Symptoms and treatment of cervical osteochondrosis.

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is the result of a sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition. The first signs of the disease can appear as early as 25 years of age; If treatment is not started, serious complications will arise. An integrated approach is used in the treatment of the disease: drug treatment, diet therapy, physiotherapy and physiotherapy.

symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis

Causes of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine.

Cervical osteochondrosis is degenerative-dystrophic changes in the intervertebral discs and joints, leading to a decrease in neck mobility and the appearance of severe pain. The main reason for the development of the disease is a violation of mineral metabolism, which causes bones and joints to become less strong. ICD-10 code: M42, M50–54.

Why does cervical osteochondrosis occur?

  • sedentary and overweight lifestyle;
  • poor posture, scoliosis;
  • rheumatism;
  • flatfoot;
  • VSD;
  • poor nutrition.

Injuries, bruises on the spine, excessive physical activity and stress can lead to the development of deformities of the cervical vertebrae. In women, osteochondrosis often occurs during pregnancy and menopause; Against the background of hormonal changes, the amount of calcium decreases and bone tissue becomes fragile.

Important! The predisposition to osteochondrosis is inherited.

General symptoms and signs.

With a constant increase in the load on the cervical vertebrae, muscle spasms occur, the vessels of the cervical spine are compressed, blood circulation is disturbed, disturbances in metabolic processes occur: the structure of the intervertebral discs changes, they are deformed and they begin to stand out. beyond the spine.

How does osteochondrosis of the cervical spine manifest?

  • radicular syndrome - against the background of compression of nerve endings, pain occurs that spreads from the neck to the shoulder blades, forearms and covers the anterior wall of the chest;
  • muscle weakness in the arms, noticeable swelling of the neck;
  • when you move your head, you hear a characteristic crunch;
  • weakness, chronic fatigue, changes in blood pressure;
  • lack of coordination, often dizziness, attacks accompanied by nausea, vomiting;
  • deterioration of vision and hearing, noise, ringing in the ears;
  • numbness of extremities, tongue;
  • frequent migraines;
  • in women aged 45 to 65 years, pain, numbness and tingling appear in the upper extremities during sleep; The attacks may repeat several times during the night.

With cervical osteochondrosis, nutrition and blood supply to the brain are disturbed, neurotic disorders occur: anxiety, irritability, mood swings, sleep disturbances.

Classification of cervical osteochondrosis.

As osteochondrosis develops, it goes through several stages of development, each of which has characteristic signs. You can see in the photo what the affected part of the spine looks like at different stages.

Degree of development of the disease:

  1. Osteochondrosis of the first degree - the initial stage occurs without particularly pronounced symptoms, the person is bothered by rare, mild pain when turning and tilting the head, the back muscles quickly tire.
  2. Osteochondrosis of the second degree - the vertebrae become unstable, a nerve is pinched, unpleasant sensations in the neck become pronounced and radiate to the shoulder and arm. Additional symptoms are increased fatigue, frequent headaches in the occipital region, and distraction.
  3. Osteochondrosis of the third degree - the pain becomes chronic, covers the upper back, arms, severe muscle weakness is observed, the limbs become numb, an intervertebral hernia develops, and attacks of dizziness often occur.
  4. Osteochondrosis of the fourth degree: complete destruction of the intervertebral discs occurs, they are replaced by connective tissue, the pathological process covers several segments of the spine. There is a lack of coordination, attacks of dizziness become more frequent and tinnitus appears.
pain with cervical osteochondrosis

Acute osteochondrosis is a consequence of the chronic form of the disease, characterized by a severe attack of acute pain that occurs suddenly after waking up.

Which doctor should I contact?

If signs of cervical osteochondrosis appear, it is necessary to visit a neurologist; In some hospitals there is a vertebrologist, a specialist who treats spinal diseases.

Diagnostic methods

Advanced forms of osteochondrosis have a pronounced clinical picture, which allows an initial diagnosis to be made already during the initial examination. Instrumental diagnostic methods will help identify the degree of degenerative changes in the vertebrae.

Main types of examinations for osteochondrosis:

  • bone scan– the method is effective only in the early stages of the development of pathology;
  • magnetic resonance– the structure of bone structures, the size and direction of development of intervertebral hernias and the state of the spinal cord are clearly visible on the screen;
  • Connecticut– the method is less effective than MRI, since it does not provide accurate information about the presence and size of hernias;
  • duplex scanning– allows you to see blood flow disorders;
  • electroneurography– shows the presence of pinching, inflammation and other damage to the nerves;
  • rheoencephalogram– prescribed for problems with blood supply to the brain.
diagnosis of cervical osteochondrosis

For a specific and comprehensive study of the state of certain vertebrae, discography is performed: a contrast agent is injected into the intervertebral disc, which makes it possible to see the slightest changes in the tissues and distinguish scar changes from a hernia.

Methods for treating cervical osteochondrosis.

