Cervical osteochondrosis: symptoms and tactics of treatment 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 contradictory manifestations force patients to turn to specialists for help. 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, the habit of holding the phone with your 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, the blood flow slows down, less salt enters the muscle tissue, they accumulate in places that do not work physically - joints, spine, kidneys, liver);
  • irreversible phenomena occurring in the cartilaginous tissue (salt deposition causes changes in the shock-absorbing properties in the vertebrae, the flexibility and elasticity of the cartilage tissue is lost);
  • a long stay in a position that causes an overstrain of the muscles of the neck, back (work at the table with a twisted neck and a tilted head), the vessels supplying the spine are squeezed, leading to degeneration of the intervertebral cartilage;
  • with obesity, the spine and intervertebral discs undergo deformation due to high load, the muscular corset of the back weakens;
  • as a result of 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 in moving the head, crunching when turning the head or tilting;
  • pain of a pulling nature in the chest area on the left with irradiation to the left hand, a 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 a deterioration in 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 in the arms and legs, involuntary twitches, 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 disturbance, 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). Of the medications used:

  • NSAIDs 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 the nervous tissue, normalize musculoskeletal conduction;
  • muscle relaxants to relieve muscle spasm;
  • means that improve the structure and functions of cartilage tissue (ATP, chondroprotectors);
  • locally - creams, gels, ointments as a warming, analgesic or distraction.

With increased pain, bed rest is recommended, a physiological position (to relieve the load from 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 spasm (smooth head tilts and turns, circular movements), gradually increasing the load. You should not make sudden movements.

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

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

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

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

How to treat folk remedies?

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

Components Quantity Mode of application
pine needles 250 g Brew needles with a liter of boiling water, insist. Drink twice a day.
Garlic, ginger 1: 1 To grated ginger add garlic, a little butter. Rub on sore areas of the neck.
Lemon, garlic 4 things. and 5 pcs. Pass lemons and garlic through a meat grinder, pour 2 liters of boiling water. Drink ½ cup twice daily.
Fresh potatoes, honey 1: 1 Mix gruel from grated potatoes with honey, apply to the neck.
horseradish leaf 1 PC. Dip the horseradish leaf in boiling water for a few seconds and remove. Cool the liquid, use for compresses.
horseradish root 2 tsp Grated horseradish root put on a bandage, attach 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 Pre-warm 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:

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

Prevention measures

compress on the neck with osteochondrosis

To prevent cervical osteochondrosis, it is recommended:

  • get rid of hypodynamia (move more, engage in Nordic walking, dancing, swimming);
  • monitor body weight, avoiding excess weight (it leads to impaired blood circulation, nutrition of the collar zone);
  • monitor posture (if it is violated, the load on the spine is unevenly distributed);
  • prevent microtrauma in the cervical region (properly lift weights and wear them);
  • treat foci of chronic infection (ENT organs, etc. ), which reduce the body's resistance, lymph and blood circulation in the ligaments and tissues of the neck.

A good result in the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis can be obtained using complex treatment. Treatment at home will be effective only with careful observance of all prescriptions and their daily use.