Symptoms and treatment of cervical osteochondrosis

Cervical osteochondrosis is a result of a sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition. The first symptoms of the disease can appear as early as age 25; if treatment is not started, serious complications can develop. In the treatment of diseases, a comprehensive approach is adopted - drug treatment, dietary treatment, physical therapy and physiotherapy.Symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis

Causes of cervical osteochondrosis

Cervical osteochondrosis is a degenerative dystrophic change in the intervertebral discs and joints that results in reduced mobility and severe pain in the neck. The disease occurs primarily because mineral metabolism is disrupted, causing bones and joints to become less strong. ICD-10 codes – M42, M50–54.Why does cervical osteochondrosis occur?
  • Overweight, sedentary lifestyle;
  • Poor posture, scoliosis;
  • Rheumatism;
  • flatfoot;
  • ventricular septal defect;
  • Malnutrition.
Spinal injuries, bruises, excessive physical activity, and stress can cause cervical spine deformity. In women, osteochondrosis often occurs during pregnancy, menopause - against the background of hormonal changes, calcium levels decrease and bone tissue becomes fragile.important! Susceptibility to osteochondrosis is hereditary.

General signs and symptoms

As the load on the cervical spine continues to increase, muscles spasm, cervical blood vessels are compressed, blood circulation is disturbed, and metabolic processes are disrupted - the structure of the intervertebral disc changes, deforms, and begins to herniate. beyond the spine.What are the symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis:
  • Radicul syndrome - pain that spreads from the neck to the shoulder blades, forearms, and covers the front wall of the chest due to compression of the nerve endings;
  • Arm muscles are weak and the neck is significantly swollen;
  • You will hear a characteristic crunching sound when you move your head;
  • Weakness, chronic fatigue, changes in blood pressure;
  • Lack of coordination, frequent dizziness, nausea and vomiting during attacks;
  • Deterioration of vision and hearing, noise, tinnitus;
  • Numbness of limbs and tongue;
  • Frequent migraines;
  • Women aged 45-65 years old will experience pain, numbness and tingling in the upper limbs during sleep; the attacks can be repeated several times at night.
Cervical osteochondrosis disrupts the nutrient and blood supply to the brain, causing neurological disorders—anxiety, irritability, mood swings, and sleep disorders.

Classification of cervical osteochondrosis

As osteochondrosis progresses, it goes through several stages of development, each with characteristic symptoms. You can see in the photos what the affected part of the spine looks like at different stages.Disease progression:
  1. Grade 1 osteochondrosis - There are no particularly obvious symptoms in the initial stage. When turning and tilting the head, the patient will feel a rare slight pain, and the back muscles will soon tire.
  2. Secondary osteochondrosis - the vertebrae become unstable, nerves become pinched, unpleasant sensations in the neck become noticeable and radiate to the shoulders and arms. Other symptoms include increased fatigue, frequent headaches in the occipital area, and difficulty concentrating.
  3. Grade III Osteochondrosis - Pain becomes chronic and covers the upper back, arms, severe muscle weakness is observed, numbness of the limbs, intervertebral hernias develop, frequent attacks of dizziness occur.
  4. Grade 4 osteochondrosis - the intervertebral disc is completely destroyed and replaced by connective tissue, the pathological process covers several parts of the spine. Lack of coordination, more frequent attacks of dizziness, and ringing in the ears.
Pain caused by cervical osteochondrosisAcute osteochondrosis is the result of the chronic form of this disease and is characterized by the sudden onset of severe, severe pain upon awakening.

Which doctor should I contact?

If you develop symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis, you need to see a neurologist; some hospitals have chiropractors - specialists in treating spinal conditions.

diagnosis method

Advanced forms of osteochondrosis have distinct clinical manifestations, allowing a tentative diagnosis to be made on initial examination. Instrumental diagnostic methods will help determine the extent of degenerative changes in the vertebrae. Main types of tests for osteochondrosis:
  • X-ray– This method is effective only in the early stages of pathological development;
  • MRI– The bone structure, the size and direction of the intervertebral hernia and the condition of the spinal cord are clearly visible on the screen;
  • CT– This method is less effective than MRI because it does not provide accurate information about the presence and size of the hernia;
  • Duplex scanning– Allows you to see blood flow disturbances;
  • electroneurogram– Shows the presence of compression, inflammation and other nerve damage;
  • Cerebral blood flow map– Treats blood supply problems to the brain.
Diagnosis of cervical osteochondrosisFor a targeted and thorough study of the condition of certain vertebrae, a discogram is performed - a contrast agent is injected into the disc so that you can see the slightest changes in the tissue and differentiate between scarring changes and hernias.

