The symptoms and treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

Osteochondrosis is a chronic disease that is symptomatically expressed degenerative disorders in articular cartilage. Most common osteochondrosis of the spine, when changes occur in the intervertebral discs and intervertebral joints. Depending on localization distinguish cervical, thoracic and lumbar osteochondrosis. Common osteochondrosis, which affects all parts of the spine. Pathology requires a consultation with the doctor and integrated approach to treatment.

Diseases of the spine


Diseases of the spine, like other chronic diseases, rapidly "younger". If before pain in back and joints bothered older people today with this problem to doctors are increasingly turning patients 18-30 years.

A prerequisite for the development of this disease scientists believe that human bipedalism, the degenerative disc disease also contributes to long sitting position. Moreover, with age, the articular cartilage to lose elasticity, become thinner; intervertebral discs lose moisture and shock absorbing ability, become vulnerable during physical activity.


Causes of cervical degenerative disc disease is rooted in stress and they affect the cervical spine under different circumstances. Accordingly, the muscles in the neck area begin to rapidly decrease, thus compensating for this load, with the result that there is a spasm and impaired blood flow in this area.

  1. Posture Scoliosis, stoop, round back, kyphosis and other posture disorders, even if they are minor in nature, cause a serious imbalance of the spine. As a result, the load on the intervertebral discs is distributed unevenly, which causes their deformation and excessive wear. The vertebrae begin to move closer, causing pinching of the nervous processes, quickly developing cervical osteochondrosis. Similar effects have posture disorders, caused by a change in the natural position of the ribs.
  2. Cramps Spasmodic muscular reaction of the back muscles, the chest press can cause specific areas of the body are severely strained. As a result of disrupted the General equilibrium position of the body, causing a change in the position of the spine. Deformation may affect the cervical or other parts of the spine, causing degenerative disc disease of the thoracic, cervical, lumbar.
  3. Circulatory disorders since your spinal discs have no direct connection with the bloodstream, the food they receive from the surrounding tissues. Circulatory disorders of the cervical leads to the fact that the disks do not get enough fluids for rehydration (recovery of the shape due to moisture absorption), the updates of cartilage. As a result, their wear is accelerated, a decrease in the distance between the cervical vertebrae leading to degenerative disc disease.
  4. The violation of innervation decreased sensitivity of nerve roots leads to pathological changes in their structure, causing displacement and deformation of the cervical vertebrae remain unnoticed by the patient. Because pain are lacking due to loss of sensitivity.
  5. Damaged disc
  6. Diseases of internal organs the Wrong position of the internal organs, their offset and lowering due to a variety of dysfunctions leading to disruption of the overall equilibrium in the body. The result is particularly noticeable in the position of the spine — cervical, lumbar vertebrae is displaced and deformed, leading to relevant types of degenerative disc disease.

In General, the cervical osteochondrosis develops after exposure to adverse external factors disturbing natural equilibrium position of the spine and other systems of the human body.


Diagnosis of cervical degenerative disc disease begins with the collection of all necessary information about the patient. Specialist asked about complaints that concerns the person interested in his professional activities, as well as how he spends his weekend. An important point is the presence of degenerative disc disease in the parents and grandparents of the patient, because the disease is hereditary nature.

Then the doctor goes directly to the visual examination of the patient. He studies the cervical and back on the subject of curvature of bearing, palpated the cervical region. This allows the specialist to assess the extent of disease development, because in advanced cases palpation of the cervical causes sharp pain.

During the inspection you should pay attention:

  • on the severity of the cervical lordosis;
  • shoulder height of the patient;
  • the possibility of asymmetry of the supraclavicular regions;
  • the possibility of asymmetry of the neck (for example, the investigation of congenital abnormalities or a sudden muscle spasm);
  • the condition of the muscles of the shoulder girdle and upper extremities (for example, unilateral muscle atrophy may indicate compression of the cervical spinal roots);
  • the location of chin — chin, normal should be placed on the middle line;
  • movement of the neck (flexion-extension, bending left and right rotation).

Palpation is held in the initial position of the patient:

  • lying on the back;
  • lying on his stomach;
  • sitting on a chair.

Also carried out a study of the range of motion. Is held in the initial position of the patient sitting on a chair (to fix other parts of my spine).

There are the following main motion in the cervical spine:

  • flexion;
  • extension;
  • tilts right and left;
  • rotation.

About half of flexion and extension occurs between the occiput, vertebrae C1 and C2. The rest of the motion is due to the underlying vertebrae, with large scale movements in the C5-C7 vertebrae. Lateral slopes evenly distributed among all vertebrae.

To accurately diagnose, appoint additional research:

  1. X-rays of the cervical. This method is appropriate in the early stages of the disease, but may be useless for advanced forms.
  2. CT (computed tomography). Allows you to see structural changes in the vertebrae, but with this method it is impossible to determine the size of the hernia between the vertebrae.
  3. MRI. Is considered the most effective method of diagnosis of cervical degenerative disc disease. You can determine the size of the hernia between the discs and the degree of their development.
  4. The doctor may also prescribe a duplex scan to determine the disruption of blood circulation in the arteries.


Treatment of cervical degenerative disc disease is a complex therapy, including medications, gels, and various physiotherapy activities. The important role played by therapeutic exercises, and massage problem areas.


To eliminate the effects of degenerative changes of the spine without the use of drugs is impossible. The use of drugs in the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis is one of the main points of the implementation of the comprehensive approach to Wellness used by most specialists of traditional medicine.

