Treatment of cervical spine osteochondrosis

causes of cervical osteochondrosis

Osteochondrosis is a degenerative disease of the spine that manifests itself in the deformation of bone tissue and intervertebral discs.

The first symptoms may appear in the age group of 20-30 years, but the disease is more noticeable up to 40 years. It is divided into three categories - lumbar, thoracic and cervical lumbar osteochondrosis.

developmental reasons

The causes of the onset and development of cervical osteochondrosis are divided into the following factors:

  • hereditary predisposition to disease;
  • metabolic disorders, intoxication, infectious diseases;
  • increased weight and stress in all parts of the spine, including the cervix;
  • fluid, vitamin or micronutrient deficiencies, poor nutrition;
  • spinal injuries, bruises, fractures;
  • climatic or environmental conditions that adversely affect the body;
  • wrong posture, curvature of the spine;
  • flat feet, use of high-heeled shoes;
  • sedentary, sedentary lifestyle;
  • high activity requiring frequent changes in body position;
  • frequent physical activity in the spine;
  • stay in a restless state for a long time;
  • stressful situations, nervous tension.

The appearance of osteochondrosis is often associated with occupational activity. Regular physical activity, high levels of mobility, as well as sedentary work are the main risk groups.

Another category prone to cervical osteochondrosis occurs due to objective and external exposure conditions. Heredity, climate, often hypothermia - all this adds an additional burden to the spine. In addition, there is a lack of nutrition and the necessary substances that prevent osteochondrosis of the cervical spine.

Improper sleep, prolonged inactivity, especially in an uncomfortable situation, wearing uncomfortable shoes - all this is another risk group. This includes pregnant women, especially when carrying several children or with an underdeveloped musculoskeletal system.

Stages of development of osteochondrosis

The development of osteochondrosis is divided into four stages. An early nucleus is characterized by the development of pulposus pathology. Lack of moisture and stress in the cervical spine causes deformation of the spine and intervertebral discs, and fibrous cracks appear.

There are no symptoms at this stage. Their manifestation is reduced to minor aches and pains during active movement in the long-term restless state of the body.

At the beginning of the second stage of cervical osteochondrosis, the height of the intervertebral discs decreases. This leads to a reduction in the distance between the vertebrae and the sagging of muscles and ligaments.

At this stage, the mobility of the affected vertebrae increases. It is expressed in expressive painful feelings with certain actions and positions. Anxiety can also manifest itself under certain loads.

In the third stage of cervical osteochondrosis, prolapses and protrusions of the intervertebral discs occur. Often the disease is accompanied by the emergence of relevant joints and osteoarthritis.

This stage of cervical osteochondrosis is often accompanied by stiffness in some movements. Lack of immobility also manifests itself, there is tingling and numbness in the muscles. Neck pain is different.

The fourth stage of cervical osteochondrosis is characterized by the body's attempt to independently correct the increased mobility of the vertebrae. Where they touch, osteophytes form, trying to correct the desired position of the spine.

These bony formations often cause nerve entrapment. Fibrous ankylosis begins to develop in the intervertebral discs and joints. Symptoms of cervical spine osteochondrosis worsen when the nerve endings are compressed. However, if there is no pinch, the symptoms of the disease may disappear completely.


How cervical osteochondrosis manifests itself

At different stages, the symptoms of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine manifest themselves in different ways. Many patients in the early stages do not consult a doctor.

In cases where it is necessary to consult a specialist, the following symptoms include:

  • obsessive, not disappearing at night, pain in the neck, eyes and ears, back of the head and shoulder girdle;
  • Frequent pain in the arms, aggravated by physical strength, muscle weakness;
  • Difficulty in hand movement, decreased sensitivity and mobility of hands and fingers;
  • numbness, burning, tingling in the hands and feet;
  • In the morning there is tension in the muscles of the neck, a feeling of "laziness" and low mobility of the neck;
  • There is pain when turning and tilting the head, occasional throbbing pain in the neck and back of the head;
  • headache appears localized in the occiput and spreads to the crown and temples;
  • with a sharp dizziness can often occur dizziness, darkening of the eyes, fainting;
  • tinnitus, decreased visibility of "flies" in front of the eyes, decreased visual acuity and hearing, slurred speech;
  • posture-dependent heart pain that cannot be relieved with nitroglycerin;
  • Connective tissue growth in the cervical spine.

The intensity of the symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis can manifest itself in different ways. Much depends on the location of the complications - the symptoms will also vary depending on which vertebrae the nerve endings are pinched.

If the symptoms of osteochondrosis do not allow you to live and work fully, you must see a doctor.


