Signs of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine can occur at any age. This disease is most common in the elderly and may involve more than just neck lesions. However, there is currently an exacerbation of dystrophic processes in the neck in young people who are mainly engaged in mental work. It should be understood that it is very difficult to completely cure cervical osteochondrosis, but you can stop its progression and significantly improve a person's well-being.
Causes and mechanism of formation
Dystrophic processes of the cervix begin slowly. The most significant causes of the disease are sedentary lifestyle and disorders of some types of mineral metabolism.
If you eliminate the causes that provoked osteochondrosis of the neck, then it will be completely successful to cure some of its manifestations. Otherwise, if the action of the cause continues, the person's condition will only get worse.
Under the influence of the root cause that caused the osteochondrosis of the neck, the following changes occur:
- the starting point is congestion in the lymphatic and circulatory system;
- then there are degenerative-destructive changes in the intervertebral disc, which acts as a shock absorber between the vertebrae; its height and plasticity decrease;
- a little later, there are growths of bone tissue of the vertebrae;
- all this leads to a restriction of the mobility of the spine, an increase in the pressure on the vessels and nerves passing through the skeletal system of the spine.
The earlier the appropriate treatment is started, the greater the chances of slowing the progression of the disease and even a complete cure.
The worsening of the disease can be provoked by any external or internal influence. This can be a viral infection, cold temperature, significant physical activity, even jumps in atmospheric pressure. The stronger the cause that caused the exacerbation, the more pronounced the signs of the disease.
Characteristics of cervical osteochondrosis
The signs of cervical osteochondrosis increase gradually, at the very beginning of the disease they practically do not bother the patient. Dizziness can be noticed only occasionally. However, cervical osteochondrosis cannot be ignored: the symptoms in the later stages of the disease are difficult to eliminate.
Because the cervical spine is directly connected to the brain, in the case of degenerative changes in this particular area, numerous complaints from the central nervous system will be noted. This is due to the gradual and increasing deterioration of blood circulation and metabolic disorders in the brain.
In many patients, symptoms suggestive of brain damage may be seen first:
- sudden changes in blood pressure;
- burning in the temple area and diffuse headache;
- temperature rises less frequently to low values.
In combination with the above symptoms, there are signs of damage to the neck itself:
- pains that eventually begin to radiate to the back, arms, back of the head;
- restriction of mobility, when tilting and / or turning the head there is a cracking, crunching, tingling or burning sensation in the neck;
- body temperature is normal.
As osteochondrosis progresses, the person's condition will worsen, the exacerbation will occur more often and more strongly, it will be very difficult to completely cure a person over time, it will be possible to alleviate his suffering only a little.
Unlike inflammatory processes, the temperature rarely changes. In the later stages of osteochondrosis of the neck, the exacerbation practically does not disappear, there will be combined severe damage to the brain and spine:
- spikes in blood pressure or persistent high blood pressure;
- constant dizziness and headache, worse with light exercise;
- pain, burning and limited mobility of the neck;
- body temperature may rise slightly, but more often remains normal.
Vertebral artery lesion syndrome occurs quite often when the degenerative-dystrophic process involves the middle of the neck. Such a person almost constantly feels a throbbing headache, pressure and burning in the temples, congestion and tinnitus, dizziness - dizziness and even loss of consciousness. It is almost impossible to cure spinal artery compression syndrome.
On the contrary, in some people you may see signs of damage to the upper extremities (with predominant changes in the cervical and brachial plexus):
- burning or tingling in all parts of the upper limbs;
- dizziness is rare;
- decreased skin temperature.
The consequences of osteochondrosis can be quite serious: constant headaches and dizziness, impaired memory and attention, constant tingling in the whole neck.
Methods of treatment
Almost complete recovery of the original condition of the osteoarticular apparatus can be achieved only in the early stages of osteochondrosis and after the removal of its cause. Exacerbation of the disease requires even more intensive treatment. In the later stages, the goal of treatment is to relieve pain, dizziness and inflammatory changes. You can cure cervical osteochondrosis with the help of such means as:
- chondroprotectors to restore the original structure of the cartilaginous tissue of the intervertebral disc; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain and inflammation;
- multivitamin complexes with high content of B vitamins to improve nerve tissue trophism;
- nootropics for the correction of severe disorders of brain tissue;
- complex of physiotherapeutic exercises and massage (if strong dizziness and high blood pressure do not appear);
- physiotherapy (water, iontophoresis, magnetic therapy), while the temperature and pressure of the factor should be high enough, and burnout is considered a positive effect.
Much in the treatment of osteochondrosis depends on the patient himself. The sooner the necessary therapy is started, the more carefully a person follows the doctor's prescriptions, the more chances there will be for success and a dignified quality of life for the patient.