Existing methods of treating cervical osteochondrosis are aimed at reducing symptoms, preventing complications, stopping further destruction of the cartilage and bone tissue of the spine, and preventing the patient from becoming disabled.
Osteochondrosis is a pathological degenerative-destructive process that first captures the intervertebral disc, and then the vertebra itself.
Treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical region is necessary immediately after the appearance of the first signs of the disease.
Mechanisms of development of osteochondrosis
The spine consists of vertebrae and intervertebral discs located between them. The intervertebral disc has a gel-like nucleus pulposus in the center, surrounded on the periphery by a dense fibrous annulus. The pulp core is hydrophilic - saturated with moisture and characterized by high elasticity. Thanks to the elastic properties of the intervertebral discs, softening and mobility of the spine is ensured.
In people over the age of 20, the discs begin to gradually lose their elasticity. This is due to obliteration of the vessels supplying the discs, and further blood supply is due to diffusion from the bodies of adjacent vertebrae. In the cartilage tissue, against the background of the lack of nutrients, regeneration processes slow down - the disc begins to "age". Initially, the nucleus pulposus is dehydrated, loses its elasticity, becomes flat, which increases the load on the annulus fibrosus. Microcracks, tension zones, tears, delamination appear in the structure of the ring.
The degenerated disc protrudes into the spinal canal and irritates the nerve endings of the pain receptors located on the posterior longitudinal ligament.
The characteristics of the pathological process in cervical osteochondrosis are related to the anatomical structure of this spine: a different structure and size of the cervical vertebrae, tighter articulation in the intervertebral joints and an underdeveloped muscle frame. With prolonged static loading of the cervical region (working at a computer), weak muscles do not hold the head well and the main load falls on the spine.
The treatment of cervical osteochondrosis in a specialized clinic is carried out using a unique technology based on a combination of manual therapy, electrophoresis and photodynamic laser therapy under the supervision of doctors.
The main reasons leading to the development of osteochondrosis:
- Congenital or acquired anomalies of the spine.
- Natural aging processes of the body.
- genetic predisposition.
- Long-term static and dynamic overload of the spine: forced posture, hypodynamia.
- Passion for sports that are dangerous for the spine: professional wrestling.
- Autoimmune diseases with damage to the connective tissue - collagenoses.
- Improper nutrition with a predominance of carbohydrates and fatty foods, with a deficiency of proteins, vitamins, micro- and macroelements.
- Overweight, obesity.
- Injuries and diseases of the spine.
Osteochondrosis of the spine - is there such a diagnosis?
In English medicine, this term refers to a completely different group of diseases that have nothing to do with our "native" osteochondrosis. In the International Classification of Diseases - a book from which all neurologists should be guided when making a diagnosis - there are terms such as "osteochondrosis of the spine in adults", "juvenile osteochondrosis of the spine", "osteochondrosis of the spine, unspecified". ".
However, sometimes this diagnosis is not fully justified, when the doctor actually cannot fully understand what is happening to the patient. This term includes diseases such as:
- Myofascial pain syndrome- a condition in which spasm occurs constantly in the same muscles.
- Muscle injury.After an injury, the pain begins to bother, and after a while they pass by themselves.
- OtolithiasisA condition in which calcium salt crystals build up in the inner ear. They lead to vertigo - sometimes they are mistaken for a manifestation of diseases of the spine.
- Headache.They are also often associated with degenerative changes in the cervical vertebrae. In fact, they often have other reasons.
Take care of yourself, book a consultation now without delaying the treatment.
Treatment of osteochondrosis of the spine
The standard set of therapeutic measures for exacerbation of the disease looks like this:
- Anti-inflammatory and analgesic.The doctor can prescribe Voltaren, Movalis, ibuprofen and other drugs.
- If the pain is very strong and does not go away- use novocaine blockade. The doctor, armed with a needle and syringe, injects an anesthetic into special places where it blocks the transmission of pain nerve impulses.
- Physiotherapy helps:medicinal electrophoresis with novocaine, ultrasound, ultraviolet irradiation, diadynamic currents.
- If pain causes you to be in constant nervous tension,Prescribe medication to help you calm down.
- To the area of painapply dry heat.
- To relieve the spine,different types of traction are used. The patient can be placed on a special bed with a raised headboard and fixation with rings under the arms. Underwater traction is also used in the pool.
- The doctor can recommendyou visit a chiropractor, acupuncture sessions.
