Cervical osteochondrosis is a disease of the musculoskeletal system, characterized by destructive changes in the discs and vertebrae of the cervical spine. The disease occurs quite frequently, as the cervical vertebrae during human life are constantly under severe stress and almost continuous stress. Every health-conscious person should know what cervical osteochondrosis is, its symptoms, which treatment at home is perfectly possible, if an expert doctor considers it acceptable. But, in some cases, hospital treatment is required.
Symptoms of Cervical Osteochondrosis
Osteochondrosis develops gradually, regardless of which cervical vertebrae is affected. At each stage of the pathology, there will be its own symptoms and signs.
Cervical osteochondrosis is a great danger to the body because some patients do not initially attribute the discomfort experienced to severe symptoms that require a visit to the doctor. The fact is that spinal injuries lead to disturbances in the functioning of the central nervous system, causing symptoms and signs that are not characteristic of the usual injuries of the musculoskeletal system, for example, instability of blood pressure. Often the symptomatology itself is quite vague.
The main symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis, which should be carefully considered, are:
- Dizziness of a systemic and non-systemic nature. It arises as a result of an acute pathological compression of the vessels in the brain, an acute compression of the nerve roots by the vertebrae, and a reflex increase in intracranial pressure.
- Pain in the cervical spine, sometimes radiating to the shoulder, scapula, and various parts of the upper limbs. Pain and discomfort attacks occur more often after sleep. Often, the pain is accompanied by the characteristic sound of bruised discs - a crunching sound as you try to move your neck. A sharp pinch of the nerves leads to muscle relaxation in different parts of the body; muscle weakness may appear for no reason, for example in the leg. Sometimes, the sensitivity in the area of the cervical collar decreases drastically.
- Sudden jumps and drops in blood pressure, closely associated with the impact of the central nervous system on the body's blood supply function. Pressure increases dramatically with prolonged uncomfortable body position, stress, sudden turns of the head and neck.
If the above signs appear, you should immediately consult a specialist physician to establish the correct diagnosis and prescribe the most effective treatment.
Treatment of cervical osteochondrosis
Therapy will be prescribed depending on the stage of development of the disease, the period of exacerbation or remission, the intensity of the manifestations of symptoms and signs.
The treatment of cervical osteochondrosis at home is not quick, it takes a long time. To restore the musculoskeletal system, the body will need a lot of time, effort, and the use of complex therapy methods.
The drug complex, doses and course duration are strictly selected by the physician, depending on many factors: the stage of disease development, the patient's age, the individual tolerance of the drug components, and so on. The following medications are used:
- Pain relievers, pills and injections. They help to remove the pain syndrome and relieve a person of the discomfort brought about by destructive changes.
- Hormonal anti-inflammatory drugs needed to eliminate the body's aggressive response to bone destruction and pathological effects on muscles.
- Condoprotectors - drugs containing active substances capable of restoring bone tissue, causing its regeneration and strengthening;
- Muscle relaxants are pharmacological agents that weaken the intensity of painful muscle tension in the injured spine.
- Synthetic vitamin preparations containing a complex of minerals and trace elements that can normalize metabolic processes and fill nutritional deficiencies with useful substances.
- In addition to pills and injections, various ointments and gels can also be used for local action on the skin over the damaged area.
- Oral medications help well in complex therapies. They can be heaters, analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, condom protectors or complexes (containing several types of active substances).
In the treatment of osteochondrosis, special gymnastics is extremely useful, which includes exercises aimed at strengthening the body's natural forces, initiating an accelerated regeneration process and restoring the lost musculoskeletal functions of the spine. In some cases, the usual set of exercises is complemented by various sports, such as swimming or yoga. The decision on additional loads for osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is made only by a physician. During physiotherapy exercises, it is forbidden to bend or tilt the head sharply, trying to avoid rotations. A set of exercises for the practice of sports is selected by a specialist physician based on the individual characteristics of the patient and the specific clinical case.
It is essential that, in the treatment of osteochondrosis, the patient follows a special diet. During illness, the body needs a balanced diet that contains the nutrients necessary for rapid recovery. You need to try to give up harmful, sweet, fatty, hard to digest, salty and spicy foods. The menu should contain large amounts of cereals, nuts, dairy products with calcium, lean meats and fish, fruits and vegetables.
Other complex treatment items
Surgical intervention is used only in the most extreme cases, when the destructive destruction of the spine is so strong that no conservative therapy can restore damaged bones, nerves and discs.
For any pathologies of the musculoskeletal system, a course of massage therapy is used for additional effects on the muscles. Massage is performed in the prone position, face down, very rarely in a sitting position - only in cases where the pathology is at an early stage of development. It is better to trust the specialist, because in the case of musculoskeletal system diseases, self-massage can bring a lot of damage and irreparable side effects. The loads on the muscles, their intensity, the frequency of tapping and caressing, in this case, are strictly limited.
To lighten the load on the damaged spine, you need to try to give the vertebrae and discs an anatomical shape. Modern orthopedic products (collars, pillows and orthopedic mattresses) help return the spine to the desired shape and position quickly and comfortably, without injuring it or creating a negative side effect.
As a rule, the method of treating cervical osteochondrosis in each clinical case combines the complex use of the above methods.