Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine: features, the nature of the course and the causes of the development of the disease

causes, symptoms and treatment of cervical osteochondrosis

One of the most common degenerative diseases of the spine is cervical osteochondrosis. This pathology is characterized by a constantly progressive course, during which the patient has serious degenerative lesions of the intervertebral discs.

According to statistics, more than 45% of adults regularly suffer from constant neck pain caused by osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, which indicates the need to treat it with medication and other effective methods at home or in a hospital under the supervision of experienced specialists.

You can learn more about the characteristic manifestations and features of the course of cervical osteochondrosis on numerous patient forums.


It should be noted right away that it is the cervical region in the spine that is most mobile. It consists of seven vertebrae, between which there are elastic intervertebral discs.

It is thanks to them that the spine is so flexible.

With the progression of the disease in the vertebrae of a person, the metabolism is disturbed, which leads to a loss of elasticity of the discs, their protrusion and cracking.

In the absence of timely treatment, this disease can lead to dangerous complications, among which the risk of protrusion is especially worth highlighting. Photos and videos of manifestations of this type of osteochondrosis can be viewed on medical websites and doctors' reports.

Cervical osteochondrosis in humans can develop for various reasons. Most often it is provoked by the following factors:

  • Insufficiently active way of life of a person.
  • Poor diet, in which the cartilage does not receive enough nutrients and becomes more susceptible to degenerative diseases.
  • Long stay in an uncomfortable position.
  • Salts in the cervical region.
  • Development of serious diseases in the body (gout, rheumatism, and the like).
  • History of spinal lesions.

Moreover, the risk of developing such a disease increases the individual tendency of a person to osteochondrosis, severe hypothermia, as well as hormonal disruptions in the body.

Also, quite often the symptoms of osteochondrosis occur in women during pregnancy. This is justified by an increased load on the spine due to weight gain and softening of bone tissue due to the production of the hormone relaxin.

It is quite difficult to cure osteochondrosis. It will be most effective to carry out complex therapy with taking pills, gymnastics, exercise therapy and other methods of treatment.

Cervical osteochondrosis: degrees of neglect, classification of the disease and its manifestations

Today, the following main degrees of cervical osteochondrosis are distinguished:

  • First degree.In this state, a person develops the first disorders in the spine. The patient gradually begins to worry about periodic pain and a feeling of fatigue in the neck. On X-ray images, degenerative changes are practically not expressed.
  • Second degreecervical osteochondrosis is accompanied by a decrease in the space between the vertebrae, as a result of which they begin to rub against each other and provoke pain. Also for the same reason, the patient has a high risk of pinching the nerve structures.
  • The third stageof cervical osteochondrosis leads to the formation of an intervertebral hernia, as well as the complete destruction of the structures of the spine. Moreover, in this state, the patient's spinal deformity is clearly visible in the images.
  • The fourth stageis considered to be the most difficult. In this state, it is extremely difficult for the patient to perform even simple movements, since at the same time he feels pain. In most cases, osteochondrosis with such neglect leads to disability.

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine: characteristic symptoms of pathology, methods of its diagnosis and principles of therapy

In many ways, how osteochondrosis of the cervical spine proceeds depends on the cause of the disease, its degree of neglect, the nature of inflammation and bone lesions.

This is important

Dizziness, fainting and a tingling sensation in the shoulder blades are common secondary symptoms of progressive osteochondrosis, after which a person should see a doctor as soon as possible.

signs and symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis

Sometimes this disease can provoke a person's hearing and vision impairment, constant weakness, pain in the heart, snoring and gait disturbance.

The characteristic signs of developing osteochondrosis of the cervical spine are frequent pains in the neck area, which can have a sharp, aching, pulling or stabbing character. Also, these pains can easily be given to the arms, shoulders and head. Coughing or sneezing can provoke another attack of pain.

Another common sign of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is a strong crunch in the neck during head movements. This happens from friction of the bones due to the deterioration of the condition of the cartilage.


It is very important to correctly diagnose and differentiate osteochondrosis from other possible diseases of the spine.

That is why, in addition to being examined by a doctor and telling a specialist about his symptoms, a person must undergo the following examinations:

  1. CT.
  2. Radiography.
  3. Ultrasound of the cervical spine.
  4. General clinical blood tests.

Based on the results obtained, the attending physician will be able to correctly diagnose and select a course of treatment for each person individually (based on the cause of the disease, its neglect, the patient's age and the presence of severe concomitant pathologies).

How to treat cervical osteochondrosis: drug therapy, surgery, massage effectiveness

how to treat osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

Before treating cervical osteochondrosis, it is important for a patient to understand the cause of this disease. It is possible that for this he will need additional research.

Traditional therapy for such a diagnosis provides for the mandatory prescription of a course of medications, with the help of which it will be possible to stop pain, relieve swelling, inflammation and restore normal functions of the intervertebral discs.

How to treat cervical osteochondrosis also depends on the patient's symptoms.

Traditional therapy involves the mandatory intake of anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), as well as steroids. With their help, you can not only get rid of inflammation, but also reduce pain.

Analgesics in pill form are prescribed to relieve pain. These non-steroidal drugs can be in the form of tablets or in the form of an ointment.

Chondroprotectors are used to restore cartilage tissue. It will take a patient a long time to take such funds to achieve noticeable improvements.

Local anesthetics are prescribed to make the patient feel better.

Muscle relaxants are prescribed to a person to relax muscle tone. Due to its therapeutic effect, taking such drugs improves blood circulation.

As an auxiliary therapy, the patient is prescribed vitamins of group B, A, C, D and E. They should be drunk in courses.

How to treat cervical osteochondrosis correctly should be decided by the attending physician. It is strictly forbidden to self-medicate in this state, because it can further worsen a person's well-being.