- During an exacerbationwear special orthopedic devices that help relieve muscle strain and support the spine - corsets, Shants collar.
When the exacerbation passes, you need to take measures that will help prevent a new one. Therapeutic exercises and massage help strengthen the muscles that support the spine. Schedule physiotherapy courses. Good for swimming. All methods of treating osteochondrosis have contraindications, they must be used wisely, so self-medication is not the best choice. See a doctor.
Sometimes the symptoms of the disease, despite the treatment, continue to grow, the patient's condition worsens. In this case, the neurologist may raise the issue of surgical treatment.
Why should you see a doctor soon? Firstly, "real" osteochondrosis is not such a harmless disease. Over time, it can make a person disabled if not treated. Secondly, the symptoms can be caused by the same myofascial pain syndrome - the neurologist will be able to quickly find the cause of the painand remove it.
Back pain is a symptom that, according to statistics, more than 90% of people have experienced at least once in their lives. Most often this is due to osteochondrosis. Not all people who experience back pain go to the doctor. Many treat themselves with drugs that can be obtained without a prescription at the pharmacy, folk remedies. Sometimes such "treatment" brings temporary relief - and in the meantime, the disease may continue to progress, and perhaps the next time the back or lower back will "curve" much more.
An experienced neurologist will be able to correctly assess the symptoms of osteochondrosis, understand their causes and prescribe the correct treatment for osteochondrosis.
With pain - the main manifestation of osteochondrosis - you can more or less successfully fight for a long time with the help of pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory drugs, some folk remedies. But this does not solve the main problem, pathological changes in the spine continue to grow.
Over time, this is fraught with compression of the spinal cord and the arteries that feed it, development of serious neurological complications: severe weakness, up to a complete loss of movements and sensitivity, impaired control of the bladder, rectum.
Stages of development of cervical osteochondrosis
In its development, cervical osteochondrosis as a disease goes through several stages:
I stage. The initial period is characterized by local pain in the neck, aggravated by turning and tilting the head. There is smoothness of the cervical lordosis and muscle tension. Morphological changes in the structure of the intervertebral discs begin: drying of the nucleus pulposus, cracks in the fibrous ring.
II stage. Pain in the neck increases with irradiation to the arm, shoulder. Join severe headaches, weakness, reduced efficiency. The destruction of the fibrous ring continues, signs of pathological mobility and instability of the vertebrae appear.
Stage III. The pain in the neck is strong, constant, radiating to the arms and shoulders. The muscles of the hands become weak, numbness of the upper limbs is noted. Patients have headaches, dizziness, disorientation in space. At this stage, the fibrous ring is completely destroyed. The gelatinous nucleus pulposus is not fixed, protrudes outside the vertebrae and enters the spinal canal, forming a hernia. The hernial protrusion presses on the nerves and blood vessels, which leads to impaired blood circulation in the cervical vertebrae.
IV stage. This is the final stage of the disease. The cartilage of the intervertebral discs is replaced by connective tissue, adjacent segments of the spine are involved in the pathological process. Joints become fused, become immobile (ankylosis). The patient's condition is severe: severe pain not only in the neck, but also in the arms, in the chest, between the shoulder blades, signs of a cerebrovascular accident, sensitivity disorders. This is a life-threatening condition that can lead to a stroke.
The success of the treatment depends 90% on the experience and qualification of the doctor.
The diagnosis of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is made on the basis of: the patient's complaints, characteristic clinical picture, history of the disease, data from the patient's neurological and orthopedic examination using modern diagnostic methods: X-ray, magnetic and computer tomography. and the results of the functional tests.
After making an accurate diagnosis, the doctor decides how to treat osteochondrosis of the neck in this patient, which technique should be applied in a particular case.
Treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical vertebrae
Cervical osteochondrosis is treated symptomatically, mainly by conservative methods, which include:
- Drug therapy, which includes pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, B vitamins.
- Physiotherapy methods: electrophoresis, laser therapy.
- Manual therapy.
Surgical intervention is used extremely rarely when there is a real threat of stroke, paralysis or internal organ damage.
At this stage of the development of medical science, osteochondrosis of the cervical vertebrae cannot be completely cured, but it is possible to prevent the further development of the pathological process and stabilize the condition of the affected spinal segment.
The integrated approach, the sparing nature of the applied therapeutic methods allows you to effectively treat even advanced forms of cervical osteochondrosis.
