jelly, fish jellied, berry jellies. Supposedly contained in food, collagen ensures the regeneration of damaged cartilage. In fact, this chondroprotector is rapidly degraded in the gastrointestinal tract and excreted from the body. This method of therapy not only does not accelerate the treatment of osteochondrosis, but also contributes to its progression due to the rapid increase in body weight.