At the initial stage of development, osteochondrosis can be cured without medications, it is enough to review the diet, daily routine and regularly perform a set of special exercises. In advanced forms of the disease, effective treatment is only possible with the use of various medications that help stop degenerative changes in the vertebrae.

The complex of therapeutic measures necessarily includes physical procedures: electrophoresis with drugs, ultrasound, magnetic therapy, laser therapy. These methods help to cope with pain, inflammation, tissue swelling, improve metabolic processes and blood circulation.

First aid

Pain relievers will help relieve pain due to osteochondrosis. You can warm the affected area with mustard plaster or pepper plaster.

To reduce the swelling of inflamed tissues, drink rosehip decoction and other diuretics. Massaging the swollen area with an ice cube will help relieve severe pain in the neck; Continue the procedure until the skin turns slightly red.


Exercise therapy is prescribed during the recovery period; during an exacerbation of osteochondrosis, physical exercise is contraindicated; Gymnastics is simple, it can be done at home and it needs to be done regularly.

Bubnovsky gymnastics for the treatment and prevention of cervical osteochondrosis:

  1. In a standing position, lower your arms freely along the body. Tilt your head forward, try to reach your chest with your chin, fix the position for a count of 3. Tilt your head back, with your chin looking up, count to 3. Return to the starting position.
  2. In a standing position, turn your head to the right, to the left and fix the position at each extreme point for several seconds. Repeat 3 times on each side.
  3. In a standing position, tilt your head to the right, to the left, try to reach your shoulder with your ear and hold the position for 30 seconds. Perform 6 repetitions in each direction.
  4. Stand with your hands on your belt, chin parallel to the floor and extended forward. Turn your head, rest your chin on your shoulder, twist your torso a little, hold the position for half a minute. Do 6 repetitions in each direction; slight pain may occur in the spine.
  5. In a sitting position, back straight, hands on your knees. Extend your arms straight to the sides, move them slightly back, at the same time tilt your head back, return to the starting position, repeat 5 times.
  6. In a sitting position, turn your head to the right, place your left palm on your right shoulder, elbow parallel to the floor, right hand resting on your knee, return to the starting position. Perform 6 repetitions in each direction.
  7. In a sitting position, raise your arms above your head, connect them tightly, bend your elbows slightly, turn your head to the side until slight pain appears, fix the position at the extreme point for a few seconds. Repeat 6 laps in each direction.

Take a 30-second break between exercises. Before starting gymnastics, you should take a warm shower and do several gentle tilts of your head in different directions to warm up the muscles. After completing the exercise, some light stretches will help avoid discomfort the next day.


Drug therapy for osteochondrosis is aimed at eliminating unpleasant sensations, restoring vertebral mobility and slowing down degenerative changes in tissues. Acute pain attacks are relieved with injections of NSAIDs or corticosteroids, while the chronic form of the disease is treated with ointments and tablets.

How to treat osteochondrosis:

  • NSAIDs– produced in the form of tablets and products for external use, eliminates swelling and pain;
  • corticosteroids– relieve acute pain syndrome;
  • B vitamins– restore metabolic processes in tissues;
  • chondroprotectors– promote the restoration of cartilage tissue;
  • Medications to improve blood flow and nutrition of the brain.;
  • nootropics– improve brain function and memory;
  • muscle relaxants– eliminate muscle spasms;
  • For local treatment, ointments and gels with anti-inflammatory and warming effects are used..

For drug therapy to be effective, it is necessary to combine it with exercise therapy and follow a diet; Otherwise, no medication will help eliminate osteochondrosis.

Important! If conservative treatment does not produce any effect, surgery is prescribed.

Home remedies

Traditional treatment should be used as a complement to pharmacotherapy and physical exercise; unconventional methods will not help to completely eliminate the disease.

What to do with cervical osteochondrosis at home:

  1. Pour boiling water over a fresh horseradish leaf, cool slightly, apply the inside to the neck and secure with a thin natural fabric. Carry out the procedure before going to bed, leaving the compress on all night.
  2. Grate raw potatoes on a fine grater and mix in equal proportions with warm liquid honey. Use the mixture for compresses, carry out the procedure 1-2 times a week.
  3. Mix one raw egg with 100 ml of sunflower oil, 20 ml of vinegar and 20 g of flour, put the mixture in a dark place for 48 hours, remove the film from the surface. Apply the product to the inflamed area before going to bed and store in the refrigerator.
  4. In May, collect pine buds up to 2 cm long, cut into thin slices and place in a dark glass container. For 1 part of raw materials, take 2 parts of sugar, put the medicine in a dark place for 2 weeks. Drink 5 ml of the mixture three times a day, do not swallow it immediately, hold it in your mouth for 2-3 minutes. The duration of the course is 15 to 20 days and is repeated 2 to 3 times a year.
  5. Grind 150 g of peeled garlic and 400 g of cranberries, put the mixture in a glass container, after 24 hours add 800 ml of honey, stir. Take 5 ml of medicine three times a day before meals.
folk remedies for the treatment of osteochondrosis

A cabbage leaf spread with honey will help you cope with intense pain and eliminate excess salts; Secure the compress on your neck with a warm scarf and leave it overnight.

