Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is a degenerative-dystrophic disease that affects the cartilaginous tissue of the intervertebral discs, causing pathological changes in the vertebrae. The need for hospitalization arises only during an exacerbation with a severe deterioration in well-being, usually caused by clamping of the vertebral artery by the displaced vertebra.
In most cases, osteochondrosis treatment is done at home. The patient is shown a course of taking medication, massage and physiotherapy procedures, adherence to a moderate diet. But the main method of treating the disease is daily exercise therapy or gymnastics. Swimming, yoga, and long walks in the fresh air are also recommended for patients.
In the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis, drugs of various clinical and pharmacological groups are used. To eliminate acute pain in the neck and back of the head, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants, painkillers in tablets or injectable solutions are used. And to get rid of uncomfortable sensations of weak or moderate intensity, the use of ointments and dressings, including those with a warming effect, helps.
With osteochondrosis of 1 or 2 degrees of severity, the appropriate drugs are included in the therapeutic regimens. These are stimulators of the regeneration of the cartilaginous tissues of the intervertebral discs and damaged ligaments, tendons and muscles. With the help of a long course (from 3 months to several years) of drug administration, it is possible to partially restore the hyaline cartilage to normalize the functioning of the cervical spine.
The concentration of active ingredients (glucosamine, chondroitin) of drugs in the area of damaged tissues gradually increases. Soon its analgesic, anti-oedematous and anti-inflammatory effects begin to appear. Drugs are not used in the treatment of grade 3 osteochondrosis, since destructive processes have affected almost all connective tissue structures.
The use of pharmacological preparations, hot compresses, massage procedures will not help to eliminate the symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis, to stop its progression. Only regular and daily exercise therapy slows down and then completely stops the destruction of cartilage tissue. The set of exercises is compiled by the exercise therapy doctor, taking into account the stage of pathology and sports training of the patient. Under his control, the first workouts are carried out, and then the patient does it at home.
During exercise, there should not be any discomfort, including dizziness, increased blood pressure. The movements should be smooth, with little amplitude. This is the only way to improve blood circulation in the cervical spine and, at the same time, avoid stress on damaged intervertebral discs. Generally, exercise therapy physicians include the following exercises in the treatment complex:
- Lie face down, put your hands on the floor. Keeping your back straight, raise your head and upper half of your body, stay in this position for a minute and then lower it gently. First, perform 3-4 times, as the muscle corset strengthens, 10-15 times;
- Lie on your stomach, stretch your arms along your body. Turn your head first in one direction, then in the other direction, touching the surface of the floor with your ear. Perform exercises 10 times to the right and left;
- Sit on a chair or stool, take a deep breath and lean forward, trying to touch your chest with your chin. Exhale, lean back, throwing your head back a little. Repeat 15 to 20 times;
- Sit down, bring your hands to your forehead. Try leaning your head forward while resisting with the palms of your hands for a minute. Repeat the exercise 5-7 times;
- Sit down, place your palms on your knees. Gently slowly turn your head first to the right and then to the left. Make 10 rotations in one direction, then in the other direction.
It is strictly forbidden to train during an exacerbation of cervical osteochondrosis due to the high probability of a pinched nerve or compression of the vertebral artery. Exercise should also be stopped for ARVI, influenza, and other infections that cause fever.
In the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis, classical, vacuum and acupressure massage are used. Wellness treatments help improve blood circulation and strengthen the muscular system that stabilizes the vertebrae and intervertebral discs. At home, you can massage yourself 1 to 3 times a day in one of the following ways:
- put your hands behind your back with a soft wrung out towel and rub it intensely on the nape of the neck. At the final stage of the massage, pat vigorously with your palms;
- The procedure should be started by gently rubbing the skin and then kneading. Give it a pat. Use your fingertips to massage the skin around the protruding vertebrae for 10 minutes. Finish the massage with stroking and rubbing.
In a pharmacy or medical equipment store, you can buy special massagers: wooden, equipped with protrusions or electric. Such devices and devices make it easy to perform massage at home. Some models have heating function, there are various speed modes.
