Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine: signs, causes
The human cervical spine consists of 7 vertebrae. It starts with the first atlas vertebra, which holds the cranium, and ends with the thoracic region.Osteochondrosis of the cervical spineis a degenerative-dystrophic process.
The vertebrae in this region have the same appearance as in the others, but they are more mobile and experience a strong load. Also, it is this department that is most fully responsible for many parts of the human body, the arteries of the spine are most developed here and supply the brain with blood.
The development of the disease can be caused by many factors, including hereditary ones. With physical exertion, the displacement of the vertebrae can lead to an exacerbation of the disease and the need for therapeutic measures. The basic causes of the onset and development of osteochondrosis can be:
- Insufficient physical activityand, as a result, congestion. This is facilitated by physical inactivity, diet disturbance and salt deposition, diseases of the endocrine system and the digestive tract.
- Abuse and bad habits, in particular smoking, which disrupts metabolism and tissue regeneration processes.
- Heredity. Chronic disease is passed down from generation to generation. This is due to a lack of calcium, dystrophic processes, genetically transmitted dysplasia of the vertebral joints.
- Pregnancy.Hormonal changes expose the body to additional stress, posture worsens, excess weight appears. All this cannot but affect the course of the disease of the spine.
Unfortunately, many people do not immediately notice the symptoms of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine and, because of this, do not start treatment on time.
Sometimes the patient perceives the absence of pain as the absence of pathology, but this is reckless, since at one unexpected moment you can experience very sharp unexpected pain.
This is how osteochondrosis behaves in the latent course of the disease. The pain indicator in this disease of the spine can be temporary and permanent, and also differ in the severity and intensity of pain.
In addition, you may feel the following signs of illness:
- numbness in the neck and arms;
- weakness in the muscles of the neck;
- feel visual disturbances;
Of all parts of the spine, cervical osteochondrosis is the most dangerous in the system of long-term consequences, that is, symptoms may be absent, but the disease progresses. The most unpleasant and rather dangerous in the disease is a deterioration in nutrition and circulation of the blood supply to the brain. The pituitary function, hypothalamus, emotional sphere, memory, sleep, attentiveness suffer from this. Degenerative diseases of the spine are due to different causes, and it is always easier to prevent an ailment than to cure it. It is in your power to fix everything.
In the process of cervical osteochondrosis development, the spinal canal narrows. The consequence of this phenomenon is the compression of the nerve roots and the artery passing in the canal and feeding many parts of the brain. In the first case, we are talking aboutcompression-radicular syndromes, and in the second - aboutvertebral artery syndrome.
Symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis depend on the type of compressed nerve endings. Compression of one type of roots will lead to partial loss of sensitivity in the parietal part of the head, while the other will cause pain and discomfort in the parieto-occipital zone.
The symptoms of radicular compression syndromeare so diverse that only a specialist can understand it and make a correct diagnosis. Compression of a certain type of root causes pain in the region of the heart, scapula, in the hands and fingers. A patient with cervical osteochondrosis may develop hiccups, thickening of the tongue on one side, insignificant hearing loss, impaired speech and breathing.
Invertebral artery syndromethe patient complains of a aching headache, most often on one side. It intensifies with any movement of the head. With a sharp turn of the head, a person can lose consciousness. Among other symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis, the soreness of the scalp, which appears with a light touch, should be indicated. In addition, this ailment can be accompanied by ringing in the ears, a drop in blood pressure and the presence of "midges" in front of the eyes.
Treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine
Various methods are used for the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis: medications, physiotherapy, massage of the cervical-collar zone for blood supply to the brain and therapeutic exercises, further adherence to proper nutrition. It is the combination of all methods of treatment that will make it possible to achieve a positive result in the fight against the disease.
With medical treatment, analgesics and antispasmodics are prescribed to help reduce pain. Also, the doctor may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that relieve the inflammatory process. B vitamins are required, which contribute to the regeneration of the inflamed area. Such treatment is carried out only with an exacerbation, within a week.