Methods of treating cervical osteochondrosis

In the initial stages of development, osteochondrosis can be cured without drugs; it is enough to check the diet, daily life and regularly perform a set of special exercises. In advanced forms of the disease, effective treatment is only possible with a variety of medications that help halt degenerative changes in the vertebrae.Complex therapeutic measures necessarily include physical procedures - drug electrophoresis, ultrasound, magnet therapy, laser therapy. These methods help cope with pain, inflammation, tissue swelling, and improve metabolic processes and blood circulation.

first aid

Painkillers can help relieve pain caused by osteochondrosis. You can use mustard or pepper poultice to warm the affected area.To reduce swelling of inflamed tissue, drink rosehip decoction and other diuretics. Massaging the inflamed area with ice will help relieve severe pain in your neck; continue this process until the skin becomes reddish.


Exercise therapy is carried out during the recovery period; physical exercise is contraindicated during the exacerbation of osteochondrosis; gymnastics is simple and can be done at home, and needs to be done regularly.Bubnovsky gymnastics treatment and prevention of cervical osteochondrosis:
  1. Maintain a standing position with your arms lowered freely along your body. Tilt your head forward, keep your chin against your chest as much as possible, and fix the position when you count to 3. Tilt your head back, look up with your chin, and count to three. Return to starting position.
  2. While standing, turn your head to the right, to the left, and hold the position for a few seconds at each extreme point. Repeat 3 times on each side.
  3. While standing, tilt your head to the right or left, try to rest your ears against your shoulders, and maintain this position for 30 seconds. Repeat 6 times in each direction.
  4. Stand with your hands on your waistband, chin parallel to the floor, and reach forward. Turn your head, rest your chin on your shoulders, rotate your torso slightly, and hold for half a minute. Repeat 6 times in each direction; slight pain may occur in the spine.
  5. Assume a seated position with your back straight and your hands on your knees. Stretch your straight arms to the sides and move them slightly backward while tilting your head back to the starting position. Repeat 5 times.
  6. From a seated position, turn your head to the right, place the palm of your left hand on your right shoulder, elbow parallel to the floor, and place your right hand on your knee, returning to the starting position. Repeat 6 times in each direction.
  7. From a seated position, raise your arms above your head and connect them, elbows slightly bent, and turn your head to one side until slight pain occurs, holding the position at the extreme position for a few seconds. Repeat 6 turns in each direction.
Rest 30 seconds between exercises. Before starting gymnastics, you'll want to take a hot shower and do several smooth head tilts in different directions to warm up your muscles. After completing your workout, light stretching will help avoid discomfort the next day.

medical treatement

Medical treatment of osteochondrosis aims to eliminate unpleasant sensations, restore vertebral mobility, and slow down degenerative changes in tissues. Injections of NSAIDs or corticosteroids can relieve acute pain, while chronic pain can be treated with ointments and tablets.How to treat osteochondrosis:
  • NSAIDs– Formulated into tablets and topical products to relieve swelling and pain;
  • corticosteroids– Relieve acute pain syndrome;
  • B vitamins– Restore metabolic processes of tissues;
  • chondroprotectant– Promote the repair of cartilage tissue;
  • Drugs to improve blood flow and brain nutrition;
  • Nootropics– Improve brain function and memory;
  • muscle relaxants– Eliminate muscle spasms;
  • For topical treatments, use anti-inflammatory, warming ointments and gels.
In order for drug treatment to be effective, it must be combined with exercise therapy and adherence to diet, otherwise no drug will be able to help get rid of osteochondrosis.important! If conservative treatments are ineffective, surgery may be necessary.

folk remedies

Conventional treatment should be used as a complement to medication and physical exercise, and unconventional methods will not help to get rid of the disease completely.What to do about cervical osteochondrosis at home:
  1. Pour boiling water over fresh horseradish leaves, cool slightly and apply the inside on the neck, securing with a thin natural fabric. Perform the procedure before bed and keep the compress on overnight.
  2. Grate raw potatoes on a fine grater and mix with warm liquid honey in equal proportions. Use the mixture for compression 1-2 times a week.
  3. Mix raw eggs with 100 ml of sunflower oil, 20 ml of vinegar and 20 g of flour. Leave the mixture in a dark place for 48 hours to remove the film on the surface. Apply product to inflamed areas before bed and store in refrigerator.
  4. In May, collect 2 cm long pine buds, cut them into thin slices and put them in a dark glass container. 1 part of raw materials, 2 parts of sugar, keep away from light for 2 weeks. Drink 3 times a day, 5 ml each time, do not swallow immediately, hold it in your mouth for 2-3 minutes. Course duration is 15-20 days and is repeated 2-3 times per year.
  5. Grate 150 grams of peeled garlic and 400 grams of cranberries, put the mixture into a glass container, add 800 ml of honey after 24 hours, and stir. Take 5 ml 3 times a day before meals.
Folk remedies for osteochondrosisCabbage leaves coated with honey can help you cope with severe pain and flush out excess salt; secure the compress with a warm scarf around your neck and leave it overnight.

