Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine – symptoms and treatment

Even some 30 years ago, low back pain, associated exclusively with the elderly people, whose joints become stiff and sore with every movement. However, times have changed. Today more and more people are changing hard physical labor to sedentary work at the computer, less monitor the quality of nutrition, and are increasingly faced with osteochondrosis of the cervical spine calving. No wonder low back pain is called the "disease of the century", and with the symptoms of this ailment faced by almost every person under 25 years of age.

The spine

This insidious disease, beginning with an unpleasant pain in the neck, very quickly leads to serious consequences in the form of weakening of hearing and sight, and declining memory, until its complete loss. That is why every person should know the causes of osteoarthritis and to promptly contact their doctor in case of unpleasant symptoms of the disease. About them will tell in this article.

Causes of degenerative disc disease of the cervical

Paradoxically, all of our problems with the cervical spine begin in early childhood, but rather in primary school where the child goes bad posture and scoliosis. It was at this moment disturbed the system of maintaining the head of the spine, particularly the most delicate and vulnerable part – the neck. The second key factor for the osteochondrosis of the cervical, which had their beginning in early childhood, insufficient physical preparation, in particular, the weakness of the spinal muscles and the so-called muscular corset, designed to support the spine.

The two most important causes of the disease. Everyone else is a heavy burden on a weakened spine, causing the development of disease quite young and healthy people. In the first place, it includes a sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity, particularly work, which is associated with a longer stay in the same position. This is especially true for drivers and office workers, shift sitting at a computer. All this is complemented by overweight, which seriously increases the load on the spine.

Of the other causes of cervical osteochondrosis should be highlighted:

  • the trauma of the spine;
  • the metabolic disorders;
  • genetic predisposition;
  • great physical exertion;
  • the constant tension and stress;
  • developmental abnormalities of the cervical spine;
  • bad habits (holding the phone handset to the ear and the shoulder).

The process of development of osteoarthritis

These adverse factors eventually lead to higher loads on the cervical spine. In attempts to compensate for the excess load the muscles of the neck spasm occurs, which leads to disruption of blood circulation in this area and reduce metabolic processes. All this revolves around the development of degenerative processes in the spine. First of all, the vertebrae begin to shrink and close, forcing its contents (the annulus) outside of the spine. This protrusion on the language of physicians is called a protrusion.

Cervical osteochondrosis

In the case of protrusion of the fibrous ring still retains its integrity, however, the protrusion of the already constricted blood vessels and nerves running along the spinal column to nourish the brain. Moreover, and converging the deflected vertebrae begin to compress the roots of the peripheral nerves that leads to the development of the so-called "radicular syndrome", manifesting itself with severe pain in the neck and back. If you do not identify the problem (which eloquently will show unpleasant symptoms) and start to treat degenerative disc disease, the annulus will break and will appear hernia. In this case, there are serious problems with the power cord.

Symptoms of cervical degenerative disc disease

In its development, the disease goes through several stages, and each stage has characteristic signs and symptoms. It should be noted that the degenerative disc disease of the cervical differs from the degenerative changes in other parts of the spine. The distance between the vertebrae here is minimal, and therefore, even slight degenerative changes cause unpleasant symptoms and lead to various complications.

Low back pain I degree. This preclinical stage of disease at which the patient experiences slight pain and discomfort during turning of the head, as well as the stress and fatigue in the neck and back with a long stay in one position (often sitting). At this stage, osteochondrosis perfectly treatable with lifestyle changes, correction of diet and regular exercise.

Osteochondrosis of the II degree. At this stage, between the vertebrae in the neck appears instability. The man in this case is faced with intense pain, which give to the shoulder, neck or arm. During tilting or turning of the head the pain increases, as a result of a decrease in the distance between the vertebrae begins to affect the nerve endings. The patient begins to tire quickly, it reduced efficiency, there is confusion, forgetfulness, headaches.

Osteochondrosis of the III degree. With the onset of the third stage of the disease pain in the neck and back become stronger, the mobility of the neck is markedly reduced, and when turning the neck may be audible crunch of the vertebrae. At night the patient begins to lose the feeling in my fingers (especially the pinky and ring finger), causing the person wakes up several times during the night. Throughout the day, these patients have an unpleasant weight in his hands. And even a short phone conversation in which a person is forced to hold the mobile near your ear, turns unpleasant tingling and numbness in the fingers. All this indicates the increase of the protrusion, and probably about the herniation in the cervical spine.

Osteochondrosis of the I degree

Osteochondrosis of IV degree. At the last stage of the disease is the destruction of a vertebral disk, which cease to perform their functions and begin to be replaced by connective tissue. The patient in this condition may experience impaired coordination of movement, there is the noise and the maddening throbbing in the ears, severe headaches, reduced visual acuity and hearing. In some cases, there may be numbness of the tongue.

It should be said that due to squeezing of blood vessels is disrupted the blood flow to the brain. Because of this the patient appear neurotic disorders like insomnia, nervousness, irritability and resentment, frequent mood swings and inability to concentrate. The occasional flash of anger or fear, attack melancholy and depression.

In the later stages of development of osteochondrosis of the strongest spasms of the blood vessels can lead to the emergence of "flies" before the eyes, sensation of instability on a solid, level surface, strong dizziness, headaches, nausea, vomiting and frequent fainting.

Diagnosis of the disease

To identify the causes of pathology the patient describes to the doctor the unpleasant symptoms of their condition. After hearing the patient, the specialist sends it to one of the following methods.

