Existing methods of treating cervical osteochondrosis are aimed at reducing symptoms, preventing complications, stopping further destruction of cartilage and bone tissue of the spine, and preventing the patient's disability.
Osteochondrosis is a degenerative-destructive pathological process that first affects the intervertebral disc and then the vertebra itself.
It is necessary to treat osteochondrosis of the cervical region immediately after the first signs of the disease appear.
Mechanisms for the development of osteochondrosis
The spine consists of vertebrae and the intervertebral discs located between them. The intervertebral disc has a nucleus pulposus gel in the center, surrounded on the periphery by a dense fibrous ring. The nucleus pulposus is hydrophilic - saturated with moisture and characterized by high elasticity. Due to the elastic properties of the intervertebral discs, cushioning and mobility of the spine is ensured.
In people over the age of 20, the discs have already begun to gradually lose their elasticity. This is due to the disappearance of the vessels that feed the discs, and further blood supply is due to diffusion from the adjacent vertebral bodies. In the cartilage tissue, against the background of a 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 fibrous ring. In the structure of the ring, microcracks, tension zones, ruptures, distortions appear.
The degenerated disc protrudes into the spinal canal and irritates the nerve endings of the pain receptors located in the posterior longitudinal ligament.
The characteristics of the pathological process in cervical osteochondrosis are associated with the anatomical structure of this spine: different structure and size of the cervical vertebrae, narrower articulation in the intervertebral joints and underdeveloped muscular framework. With a prolonged static load in the cervical region (computer work), weak muscles do not hold the head well and the main load falls on the back.
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 that lead 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 connective tissue - collagenoses.
- Improper diet with a predominance of carbohydrate and fatty foods, with a lack of proteins, vitamins, micro and macro elements.
- 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 such terms as "osteochondrosis of the spine in adults", "osteochondrosis of the spine in juveniles", "osteochondrosis of the spine"spine, unspecified".
However, sometimes this diagnosis is not fully justified, when the doctor actually cannot fully understand what is happening to the patient. According to this term, diseases such as:
- Myofascial pain syndrome- a condition in which a spasm occurs repeatedly 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 accumulate in the inner ear. They lead to dizziness - sometimes they are mistaken as a manifestation of diseases of the spine.
- Headache.They are also often associated with degenerative changes in the cervical spine. In fact, they often have other causes.
Take care of yourself, register for a consultation now, without delaying the treatment.
Treatment of osteochondrosis of the spine
The standard group of therapeutic measures for the worsening of the disease looks like this:
- Anti-inflammatory and pain reliever.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 specific places where it blocks the transmission of pain nerve impulses.
- Physiotherapy helps:drug electrophoresis with novocaine, ultrasound, ultraviolet radiation, diadynamic current.
- If the pain makes you constantly nervous,Prescribe medications to help you relax.
- In the area of painapply dry heat.
- To unload the spine,different types of traction are used. The patient can be placed on a special bed with the head elevated and secured with rings under the armpit. Underwater traction in the pool is also used.
- The doctor can recommendyou visit a chiropractor, acupuncture sessions.
- During a tantrumwear special orthopedic devices that help unload muscles and support the spine - corsets, Shants collar.
When the irritation passes, you should 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 solution. Visit a doctor.
Sometimes the symptoms of the disease, despite the treatment, continue to increase, the patient's condition worsens. In this case, the neurologist may raise the issue of surgical treatment.
Why should you see a doctor soon? First, "real" osteochondrosis is not such a harmless disease. Over time, it can make a person disabled if left untreated. Secondly, the symptoms can be caused by the same myofascial pain syndrome - a neurologist will be able to quickly find out the cause of the pain and eliminate it.
Back pain is a symptom that, according to statistics, more than 90% of people have experienced at least once in their life. It is most often attributed to osteochondrosis. Not all people who experience back pain go to the doctor. Many are self-treated with drugs that can be obtained without a prescription at a 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 "twist" much more.
An experienced neurologist will be able to correctly assess the symptoms of osteochondrosis, understand their causes and prescribe the appropriate treatment for osteochondrosis.
With pain - the main manifestation of osteochondrosis - you can fight more or less successfully for a long time with the help of sedatives and anti-inflammatory drugs, some folk remedies. But this does not solve the main problem, the 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, the development of serious neurological complications: severe weakening, up to complete loss of movement and sensation, 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 a softening of the cervical lordosis and muscle tension. Morphological changes begin in the structure of the intervertebral discs: drying of the nucleus pulposus, cracks in the fibrous ring.
Phase II. Pain in the neck increases with radiation to the arm, shoulder. Severe headaches, weakness, decreased efficiency are combined. The destruction of the fibrous ring continues, signs of pathological mobility and instability of the vertebrae appear.
Phase III. The pain in the neck is strong, constant, radiating to the arms and shoulders. The muscles of the hands weaken, numbness of the upper limbs is observed. Patients have headaches, dizziness, spatial orientation disorders. At this stage, the fibrous ring is completely destroyed. The gelatinous nucleus pulposus is not fixed, goes beyond the vertebrae and enters the spinal canal, forming a hernia. Hernial protrusion compresses nerves and blood vessels, which leads to impaired blood circulation in the cervical spine.
Phase IV. This is the last stage of the disease. The cartilage of the intervertebral discs is replaced by connective tissue, the adjacent segments of the spine are involved in the pathological process. The joints grow together, become immobile (ankylosis). The patient's condition is serious: 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 result in a stroke.
The success of the treatment depends 90% on the experience and qualifications of the doctor.