It is intended to solve several problems, including:

  • pain symptom and to eliminate the inflammatory process;
  • to relieve muscle spasm;
  • stimulate the cell regeneration of cartilaginous and bony tissues;
  • strengthen protective properties of the body, boost immunity;
  • to improve the General condition by eliminating other symptoms that hinder recovery.

Depending on these goals, all drugs prescribed by a doctor a person suffering from cervical degenerative disc disease, can be divided into the following groups:

  1. Analgesics (non-steroidal drug that relieves pain).
  2. Anti-inflammatory (steroid) Is a hormonal medication that relieves the inflammation and, thereby, eliminate the pain.
  3. Chondroprotectors are drugs containing substances, residual components of cartilage – chondroitin, hyaluronic acid.
  4. The muscle relaxants. These are preparations, relaxing muscle tone. They are used in surgery and orthopedics, as subsidiary means for the relief of pain. Such drugs are administered parenteral, therefore, is always under the supervision of a physician.
  5. Vitamins
  6. Vitamins. Osteochondrosis of the cervical are appointed vitamins, have a positive influence on the peripheral nervous system and improves conductivity. Water-soluble vitamins: B1, B6, B12, fat-soluble vitamins: A, C, D, E. In recent years were more likely to prescribe combination medications that include painkillers and vitamin components.
  7. Creams and gels for external use.


The main goal of physiotherapy treatment is the stimulation of the regeneration process in the body and eliminating pain. The most popular methods in the treatment of cervical chondrosis are the following:

  1. Ultrasound. Physiotherapy ultrasonic waves is used to relieve severe pain manifestations and inflammatory response. Ultrasound massaging fabric in the neck, after which metabolism is activated.
  2. Vibratory massage. The effect on the part pain when vibration is provided by means of mechanical oscillatory motion. For the proper conduct of the physiotherapy usually use tape bustline.
  3. Electrophoresis.It is a method of carrying out physiotherapy in cervical osteochondrosis is carried out through the use of diadynamic modulated currents and electric fields when introduced into the tissues of the body drugs. Electrophoresis takes great spasmodic syndromes and relieves pain in sore muscles.
  4. Magnetotherapy. The essence of magnetic therapy as physical treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical due to the use of constant or variable field magnet frequency of different size. This method allows you to help the patient to remove the pain and to stop inflammatory process in the outbreak. The procedure is often carried out at home after purchasing a special device magnetograph.
  5. Detenzor therapy. Currently quite a popular method of physical therapy, involving stretching of the spine under the body weight of the patient. For this procedure, you need arranged in a special way the mattress, which has sloping edges and they change the location under the weight of his own body. Muscle tone with normal,which leads to their relaxation.
  6. Laseroterapia
  7. Laseroterapia. The laser has a complex effect on inflammation, it activates biological processes in the tissues of the nervous system. This allows to obtain a positive effect of treatment. A complex effect on the body is anti-inflammatory, analgesic and wound healing effect. One procedure lazer treatment should not exceed 15 minutes. It is the optimum time sectoral impact of helium-neon laser on the affected areas. The duration of action of the laser on one painful point should not exceed 2 minutes.
  8. Balneotherapy. The use of mineral water has long been known, it is based on this therapy. The procedure involves the active use of water resources in the treatment of osteoarthritis. In addition to bathing, different types of showers and an invigorating swim in the pool, the therapy involves the use of applications of therapeutic mud on the painful parts of the body. The therapeutic effect is achieved by the simultaneous influence of chemically active substances contained in water under different temperature regimes. The method allows to stop pain by improving local microcirculation in the tissues.

Physical therapy

Remember that physical therapy is not carried out, when the signs of acute: pain. After a complex therapy they can grow and cause inconvenience.

There are some General recommendations when conducting charging:

  1. Physical education should take place in premises with good ventilation, a great option on the street.
  2. The classes are held only in the period of remission (when there are no symptoms).
  3. Clothing for gymnastics courses to be widely, not restricting movements and breathing.
  4. All the movements are smooth, the amplitude and the number of repetitions is increased gradually.
  5. If you have pain, you should immediately stop the occupation.
  6. Preceding classes, and complete pressure measurement and pulse. When these rates are different from normal, it should reduce the load.
  7. It is desirable for the entire class to listen to your breathing, it will increase the efficiency. All stretching exercises are performed on the exhale.
  8. It is very important to gradually increase the load and number of repetitions, it will reduce the risk of injuries and prevent fatigue.
  9. Physiotherapy
  10. Exercises are important to do regularly, so it is possible to achieve a speedy result.
  11. Before beginning the self-study should consult with a doctor and agree with him a set of exercises.

Recommended exercises in initial position lying on his stomach:

  1. Head in the emphasis on the forehead, hands on head, elbows parallel to the floor. Lift your head with your hands from the floor, hold this position for 4 accounts down and relax. Repeat 2-4 times.
  2. Head in the emphasis on chin, hand under chin. Once the hands pull forward, two separate parties, three to pull ahead, four to its original position. Repeat 2-4 times.
  3. The arms are stretched forward. Swimming style "crawl", repeat 4-8 times.
  4. Hand under the chin, focusing on his forehead. Alternately pulling the heel of the buttocks. Repeat 4-8 times.

Recommended exercises in initial position lying on its side (on the right, then on the left):

  1. The right arm is extended, it is the right ear, raise your right hand together with your head, hold this position for 4 accounts down and relax. Repeat 2-4 times.
  2. The left hand rests in the floor in front of the chest, the left leg makes flapping back and forth. Repeat 6-8 times.
  3. Left arm along the body, raise the left arm up-breath, lower-exhale. Repeat 2-4 times.
  4. Left hand on hip. Pulling both knees to your chest on the exhale, straighten the legs on the inhale. Repeat exercises 2-4 times.