Massage treatment of cervical osteochondrosis

Massage helps to increase muscle tone and improve blood circulation in the tissues; in severe cases of osteochondrosis, treatment is carried out by specialists. For minor ailments, self-massage can help prevent - treatment is done at home.Massage techniques:
  1. warm up your muscles– Massage your hands from top to bottom along the back and sides of the neck. Warm-up time: 2 minutes.
  2. Press the edge of your palm against the base of your neck,Move in a sliding motion to the hair growth area and then to the shoulder joint.
  3. Use the fingertips of both hands to rub in a circular motionIn the occiput area, from the hairline to the forearms - from the spine to the ears and back.
  4. Knead the neck muscles from bottom to top, and then in the opposite direction.
  5. Stroke from the back of the head to the shoulder blades– after every type of exercise.
important! Do not massage protruding vertebrae, lymph nodes, or carotid arteries.


The purpose of the osteochondrosis diet is to provide the body with collagen and protein; these substances are involved in the synthesis of cartilage tissue; most of them are found in aspic, jelly, and jelly.
Disable product Authorized products
  • any alcoholic beverage;
  • Fatty meat, refractory fat, bacon;
  • The soup is rich;
  • Hot and spicy dishes, canned foods, marinades;
  • mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup;
  • Radish, turnip, horseradish, onion, garlic;
  • Fast food, semi-finished products;
  • Quick carbs – sweets, baked goods, pasta made from high-quality flour;
  • Potato;
  • Limit salt intake to 5 grams per day.
  • dietary meat;
  • fish, seafood;
  • fermented dairy products;
  • cereals;
  • light soup;
  • Whole wheat bread;
  • Honey, jam, marmalade, fudge, nuts, dried fruit, oatmeal biscuits;
  • fresh and baked vegetables and fruits;
  • Egg;
  • vegetable oil;
  • Natural juice, green tea, fruit drinks.
important! To avoid dehydration of intervertebral disc tissue, you need to drink at least 2. 5 liters of pure water every day.

Possible consequences and complications

In the neck, the vertebrae are closer together and the intervertebral disc height is smaller, so even with slight degenerative changes in bone tissue, various osteochondrosis complications can occur.Why is cervical osteochondrosis dangerous?
  • Frequent migraine attacks;
  • Arrhythmia, atherosclerosis;
  • Herniation, intervertebral hernia, vertebral growth;
  • severe brain disease;
  • Narrowing of the vertebral artery lumen, leading to ventricular septal defect, cerebral hypertension, and disability;
  • Spinal stroke.
Complications of cervical osteochondrosisimportant! Advanced osteochondrosis can compress the spinal cord, which can be fatal.

Contraindications for cervical osteochondrosis

In order to live a fulfilling life with osteochondrosis, it is necessary to avoid behaviors that may cause pain and worsen the condition.What not to do with cervical osteochondrosis:
  • Sleeping on a very hard or soft mattress or high pillow;
  • Lift weights; if you need to lift something heavy, you need to straighten your back and bend your knees;
  • shoulder bag;
  • When the condition worsens, actively move the head and neck;
  • Smoking and drinking;
  • Do not wear a scarf when walking in cold weather, sit in a ventilated place or near an air conditioner;
  • Remaining in uncomfortable positions or sitting for long periods of time;
  • wear high heel shoes;
  • Break your neck.
Avoid smoking and alcohol for cervical osteochondrosisThermal procedures - applying hot compresses, going to a bathhouse, heating with a blue lamp - can only be carried out during the remission phase of the disease. During an exacerbation, heat relieves pain only for a short time, but soon the unpleasant sensations return and the degree of their manifestations increases.

prevent disease

To maintain a healthy spine, it is enough to follow simple preventive rules.How to avoid cervical osteochondrosis:
  • Get rid of excess weight;
  • Do gymnastics, swimming, yoga, and dancing every morning;
  • Spending time outdoors, especially morning walks, can be helpful;
  • Eat right, control salt intake, and follow drinking habits;
  • When working sedentary, do a neck warm-up every hour and pay attention to your posture;
  • Keep your neck warm;
  • Get enough sleep to avoid physical, mental and emotional fatigue.
Sleep right. Pillows should be placed on the mattress just for the head, neck and shoulders, and a small cushion should be placed under the feet. It is best to sleep on your back or in the fetal position; if your condition worsens, you can only sleep on your side. The mattress is orthopedic, medium-hard, and the pillow is rectangular, orthopedic, 15-20 cm high. The posture is correct when sleeping, the spine is straight, there is no deflection in all parts, and the muscles are relaxed.Cervical osteochondrosis is a chronic, slowly progressive disease; signs of the disease do not appear immediately. An effective combination of traditional and folk healing methods, gymnastics and diet will help to cope with unpleasant symptoms, and simple preventive measures will help to avoid the recurrence of the pathology.