Cervical osteochondrosis is a more dangerous type of disease than osteochondrosis of the thoracic and lumbar regions. This fact is explained by the fact that the neck is very close to the head. Therefore, when the structures of the neck are damaged, several disorders begin in the functioning of the brain, organs of vision, hearing and speech.
Therefore, doctors advise starting treatment as soon as the disease is diagnosed. Especially if you are at an early stage.
Home treatment of cervical osteochondrosis may even be recommended. Before starting treatment, you need to get detailed instructions and recommendations from your doctor.
The reasons for the development of the disease
It is necessary to know the reasons for the development of cervical osteochondrosis so that treatment is not in vain. After all, if the factors that contributed to the development of the pathology are not eliminated, osteochondrosis can occur again.
The main causes of cervical osteochondrosis:
- Age - the pathology often develops in elderly people due to the physiological processes of aging of the body. But in recent decades, the disease has become "younger" and is being diagnosed in 30-year-old patients. This is due to modern lifestyle, occupational factors, changes in food preferences.
- Profession or hobby - in most cases, degenerative dystrophic changes in ODA tissues begin in people who overload the cervical spine or, on the contrary, do not provide a normal load. For example, professional heavyweight athletes overload their bodies by doing strength training. And people who work on a computer or usually in a sedentary sitting position, on the contrary, "underload". In the latter case, there are no dynamic loads, but static charges over a long period of immobility are very serious.
- Injuries, hypothermia of the neck or surgical interventions performed in this area.
- Metastases in tumoral diseases of the spine or other organs.
- Wrong mattress (too much or too little firm), inadequate pillows, extended lying or sitting position (on a bed, sofa).
The reason for the development of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine may even be an inadequate diet. Or there could be several reasons. The factors that contributed to the development of the pathology will be established by the doctor in the diagnosis process. And during and after treatment, it will be necessary to eliminate these factors, or to try to reduce their pathological influence.
Symptoms and possible complications
Cervical osteochondrosis can develop initially asymptomatically. Or discomfort in the neck and other signs are attributed to other illnesses, fatigue, stress, weather conditions.
However, if several symptoms are present at the same time, this should be the reason for immediate medical attention:
- Pain in the neck that eventually spreads to the head, face, shoulders, shoulder blades, arms. The pain may pass or intensify when the head is turned in a certain position.
- Crack in the neck, limited mobility.
- Dizziness, fainting.
- Nausea, vomiting.
- Impaired motor skills, coordination of movements, shaking hands.
- Violation of sensitivity in the face, limbs or vice versa, the appearance of unusual sensations - chills, tingling.
- Problems with the function of the organs of vision, hearing, speech.
- The appearance of hypertension or increased intracranial pressure without objective causes of the cardiovascular system.
The occurrence of these symptoms is directly related to the dystrophic processes in the cervical spine. And also with stenosis of the vertebral artery and compression of nervous tissue - these structures pass through the spinal canal and are damaged by the vertebrae.
If the disease is not treated, sooner or later dangerous complications will arise. First, the patient loses the ability to move freely - that is disability, permanent loss of the ability to work. Second, the progression of the pathology is reflected in the brain's function, which can result in trauma in a fall, stroke, coma or death.
All methods of treating cervical osteochondrosis can be divided into:
- Ethiotropic and pathogenic- those that affect the very cause of the development of the disease, as well as the mechanism of its development. These are some types of medication, physical therapy, exercise therapy, gymnastics, wearing a special collar.
- Symptomatic or palliative- those that eliminate the symptoms of the disease or help to reduce its severity, intensity. They are intended to soften the patient's condition, improving his quality of life during the treatment period, and are used in addition to the first group of methods. They are novocaine blocks, use of other anesthetic drugs, ointments, massages.
However, most osteochondrosis therapy methods are, to one degree or another, etiotropic and symptomatic. To cure osteochondrosis quickly, you need to try to use all available methods. That is, the therapy must be as complete, comprehensive and complex as possible.
Today, surgical methods of treating osteochondrosis are widely used. But, in the case of a mild form of the disease, its use is not justified.
So for home treatment, you need to focus on these conservative methods:
- Change in lifestyle and diet.
- Reception or external application of drugs.
- Treatment with procedures at home - gymnastics, physiotherapy, massage (if you call a masseuse at home).
- Use a special collar or kinesio tapes.
- Treatment with folk remedies.
Items 1, 3, 4 can also be used during rehabilitation after illness and as preventive measures (to prevent future relapses).
It is desirable that the treatment program was designed by a doctor, or at least agreed with him. Otherwise, it is possible to cause even greater damage to the health of the ODA, which will significantly affect the patient's condition and the cost of treatment.
