Treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis

Existing methods of treating cervical osteochondrosis are aimed at reducing symptoms, preventing complications, stopping further destruction of the cartilage and bone tissue of the spinal column, and preventing the patient's disability.

Osteochondrosis is a pathological degenerative-destructive process that first affects the intervertebral disc, and then the vertebra itself.

It is necessary to treat osteochondrosis of the cervical region immediately after the first signs of the disease appear.

Mechanisms for the development of osteochondrosis

The spinal column consists of vertebrae and the intervertebral discs located between them. The intervertebral disc has a gel-like nucleus pulposus in the center, surrounded by a dense fibrous ring. Nucleus pulposus is hydrophilic - saturated with moisture and characterized by high elasticity. Due to the elastic properties of the intervertebral discs, cushioning and mobility of the spine is ensured.

In people over the age of 20, the discs already begin to gradually lose their elasticity. This is due to the obliteration of the vessels that fed the discs, and further blood supply is due to diffusion from the bodies of the adjacent vertebrae. In the cartilage tissue, on the background of a lack of nutrients, regeneration processes slow down - the disc begins to "age". Initially, the nucleus pulposus is dehydrated, loses its elasticity, becomes flat, which increases the load on the fibrous ring. Microcracks, tension zones, ruptures, delamination appear in the structure of the ring.

The degenerated disc protrudes into the spinal canal and irritates the nerve endings of the pain receptors located on the posterior longitudinal ligament.

The characteristics of the pathological process in cervical osteochondrosis are related to the anatomical structure of this spine: different structure and size of the cervical vertebrae, tighter articulation in the intervertebral joints and insufficiently developed muscular framework. With long-term static load on the cervical region (working at the computer), weak muscles do not hold the head well, and the main load falls on the spine.

Treatment of cervical osteochondrosis in a specialized clinic is carried out using a unique technology based on a combination of manual therapy, electrophoresis and photodynamic laser therapy under the supervision of a doctor.

The main reasons that lead to the development of osteochondrosis:

  • Congenital or acquired anomalies of the spine.
  • Natural processes of aging of the organism.
  • genetic predisposition.
  • Long-term static and dynamic overload of the spine: forced posture, hypodynamia.
  • Passion for spine-dangerous sports: professional wrestling.
  • Smoking.
  • Autoimmune diseases with damage to connective tissue - collagenosis.
  • Improper nutrition with a predominance of carbohydrate and fatty foods, with a lack of protein, vitamins, micro and macro elements.
  • Overweight, obesity.
  • Injuries and diseases of the spinal column.

Osteochondrosis of the spine - is there such a diagnosis?

In English medicine, this term refers to a completely different group of diseases that have nothing to do with our "native" osteochondrosis. In the International Classification of Diseases - the book that all neurologists should be guided by when making a diagnosis - there are terms such as "osteochondrosis of the spine in adults", "juvenile osteochondrosis of the spine", "osteochondrosis of the spine, unspecified".

However, sometimes this diagnosis is not entirely justified, when the doctor actually cannot fully understand what is happening with the patient. Under this term, diseases such as:

  • Myofascial pain syndrome- a condition in which spasms occur repeatedly in the same muscles.
  • Muscle injury.After the injury, the pains begin to disturb, and after a while they pass on their own.
  • OtolithiasisA condition in which calcium salt crystals accumulate in the inner ear. They lead to dizziness - they are sometimes mistaken for a manifestation of spinal disease.
  • Headache.They are also often associated with degenerative changes in the cervical spine. In fact, they often have other causes.

Take care, sign up for a consultation now, without delaying the treatment.

Treatment of osteochondrosis of the spine

A standard set of therapeutic measures for worsening the disease looks like this:

  • Anti-inflammatory and pain relievers.The doctor can prescribe Voltaren, Movalis, ibuprofen and other drugs.
  • If the pain is very strong and does not go away- use novocaine blockade. The doctor, armed with a needle and syringe, injects anesthetic into special places where it blocks the transmission of pain nerve impulses.
  • Physiotherapy helps:electrophoresis of drugs with novocaine, ultrasound, ultraviolet radiation, diadynamic currents.
  • If the pain makes you constantly nervous,Prescribe medication to calm you down.
  • To the area of painapply dry heat.
  • To relieve the spine,different types of traction are used. The patient can be placed on a special bed with the headboard raised and fixed with rings under the armpit. Underwater traction is also used in the pool.
  • A doctor can recommendyou visit a chiropractor, acupuncture sessions.
  • During an exacerbationwear special orthopedic devices that help relieve the muscles and support the spine - corsets, Shants collar.