Surgical treatment

Surgical treatment is practiced when drug therapy has not produced the expected results and the person's disease continues to progress and cause complications.

Only a leading neurosurgeon can decide whether a patient needs an operation or not, who will make his conclusion after examining the patient and conducting a series of examinations.

In most cases, such patients undergo removal of the affected intervertebral disc.

Massage and Manual Therapy

massage for osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

Among the many methods of treating osteochondrosis of the spine, one of the most effective methods is considered to be professional high-quality massage.

It can help improve blood circulation, relieve pain and fatigue from the neck, improve the mobility of the spine in general, and normalize metabolism.

When performing a course massage, most patients observe noticeable improvements and tolerate this chronic disease much easier.

Along with massage, which involves stroking, kneading and rubbing the affected area, the patient is recommended to carry out manual therapy. The main thing is a professional approach to treatment, otherwise ineptly performed treatment procedures can do more harm than good.

Moreover, before performing manual therapy and massage, you should definitely consult with your doctor about contraindications.

Osteochondrosis of the neck: therapeutic exercises, dietary nutrition, physiotherapy methods and prevention of the disease

therapeutic exercises for cervical osteochondrosis

Exercise therapy for osteochondrosis of the cervical spine will help strengthen muscles and improve blood circulation. It is best to perform this gymnastics during the period of remission of the disease, when a person does not feel acute pain.

You need to practice exercise therapy several times a day. At the same time, all movements should be smooth, so as not to damage the discs of the spine and not cause pain in a person.

The best neck exercises are:

  • Perform slow turns of the head to the sides. Repeat 10 times.
  • Perform circular rotations of the head.
  • Bend the head down and throw it back.
  • Rotating your shoulders, raise your arms alternately.

You can perform exercise therapy while standing or sitting. At the same time, the muscles of the back and neck should be in good shape.


Physiotherapy treatment will be especially effective in the early stages of osteochondrosis, when the disease has not strongly affected the intervertebral discs. In this state, doctors recommend using physiotherapy methods such as electrophoresis, magnetotherapy, laser therapy, phonophoresis and mud therapy.

Physiotherapy can reduce pain, swelling and inflammation. Moreover, these procedures will help slow the progression of the pathology.

Due to the fact that such methods of treatment have many contraindications, only a doctor can prescribe them.

Treatment with folk remedies

It is possible to practice treatment using traditional methods only after the permission of a doctor, and then, as an auxiliary therapy. It is necessary to use such recipes with caution during pregnancy and lactation, the elderly person or the presence of a number of chronic pathologies.

The following folk recipes can be used to reduce pain and inflammation:

  • Apply a fresh cabbage leaf to your neck overnight as a compress. You can also apply honey on it.
  • Mix clay with water until porridge and apply on the neck. Cover with foil and wrap yourself in a warm handkerchief.
  • Rub the neck using honey.
  • Pour in 2 liters. lilac color 0. 5 liters of vodka. Insist for a week and apply a means for rubbing the neck.
  • Mix boiled potatoes with honey and use for warm compresses.
  • Mix 2 lemons and the same amount of garlic. Pour boiling water over the mixture and drink a spoonful of the product before going to bed.
  • Brew horsetail and lingonberry leaves (1 spoonful of the mixture for 500 ml of water). Drink half a glass.
  • Mix equal amounts of aloe, mustard powder and propolis. Pour a spoonful of the mixture with 1 liter of vodka. Insist and apply for compresses.


symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis and nutritional rules for the disease

Diet food is mandatory when osteochondrosis is detected.

With its help, a person will be able to saturate his body with useful substances necessary for a faster recovery of cartilage.

Recommended foods in this diet are seafood, vegetables and fruits, lean meat and fish. Nuts, dried fruits, dairy products, eggs, cereals and mushrooms will also be very useful.

A person with osteochondrosis needs to regularly consume fish and meat broths, aspic and jellies in order to saturate the cartilage with useful substances.

In turn, alcohol in any of its forms, spicy, salty, smoked and fatty, should be completely excluded from the diet. Also, you can not eat pickled vegetables, fast food and convenience foods. Sugary carbonated drinks and chocolate are strictly prohibited.

It is worth sticking to this diet for at least three months. A person needs to eat 5-6 times a day in medium portions. It is also important to drink plenty of fluids, namely at least 2. 5 liters of water per day.


Osteochondrosis of the neck is rightfully considered the most dangerous type of this disease, since it is in the cervical region that there are very important vessels with which the brain feeds.

Moreover, in the cervical spine, all vertebrae are very tightly adjacent to one another, so even a slight degenerative change in them can easily provoke a pinched nerve or blood vessels, which threatens with pain, migraine, heart disease, impaired vision and hearing.

This is important

In advanced states, osteochondrosis can provoke a spinal stroke, as well as a partial loss of mobility. That is why the earlier treatment is started, the lower the risk of developing dangerous complications.


To reduce the risk of developing osteochondrosis of the neck, doctors advise to regularly engage in preventive sports. Swimming, exercise therapy, yoga and outdoor hiking are great for this. You should also be careful and avoid sharp head turns.

In order for the load on the cervical vertebrae to be uniform, a person needs to sleep on a high-quality pillow and avoid prolonged use of the computer.

Additional preventive measures to protect yourself from osteochondrosis of the neck are:

  • Choose a comfortable working chair with an orthopedic back.
  • Take a contrast shower.
  • Avoid hypothermia and overwork.
  • Refuse heavy loads in the gym.
  • Have a nutritious, healthy diet.
  • Give up bad habits.
  • Timely treat those diseases that can affect the development of osteochondrosis in humans.