Cervical osteochondrosis: symptoms and treatment tactics at home

Cervical osteochondrosis is common, accompanied by pain in the head, neck, shoulder girdle, impaired cerebral circulation. The peculiarity of the localization of the pathological process and the contradictory manifestations force patients to turn to specialists for help. The lack of timely treatment threatens with disability.

Often, cervical osteochondrosis affects young people (up to 40 years old), contributes to the development of an incorrect body position (long sitting at the computer, habit of holding the phone with the shoulder), vibration, poor posture, physical inactivity, uncomfortable bedding, heredity.

Possible reasons

The disease is accompanied by degenerative-dystrophic changes that affect the intervertebral disc of the cervical spine. This is caused by metabolic disorders in the cervical region, as a result of which the structure of the intervertebral discs and their bodies changes.

The main causes of the disease:

  • high levels of salts in the lymph and blood (in active people there is a constant exchange between bone and muscle tissue, with a static lifestyle, blood flow slows down, less salt enters muscle tissue, they accumulate in places that do not work physically - joints, spine, kidneys, liver);
  • irreversible phenomena occurring in the cartilage tissue (salt deposition causes changes in the shock-absorbing properties in the vertebrae, the flexibility and elasticity of the cartilage tissue are lost);
  • a long stay in a position that causes an overload of the muscles of the neck, back (work at the table with a twisted neck and a tilted head), compression of the vessels supplying the spine occurs, leading to degeneration of the intervertebral cartilage;
  • with obesity, the spine and intervertebral discs undergo deformations due to high load, the muscle corset of the back weakens;
  • due to improper metabolism, the balance of minerals in bone tissue is disturbed.

Characteristic symptoms

neck pain with osteochondrosis

The main manifestations of cervical osteochondrosis:

  • pain in the back of the head, neck, shoulder, arm, difficulty moving the head, cracking sound when turning the head or tilting it;
  • pain of a pulling nature in the left chest region with radiation to the left hand, burning sensation in the interscapular region;
  • recurrent headaches, fatigue, weakness, difficulty turning the head;
  • pain in the neck passes to the shoulder and arm, numbness of the fingers;
  • there may be deterioration of hearing and vision, numbness of the tongue and face, dizziness, impaired activity of the lungs and heart.

Conventionally, the symptoms are divided into groups:

  • I - neurological manifestations (continuous pain in the neck, pain in the muscles, chest, joints);
  • II - pathological effect on the spinal cord (weakness of the arms and legs, involuntary contractions, myelopathy);
  • III - associated with processes occurring in the brain (cerebral manifestations due to insufficient blood supply: visual disturbances, feeling of a foreign body in the throat, noise and ringing in the ears, hearing loss, dizziness, unsteadiness when walking, fainting, fatigue, irritability, sleep disturbances, memory loss).

General recommendations

In the absence of indications for hospitalization, outpatient treatment is prescribed (most of the time the patient is at home, visiting a neurologist on the indicated days). Among the drugs used:

  • NSAID course 7 - 14 days (daily 2 - 3 times);
  • sedatives protect the nervous system from the influence of pain, course 1-3 weeks;
  • diuretics to reduce swelling in the inflamed area;
  • B vitamins to improve metabolic processes occurring in nervous tissue, normalize musculoskeletal conduction;
  • muscle relaxants to relieve muscle spasms;
  • means that improve the structure and functions of cartilage tissue (ATP, chondroprotectors);
  • topically - creams, gels, ointments as a warming, analgesic or distraction.

With increased pain, bed rest is recommended, a physiological position (to relieve the load on the spine) for 1-2 days, after which the patient should begin to move.

In the acute stage, it is necessary to perform breathing exercises and exercises to relieve muscle spasms (smooth tilts and rotations of the head, circular movements), gradually increasing the load. You should not make sudden movements.

With muscle spasms, massage is prescribed (you can perform self-massage of the neck). For preventive purposes, a course of massage should be carried out twice a year. To unload the spine, a cervical collar or Glisson loop is used (after prior consultation with a doctor).

Nutrition should be adjusted, excluding foods that increase muscle tone (smoked and spicy, alcohol, coffee, tea). For cartilage tissue are useful:

pain in cervical osteochondrosis
  • calcium-rich foods (fermented milk, cottage cheese, mineral water, dark green leafy vegetables);
  • unsaturated fatty acids (fatty fish, flax seeds, nuts);
  • proteins (lean poultry, dairy products, eggs, nuts);
  • foods rich in fiber and antioxidants (legumes, cereals, fruits).

In the absence of exacerbation, it is recommended to drink enough water (30 ml per 1 kg of body weight), strengthen the spine and back muscles with physical exercises. When working for a long time while sitting, you need to take a break every hour, relaxing the muscles of the back with the help of exercises.

How to treat folk remedies?

With cervical osteochondrosis, it is recommended to take infusions or decoctions of herbs, rub ointment into problem areas.

Components Amount How to apply
pine needles 250g Brew the needles with a liter of boiling water, insist. Drink twice a day.
Garlic, ginger 1: 1 To the grated ginger add the garlic, a little butter. Rub on painful areas of the neck.
lemon, garlic 4 things. and 5 pieces. Skip the lemons and garlic through a meat grinder, pour 2 liters of boiling water. Drink ½ cup twice a day.
Fresh potatoes, honey 1: 1 Mix gruel from grated potatoes with honey, apply to the neck.
horseradish leaf 1pc. Dip the horseradish leaf in boiling water for a few seconds and remove it. Cool liquid, use for compresses.
horseradish root 2 teaspoons Grated horseradish root put on a bandage, tie to the neck, cover with plastic wrap on top and wrap. Hold for 1-1. 5 minutes, then rinse with water.
Honey 1 dessert spoon Preheat the neck, do self-massage with honey for 5 minutes. After that, wrap your neck.

What is not recommended?

With cervical osteochondrosis, you can not:

  • lifting weights (if necessary, perform actions with a straight back, without tilting the head forward);
  • you cannot crush the vertebrae (these movements violate the integrity of the contact surfaces of the spine);
  • sleeping on a high pillow, a soft bed (causes tension in the back muscles);
  • lead a sedentary lifestyle (jogging, swimming, walking are useful);
  • independently diagnose and prescribe treatment.

Preventative measures

compress on the neck with osteochondrosis

To prevent cervical osteochondrosis, it is recommended:

  • get rid of hypodynamia (move more, practice Nordic walking, dance, swim);
  • monitor body weight, avoiding excess weight (this leads to impaired blood circulation, nutrition of the cervix area);
  • monitor the posture (if it is violated, the load on the spine is distributed unevenly);
  • preventing microtraumas in the cervical region (properly lifting weights and carrying them);
  • treat foci of chronic infection (ENT organs, etc. ), which reduce the body's resistance, lymphatic and blood circulation in the ligaments and tissues of the neck.

A good result in the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis can be achieved using complex therapy. Home treatment will be effective only with careful observance of all prescriptions and their daily use.