Once the aggravation has passed, you must take measures to help prevent a new one. Therapeutic exercises and massage help strengthen the muscles that support the spine. Name physiotherapy courses. Good for swimming. All methods of treating osteochondrosis have contraindications, they must be used wisely, so self-medication is not the best choice. See a doctor.

Sometimes the symptoms of the disease, despite the treatment, continue to grow, the patient's condition worsens. In this case, the neurologist may ask the question of surgical treatment.

back pain with osteochondrosis

Why should you see a doctor soon? First, "real" osteochondrosis is not such a harmless disease. Over time, it can make a person disabled if left untreated. Secondly, the symptoms may be caused by the same myofascial pain syndrome - the neurologist will be able to quickly find the cause of the pain and eliminate it.

Back pain is a symptom that, according to statistics, more than 90% of people have experienced at least once in their life. It is most often attributed to osteochondrosis. Not all people with back pain go to the doctor. Many self-medicate with medicines that can be obtained without a prescription in a pharmacy, folk remedies. Sometimes such "treatment" brings temporary relief - and in the meantime, the disease can continue to progress and, perhaps, the next time the back or lower back will "twist" much more.

An experienced neurologist will be able to correctly assess the symptoms of osteochondrosis, understand their causes and prescribe the correct treatment for osteochondrosis.

You can fight pain - the main manifestation of osteochondrosis - more or less successfully for a long time with the help of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, some folk remedies. But this does not solve the main problem, pathological changes in the spine continue to grow.

Over time, it is fraught with compression of the spinal cord and the arteries that feed it, the development of serious neurological complications: severe weakness, up to complete loss of movement and sensitivity, impaired control of the bladder, rectum.

Stages of development of cervical osteochondrosis

In its development, cervical osteochondrosis, as a disease, goes through several stages:

I stage. The initial period is characterized by local pain in the neck, which is aggravated by turning and tilting the head. There is a smoothness of the cervical lordosis and muscle tension. Morphological changes begin in the structure of the intervertebral discs: drying of the nucleus pulposus, cracks in the fibrous ring.

II phase. Pain in the neck is intensified by radiation to the arm, shoulder. Severe headaches, weakness, reduced efficiency are added. The destruction of the fibrous ring continues, signs of pathological mobility and instability of the vertebrae appear.

Phase III. The pain in the neck is strong, constant, spreading to the arms and shoulders. Arm muscles become weak, numbness of the upper limbs is observed. Patients have headaches, dizziness, disorientation in space. At this stage, the fibrous ring is completely destroyed. The gelatinous nucleus pulposus is not fixed, it goes beyond the vertebrae and enters the spinal canal, forming a hernia. The hernial protrusion compresses nerves and blood vessels, which leads to impaired blood circulation in the cervical spine.

IV stage. This is the final stage of the disease. The cartilage of the intervertebral discs is replaced by connective tissue, the adjacent segments of the spine are involved in the pathological process. Joints grow together, become immobile (ankylosis). The patient's condition is severe: severe pain not only in the neck, but also in the arms, in the chest, between the shoulder blades, signs of cerebrovascular infarction, sensitivity disorders. This is a life-threatening condition that can lead to a stroke.

The success of the treatment depends 90% on the experience and qualifications of the doctor.


The diagnosis of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is based on: patient complaints, characteristic clinical picture, medical history, data from the patient's neurological and orthopedic examination using modern diagnostic methods: radiography, magnetic and computer tomography. , and the results of functional tests.

After making an accurate diagnosis, the doctor decides how to treat osteochondrosis of the neck in this patient, which technique should be applied in a particular case.

Treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

Cervical osteochondrosis is treated symptomatically, mainly by conservative methods, which include:

  • Drug therapy, which includes pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, B vitamins.
  • Physiotherapy methods: electrophoresis, laser therapy.
  • Manual therapy.
  • Acupuncture.
  • Physiotherapy.

Surgical intervention is used extremely rarely when there is a real danger of developing a stroke, paralysis or damage to internal organs.

At this stage of the development of medical science, osteochondrosis of the cervical spine cannot be completely cured, but the further progress of the pathological process can be prevented and the condition of the affected segment of the spine can be stabilized.

An integrated approach, sparing nature of applied therapeutic methods allows you to effectively treat even advanced forms of cervical osteochondrosis.

