In the modern world, the resonance of the disease with cervical osteochondrosis can hardly be overestimated. Osteochondrosis of the cervical region is much more common than in other vertebral regions. Almost everyone over twenty-five has this disease, to one degree or another.
Cervical osteochondrosis develops mainly due to a sedentary lifestyle, especially facilitated by the historical transition of a person from physical work to mental work, which, although to a moderate degree, is accompanied by work in a sitting position.
Cervical osteochondrosis is a degenerative-dystrophic disease of the cervical spine, leading to damage to the intervertebral discs, which is common in general for osteochondrosis disease. As this section of the spine is by nature quite mobile but at the same time vulnerable due to an underdeveloped muscular corset, any negative impact on the neck or back affects the cervical region in the first place. Due to the fact that degenerative changes most often develop in the most mobile vertebral sections, it is precisely the nerve endings at the level of C5 . . . C7 who suffer the most in the cervical region.
As the symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis are highly controversial, they are not always considered just as symptoms of this disease, which often leads to seeking help from specialists in other areas of medicine. Let's consider them in a little more detail.
Due to the fact that the cervical spine is quite compact compared to its other departments, even a slight strain on the neck muscles or displacement of the cervical spine vertebrae can cause compression or pinching of the nerve roots, which can also affect the localized vessels. in this department. Well, osteophytes - bone growths, in the popular treatment called "salt deposition" and formed in the conditions of the development of the disease with cervical osteochondrosis, lead, as a result, only to a significant deterioration in the course of the disease.
The clinical manifestations of cervical osteochondrosis disease, that is, its symptoms, can be divided into reflex symptoms and radicular symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis.
Reflex symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis
Reflex symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis include the so-called "lumbago", which is expressed in the appearance of sharp pains in the neck and visibly intensifies with any movement. In view of this, patients often adopt some sort of forced and more comfortable head position. In addition, it is quite possible that a typical "crunch" will occur when turning or other head movements.
With cervical osteochondrosis, patients often experience headaches that are compressive in nature and radiate to the eyeballs or the temporal part of the head. Also, sometimes at the same time, the sharpness of visual perception can decrease, as if "everything is floating before the eyes".
Vertebral artery syndrome can also develop, when your nerve plexus is irritated, which is often due to dizziness in the patient, which is misdiagnosed as a violation of blood circulation to the brain. Such a symptom of cervical osteochondrosis can manifest with sudden movements of the head and be complicated by nausea and possible vomiting.
In addition to the above, reflex symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis also include a cardiologic syndrome, in which there are sensations similar to an angina attack. But this manifestation of the symptoms of osteochondrosis is usually combined with a complex of other signs of this disease, so it usually does not cause difficulties in making a correct diagnosis.
Root symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis
The radicular symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis, as a rule, appear due to compression of the spinal nerve ending - the root. In this case, the sensory disturbances that affect motor functions depend entirely on which specific nerve root was injured, namely:
- C1 - decreased sensitivity in the back of the neck;
- C2 - the occurrence of pain in the parietal or occipital region of the head;
- C3 - violation of sensitivity and onset of pain in the neck, where the spinal root has been injured, with a possible violation of speech function, due to loss of tongue sensitivity and control over it;
- C4 - onset of pain and decreased sensitivity in the humeroscapular dorsal region, as well as pain in the heart and liver region, with simultaneous decrease in neck muscle tone and possible respiratory disorders of the respiratory function;
- C5 - decreased sensitivity and pain on the external surface of the shoulder;
- C6 - pain radiating from the cervical region to the scapula, external surface of the shoulder, forearm and, later, from the wrist to the thumb;
- C7 - same pain as C6, but radiating from the scapula to the posterior surface of the shoulder, and more from the forearm to the 2nd to 4th fingers, with decreased sensitivity in the area of pain;
- C8 - decreased sensitivity and pain from the neck to the shoulder, and then from the forearm to the little finger.
Cervical osteochondrosis is a rather complex and extremely unpleasant disease, the treatment of which requires consistency, duration and stages. Therapeutic treatment of cervical osteochondrosis, in the first place, aims at the complete cessation of the pain symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis and the elimination of inflammation in the area of the neck affected by the disease.
Patients, in the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis, are treated with classic analgesics such as analgina, ketorol or baralgine. Although recently non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have also been widely popular in treating osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, effectively relieving pain and reducing inflammation activity.
Among other things, in the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis, chondroprotectors are also used, which slow down the process of destruction of cartilage tissues and, according to many experts, also contribute to the regeneration process. In addition, patients are prescribed the use of B vitamins, which improve metabolic processes in the patient's body.
But the use of external gels or ointments for the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis is not effective, but it makes sense, since in the process of rubbing them into the skin, an additional massage is carried out in the cervical region of the spine.
Physiotherapy procedures are additionally combined with traditional drug treatment of cervical osteochondrosis and, in particular, the use of magnetotherapy through special medical devices that have gained deserved fame among specialists and patients is especially effective. It is also used, in addition to the above, also therapeutic massage, physical therapy exercises and manual therapy. But in especially severe cases of the disease, surgical intervention may also be necessary.
Prevention of cervical osteochondrosis disease
By itself, the prevention of cervical osteochondrosis is not difficult. Recommended:
- maintain an active and healthy lifestyle,
- sports, or at least morning exercise,
- competent organization of the workplace,
- observance of the work and rest regime,
- during prolonged work in the sitting position - during working hours, warm up several times and ensure correct head position and posture during work.
It is also important to choose a comfortable pillow and mattress to sleep on. But for those who already suffer from this disease, the daily use of specialized orthopedic products for comfortable sleep is strongly recommended.