They are small rugs or rollers with many sharp spikes. On contact with the skin, there is an irritation of the receptors located in the subcutaneous tissue. Blood begins to proliferate in damaged discs and vertebrae, normalizing tissue trophism.
After the main treatment of osteochondrosis, achieving a stable remission, doctors can use folk remedies, but only with proven clinical efficacy. The therapeutic effect of most compresses is to increase the body temperature in the neck area due to irritation of the sensitive nerve endings. It is not appropriate to use funds that are positioned as stimulants of regeneration. Trace elements, vitamins and other biologically active substances cannot penetrate from the surface of the skin to the vertebral structures and restore them.
Infusions or tinctures for internal use have various therapeutic properties. Some of them can slow down or weaken the effect of pharmacological drugs. Therefore, the advisability of using home remedies should be discussed with a neurologist.
Before applying the mixture for compresses or applications, you should rub a small amount on the curve of the elbow. If, after an hour, redness, rashes, small rashes do not appear on the skin, you can continue with the treatment.
Compresses and applications
Physiotherapy procedures with ozokerite and paraffin can be performed at home. These natural hydrocarbons have roughly the same melting point, so they are often combined with each other. Paraffin and ozokerite are sold in pharmacies and are relatively inexpensive. They are mixed in a 1: 1 ratio and melted in a water bath and then cooled to 40-45 ° C. Using a wide brush or wooden spatula, apply a layer of warm mixture to the back of the neckand wait for it to solidify. Spread another layer on top. In total, the procedure is repeated 4-5 times. The application time is 1 to 2 hours.
The most popular procedure for the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis in folk medicine is a compress. It is especially popular to apply fresh cabbage leaves smeared with honey, horseradish, burdock, and banana to damaged discs and vertebrae. But the best therapeutic effect is provided by a compress with a solution of sea salt. For its preparation, a tablespoon of coarse crystalline salt is diluted in 200 ml of warm water. A large sterile napkin is moistened in the solution and applied to the neck until completely dry.
For the preparation of mixtures for grinding, vodka or ethyl alcohol diluted with water in a ratio of 1: 1 is used. For people with sensitive skin, it is better to insist on vegetable raw materials in olive oil, sunflower orlinseed. Most often, in the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis, rubbing with various parts of garden horseradish is used: leaves, roots, flowers, arrows. They are cut into small pieces, placed in an opaque glass or ceramic container, tamped down, and filled with vodka or oil. Insist in a warm place, where the sun's rays do not penetrate for 1-2 months, periodically shaking for better extraction of bioactive substances. Rub twice a day on the nape of the neck.
Instead of horseradish, you can use the leaves of nettle, burdock, sable, plantain. Traditional healers recommend adding 3 drops of vegetable oils of juniper, fir, pine, a tablespoon of turpentine to 0. 5 l of the finished tincture.
With cervical osteochondrosis, you need to drink plenty of fluids; in the absence of contraindications, up to 3 liters a day. This promotes the removal of harmful slags, toxins, tissue breakdown products, and mineral salts from vertebral structures. The use of about 2 glasses of herbal infusions per day will also eliminate slow inflammatory processes, muscle spasms, relieve pain and stiffness of movements. Thyme, chamomile, sage, crow's feet, marigolds, bear ears, corn stigmas are used for its preparation.
How to make healing tea:
- Pour a teaspoon of dried plant material into a thermos;
- pour 2 liters of boiling water, let it brew for 2-3 hours;
- cool, strain, drink 0. 5 cups 3-4 times a day after meals.
A decoction of birch buds will help improve well-being, increase the range of motion in the cervical spine. 2 tablespoons of raw materials are poured with 2 cups of hot water and simmered for 15 minutes. Cool, filter, take 100 ml three times a day with meals.
On the Internet, there are often recommendations on the use of a large number of dishes with jelly: jellied meat, jelly, fish jelly, berry jelly. Supposedly contained in food, collagen ensures the regeneration of damaged cartilage. In fact, this drug is rapidly broken down in the gastrointestinal tract and is excreted from the body. This method of therapy not only does not accelerate the treatment of osteochondrosis, but also contributes to its progression due to the rapid increase in body weight.