The x-rays. At present, this diagnostic method is considered to be uninformative, especially in the last stages of the disease.

Ultrasonic duplex scanning. This method is used in cases, when the specialist suggests a disruption of blood flow in the arteries that feeds the brain. The study shows the rate of blood flow and whether there is any obstacles in his way.

CT (computed tomography). This method is more informative compared to radiography, since not only identify the problem but also allows to determine the presence and size of hernia, however difficult.

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). The most informative to date method of diagnosis of osteochondrosis, which allows you to see the bone structure, the presence of hernia and even the direction of their development.

Treatment of degenerative disc disease

Just say that to combat such a serious problem as the cervical osteochondrosis you should consult a neurologist. However, if the is in the spine, again it is better to refer to it. To treat osteochondrosis possible only in a complex. The set of methods includes drug therapy, massage of cervical-collar zone, physical therapy, physiotherapy and proper nutrition. Only the combination of all these methods help to cope with the illness and to normalize the patient's state of health.

Help with severe pain

Pain in the neck

In the case of severe pain syndrome, doctors recommend taking painkillers. When these means cease to bring relief, you can go to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

In a General sense, drug therapy includes the following tools:

  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). These drugs eliminate pain, reduce swelling and cope with inflammation of the nerve roots.
  • Chondroprotectors. These drugs perfectly restore damaged cartilage.
  • Vitamins of group B. They are necessary for the improvement of metabolic processes in nerve tissue.
  • The muscle relaxants. The effect of these drugs is aimed at reducing muscle spasms.
  • Drugs that improve blood rheology. By such means it improves the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the brain and nerve endings.

It should be noted that to achieve tangible results in the fight against osteochondrosis with the help of ointments and pills can only take place if the treatment is combined with other methods of therapy. Otherwise, the medications will give only temporary effect.

Many professionals tend to treat degenerative disc disease injections to quickly act on nerve endings and relieve the patient from possible side effects when taking the pills. However, vitamins are best taken orally because the vitamin is well absorbed by the body in any way, but the injections can be painful.

Physiotherapeutic methods of treatment

Treatment need to be combined with physiotherapeutic methods of therapy. The most effective in this disease are:

  • Electrophoresis (combined with medications). Medicines in this case, penetrate to the damaged vertebrae under the action of electric current.
  • Ultrasound. This method of treatment allows to remove inflammation, relieve pain and improve metabolic processes in tissues.
  • Magnetotherapy. This type of physiotherapy reduces swelling and eliminates pain.
  • Laser therapy. This is a great method of combat inflammation, which also improves circulation.

Diet in osteochondrosis

Recovery of the affected vertebrae includes a special diet, which normalizes metabolic processes in the body, prevents deposition of salts, nourishes and regenerates cartilage, and also strengthens the ligaments between vertebrate disks.

To achieve this, first of all, from the diet of the patient should be excluded:

    Diagnosis of the disease
  • alcoholic beverages;
  • fatty and fried foods;
  • spicy and too salty dishes;
  • strong broth;
  • weaknesses and baking;
  • strong tea and coffee;
  • pickles and marinades;
  • canned products.

The diet of the patient with osteochondrosis should be of the following foods:

  • lean meat and fish;
  • low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt;
  • butter (in small quantities).
  • porridge and soups from whole grains;
  • aspic, aspic of fish or meat;
  • vegetables, fruits and berries;
  • juices, fruit drinks, kissels and compotes.

With the localization of osteoarthritis in the cervical spine it is important to stick to drinking regimen, drinking at least 1.5 liters of water a day. If there is excess weight, then you should think about how to get rid of those extra pounds put additional strain on the spine. It is advisable to switch to eating 5 times a day in small portions.

As can be seen from the list of allowed foods, the diet should be low fat vegetarian soup, boiled lean meat, fish, seafood, savory vegetables and fruits.

Sample menu for the day will look as follows:

  • Breakfast: cottage cheese, a couple apples, tea without sugar;
  • lunch: baked pear, a bit of oatcake;
  • lunch: vegetarian soup, boiled chicken with vegetable salad;
  • snack: dry biscuits and fruit juice;
  • dinner: baked fish with vegetables and tea without sugar.

Physical therapy in osteochondrosis

Exercise gives great results in the treatment of osteoarthritis, however gymnastics for the cervical spine only in the recovery period. It is important that during the massage or gymnastics, the patient did not experience discomfort and pain.

Laser therapy

Give a few most effective gymnastic exercises designed to strengthen neck muscles and improve blood circulation in this area.

Exercise # 1 Lying on his stomach and resting his hands on the floor, slowly raise your head and torso so that the spine was straight. Hold this position for 1 minute, then return to the starting position. The element is repeated 2-3 times.

Exercise # 2 Lying on his stomach and stretching his arms along the body, slightly lift your head and start turning it first to the right, trying to touch the ear floor, and then left. Follow for 6 turns in each direction.

Exercise # 3 Seated on the floor, on the inhale make you lean forward, trying to reach the chin to the chest and on the exhale, return to starting position and bend your head back. Item repeat 10-15 times.

Exercise # 4 Apply your palm to your forehead and try with force to push on the head. At the same time, straining the muscles of the neck resist the hands, not allowing to reject the head. Hold the pressure for 20-30 seconds, then lower your arms and relax. Repeat item 2-3 times, and then repeat the exercise in the opposite direction, letting his hands clasped on the back of the head.

Exercise # 5 Start to slowly rotate the head right and left, trying to get a look behind his back. Do 10 rotations in each side. I wish you good health!