The main methods of treatment of cervical osteochondrosis in a modern clinic
Manual therapy and osteopathy. This method of manual impact on the problem areas of the spine, the purpose of which is to restore the normal physiological position of the vertebrae and intervertebral discs. During the procedure, the pinching of the nerve roots of the spine is eliminated, the neck muscles are relaxed in the area of pathological changes.
Electrophoresis is a method of delivering drugs directly to the area of the affected spinal segment. Prescribe drugs that improve blood circulation, relieve inflammation and muscle spasm.
Photodynamic phototherapy. The method is based on the ability of the photosensitive preparation to be activated by laser radiation. A layer of medicinal substance is applied to the skin in the area of the affected segment, which, penetrating deep into the tissues by 10-13 cm, has an anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect.
The author's three-component technique, including manual therapy, electrophoresis and laser therapy, allows you to quickly relieve pain, remove swelling of the surrounding tissues, improve blood supply in the area of inflammation and activate the metabolic processes of the damaged cartilage tissue intervertebral discs. The goal of the treatment is not only to reduce pain and improve the patient's condition, but also to stop the further destruction of the intervertebral discs and the destruction of the vertebrae themselves by affecting various units of the pathological process.
The techniques used to treat osteochondrosis of the neck in modern clinics have been tested in the best manual therapy centers in Europe and the USA, they are safe, effective, have practically no contraindications and are well tolerated by patients even at an advanced age. groups.
Recommendations on what to do with cervical osteochondrosis, the patient will receive after consultation with a neurologist, depending on the stage of the disease, the severity of the symptoms, concomitant diseases and the results of the examination.
Osteochondrosis of the cervical region
Osteochondrosis of the neck is a degenerative disease in which literally "premature aging" occurs, "wearing out" of the intervertebral discs, joints, vertebrae in the cervical spine.
Some facts about the disease:
- Osteochondrosis of the neck occurs equally often in men and women.
- People aged 30-60 are most often affected.
- As a rule, the pathology occurs in people who, during work, must constantly be in the same position and perform monotonous movements.
- The cervical spine has some structural features, due to which the disease can have many different manifestations.
What characteristics of the cervical spine cause the symptoms of osteochondrosis?
- There are openings in the lateral processes of the vertebrae - the carotid arteries that supply blood to the brain pass through them on the right and left.
- In the cervical region passes the initial part of the spinal cord - it contains fibers that carry nerve impulses to all parts of the body, provide movement, sensitivity. If there is compression of the spinal cord in the neck area, neurological disorders occur throughout the body.
- This section of the spine has great mobility, and this predisposes to the appearance of osteochondrosis (although in most cases the disease still develops in the lumbar region - it not only has high mobility, but also experiences the greatest stress).
- In the neck, nerve roots emerge from the intervertebral foramina, forming the cervical and brachial nerve plexuses. They are responsible for movements in the muscles of the neck, arms, shoulder girdle, skin sensitivity, regulation of vegetative functions.
- The first vertebra does not have a massive front part - the body - this is a bone ring that is placed on the tooth - a bony outgrowth of the second vertebra. This allows the head to rotate sideways.
Neck pain, headache, feeling of weakness, numbness of the hands are symptoms that should prompt you to consult a neurologist. Examination by a specialist and examination using modern equipment will help to understand the causes of the pathology and take the most effective measures.
What happens to the vertebrae in cervical osteochondrosis?
The incomprehensible medical term "degenerative process" refers to the following pathological changes occurring in the cervical spine:
- First of all, the lesion in osteochondrosis covers the intervertebral discs. They become thinner, thereby reducing the distance between adjacent vertebrae. In their outer part, small gaps, microcracks are formed. Over time, this can lead to a herniated disc.
- As a result of damage to the discs, the stability of the connection of the vertebrae is disturbed.
- They suffer from osteochondrosis of the cervical and intervertebral joints - spondylarthrosis develops. It also promotes nerve root compression.
- The pathological process extends to the vertebrae themselves. Due to the fact that the functions of the intervertebral discs are impaired, the load on them increases. The spine tries to compensate for this disorder, bone growths appear on it - osteophytes.
Treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical vertebrae
During an exacerbation of osteochondrosis of the cervical vertebrae, traction is used (the patient is placed on a bed with a raised headboard and the head is fixed with a special loop) to unload the intervertebral discs. For the same purpose, you should wear a Shants collar. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed for pain relief. In severe pain that does not go away, the doctor can perform a blockade: inject an anesthetic solution in the area of the affected nerve roots. Physiotherapy is used: ultrasound treatment, electrophoresis with novocaine.