Lifestyle and diet
Without normalizing lifestyle, physical activity and revising the daily menu, there will be little sense in the treatment.
What needs to be changed:
- Quality of the sleeping place- buy an orthopedic mattress, it is also advisable to purchase an orthopedic pillow.
- Cervical spine loads- should be moderate. It is advisable to abandon heavy sports, to switch physically heavy work to another type of activity. With passive loads, you can also change the job. If this is not possible, you need to periodically stretch your neck during the workday, move your head more during the work period.
You also need to start eating right. After all, it is with food that all the necessary elements are provided to restore the muscular, nervous, cartilaginous and bony tissues of the vertebrae. Thus, foods must be rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals (calcium, iron, vitamins C, E, A, group B).
The main groups of pharmacological drugs prescribed by doctors:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs - relieve pain and interrupt the inflammatory process in tissues.
- Preparations designed to relieve pain syndrome (including anti-inflammatory and warming effects). This includes injections, corticosteroid pills, ointments and creams.
- Means for the regeneration of ODA tissues - chondroprotectors.
- Anti-spasmodics and muscle relaxants to relax the muscle tissue of the neck.
- Vitamins and minerals, vitamin and mineral complexes.
All medications, except vitamins and painkillers, should be taken during the course. Periodic admission from case to case will not give results, which will affect the effectiveness of the treatment.
At home, the ability to perform physical therapy is limited. For example, you can only massage or stretch your spine by calling a specialist in your home, and not everyone can afford it. But self-massage and elementary physical exercises are very real and do not require financial costs.
Self-massage can be done with your hands, as the neck area is easy to reach. The self-massage technique is simple - you need to make gentle stroking and wrinkling movements. It is useful to use a lubricant, such as petroleum jelly. The main thing is that the procedure does not cause pain.
You can also massage with a towel, rubbing your neck or with a jet of warm water in the shower. Another good option is to pick up a stick, like the handle of a round shovel. This stick is placed on the back of the shoulders, holding the ends and pushing it up and down on the surface of the neck like a roll. If possible, you can purchase massage devices. The Lyapko roller massager is very useful, it is not expensive, its effectiveness has been proven.
Neck gymnastics is also very simple. You need to make a variety of curves smoothly, head tilts. However, with the exacerbation of osteochondrosis, the exercises need not be done, as the pain can be simply unbearable. From this, the spasms of the neck muscles can begin.
The use of orthopedic structures is an effective method of treatment
There are many benefits to wearing a custom collar:
- Supporting the spine and relieving muscle tissue.
- More efficient tissue regeneration.
- Improve blood circulation, including in the vertebral artery. With cervical osteochondrosis - this is one of the main tasks.
- Fixing to the neck reduces mobility and pain.
- Protection of the neck area from possible injuries and additional injuries.
However, the collar has its disadvantages. It is not always appropriate to use it in the company of others. It can also be difficult to review and perform necessary household chores or work manipulations. But during the treatment period, one should try to use a collar according to the schedule determined by the doctor.
Neck banding as a treatment method also has many advantages:
- Aesthetically acceptable, with the tape you can appear freely "in public". Colored ribbons, if not suitable for a particular situation, can be hidden by clothes with a high collar.
- Do not restrict physical activity.
- Moisture-proof, it does not need to be removed before bathing.
- Improves blood flow and lymphatic drainage, relieves pain and inflammation, edema.
- Relieve stress in muscle tissue.
- Massage, stimulates the metabolic processes in the muscles, their regeneration.
There is only one disadvantage of kinesio tapes - their price, but many patients can pay 100 rubles for a 5-meter roll.
Folk remedies for the treatment of osteochondrosis
For oral treatment, you can use:
- Water infusion of bay leaves or blueberry.
- Parsley root decoction.
- Aqueous solution of celery juice.
- Eating sesame seeds.
- Herbal teas - own or purchased fees (chamomile, nettle, oregano, hops).
- Alcoholic infusion of chopped pine nuts.
For treatment with compresses and friction, it is useful to use burdock, horseradish, red pepper (infusions, decoctions) and tar or clay, which are sold in pharmacies.
The treatment of cervical osteochondrosis at home is quite effective in most cases. If degenerative dystrophic changes have already progressed strongly, it is recommended to combine home therapy with other treatment methods. For example, use the services of a physical therapist, massage therapist, chiropractor.
And if the disease is just beginning to develop, medicines, home procedures and traditional methods make it possible to get a quick result. That is, cure the spine without resorting to specialist services.