The main methods of treatment of cervical osteochondrosis in a modern clinic

Manual therapy and osteopathy. This method of manual influence on problem areas of the spine, the purpose of which is to restore the normal physiological position of the vertebrae and intervertebral discs. During the procedure, the pinching of the nerve roots of the spine is eliminated, the neck muscles in the area of pathological changes are relaxed.

Electrophoresis is a method of administering drugs directly to the area of the affected segment of the spine. Prescribe drugs that improve blood circulation, relieve inflammation and muscle spasm.

Photodynamic phototherapy. The method is based on the ability of the photosensitive preparation to be activated by laser radiation. A layer of medicinal substance is applied to the skin in the area of the affected segment, which, penetrating deep into the tissues by 10-13 cm, has an anti-inflammatory and analgesic effect.

The author's three-component technique, including manual therapy, electrophoresis and laser therapy, enables rapid pain relief, removal of swelling of surrounding tissues, improvement of blood supply in the area of inflammation and activation of metabolic processes of damaged cartilage tissue. intervertebral discs. The goal of treatment is not only to reduce pain and improve the patient's condition, but by acting on different parts of the pathological process, stopping further destruction of the intervertebral discs and the destruction of the vertebrae themselves.

The techniques used to treat osteochondrosis of the neck in modern clinics have been tested in the best centers for manual therapy in Europe and the USA, are safe, effective, have practically no contraindications and are well tolerated by patients even of advanced age. groups.

The patient will receive recommendations on what to do with cervical osteochondrosis after consultation with a neurologist, depending on the stage of the disease, severity of symptoms, comorbidity and examination results.

Osteochondrosis of the cervical region

Osteochondrosis of the neck is a degenerative disease that literally results in "premature aging", "wear and tear" of the intervertebral discs, joints, and vertebrae in the cervical spine.

Some facts about the disease:

  • Osteochondrosis of the neck occurs equally often in men and women.
  • People aged 30-60 are most often affected.
  • As a rule, the pathology occurs in people who have to constantly be in the same position and perform monotonous movements at work.
  • The cervical spine has some structural characteristics, due to which the disease can have many different manifestations.
how is cervical osteochondrosis manifested

What characteristics of the cervical spine cause symptoms of osteochondrosis?

  • There are openings in the lateral processes of the vertebrae - the carotid arteries that supply the brain with blood pass through them to the right and left.
  • In the cervical region, the initial part of the spinal cord passes - it contains fibers that transmit nerve impulses to all parts of the body, provide movement, sensitivity. If there is compression of the spinal cord in the neck, neurological disorders occur throughout the body.
  • This part of the spinal column has great mobility, and this predisposes to the occurrence of osteochondrosis (although in most cases the disease still develops in the lumbar region - it not only has great mobility, but also experiences the greatest stress).
  • In the neck, nerve roots emerge from the intervertebral foramina, forming the cervical and brachial nerve plexuses. They are responsible for movements in the muscles of the neck, arms, shoulder girdle, skin sensitivity, regulation of autonomic functions.
  • The first vertebra does not have a massive front part - the body - it is a bony ring that is placed on the tooth - a bony outgrowth on the second vertebra. This allows the head to turn from side to side.

Pain in the neck, headache, feeling of weakness, numbness in the hands are symptoms for which you should consult a neurologist. Examination by a specialist and examination with the help of modern equipment will help to understand the causes of the pathology and take the most effective measures.

What happens to the vertebra in cervical osteochondrosis?

The incomprehensible medical term "degenerative process" refers to the following pathological changes that occur in the cervical spine:

  • First of all, the lesion in osteochondrosis covers the intervertebral discs. They become thinner, thus reducing the distance between adjacent vertebrae. Small voids, microcracks, are formed in their outer part. Over time, this can lead to a herniated disc.
  • As a result of disc damage, the stability of the connection of the vertebrae is disturbed.
  • You suffer from osteochondrosis of the cervical and intervertebral joints - spondylarthrosis develops. It also promotes nerve root compression.
  • The pathological process extends to the vertebrae themselves. Due to the fact that the functions of the intervertebral discs are impaired, the load on them increases. The spine tries to compensate for this violation, bone growths appear on it - osteophytes.
injury to the cervical vertebrae

Treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

During the exacerbation of osteochondrosis of the cervical vertebra, traction is used (the patient is placed on the bed with the headboard raised, and the head is fixed with a special loop) to relieve the intervertebral discs. You must wear a Shants collar for the same purpose. Painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs are prescribed for pain relief. With severe pain that does not go away, the doctor can perform a blockade: inject an anesthetic solution into the area of the affected nerve roots. Physiotherapy is used: ultrasound treatment, electrophoresis with novocaine.