When obvious symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis are detected, consult a local therapist. It can help identify the source of the pain and consult a neurologist for further evaluation. Depending on the diagnosis, a neurologist is consulted in narrower specialties.

Vertebroneurologist deals with all issues in the treatment of the spine. A therapist can also help make the diagnosis. In case of severe pain, consult a trauma surgeon.

The process of diagnosing osteochondrosis can be done manually.

However, one of the following special procedures is used for the final diagnosis:

  • cervical spine radiography;
  • myelography;
  • neurological examination for limb sensitivity and reflexes;
  • cervical spine (CT) computed tomography;
  • nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR);
  • magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Doppler ultrasound or duplex scanning may be performed to determine the condition of the arteries in cervical spine osteochondrosis. It is emphasized that the disease can be diagnosed only by an appropriate specialist.

Spontaneous diagnosis and treatment of cervical osteochondrosis is not allowed.

How to treat cervical spine osteochondrosis?

treatment options for cervical osteochondrosis

Treatment of cervical spine osteochondrosis is prescribed in the form of complex therapy.

The following methods are included in the general procedure:

  • taking medications that relieve symptoms and promote recovery;
  • physiotherapy - water procedures, electrophoresis and other methods allow you to properly affect the spine;
  • Medical gymnastics is an integral part of the treatment of cervical spine osteochondrosis

Alternative, highly specialized methods can be used during treatment - reflexology, massage and manual therapy, osteopathy, hirudo and apitherapy.

The main direction of treatment of cervical osteochondrosis is an integrated approach. Depending on the stage of the disease, the main course can last 1-3 months. In addition, restorative and strengthening therapy is prescribed, which can last another year.

First Aid

In case of exacerbation of osteochondrosis, first aid is usually reduced to medication. Use standard painkillers for severe pain.

If such drugs do not work, they resort to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs can adversely affect the gastrointestinal tract. Their use is allowed only in extreme cases without consulting a doctor.

The intensity of pain in cervical spine osteochondrosis is also relieved by anti-inflammatory painkillers.

In case of exacerbation of osteochondrosis, physiotherapy exercises are not used - the load can be aggravated. If the disease has already been diagnosed and a course of treatment is prescribed, follow the doctor's advice. Typically, therapy involves a number of tools used to relieve symptoms urgently.

If this is the first manifestation of the disease - do not delay seeing a doctor. Medications can reduce pain, but a complete diagnosis and treatment will be needed to prevent relapse.

Physical Education

The main cause of cervical osteochondrosis is stress on this part of the spine. Both in a restless state and with a poorly developed musculoskeletal system can be expressed in a long period of inactivity with a very intense mobility.

Given this aspect, gymnastics and exercise are the main therapies in the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis. You can do them in the morning and afternoon, some can be done at work.

All movement complex is designed to strengthen the musculoskeletal system, improve blood circulation and restore spinal mobility. Gymnastics can be used not only for treatment, but also for the prevention of cervical spine osteochondrosis.

Sitting and Standing Exercises

Gymnastics for the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis in a sitting and standing position includes the following exercises:

  • palms are placed on the forehead, pressed on the head, the hand is placed against the resistance to pressure, the procedure is repeated 3-4 times in 7-10 seconds;
  • A similar process is done with the back of the head - the head is pressed on the palm on the opposite side, tense the neck muscles;
  • then the procedure is performed in the same way as the right and left sides of the head, placing the hand on the temple;
  • You can use a wall as an alternative to the capture for the same exercises, in which case they stand against it on the forehead or behind the head and press for a few seconds;
  • the head is thrown back, exceeding the tension of the neck muscles, slowly bends forward until it reaches the sternum with the chin, repeated 5-6 times;
  • stand up straight (sit), turn your shoulders, slowly turn your head as far to the right and left as possible, repeat 5-6 times;
  • the chin is lowered to the neck, in which case the head is also slowly turned to the left and right 5-6 times;
  • The head is thrown back a little, the head is tilted left and right, trying to reach the shoulder corresponding to the ear, perform 5 times.

Exercise for the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis is repeated regularly. This is especially true for a sedentary lifestyle or long-term anxiety.

Circular movements of the head are not suitable for charging; such exercises can cause neck injuries.

False Exercises

Stretching exercises for cervical osteochondrosis include the following exercises:

  • Lie on your back, stretch your legs, then squeeze with your hands and pull on your chest, slowly lift your head, touch your forehead to your knees, then slowly return to your previous position;
  • arms spread wide to the sides and lift the body, reaching to the left and vice versa with the right palm;
  • Lying on the stomach with outstretched legs and arms, lifting the head and shoulders, leaning on the lower part of the body;
  • In the same position, the head rotates left and right each time it returns to its original position.

