Cervical osteochondrosis: symptoms and home treatment tactics

Cervical osteochondrosis is common, accompanied by pain in the head, neck, shoulder girdle, impaired cerebral circulation. The peculiarity of the location of the pathological process and contradictory manifestations force patients to turn to specialists for help. Lack of timely treatment threatens with disability.

Often, cervical osteochondrosis affects young people (up to 40 years old), contributes to the development of an incorrect body position (a lot of time sitting at the computer, the habit of holding the phone with the shoulder), vibration, poor posture, physical inactivity, clothing uncomfortable bed, heredity.

possible reasons

The disease is accompanied by degenerative-dystrophic changes that affect the intervertebral disc of the cervical spine. This is caused by metabolic disorders in the cervical region as a result of the change in the structure of the intervertebral discs and their bodies.

The main causes of the disease:

  • high levels of salts in the lymph and blood (in active people there is a constant exchange between bone and muscle tissue, with a static lifestyle, blood flow decreases, less salt enters the muscle tissue, they accumulate in places that do not work physically - joints, spine, kidneys, liver);
  • irreversible phenomena that occur in cartilaginous tissue (salt deposition causes changes in the shock-absorbing properties of the vertebrae, flexibility and elasticity of cartilaginous tissue are lost);
  • a long stay in a position that causes an overload of the muscles of the neck, back (work at the table with a twisted neck and head tilted), compression of the vessels supplying the spine occurs, leading to degeneration of the intervertebral cartilage;
  • with obesity, the spine and intervertebral discs are deformed due to high load, the back muscle corset weakens;
  • as a result of improper metabolism, the balance of minerals in bone tissue is disturbed.

characteristic symptoms

neck pain with osteochondrosis

The main manifestations of cervical osteochondrosis:

  • pain in the back of the head, neck, shoulder, arm, difficulty moving the head, crunching when turning the head or bending over;
  • pain of a pulling nature in the left thoracic region radiating to the left hand, burning sensation in the interscapular region;
  • recurrent headaches, fatigue, weakness, difficulty turning the head;
  • neck pain passes to shoulder and arm, numbness of fingers;
  • there may be a deterioration of hearing and vision, numbness of the tongue and face, dizziness, impaired activity of the lungs and heart.

Conventionally, symptoms are divided into groups:

  • I - neurological manifestations (continuous neck pain, muscle, chest, joint pain);
  • II - pathological effect on the spinal cord (weakness in arms and legs, involuntary spasms, myelopathy);
  • III - associated with processes that occur in the brain (cerebral manifestations due to insufficient blood supply: visual disturbances, sensation of a foreign body in the throat, noises and ringing in the ears, hearing loss, dizziness, instability when walking, fainting, fatigue, irritability, sleep, memory loss).

general recommendations

In the absence of indications for hospitalization, outpatient treatment is prescribed (most often the patient is at home, visiting a neurologist on the indicated days). Of the drugs used:

  • course of NSAIDs 7 - 14 days (daily 2 - 3 times);
  • sedatives protect the nervous system from the influence of pain, course of 1 to 3 weeks;
  • diuretics to reduce swelling in the inflamed area;
  • B vitamins to improve the metabolic processes that occur in nervous tissue, normalize musculoskeletal conduction;
  • muscle relaxants to relieve muscle spasm;
  • media that improve the structure and functions of cartilage tissue (ATP, chondroprotectors);
  • topically - creams, gels, ointments as a warming, analgesic or distraction.

With increasing pain, bed rest is recommended, a physiological position (to relieve the load on the spine) for 1-2 days, after which the patient should begin to move.

In the acute phase, it is necessary to perform breathing exercises and exercises to relieve muscle spasm (gentle tilts and turns of the head, circular movements), gradually increasing the load. You must not make sudden movements.

With muscle spasm, massage is prescribed (you can perform a neck self-massage). For preventive purposes, a massage course should be held twice a year. To unload the spine, a cervical collar or Glisson strap is used (after consultation with the doctor).

Nutrition should be adjusted by excluding foods that increase muscle tone (smoky and spicy, alcohol, coffee, tea). For cartilaginous tissue are useful:

cervical osteochondrosis pain
  • foods rich in calcium (fermented milk, cottage cheese, mineral water, dark green leafy vegetables);
  • unsaturated fatty acids (fatty fish, flaxseed, walnuts);
  • protein (lean poultry, dairy, eggs, nuts);
  • foods rich in fiber and antioxidants (legumes, grains, fruits).

In the absence of an exacerbation, it is recommended to drink plenty of water (30 ml per 1 kg of body weight), strengthen the spine and back muscles through physical exercises. When working for a long time sitting, you need to take a break every hour, relaxing your back muscles with the help of exercises.

How to treat folk remedies?

With cervical osteochondrosis, it is recommended to take herbal infusions or decoctions, rub the ointment into problem areas.

components The amount Application mode
pine needles 250g Brew needles with a liter of boiling water, insist. Drink twice a day.
garlic, ginger 1: 1 To the grated ginger add the garlic, a little butter. Rub on the painful areas of the neck.
lemon, garlic 4 things. and 5 pieces. Pass the lemons and garlic through a meat grinder, pour 2 liters of boiling water. Drink ½ cup twice a day.
fresh potatoes, honey 1: 1 Mix the grated potato porridge with honey, apply to the neck.
horseradish leaf 1 pc. Dip the horseradish leaf in boiling water for a few seconds and remove. Cool liquid, use for compresses.
horseradish root 2 teaspoons Grated horseradish root put on a bandage, secure around the neck, cover with plastic wrap on top and roll up. Hold for 1 to 1. 5 minutes and then rinse with water.
Honey 1 dessert spoon Preheat the neck, self-massage with honey for 5 minutes. After that, wrap your neck.

What is not recommended?

With cervical osteochondrosis, you cannot:

  • lifting weights (if necessary, performing actions with a straight back, without leaning the head forward);
  • you cannot crush the vertebrae (these movements violate the integrity of the spinal contact surfaces);
  • sleeping on a high pillow, soft bedding (causes tension in the back muscles);
  • lead a sedentary lifestyle (running, swimming, walking are helpful);
  • independently diagnose and prescribe treatment.

prevention measures

neck compress with osteochondrosis

To prevent cervical osteochondrosis, it is recommended:

  • get rid of hypodynamia (move more, practice Nordic walking, dancing, swimming);
  • monitor body weight, avoiding excess weight (leads to impaired blood circulation, nutrition of the collar zone);
  • monitor posture (if it is violated, the load on the spine is unevenly distributed);
  • preventing microtraumas in the cervical region (lifting weights properly and using them);
  • treat foci of chronic infection (ENT organs, etc. ), which reduce the body's resistance, lymph and blood circulation in the ligaments and tissues of the neck.

A good result in the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis can be obtained with complex treatment. Home treatment will only be effective with careful observance of all prescriptions and their daily use.