When the exacerbation subsides, the treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine includes massage, physiotherapy, physiotherapy.
One of the main signs of cervical osteochondrosis is neck pain. Many people who encounter this symptom do not go to the doctor, but prefer to treat "chondrosis" with home methods. There are at least two good reasons to refuse self-treatment and consult a specialist doctor.
First, painkillers and folk methods, although they help relieve pain for a while, do not solve the main problem. Pathological changes in the spine continue to grow. Over time, this threatens with more serious consequences. As far as surgery may be required.
Secondly, neck pain occurs not only with osteochondrosis. There are many other reasons. Only a doctor can understand and prescribe the right treatment.
Treatment of lumbar osteochondrosis is a long processrequiring an integrated approach. After getting rid of the main symptoms, you can continue using various physiotherapy procedures:
- UHF therapy.Exposure to high frequency electromagnetic field. It has an anti-inflammatory, analgesic effect, and also promotes the start of regenerative processes.
- Amplipulse.Low-frequency currents are applied to problem areas of the body. There is expansion of blood vessels, elimination of pain and spasms.
- Phonophoresis and electrophoresis.The introduction of drugs into deep tissues using ultrasound and direct current.
Massage procedures are also widely used, which are possible only after the inflammatory process has been removed. Massage promotes muscle relaxation, eliminating spasms.
Diet - complex treatment of osteochondrosis
With this disease, it is necessary to act comprehensively, so changing the diet is a completely effective method of treatment. The diet is fully in line with the generally accepted understanding of the concept of healthy eating, so try to add the following types of food to your diet:
- Citrus fruits (in the absence of allergies).
- Olive oil.
- Fresh herbs and vegetables.
- Mineral water.
- Fish and foods high in phosphorus, protein, magnesium and calcium.
- Dairy products and dairy products.
An excellent auxiliary tool will be ready-made vitamin complexes, which can be found in a large assortment in pharmacy chains. Remember that all medications should be taken only as prescribed by a doctor.
What symptoms of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine should make you see a doctor?
The main symptom of cervical osteochondrosis is pain. It can appear in different places, depending on the level at which the pathological process is localized: in the neck area, in the shoulder girdle, in the hand, in the area of the heart. By nature, pain sensations are dull, they can be burning, pain.
Other manifestations of the disease:
- Headache, dizziness, "flies before the eyes", noise, ringing in the ears.
- Weakness in the muscles of the neck, shoulder girdle, arms.
- Violation of skin sensitivity.
- Shoulder-shoulder periarthritis: pain in the neck that passes to the arm, difficulty abducting the arm above 90 °, weakness and atrophy of the muscles of the shoulder girdle.
- Shoulder-hand syndrome: pain in the shoulder and arm, swelling and stiffness of the fingers, weakness and atrophy of the muscles of the arm.
- Vertebral artery syndrome. Bone growths appear on the vertebrae, which press on the nerves, which leads to a reflex spasm of the vertebral artery, which is involved in the blood supply to the brain. The symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis include constant headaches that start from the back of the head, spread to the temple, to the crown, nausea, noise in the head, ringing in the ears, flickering of bright spots before the eyes.
- Anterior scalene syndrome. On the neck there is an anterior and middle scalene muscle - they are close, and between them there is a small space in which nerves and blood vessels pass. With osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, the anterior scalene muscle is strained and presses on them, which leads to symptoms such as pain on the inner surface of the forearm, shoulder and fingers. Sometimes the pain radiates to the back of the head. The skin of the hand may become cold, pale and numb.
- epicondylitis syndrome. In the lower part of the shoulder, on the side of the elbow joint, there are bony protrusions - epicondyles. In epicondylitis syndrome caused by cervical osteochondrosis, pain appears in them, which increases with pressure. Other symptoms also appear: pain in the neck, soreness when pressing certain points in the region of the cervical vertebrae.
If two parts of the spine are affected at once, with cervico-thoracic osteochondrosis, the symptoms may include pain between the shoulder blades, in the region of the heart.
With osteochondrosis, the risk of intervertebral hernia and stroke increases. If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, see your doctor.
Now you know how to treat osteochondrosis of the cervical spine without resorting to surgery. Surgery is the most radical method of treatment when the disease is already in progress and there is no other way out. But it is in your power to do so that you do not bring your health to such a state.