Stretching exercises for the treatment of cervical spine osteochondrosis are performed 4-5 times, the latter - 8-10 times. They follow their emotions during the performance of any action; if pain occurs, the intensity of the load decreases.

Drug treatment

Medication in the treatment of cervical spine osteochondrosis aims to relieve the symptoms of the disease. Their supporting role is to reduce pain, increase vitamins and increase tissue renewal.

Drugs used in the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis are divided into the following categories:

  • anti-inflammatory;
  • antispasmodic;
  • antioxidants;
  • drugs that improve blood supply;
  • Increase in cartilage tissue regeneration.

In the treatment of cervical spine osteochondrosis, the general list of prescribed drugs includes tablets, ointments, creams, and in some cases injections. When there is significant pain, medications are used to relieve the pain and get the nerve endings blocked.

In the absence of pain and destructive changes, medication may be completely unnecessary.

Folk remedies

folk remedies for the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis

Traditional medicine also offers an integrated approach to the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis. In addition to mixtures and tinctures, ointments based on herbs and products are used. Compresses are also made.

The main purpose of folk remedies is to warm the affected area, as well as to provide the body with the necessary vitamins for recovery.

The use of prescriptions should be agreed with the doctor - some may interfere with prescribed medications or procedures.

Mixtures and tinctures

The following solutions are prepared for oral administration in the treatment of cervical spine osteochondrosis:

  • celery root is passed through a grater, 3 grams are poured into a liter of boiling water, brewed for 8 hours, filtered, consumed three times a day before meals, a teaspoon;
  • sunflower root is finely crushed, a glass of raw material is poured with three liters of water, boiled for half an hour, taken after a small meal, helps to remove salts from the body;
  • 2 tablespoons yarrow flowers are poured with boiling water, infused for 30-40 minutes, one tablespoon is drunk three times a day, used as an anesthetic, anti-inflammatory and sedative;
  • 3 tablespoons crushed burdock, pour 250 grams of boiling water, insist two hours, strain and add a tablespoon of honey, drink a quarter of a glass 4 times a day before meals;
  • Using a meat grinder, grind 3 large lemons, 4 cloves of garlic, pour the mixture with two liters of boiling water, shake the bowl beforehand on an empty stomach.


Lotions and compresses are actively used in the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis:

  • Sprinkle cottage cheese with vinegar, mix and squeeze on a sore spot, wrap in a warm scarf, leave overnight;
  • Add one gram of propolis, 50 grams of aloe extract, mustard powder to half a liter of vodka, soak the dressing in a solution, straighten and leave overnight;
  • a potato is passed through a grater, mixed with two tablespoons of honey, rubbed on the wound, and then wrapped in a warm scarf at night;
  • Pour a tablespoon of eucalyptus in a glass of water, boil for 5 minutes, add a tablespoon of honey, the mixture is applied to the wound for two hours.


The following recipes are used to rub cervical spine osteochondrosis:

  • The flowers of the mother and stepmother, along with the stem, are poured with ammonia, allowed to stand for a month in a dark place, used to lubricate the painful area;
  • Prepare a pharmaceutical tincture mixture of ginger juice and calendula, diluted 1: 1 with water for sensitive skin, used to rub before filling, helps to eliminate inflammation and improve blood circulation;
  • Half a packet of butter is mixed with a tablespoon of flour and an egg, then a spoonful of vinegar is added, the mixture is brewed in a dark place for several days, the resulting film is discarded, the solution is used to grind in case of severe pain.


massage for cervical osteochondrosis

In cervical osteochondrosis, massage can be an integral part of complex therapy. In this case, a consultation with a specialist is prescribed by a neurologist. If you make an independent decision about massage, it is recommended that you first consult a doctor.

Given the specificity of the disease, massage with cervical spine osteochondrosis should be approached with caution. The procedure is prescribed only with a diagnosed disease, a doctor's recommendation and neck pain.

Massage contraindications for cervical osteochondrosis:

  • There are tumors in the body, regardless of localization;
  • active tuberculosis;
  • is ​​not treated for venereal diseases;
  • skin diseases at the site of inflammation, including moles, warts, cracks, abrasions;
  • Massage for diseases of the circulatory system is included in therapy at the discretion of the doctor;
  • aneurysms, ostiomyelitis.

If the procedure is prescribed by a specialist, no action is required.

Self-massage for cervical spine osteochondrosis is carried out according to strict instructions and rules:

  • grip area - from the hair growth zone to the level below the shoulders;
  • You can move with one or both hands at the same time, depending on your comfort;
  • A certain sequence of actions must be followed.

