Osteochondrosis is a process of degeneration, aging, degradation of cartilage tissue and its transformation into a kind of bone.To understand the problem of osteochondrosis, it is necessary to imagine the structure of the spine: it consists of 35 vertebrae, which are placed one on top of the other in a column, forming a vertebral column. Between the vertebrae are "cushions" - cartilaginous discs (acting as cushions and lubricants when the vertebrae move), the discs consist of a rigid, multilayered ring and a liquid gelatinous core in the center.
Symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis:
Everyone knows that the structure of the spine gets thinner near the head. The upper vertebrae that make up the cervical region are long, refined, but very strong and mobile. However, their strength is not limitless, especially when the daily stress on the neck is beyond normal. The main causes of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine are always hidden in these loads.
How osteochondrosis of the cervical spine manifests itself also depends on the type of load and the site of injury to the vertebral discs: each nerve root is responsible for a particular function, so the manifestations of osteochondrosis of the neck are so diverse. The development of the disease takes place in 4 stages. Each subsequent one is more difficult than the one before.
Stage 1 cervical osteochondrosis:
How can our spine protect against overuse and destructive physical activity (or inactivity)?
First, discomfort: stretching, tingling, shooting - these are all early signs of any spinal disease.
Intervertebral osteochondrosis of the cervical spine starts with a feeling of tension in the neck muscles, your fatigue. The patient may experience a slight crushing pain when turning and tilting the head. This discomfort is often perceived as "probably cold" or "I'm tired of something. "
To remember! Pain is a signal, we can tell our body's signaling, if it worked, that's not all. Pain cannot be ignored or dulled with pills!
The patient already feels more intense pain when turning and tilting the head. Sometimes the pain radiates (spreads) to the right or left arm, shoulder joint, sometimes to the hand.
On the part of the nervous system, there are still rare headaches, fatigue, fatigue, a state of distraction (the initial symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis in women are very similar to the cyclic symptoms of the reproductive system: headache, dizziness, feeling of weakness, fatigue).
Even though the signs of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine have already become evident, in the second stage there is still every chance of preventing the development of the disease and the appearance of complications. It is especially important to prevent the development of hernias, which in the cervical spine can be dangerous with loss of mobility and impaired blood supply to the brain.
In the third stage, the disease can already be considered neglected, since the treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine at this stage is already much more difficult, and the destruction is often irreversible. Pain increases as intervertebral hernias begin to appear.
Constant weakness and dizziness - due to the tightness of the nerves and large vessels that feed the cerebral cortex, they also intensify. Pain is often attributed to the hands. The innervation of the muscles of the upper extremities is disturbed and, as a result, they weaken. Numbness and tingling in the hands is a common symptom of third-degree degenerative disc disease in the neck.
The intervertebral discs have already been significantly destroyed and underwent major changes, the hernias and protrusions of each of them have a significant impact on the patient's well-being. In place of the destroyed discs, connective tissue appears, which deprives the spine of flexibility.
Compression of nerves and blood vessels leads to impaired coordination. Pain, drowsiness, lethargy and dizziness are worse. Added to this is the ringing in the ears. There is a great risk of diseases that can be caused by osteochondrosis:
- When a vertebral artery is compressed by a hernia, it leads to cerebral ischemia and progresses to a spinal effusion;
- Compression of blood vessels can lead to malnutrition in the cortex or lower parts of the brain. As a result - impaired perception, loss of consciousness;
- Spinal cord compression can even be fatal.