Cervical osteochondrosis is common, accompanied by pain in the head, neck, shoulder girdle, and impaired cerebral circulation. The peculiarity of the localization of the pathological process and contradictory manifestations force patients to turn to specialists for help. Lack of timely treatment threatens with disability.
Cervical osteochondrosis often affects young people (up to 40 years old), contributes to the development of improper body position (long sitting at the computer, the habit of holding the phone on the shoulder), vibrations, poor posture, physical inactivity, uncomfortable bedding, heredity.
The disease is accompanied by degenerative-dystrophic changes affecting the intervertebral disc of the cervical spine. It is caused by metabolic disorders in the cervical region, which changes the structure of the intervertebral discs and their bodies.
The main causes of the disease:
- high level of salt in the lymph and blood (in active people there is a constant exchange between bone and muscle tissue, in a static lifestyle the blood flow slows down, less salt enters the muscle tissue, it accumulates in places that do not work physically - joints, spine, kidneys, liver);
- irreversible phenomena that occur in the cartilage tissue (salt deposition causes changes in the shock absorption properties of the vertebrae, the flexibility and elasticity of the cartilage tissue is lost);
- long stay in a position that causes overstrain of the muscles of the neck and back (working at a desk with a twisted neck and tilted head), squeezes the vessels that supply the spine, which leads to degeneration of the intervertebral cartilage;
- with obesity, the spine and intervertebral discs are subject to deformation due to heavy loads, the muscular corset of the back weakens;
- as a result of improper metabolism, the balance of minerals in the bone tissue is disturbed.
Main manifestations of cervical osteochondrosis:
- pain in the back of the head, neck, shoulder, arm, difficulty moving the head, grinding when turning the head or leaning;
- pulling pain in the chest area on the left with radiation to the left arm, burning sensation in the interscapular region;
- recurring headaches, fatigue, weakness, difficulty turning the head;
- pain in the neck spreads to the shoulder and arm, numbness of the fingers;
- deterioration of hearing and vision, numbness of the tongue and face, dizziness, impaired lung and heart activity may occur.
Usually, the symptoms are divided into groups:
- I - neurological manifestations (continuous pain in the neck, pain in the muscles, chest, joints);
- II - pathological effect on the spinal cord (weakness in arms and legs, involuntary jerks, myelopathy);
- III - associated with the processes taking place in the brain (cerebral manifestations due to insufficient blood supply: visual disturbances, feeling of a foreign body in the throat, noise and ringing in the ears, hearing loss, dizziness, instability when walking, fainting, fatigue, irritability, sleep disturbance, memory loss).
In the absence of indications for hospitalization, outpatient treatment is prescribed (most of the time the patient is at home, he visits the neurologist on the indicated days). Of the drugs used:
- Course of NSAIDs 7 - 14 days (2 - 3 times a day);
- sedatives protect the nervous system from the influence of pain, course 1 - 3 weeks;
- diuretics to reduce swelling in the inflamed area;
- B vitamins to improve metabolic processes that take place in nervous tissue, normalize muscle-bone conduction;
- muscle relaxants to relieve muscle spasm;
- agents that improve the structure and functions of cartilage tissue (ATP, chondroprotectors);
- locally - creams, gels, ointments as warming, analgesic or distraction.
In case of increased pain, it is recommended to rest in bed, a physiological position (to relieve the spine) for 1-2 days, after which the patient should move.
In the acute phase, it is necessary to perform breathing exercises and exercises to alleviate muscle spasms (smooth tilts and turns of the head, circular movements), gradually increasing the load. Do not make sudden movements.
In case of muscle spasm, massage is prescribed (you can perform a self-massage of the neck). For preventive purposes, the massage course should be conducted twice a year. A cervical collar or Glisson loop is used to relieve the spine (after prior consultation with a doctor).
Diet should be adjusted by excluding foods that increase muscle tone (smoked and hot, alcohol, coffee, tea). Cartilage tissue is useful for:
- foods rich in calcium (fermented milk, fresh cheese, mineral water, dark green leafy vegetables);
- unsaturated fatty acids (fatty fish, flax seeds, walnuts);
- proteins (lean poultry, dairy products, eggs, nuts);
- foods rich in fiber and antioxidants (legumes, cereals, fruits).
In the absence of exacerbation, it is recommended to drink enough water (30 ml per 1 kg of body weight), strengthen the spine and back muscles with physical exercises. When sitting for a long time, it is necessary to take a break every hour, relaxing the back muscles with the help of exercises.
How to treat folk remedies?
In case of cervical osteochondrosis, it is recommended to take infusions or decoctions of herbs, rub fat into problem areas.
|Components||Quantity||Method of application|
|pine needles||250 g||Boil the needles with a liter of boiling water, insist. Drink twice a day.|
|Garlic, ginger||1: 1||Add garlic and a little butter to the grated ginger. Rub the painful areas of the neck.|
|Lemon, garlic||4 things. and 5 pcs.||Pass the lemon and garlic through a meat grinder, pour over 2 liters of boiling water. Drink ½ cup twice a day.|
|Fresh potatoes, honey||1: 1||Mix mashed potatoes with honey, apply on the neck.|
|horseradish leaf||1 pc.||Dip a horseradish leaf in boiling water for a few seconds and take it out. Cool the liquid, use for poultices.|
|horseradish root||2 tsp||Put the grated horseradish root on the bandage, attach it to the neck, cover it with plastic film and wrap it up. Hold for 1-1. 5 minutes, then rinse with water.|
|Honey||1 dessert spoon||Warm up your neck beforehand, do a self-massage with honey for 5 minutes. After that, wrap the neck.|
What is not recommended?
With cervical osteochondrosis, you cannot:
- lifting weights (if necessary, perform actions with a straight back, without tilting the head forward);
- you can not crunch the vertebrae (these movements violate the integrity of the contact surfaces of the spine);
- sleeping on a high pillow, soft bed (causes tension in the back muscles);
- lead a sedentary lifestyle (jogging, swimming, walking are useful);
- independently diagnose and prescribe treatment.
For the prevention of cervical osteochondrosis, it is recommended:
- get rid of hypodynamia (move more, engage in Nordic walking, dancing, swimming);
- monitor body weight, avoiding excess weight (this leads to disruption of blood circulation, nutrition of the neck area);
- monitor posture (if it is impaired, the load on the spine is unevenly distributed);
- prevent microtrauma in the cervical region (properly lifting weights and carrying them);
- they treat foci of chronic infection (ENT organs, etc. ), which reduce body resistance, lymph and blood circulation in the ligaments and tissues of the neck.
A good result in the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis can be achieved with complex treatment. Treatment at home will be effective only with careful compliance with all regulations and their daily use.