Massage procedure for cervical spine osteochondrosis includes the following steps:

  • tap the skin in the area of ​​inflammation with a tight palm for half a minute;
  • movements are continued by pressing with the palm edge or the pads of the fingers;
  • fingers continue to rub, pulling the skin from the sides towards the spine;
  • The skin is already kneaded with muscle contraction, the movements are kept tight, but without painful sensations;
  • Repeat the first operation with a palm rub to complete.

It is recommended to repeat each movement 6-7 times, taking half a minute without rushing. Self-massage with cervical spine osteochondrosis can be difficult, so seek help from friends or relatives. However, a specialist is recommended.


Complex treatment of cervical osteochondrosis includes diet. It aims to improve metabolism, as well as saturate the body with essential minerals and vitamins that help tissues regenerate and regenerate.

The basics of diet for cervical spine osteochondrosis are:

  • milk and fermented milk products;
  • low-fat poultry, fish;
  • fresh vegetables and fruits;
  • nuts and seeds;
  • cereals;
  • mushrooms.

Recommended recipes for cervical spine osteochondrosis include a mixture of fish and meat, mixed meat, aspic dishes. Pay attention to the use of leaking olive oil. Apply without heat treatment. It is preferable to boil, cook or steam the food itself.

Meals should be divided 5-6 times. It is recommended to drink half a liter of fluid a day for proper absorption. Pure and mineral water, dried fruit compotes, sugar-free fruit drinks, herbal tea are preferred.

Limit consumption of the following products for cervical spine osteochondrosis:

  • flour and confectionery;
  • fatty foods, strong meat broths;
  • spicy and salty foods or spices;
  • sugar and high-sugar fruits;
  • canned food, smoked products;
  • legumes.

Consumption of strong black tea, coffee, alcohol and carbonated products with cervical spine osteochondrosis is also limited.

Complications and Threats

Advanced cervical osteochondrosis can cause the following complications:

  • herniated intervertebral discs;
  • bulge and kyphosis;
  • radiculitis, salt deposits in the spine;
  • spinal cord injury;
  • Insufficient blood supply, atrophy of limbs due to paralysis.

The risk of complications in cervical osteochondrosis occurs in the absence of treatment of the disease. Lack of medical care, non-compliance with the prescribed course of treatment, disregard for recommendations - all this leads to new pathologies and can result in complete disability of the patient.

Contraindications for osteochondrosis

Contraindications for cervical osteochondrosis

If the development of cervical osteochondrosis is suspected or the disease has already been diagnosed, the following actions are not allowed:

  • lifting and carrying weight - loads on the spine do not help in any way;
  • Active sports - running, walking, swimming are useful, but excessive loads with simulators will make the situation worse;
  • leading a sedentary lifestyle - not moving for a long time, warming up, walking in the fresh air has a detrimental effect on the general condition;
  • overeat - often cervical lumbar osteochondrosis develops due to excess weight, it is not worth helping to aggravate the condition;
  • Consume a lot of salt and alcohol - salty and spicy foods, as well as alcoholic products should be completely eliminated from the diet;
  • careless movements and cracking of joints - such movements often bring comfort, but wear and deform the contact surfaces of the spine;
  • Sleeping on a high pillow - in this case, the muscles are tense all night, which only complicates the disease;
  • sleep in a soft bed - with cervical spine osteochondrosis it is recommended to rest on the floor or on boards;
  • Wear uncomfortable shoes, use high-heeled shoes - lack of full support increases the tension of the spine, often increases the deformation.

In addition, self-diagnosis and self-medication with cervical osteochondrosis are not allowed. The course of therapy should be prescribed and monitored by a specialist. Without this, there is no need to hope for recovery at all, in most cases there will be complications.

Folk healers should be avoided, there is no need to stretch and stretch the spine. Such actions can cause serious injuries and complications. Folk recipes are also used only after consultation with a specialist.


In most cases, the causes of cervical osteochondrosis are associated with the wrong lifestyle.

In order to prevent and prevent such a disease, attention is paid to the following points:

  • Exclude hypodynamics - many sports are suitable, including walking, running, skiing, swimming, cycling, gymnastics and regular sports;
  • During "sitting" work, attention is paid to posture (straight back, comfortable shoulders), standard position of arms and legs, as well as support of the waist from the edge of the seat;
  • Take a break every 45 minutes to warm up and restore blood circulation by maintaining a stationary position for a long time;
  • An elastic mattress, preferably orthopedic and not too high, is chosen for sleeping;
  • When lifting weights, the load is distributed to the legs and arms, it is preferable to lift the weight from half squats;
  • Follow a diet - proper diet and fluid intake support metabolism and provide the body with the necessary trace elements.

Relaxation also applies to the prevention of cervical osteochondrosis. Stress and nervous tension should be avoided, often the development of the disease is associated with psychosomatics. Regular massage visits are recommended.