Osteochondrosis is the most common pathology of the spine, and all parts of it are affected. In terms of the frequency of lesions, the cervical spine ranks second, second only to the lumbar spine. In most cases, the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis is carried out by conservative methods, depending on the stage of the disease and the severity of the disc destruction process. Surgical treatment is suitable for patients with 5-7% duration of the disease, conservative treatment ineffective for 3-4 months, and severe neurological complications.
Clinical manifestations of the disease
Cervical osteochondrosis is characterized by various manifestations. Symptoms depend on the advantages of one or several syndromes, which develop due to the influence of pathologically altered spinal structures on the spinal cord, its roots, or vertebral arteries. The clinical manifestations of the disease are determined by the following symptoms:
- Spine-pain of varying intensity and duration, located in the occipital region of the neck or head.
- Spine-the occurrence of nerve innervation disorders, manifested as motor and sensory disorders, as well as nutritional changes in upper limb muscles.
- Radical-manifested as pain in various locations (upper limbs, thoracic cavity and abdominal organs), which need to be differentiated from many diseases of the internal organs and cardiovascular system.
- Vertebral artery syndrome-It is characterized by the development of vestibular disease due to insufficient blood supply to the brain structures (headache, hearing impairment, tinnitus, dizziness, short-term loss of consciousness).
How to treat cervical osteochondrosis?
The reason for seeking medical help is the first complaint or another worsening of the disease. In any case, the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis can only be carried out by a doctor after compulsory examination of the patient and necessary laboratory and instrumental research to rule out the accompanying pathology.
After confirming the diagnosis, in most cases, outpatient treatment will be opened. Patients with severe neurological diseases, complications, and severe accompanying pathologies require hospitalization. The conservative treatment of osteochondrosis includes the following methods.
Medications must be used to combat pain during the worsening of the disease. To do this, please specify:
- Non-narcotic analgesics. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are taken orally or parenterally, and topical preparations must be used-ointments, gels, balsams, friction agents. Complex anti-inflammatory treatments can help reduce soft tissue edema, the main cause of pain in vertebral body syndrome. The medication time in this group is 5-10 days, sometimes 2 weeks. In the case of no effect, use hormonal drugs for paravertebral block of anesthetics in the amount of 1-3 operations.
- Antispasmodic, B vitamins. In the acute phase, in the case of severe edema, it is recommended to use diuretics for 2-4 days in a short period of time. They reduce vasospasm and improve the microcirculation of inflammatory foci.
- If the patient has long-term extreme pain, sedatives (peony tincture, valerian root, herbal tea, and cost) can prevent the development of neurosis.
- External warming agent-balm, ointment, friction agent, less irritating, containing biologically active substances of plant and animal origin. Preparations with strong stimulating effects cannot be used because they can cause aggravation of edema, which can worsen the condition.
Massage is an integral part of the comprehensive treatment of osteochondrosis. It is used after the deterioration is eliminated to consolidate the effect of the drug treatment, and it is regularly used for preventive purposes during the remission period. The course of therapeutic massage is 10-14 times. In the absence of severe pain syndrome, 2-4 times a year are prescribed.
Massage can improve blood circulation, lymphatic drainage and relax the spasm muscles in the neck and collar area. Due to this, the nutrition of the cartilage tissue of the intervertebral disc is improved, thereby preventing the progress of the process and reducing the risk of subsequent recurrence.
Physical therapy for cervical osteochondrosis should be performed every day, unless the condition worsens and is accompanied by severe pain. For severe pain syndromes, it is necessary to follow a retention program, which includes limiting the movement of the cervical spine to the greatest extent.
System therapy gymnastics helps to strengthen the neck muscles, thereby helping to reduce the static load of the intervertebral discs. Practice movements should be fluent. At first, it is forbidden to do large and strenuous movements. Be careful in class and gradually increase the load to avoid unpleasant feelings.
These exercises are performed while standing or sitting. The most common exercises include:
- Turn your head to the sides;
- Tilt your head back and forth;
- Raise your shoulders with a relaxed or fixed hand and maintain this position for 15-20 seconds;
- Under static load, when the head is at rest, alternating tension occurs in the neck flexors and extensors.
The exercise must be repeated 5-7 times, and the class time is 15-20 minutes.
To avoid possible complications, traction should be performed in the hospital under the supervision of a doctor. The procedure is very careful, if pain occurs, it should be stopped immediately because it will worsen the disease.
During stretching, the elastic tissues of the spinal ligaments are stretched, causing the distance between adjacent vertebrae to increase. It has increased by 1-3 mm. When the roots or arteries are compressed by disc herniation or osteophytes, this is enough to reduce, and in some cases completely eliminate the compression. During the operation, the pressure in the intervertebral disc decreases, causing the hernia to retract and the intervertebral foramen to enlarge.
Stretching has a beneficial effect on the intervertebral joints, eliminates the subluxation formed therein, and helps reduce muscle contractures. Immediately after traction, the cervical spine was fixed for several hours with the help of a special device. The course of treatment includes 10 to 20 procedures.
The use of drug electrophoresis has good results. This technology allows you to deliver drugs to the tissues involved in the pathological process. For cervical osteochondrosis, electrophoresis is used with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, hormonal anesthetics and other drugs.
The use of dialysis power current can improve blood circulation and has a good analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect, which helps to reduce the excitability of nerve tissue. When a conservative approach is used for complex treatment, the initial osteochondrosis can be cured, which depends on an active lifestyle, proper and nutritious nutrition, and rejection of bad habits.
With a profound and destructive process, proper treatment and lifestyle will give you long-term relief. Some patients cannot be improved by conservative treatment. In this case, they can only resort to neurosurgery.
Before surgical treatment of cervical osteochondrosis, all available canning methods should be tried. Usually, if the treatment is not effective for three months or longer, surgical treatment is required. And the development of spinal cord compression in the patient, which is accompanied by severe neurological symptoms that can lead to disability.
At present, the most commonly used are microdiscectomy and endoscopic surgery. Using microsurgery instruments and a 10x microscope to operate, you can clearly see the compressed area of the spinal cord. Removal of the hernia protruding on the root or spinal cord. Sometimes a small vertebra or ligament needs to be removed.