Massage for cervical osteochondrosis.

Massage helps to strengthen muscle tone, improve blood circulation in the tissues, in severe forms of osteochondrosis, the sessions are carried out by a specialist. In mild forms of the disease, self-massage will help prevention: treatment is carried out at home.

Massage technique:

  1. Warm up your muscles– with both hands, intensively run over the posterior lateral surface of the neck from top to bottom. Warm-up time: 2 minutes.
  2. Press the edge of your palm to the bottom of your neck,move with sliding movements towards the hair growth area and then towards the shoulder joints.
  3. Make circular rubbing movements with the fingertips of both the occipital region from the hairline to the forearms, from the spine to the ears and back.
  4. Pinch your neck muscles from bottom to top., then in the opposite direction.
  5. Caressing from the nape of the neck to the shoulder blades.– perform after each type of exercise.

Important! Do not massage protruding vertebrae, lymph nodes, or carotid arteries.


The goal of the diet for osteochondrosis is to provide the body with collagen and proteins, these substances participate in the synthesis of cartilage tissue, most of them are found in jellies, jellies and jellies.

Prohibited products Authorized products
  • any alcoholic beverage;
  • fatty meats, refractory fats, smoked meats;
  • soups with rich broths;
  • hot and spicy dishes, preserves, marinades;
  • mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup;
  • radish, radish, horseradish, onion, garlic;
  • fast food, semi-finished products;
  • fast carbohydrates: sweets, baked goods, pasta made from premium flour;
  • dad;
  • limit salt intake to 5 g per day.
  • diet meats;
  • fish, seafood;
  • fermented dairy products;
  • cereals;
  • light soups;
  • wholemeal bread;
  • honey, jams, jams, pastilles, nuts, dried fruits, oatmeal cookies;
  • fresh and baked vegetables and fruits;
  • eggs;
  • vegetable oils;
  • natural juices, green tea, fruit drinks.

Important! To avoid dehydration of the intervertebral disc tissue, it is necessary to drink at least 2. 5 liters of pure still water per day.

Possible consequences and complications.

In the cervical region, the vertebrae are located close to each other, the height of the intervertebral discs is small, therefore various complications of osteochondrosis arise even with minor degenerative changes in bone tissue.

Why is osteochondrosis of the cervical spine dangerous?

  • frequent migraine attacks;
  • heart rhythm disturbances, atherosclerosis;
  • protrusion, intervertebral hernia, bone growths of the vertebrae;
  • serious brain pathologies;
  • narrowing of the lumen of the vertebral artery, which leads to the development of VSD, cerebral hypertension and disability;
  • spinal stroke.
complications with cervical osteochondrosis

Important! With advanced osteochondrosis, spinal cord compression occurs, which can be fatal.

Contraindications for cervical osteochondrosis.

To lead a full life with osteochondrosis, it is necessary to avoid actions that can cause pain and exacerbation of the disease.

What not to do with cervical osteochondrosis:

  • sleep on a very hard or soft mattress, on a high pillow;
  • lift weights; if you need to lift something heavy, you should do it with your back straight and knees bent;
  • carry a bag on your shoulder;
  • when the pathology worsens, perform active movements of the head and neck;
  • smoking, drinking alcohol;
  • walking without a scarf in cold weather, sitting in a draft, near an air conditioner;
  • staying in an uncomfortable position for a long time, sitting;
  • Wear high heels;
  • crack your neck.
ban on alcohol and cigarettes for cervical osteochondrosis

Thermal procedures (warming compresses, visiting a bathhouse, warming with a blue lamp) can only be carried out at the stage of remission of the disease. During an exacerbation, heat will relieve pain only for a short time, but soon the unpleasant sensations will return and the degree of their manifestation will increase.

Disease prevention

To maintain spinal health, it is enough to follow simple prevention rules.

How to avoid cervical osteochondrosis:

  • get rid of excess weight;
  • do gymnastics every morning, go swimming, practice yoga, dance;
  • spend more time outdoors, morning walks are especially useful;
  • eat right, control salt intake, follow a drinking regimen;
  • when working sedentarily, do a neck warm-up every hour and watch your posture;
  • keep your neck warm;
  • Get enough sleep, avoid physical, mental and emotional fatigue.

Sleep properly. Only the head, neck and shoulders should rest on the mattress pillow, and a small cushion should be placed under the feet. It is better to sleep on your back or in the fetal position, in case of exacerbation of the disease - only on your side. The mattress is orthopedic, of medium hardness, the pillow is rectangular, orthopedic, 15-20 cm high, with the correct position of the body during sleep, the spine is straight, there are no deviations in different parts, the muscles are relaxed .

Cervical osteochondrosis is a chronic and slowly progressive disease; Signs of the disease do not appear immediately. A competent combination of traditional and folk treatment methods, gymnastics and diet will help to cope with unpleasant symptoms, and simple preventive measures will help avoid relapses of pathology.