Osteochondrosis (bone - osteon, cartilage chondros, gr.)– is degenerative changes in the cartilaginous tissue of the intervertebral disc that start eating disorders, weakening of metabolic processes and lead to aging and tissue destruction of the disc cartilage and intervertebral joints.
Diagnosis and treatment of cervical osteochondrosis is a complex process, since the spine is the most mobile, and the muscles which support the vertebrae, the weakest and most difficult exercise. Another difficulty lies in the fact that the brace for cervical in contrast to the corsets and bandages for other parts of the spine wear is pretty difficult, as it is impossible to hide under clothing.
What causes low back pain
Causes of degenerative disc disease of the cervical diverse – from a hereditary predisposition to constant high loads. In the modern world osteochondrosis significantly younger, its symptoms begin to appear in people 20 years and sometimes younger.
The main causes of diseases are the following:
- Static overload when the person has long time to be in the same position. Permanent seat on the computer chair or driving a car is one of the main causes of degenerative disc disease, including cervical;
- Dynamic overloading, sudden movements, turns, incorrectly calculated loads during sports. Frequent changes in body position, lifting and moving heavy loads;
- Incorrect posture while sitting at a Desk or standing wearing a backpack on one shoulder;
- Disc injuries, permanent myositis of the cervical muscles.
The main causes of the disease are added additional factors, such as hypothermia, exposure to certain chemical substances to air and food, failure to diet and rest, excessive weight, genetic predisposition,venous pathology of the joints, hormonal disruption. All of these factors by themselves can hardly become a cause of osteoarthritis, but in combination with the main reasons they increase the risk of.
How to recognize the disease
Signs of osteochondrosis of the cervical so obvious that anyone easily will be able to learn:
- The difficulties encountered when you try to turn your head. Depending on the localization and intensity of excitation, the rotation angle can be different – sometimes a person absolutely can not turn your head, and sometimes I felt only minor pain;
- Neck muscles are in constant tension, this starts to hurt the entire shoulder girdle. Any attempt to straighten your shoulders and relax your neck muscles accompanied by pain;
- Discomfort in the arm length from the shoulder to the wrist. A feeling of numbness spreads through the outer part of the hands and can be so strong that we have to further stretch your hand;
- Cutting a sharp pain accompanied by a tingling;
- Even a slight tap on the shoulder or arm increases the pain. In the acute stage the pain may be so strong that the man seems to be excessively heavy even draped over shoulders coat;
Any sudden movement, sneezing, coughing, head turning, especially to the healthy side of the neck, the pain is worse.
Diagnosis of the disease
This is the most simple signs of osteoarthritis that can observe and recognize any man alone.
In fact, the symptoms of osteochondrosis of the cervical vertebrae varied. Some of them are so similar to the symptoms of diseases of the cardiovascular system and degenerative disc disease of the thoracic vertebrae that distinguish them can only be a specialist:
- Sometimes the patient may feel numbness in the lower extremities, which restricts the mobility;
- When compressed vertebral artery can occur in migraines, which are associated with restriction of blood supply to the tissues of the brain. With the further development of osteochondrosis headaches can become permanent;
- The nature of the headache can be very different, but most often they occur in the occipital part and moved in the temporal-parietal part. When bending and turning the head, the pain intensified, and when too of consciousness;
- Sometimes there are pressing, long-term pain in the cardiac region.
All these symptoms are not specific and characteristic only for cervical degenerative disc disease, so to correctly determine the location of the pathology can only be a specialist. In the course of diagnostics are used instrumental methods:
- Magnetic resonance imaging;
- Fluoroscopic studies;
- Computed tomography;
These and other techniques allow the doctor to correctly determine which vertebra is affected, where a localized pathology, and in accordance with the intensity of problems and assign adequate treatment.
Basic principles of treatment
How to treat osteochondrosis of the cervical spine can identify only a doctor. Self-medication in most cases does not lead to the desired result, and only exacerbates the problem.
Treatment of osteoarthritis consists of two stages:
- Drug therapy, which is to relieve inflammation and eliminate pain. Essential drugs – NSAIDs and pain relievers that can be taken orally and can be administered intramuscularly. The second route of administration is preferable, as the drug acts faster and does not affect the digestive tract. In hospital the patient may carry out the procedure of electrophoresis, which contributes to the rapid penetration of active ingredients to the site of inflammation;
- Physiotherapy, which begin to hold after removing the inflammation and reduce pain.
The main physiotherapeutic methods of treatment of cervical degenerative disc disease are the following:
- Massage, which should only be performed by a specialist. Do not trust Amateurs, as any wrong touch or a sudden movement may lead to worsening of the problem. To enhance the effect, instead of the usual massage oils you can use anti-inflammatory and analgesic ointment, the active ingredients which massage is easier to penetrate through the skin barrier and have a direct impact on inflammation and pain. The minimum number of sessions is 10, if necessary, can be increased;
- Electrophoresis with the use of anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs;
- UHF, laser therapy, treatment of magnetic fields.
All of these procedures can be performed in a hospital, and some of them at home with the use of special portable devices:
- Physiotherapy, consisting of a specially selected set of exercises. For exercise, uses a variety of equipment, classes should be held under the supervision of a specialist. Effective method of treatment of degenerative disc disease of the cervical exercises on a wooden panel, equipped with movable handles at two different levels using a loop Glisson. You should not perform these exercises on their own, as any careless movement can lead to degradation;
- Use special kinesiology tape that is glued in the course of muscle fibers in the area of pain. She take some of the load themselves, which considerably accelerated the recovery process of the vertebrae, the pain decreases;
- In the course of treatment and further prevention experts recommend using a special neck collars, for example, the tire Trench. These products take some of the load, relieve muscle tension, accelerate the recovery process. Those who is constantly in monotonous posture, such a collar is recommended to put daily on the 1⁄2 - 1 hour in order to neck muscles to rest.
How to help yourself
After the disease patients are often ask ourselves the question of what to do to avoid recurrence or exacerbation of the disease.
The main recommendations are the following:
- It is necessary to conduct a correct lifestyle – Hiking, while working to constantly pursue physical 5-minute period;
- At a constant static state is necessary to periodically change position and required at least 1 time per day to wear a neck brace for relief of the neck muscles and rest;
- 1-2 times a year to visit a masseur for carrying out of prophylactic;
- Sports. The best sport for unloading and strengthening muscles – swimming;
- At the first signs of cervical osteochondrosis, it is necessary to contact the doctor who will perform the examination and prescribe the appropriate treatment.