In case of non-drug treatment in the acute stage, strict bed rest and fixation of the vertebrae are used. It is recommended to sleep on an orthopedic mattress and pillow, which will help relax the vertebrae. In a hospital setting, a Glisson loop is used for the drawing procedure.
Outside of exacerbation,physiotherapycan be used. These are magnets, ultrasound, electrophoresis, detensor therapy, lasers and vibratory massagers. The best preventive measure isphysiotherapy exercises, which must be carried out constantly.
Upon request, the doctors will select a special gymnastics. In some cases,massageis useful, but it can be done provided that there are no hernias, protrusions, vertebral listeses (turns). In this case, only surgery to stabilize the spine can help.
Treatment with folk remedies
When treating, you can use folk advice. But you don't need to focus only on them! The following procedures and means are recommended for the patient at home:
- self-massagewill help improve blood flow and relax muscles. Movements should be without undue stress, from the center to the shoulder girdle;
- swimming and swimminghelps in strengthening muscles, relieving pain and tension;
- pepper patchcan be worn for a long time. Pepper will help relieve inflammation;
- mustard plastersare recommended to be applied 20 minutes before bedtime;
- sleeping on a hard bed.For convenience, it is allowed to put a pillow of sawdust, herbs. The main condition is the lack of softness in the pillow. The harder it is, the easier it is for the spine;
- Vietnamese ointment.You can gently rub your neck with it, you will feel warmth, and essential oils, in general, will have a beneficial effect on blood circulation;
- diet and nutritional guidelineswill help relieve pain. The enemy of the spine is overweight. Try to follow your figure and diet, in which you need to limit salt, a large amount of smoked and pickled foods.
It must be remembered that the cervical spine is responsible for the performance of many organs, the adequacy of movement, and good health. It is necessary to take care of your body and constantly carry out preventive measures, which will not allow exacerbations to develop.
The very concept of "osteochondrosis" contains nothing fatal. It is possible and necessary to fight this ailment. Often, the success of treatment depends on the competence of doctors, the quality of the examination, the stage of the disease itself, the mood of the patient, as well as a set of measures aimed at restoring the motor functions of the spinal column, stopping the pain syndrome and stopping the progression of the disease. For the most part, it is impossible to completely get rid of the disease, but with the right approach, you can mitigate the negative feelings of the disease.
Prevention of cervical osteochondrosis
All types of treatment, depending on the stage and individual characteristics of the body of men and women, bear fruit with different valid intervals. This means that one treatment may work well for one patient and be completely unacceptable for another. What do we have to do?
The most correct and correctly coordinated actions of yours will be:
- Attentive attitude to yourself (engage in introspection, be able to find out in time what causes your aggravation).
- For prevention, exercise regularly within reasonable limits.
- Don't carry heavy things.
- Watch your body position at the computer; sit and walk with your back straight - don't slouch!
- Avoid hypothermia.
- Use the pool and sauna regularly.
- Equip your sleeping area so that the bed is not too soft and the pillow is too high.
Treatment of acute cervical osteochondrosis is carried out by a neurologist. The neglected stage of this ailment is difficult to treat. For any course of cervical osteochondrosis, medical assistance is provided in a complex. The patient will be prescribed anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs for oral administration, as well as gels and ointments that have a similar effect. Antidepressants - will improve the mental state of the patient, and the use of neuroprotectors will have a positive effect on the metabolic processes of the brain.
Patients with cervical osteochondrosis should engage in physiotherapy exercises every day, contributing to the creation of a strong muscular corset near the cervical spine. Exercise not only tones the muscles, but also improves the nutrition of the diseased organ. Faster recovery is also facilitated by physiotherapy procedures, as well as therapeutic massage sessions.
And most importantly - do not self-diagnose and self-medicate. The doctor will tell you how to cure osteochondrosis of the cervical spine. Trust the professionals and be healthy!