Symptoms and treatment of cervical osteochondrosis

A man with osteochondrosis of the neck in consultation with a hand masseur

The cervical spine is the narrowest part of it, however, the head support, rotation and mobility of the shoulder joints are incomparably higher than those of other parts.Given the wrong lifestyle caused by eating habits, sedentary work and smoking, middle-aged people are four times more likely to develop cervical osteochondrosis.

Despite such a prevalence of the disease, it is very difficult to diagnose cervical osteochondrosis in the early stages, because the symptoms are so varied and at first glance unrelated to back problems, because a person can not see a doctor for years, because the cause of his health is completely different.

Causes of the disease

There are intervertebral discs made of cartilage between them to ensure the mobility of the vertebrae. Provides shock absorption during movement and provides flexibility for the spine. The service life of naturally placed intervertebral discs is more than 120 years, but changes in the chemical composition of the blood lead to rapid dehydration of cartilage tissue, deposition of salts, which contributes to the rapid erosion of discs and degenerative-dystrophic changes.

Malnutrition is a sedentary lifestyle in which the body's cells do not need so much salt and accumulate in the bone tissue, liver and kidneys.Forced sedentary lifestyles accumulate the most salt.

Cervical osteochondrosis can also occur as a result of microtraumas caused by tremors, for example, in drivers, as well as in the case of forced head or neck tension due to working conditions and occupational characteristics.

What is the danger of cervical osteochondrosis

In the neck, in the immediate vicinity of the cervical spine, there is a vertebral artery along with nerve roots that supply oxygen to the brain. Dehydration of the intervertebral discs of the neck causes their deformation, which narrows the space between the vertebrae and causes injuries during movement.In addition, salt deposition promotes the formation of bone thorns - osteophytes, which can damage not only the arteries but also the nerve roots.

The developing disease causes sensitivity of the neck, scapula, extremities, nose, or, conversely, pain in these parts due to compression of the nerve roots.

Compression of the vertebral artery is accompanied by insufficient supply of oxygen to the brain, which leads to various disorders. The most dangerous consequences of cerebral hypoxia include hearing impairment, decreased vision, stroke, partial and complete paralysis, and mental illness.

Cervical osteochondrosis is the most dangerous form of the disease, because it has many irreversible consequences, and people in the final stages of the disease generally want help.


The cervical spine consists of 6 parts through which different nerve roots pass, and the disorders are characterized by different symptoms. The disease can have different symptoms, depending on which of the cervical vertebrae is susceptible to osteochondrosis. Thus, radicular syndrome is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Disorders of neck sensitivity, scapula, fingertips, mostly unilateral. Acute pain in the neck, spread to the back or back of the head.
  • Burning pain in the chest, due to which nerve is affected in the shoulder and also in one of the fingers.
  • Pain in the heart areais ​​characterized by duration and intensification during sudden movements.

Symptoms of compression of an artery and small blood vessels can include brain diseases, which can be listed as follows:

  • Visual disturbances, the appearance of "flies" in front of the eyes, blurred images.
  • In case of malnutrition of the cerebellum, dizziness, nausea, loss of consciousness may appear, the soil disappears underfoot.
  • Hand and neck massage
  • If the blood supply to the brain is disrupted, there is a risk of hypoxia, and the body's response is the pressure needed to increase blood flow.
  • Lack of oxygen also causes a strong, unfounded fear that causes nausea.
  • Possible coordination and hearing impairment.
  • When the lymphatic circulation is disturbed, there is a headache in the parietal and occipital parts, pressure in the pupil, intracranial pressure, expressed in tinnitus.

Such different symptoms and different single manifestations of the disease often do not immediately indicate back problems, especially in the early stages, there may be no pain and stiffness of movements. With the exception of other diseases characterized by the same symptoms, only a good specialist with differential diagnosis can diagnose cervical osteochondrosis.


The treatment of osteochondrosis is a very long time and includes various methods of both traditional and non-traditional medicine. The main tasks set by the doctor when choosing therapy are to reduce pain, restore vertebrae mobility and metabolic processes, replenish cartilage tissue, as well as eliminate swelling and inflammation in the soft tissues of the neck. There are different ways to achieve the above goals, including medication, ointment, physiotherapy and special gymnastics. Hirudotherapy, acupuncture and traditional medicine are used as additional treatments.

The main component in the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis is the patient's initiative and strict adherence to doctor's prescriptions.

Let's take a closer look at how to treat cervical osteochondrosis and the features of the technique:


Separate treatment for cervical spine osteochondrosis during exacerbation and remission. Thus, in case of severe pain, the doctor may prescribe the following:

  • Analgesicstablets in the form of injections, the task of which is to eliminate the symptoms of acute pain.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugsin the form of injections that relieve the inflammatory process. However, the side effects that accompany the use of NSAIDs do not allow long-term use.
  • Muscle relaxantrelieves muscle spasms and relieves constricted arteries, nerves and veins.
  • Novocaine blockade.This method is used for an acute attack accompanied by stiffness and pain in the neck. Treatment is carried out under the supervision of a physician.

The main treatment during remission is to take chondroprotectors in the form of powders and capsules, suspensions and ointments. Chondroprotectors based on glycosaminoglycans and chondroitin sulfates have a number of positive effects on the cartilage tissue of the spine, ie the restoration of the nuclear pulp of the intervertebral disc, eliminates the pain syndrome and stops the development of the disease.

Ointments for cervical spine osteochondrosis are prescribed by a doctor and have a variety of effects, including:

  • painkiller;
  • to restore cartilage structure;
  • anti-inflammatory;
  • warming;
  • complex.

In addition, cervical osteochondrosis is characterized by constriction of nerve roots and arteries, which causes a number of symptoms, and appropriate medications are prescribed to relieve them.


In addition to basic treatment, physiotherapy procedures are prescribed, the purpose of which is to relieve pain, improve microcirculation in soft tissues and restore metabolic processes. Some procedures, such as electrophoresis, are used in combination with medicated ointments to achieve the maximum effect of the drug.

In addition to electrophoresis, shock wave therapy, laser therapy, ultraviolet radiation and magnetotherapy are also used.

A similar effect is achieved with manual massage or acupuncture. Prerequisite for such treatment is higher qualification and medical education from specialists in these fields.

In remission, cervical osteochondrosis can be treated with physiotherapy exercises. Properly selected exercises eliminate the symptoms of pain and help eliminate salt deposits.

Folk remedies

Among the methods of treatment of cervical spine osteochondrosis recognized by official medicine, there are many folk recipes based on the healing properties of plants that have anti-inflammatory, warming and restorative metabolic processes.

The most common active ingredients in various interpretations are horseradish, human root, aloe, ginger, garlic, hops, pine nuts, honey and lemon. They are used for the preparation of rubbing, ointments, tinctures, compresses, absorption mixtures, as well as medicinal baths. Traditional methods perfectly relieve symptoms and restore neck mobility.