The diagnosis of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is made on the basis of: the patient's complaints, the characteristic clinical picture, the anamnesis of the disease, data from a neurological and orthopedic examination of the patient using modern diagnostic methods: radiography, magnetic and computer tomography. , and the results of 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 spine
Cervical osteochondrosis is treated symptomatically, mainly with 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 to develop a stroke, paralysis or violation of internal organs.
At this stage of the development of medical science, osteochondrosis of the cervical spine cannot be completely cured, but the further progress of the pathological process can be prevented and the condition of the affected segment of the spine can be stabilized.
An 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 compression 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 segment of the spine. Prescribe medications that improve blood circulation, relieve inflammation and muscle spasm.
Photodynamic phototherapy. The method is based on the ability of a photosensitive preparation to be activated by laser radiation. A layer of a medicinal substance is applied to the skin in the area of the affected segment, which, penetrating deep into the tissue 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 to the area of inflammation and activate the metabolic processes of cartilage tissue. damaged. intervertebral discs. The goal of treatment is not only to reduce pain and improve the patient's condition, but also by acting on different parts of the pathological process, to stop the further destruction of the intervertebral discs and the destruction of the vertebrae themselves.
The techniques used for the treatment of neck osteochondrosis 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 older 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, severity of symptoms, concomitant diseases and examination results.
Osteochondrosis of the cervical region
Osteochondrosis of the neck is a degenerative disease in which there is literally "premature aging", "forgetting" of the intervertebral discs, joints, vertebrae in the cervical spine.
Some facts about the disease:
- Osteochondrosis of the neck occurs in men and women almost equally often.
- Most often, people aged 30-60 get sick.
- As a rule, the pathology appears in people who at work must constantly be in the same position and perform monotonous movements.
- The cervical column has several structural characteristics, due to which the disease can have many different manifestations.
What features of the cervical spine cause the symptoms of osteochondrosis?
- There are openings in the lateral processes of the vertebrae - carotid arteries pass through them to the right and left, which supply the brain with blood.
- In the cervical region, the initial part of the spinal cord passes - 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, 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 autonomic functions.
- The first vertebra does not have a massive front part - the body - it is a bony ring that is placed on the tooth - a bony growth on the second vertebra. This allows the head to turn to the side.
Neck pain, headache, a feeling of weakness, numbness in the hands are symptoms that should make you go to 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 that occur in the cervical spine:
- First of all, the lesion in osteochondrosis covers the intervertebral discs. They become thinner, thus reducing the distance between adjacent vertebrae. Small gaps, microcracks are formed on their outside. Over time, this can lead to a herniated disc.
- As a result of the damage to the discs, the stability of the connection of the vertebrae is broken.
- 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 damaged, the load on them increases. The spine tries to compensate for this violation, bone growths appear on it - osteophytes.
Treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine
During an exacerbation of osteochondrosis of the cervical vertebra, traction is used (the patient is placed on a bed with an elevated head and the head is fixed with a special loop) to unload the intervertebral discs. For the same purpose, you should wear a Shants collar. To relieve pain, painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed. With severe pain that does not go away, the doctor can perform a blockade: inject an anesthetic solution into the area of the affected nerve roots. Physiotherapy is used: ultrasound treatment, electrophoresis with novocaine.
When the irritation 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 face 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 increase. Over time, this threatens with more serious consequences. To the extent that 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 processwhich requires an integrated approach. After getting rid of the primary symptoms, you can proceed with the use of 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 an expansion of blood vessels, getting rid of pain and spasms.
- Phonophoresis and electrophoresis.Deep tissue drug delivery using ultrasound and direct current.
Massage procedures are also widely used, which are possible only after the removal of the inflammatory process. Massage promotes muscle relaxation, getting rid of spasms.
Diet - complex treatment of osteochondrosis
With this disease it is necessary to act in a complex way, so changing the diet is a completely effective method of treatment. The diet is quite consistent 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 rich in phosphorus, protein, magnesium and calcium.
- Milk and milk products.
An excellent auxiliary tool will be ready-made vitamin complexes, which can be found in a large variety 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 go to the doctor?
The main symptom of cervical osteochondrosis is pain. It can occur in different places, depending on the level at which the pathological process is localized: in the neck, in the shoulder girdle, in the arm, in the region of the heart. By nature, pain sensations are dull, they can be burning, aching.
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: painful pain in the neck that passes to the arm, difficulty in abducting the arm above 90 °, weakness and atrophy of the muscles of the shoulder girdle.
- Shoulder-hand syndrome: pain in the shoulder and hand, swelling and stiffness of the fingers, weakness and atrophy of the hand muscles.
- Vertebral artery syndrome. Bone growths appear in the vertebrae, which press on the nerves, resulting in a reflex spasm of the vertebral artery, which participates in the blood supply of the brain. Symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis are accompanied by constant headaches that start from the back of the head, spread to the temple, to the crown, nausea, noise in the head, noise in the ears, flickering of bright spots before the eyes.
- Anterior scalene syndrome. There is an anterior and middle scalene muscle in the neck - 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 becomes tense and squeezes them, resulting in 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 sides of the elbow joint, bony protrusions appear - epicondyle. With epicondylitis syndrome caused by cervical osteochondrosis, pain appears in them, which increases when pressed. Other symptoms also appear: pain in the neck, pain when pressing certain points in the region of the cervical vertebrae.
If two sections of the spine are affected at once, with cervicothoracic osteochondrosis, 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 using surgical intervention. 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.