When the deterioration subsides, the treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine includes massage, physiotherapy, physiotherapy.

One of the main signs of cervical osteochondrosis is neck pain. Many people who are faced with this symptom do not go to the doctor, but prefer to treat "chondrosis" with home methods. There are at least two good reasons for refusing self-medication and consulting a specialist doctor.

First, painkillers and folk methods, although they help relieve pain for a while, do not solve the main problem. Pathological changes in the spinal column continue to grow. Over time, it threatens more serious consequences. To the extent that surgery may be required.

Secondly, neck pain occurs not only with osteochondrosis. There are many other reasons. Only a doctor can understand and prescribe the right treatment.


Treatment of lumbar osteochondrosis is a long processrequire an integrated approach. After getting rid of the primary symptoms, you can apply various physiotherapy procedures:

  • UHF therapy.Exposure to high frequency electromagnetic field. It has an anti-inflammatory, analgesic effect, and also stimulates the initiation of regenerative processes.
  • Amplipulse.Low-frequency currents are applied to problem areas of the body. There is an expansion of blood vessels, relief from pain and spasms.
  • Phonophoresis and electrophoresis.Introduction of drugs into deep tissues by ultrasound and direct current.

Massage procedures are also widely used, which are possible only after the removal of the inflammatory process. Massage promotes relaxation of muscles, relief from spasms.

Diet - complex treatment of osteochondrosis

With this disease, it is necessary to act in a complex manner, so changing the diet is a completely effective method of treatment. The diet is completely in line with the generally accepted understanding of the concept of healthy eating, so try adding the following types of foods to your diet:

  • Citrus fruits (in the absence of allergies).
  • Olive oil.
  • Fresh herbs and vegetables.
  • Mineral water.
  • Fish and food rich in phosphorus, protein, magnesium and calcium.
  • Dairy products and dairy products.

An excellent auxiliary tool will be ready-made vitamin complexes, which can be found in a large assortment in pharmacy chains. Keep in mind that all medications should be taken only as recommended by your doctor.

Which symptoms of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine should lead you to see a doctor?

The main symptom of cervical osteochondrosis is pain. It can occur in different places, depending on the level at which the pathological process is localized: in the neck, in the shoulder girdle, in the hand, in the region of the heart. By nature, pain sensations are dull, they can be burning, painful.

Other manifestations of the disease:

  • Headache, dizziness, "flies before the eyes", noise, ringing in the ears.
  • Weakness in the muscles of the neck, shoulder girdle, arms.
  • Violation of skin sensitivity.
  • Shoulder-shoulder periarthritis: painful neck pain that spreads to the arm, difficulty in abducting the arm above 90°, weakness and atrophy of the muscles of the shoulder girdle.
  • Shoulder and hand syndrome: pain in the shoulder and hand, swelling and stiffness of the fingers, weakness and atrophy of the hand muscles.
  • Vertebral artery syndrome. Bony growths appear on the vertebrae that compress the nerves, which results in a reflex spasm of the vertebral artery, which participates in the blood supply to the brain. The symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis are joined by constant headaches that start from the back of the head, spread to the temple, to the top of the head, nausea, noise in the head, ringing in the ears, flashing light spots before the eyes.
  • Anterior Scale Syndrome. The front and middle scalene muscles are located on the neck - they are close, and between them there is a small space in which nerves and blood vessels pass. In osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, the anterior scalene muscle becomes tense and squeezes them, resulting in symptoms such as pain on the inner surface of the forearm, shoulder and fingers. Sometimes the pain spreads to the back of the head. The skin of the hand may become cold, pale and numb.
  • epicondylitis syndrome. In the lower part of the shoulder, on the side of the elbow joint, there are bony protrusions - epicondyles. In epicondylitis syndrome caused by cervical osteochondrosis, pain occurs in them, which increases when pressed. Other symptoms also occur: pain in the neck, pain when pressing certain points in the region of the cervical vertebrae.

If two parts of the spine are affected at once, with cervicothoracic osteochondrosis, symptoms may include pain between the shoulder blades, in the region of the heart.

With osteochondrosis, the risk of intervertebral hernia and stroke increases. If you experience any of the above symptoms, contact your doctor.


Now you know how to treat osteochondrosis of the cervical spine without resorting to the use of surgical intervention. Surgery is the most radical method of treatment when the disease is already in progress and there is no other way out. But it is in your power to do so as not to bring your health to such a state.