Cervical degenerative disc disease: symptoms and treatment

Cervical osteochondrosis is a very common disease in today's world. Many people are at an early stage, but do not even know it. Spread osteochondrosis of the neck due to the fact that people are more sitting and less moving. Let's take a more detail the reasons for this unpleasant disease and how to deal with it.


What is cervical osteochondrosis?

So, cervical osteochondrosis - a degenerative-dystrophic diseases of the cartilage tissue and of the musculoskeletal apparatus. The disease is characterized by pathological changes in the structure of cartilage, which leads to the violation of the anatomical structural elements of the spine, break the movement of the skeleton and the cause of the pain. The disease can affect any part of the spine, but because of excessive mobility and miniature size of the vertebrae in the cervical segment is most commonly affected by this disease. Neck daily experienced an impressive load. Head turns and even the fact that the preservation of the cause of the vertebrae and intervertebral discs work. From regular exposure to the outside of the intervertebral discs become thinner, they appear microcracks. Over time, reducing their height, they begin to change the thickness down, and cease to perform its main task – to cushioning the vertebrae.

Causes of cervical degenerative disc disease

The reasons for the development of the disease, mainly due to age-related aging and the increasing destruction of bone and cartilage. You can also call the following causes of osteochondrosis:

the vertebrae
  • posture
  • reduction of motor activity as a result of lack of exercise
  • weight, which is the result of metabolic disorders, is able to load on the intervertebral discs
  • hereditary factor
  • long-term physical load
  • spine abnormalities

Symptoms of cervical degenerative disc disease

Cervical degenerative disc disease has specific symptoms. This is due to the anatomical features of the cervical part of the spine. Patients often complain about pain of varying intensity, an increase of long-term stay in one position. Pain often increase the other symptoms:

  • weakness of the upper limbs
  • numbness and tingling in the hands
  • stiffness when moving the head
  • dizziness (it says that damaged items in the affected artery)
  • tingling lips
  • the feeling of a lump in the throat

Signs of cervical degenerative disc disease

In medicine it is customary to divide the symptoms of degenerative disc disease based on the nature of symptomatic manifestations, merged into one syndrome. Is 4 so the syndrome:

  • the root system shows compression of the nerve fibers, which cause severe pain, as well as a number of autonomic nervous system symptoms (dizziness, weakness, lump in the throat);
  • the vertebral artery is damaged, the clamp elements of a large vertebral artery, which causes severe headaches, dizziness;
  • the spine – provokes pain in the neck;
  • heart – disguised as angina pectoris, manifested by severe chest pain similar to a heart attack.

Stage of development cervical degenerative disc disease

1 degree of degenerative disc disease

diagram of the spine

It is characterized by initial destruction of the intervertebral discs. Fibrous ring cracks, broken strength and elasticity of the disc decreases its height, which is compression of the nerve roots. Is characteristic aching pain. Sometimes, phase 1 (preclinical) this pain may be absent, and osteochondrosis happens to moderate discomfort in the neck.

2 the degree of osteochondrosis

If osteochondrosis of 1 degree is not treated or treatment is not effective, it is osteochondrosis of 2 degrees, chronic. The pain becomes constant, destruction and compaction of the intervertebral disc continues and leads to a slight dislocation of the cervical vertebrae. Cervical degenerative disc disease at this stage may develop the syndrome of the descending head. This syndrome is characterized by severe pain, and one is to support the head in a fixed state, in order to reduce the pain.

3 the degree of osteochondrosis

The fibrous ring was almost destroyed, which leads to complications of degenerative disc disease — protrusion of the intervertebral disc or intervertebral hernia. 3. stages of osteoarthritis of the intensity of pain can decrease, as affects the cartilage disk between the vertebrae is simply not there, and therefore not the source of the pain, but compression of the nerve root remains, so the pain does not go away.

Diagnosis of cervical degenerative disc disease

If you suspect the presence of cervical degenerative disc disease should be promptly referred to a medical facility. Integrated diagnostics help to identify the disease, to assess its extent and to understand the causes of the pathology development. it Preliminary diagnosis is based on inspection and palpation – osteochondrosis marked tension in the neck muscles, in some cases, a visible deformity of the spine. After an objective diagnosis, the doctor sends the patient for further examination. To confirm the diagnosis, the following diagnostic methods:

  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • radiography (lateral and straight)
  • computed tomography of the

To find out the cause of the disease may in addition appoint: ultrasound examination of the nearby organs, ECG heart, duplex scanning of blood vessels, blood and urine.

Treatment of cervical degenerative disc disease

Treatment of osteoarthritis requires a comprehensive approach. Temporarily remove the pain use painkillers, but on the basis of the treatment is physical therapy, massage. Massage helps to relieve the hypertonicity of the muscles, strengthening of painful sensations. The procedure also restores the normal blood circulation, improves the supply of damaged tissues. According to the results of a course of massage to relieve tension in the cervical, share the load on the spine. Medication. Medications to relieve pain and inflammation, restore blood flow and remove spasms of the neck muscles. This can be done in the following groups of drugs: corticosteroids, analgesics, muscle relaxants, etc. Physiotherapy. In addition, medications to relax the neck muscles, eliminate spasms and normalizes blood flow to help with physical therapy: acupuncture, effect laser, magnetic, UHF-therapy, phonophoresis, etc. massage Physiotherapy. Special exercises help patients to strengthen the muscular frame, align the posture and improve blood flow to the upper part of the spine. If in the late stages of degenerative disc disease of the cervical spine or lack of effectiveness of conservative techniques require surgical intervention.

Prevention of cervical degenerative disc disease

In order to prevent the development of cervical degenerative disc disease recommendation: if you have a sedentary job, you need to make a five-minute break every hour to avoid stress on the neck, not to make sudden head movements, to monitor posture, to avoid hypothermia, exercise, swimming, eat right, sleep should have a firm mattress and low pillow, the angle of neck flexion should not be more than 15 degrees; 25. after the age of to avoid shock loads on the spine (jumping, running). In any case, the appearance of the symptoms, you should visit your doctor. Do not self-medicate!