The main signs and symptoms of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine.

Neck pain with osteochondrosis.

Cervical osteochondrosis is a very common disease that affects men and women equally. Furthermore, age does not play a special role here. Symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis are found not only in the elderly, whose pathology is a consequence of the natural aging process. The disease is increasingly found in young people and, in most cases, they themselves are to blame.

The reasons for the development of pathology

This spinal injury has a degenerative-dystrophic character. That is, in the vertebrae, as well as in all their structural elements, pathological changes occur, which it is no longer possible to reverse in later stages. This type of osteochondrosis is considered the most dangerous, since its consequence is the violation of the main nerve roots and vessels that feed the brain. That is, over time, the column stops working normally throughout its length.

The following reasons for the development of the disease can be distinguished:

  1. Lifting and moving heavy objects.
  2. Significant sports loads.
  3. Inadequate loading of weights.
  4. Long-term adherence to a static posture: working at a computer, writing notes, reading books, office work. This is the main reason for young people.
  5. Genetic factor.

Naturally, inflammatory processes that have arisen in the spine or other parts of the body can also lead to osteochondrosis of the neck. Other reasons are not excluded: hypothermia, trauma, surgery.

Symptom classification

Therefore, the treatment of the spine should be carried out only after the patient has received an accurate diagnosis. And for this, the doctor must know the clinical picture of the patient, as well as apply all methods of instrumental examination. The symptoms that arise in the patient depend on the degree of damage to the body systems:

  1. Most of the symptoms on the brain side are due to impaired blood circulation due to vascular compression.
  2. The picture of peripheral nerve damage appears due to compression of the nerve roots that come out of the vertebral foramen.
  3. Serious neurological disorders appear in the later stages of disease development due to pinching of the spinal cord.

Now you can consider in more detail the main signs of cervical osteochondrosis.

The most common symptoms of pathology

Despite the reason that contributed to the appearance of the problem, the clinical picture is almost always the same in all patients. Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine has the following symptoms:

  • Painful sensations are localized in the neck, the back of the head and the neck area. The pain can also spread to the shoulders, chest, and clavicle of the skeleton. Frequent migraines are characteristic of osteochondrosis. Gradually, the discomfort becomes painful, chronic. The exacerbation of the pathology causes shooting pains during movement. The muscles are very tense at the same time. Sometimes just an injection, an anesthetic block, can eliminate this symptom.
  • Tinnitus, feeling of congestion. This happens as a result of a deterioration in the blood supply to the vestibular apparatus.
  • Dizziness. It is caused by a lack of oxygen, as the inner ear does not receive enough blood. This condition is also accompanied by uncontrolled irregular movements of the pupils.
  • Fainting, from which the patient comes out quickly enough, if there is an improvement in blood circulation in the affected area.
  • Feeling short of breathThe symptom presented appears due to irritation of the phrenic nerve. That is, the patient simply cannot breathe deeply. He also snores and may stop breathing suddenly. Over time, the patient develops shortness of breath and attacks of suffocation. An increased lack of oxygen will damage brain tissue, resulting in impaired attention and memory.
  • Nausea. Sometimes any movement of the body or head is accompanied by vomiting, which is difficult to control. The patient's appetite is altered, weight is reduced.
  • Dizziness and nausea are signs of cervical osteochondrosis
  • Eye sight problems. Cervical osteochondrosis can cause a symptom such as "flies" before the eyes or fog, decreased severity, violation of gaze focus. Also, exercise therapy or wearing glasses cannot fix the problem.
  • Pressure change. This condition occurs due to a spasm of the arteries. The patient may even lose consciousness.
  • Feeling of dryness and lumps in the throat. Sometimes this is the only symptom that says the neck is affected. Therefore, osteochondrosis in this case can easily be confused with other pathologies.
  • Temperature riseThis symptom is rare. Also, it is not the basal temperature that changes, but the local temperature. The skin around the neck becomes hot and red.
  • Restricted mobility. The neck appears to be wedged in. And you can also hear a nasty cracking and cracking in the neck when turning the head.
  • Weakness in the arms and a burning sensation between the shoulder blades.
  • Impaired coordination of movements, which affects the patient's gait.

Some of the signs of cervical osteochondrosis, listed above, are not specific. This makes the diagnosis of the disease a bit difficult, since a person does not go to the specialists in time.

Symptoms of the disease, depending on the degree of its development.

Depending on what symptoms are observed in the patient, what is their prevalence and intensity, we can talk about the stage of development of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine. Each degree has its own characteristics:

  1. First stage. It is accompanied by periodic headaches, discomfort in the neck, shoulders, arms. There is a slight limitation of mobility. In the neck area, there may be a slight decrease in skin sensitivity. At this stage, treatment is practically not carried out, since patients do not seek medical help. Some patients try to treat osteochondrosis at home with folk remedies.
  2. Second stage. In the cervical spine, the pain intensifies, an unpleasant crunch is heard. In the shoulder region, as well as on the hands, a serious violation of sensitivity appears. Headaches at this stage practically do not disappear, the patient's vision deteriorates, noises are produced in the head and ears, and the clarity of tendon reflexes decreases. During an exacerbation of osteochondrosis, shooting pains appear, radiating under the scapula. Here it is no longer possible not to notice the symptoms of the disease and the patient tries to see a doctor. However, it is no longer possible to completely get rid of defeat. It will only be possible to stop its further development.
  3. Third stage. Here the collagen fibers of the disc are already destroyed, the appearance of a hernial bulge. The fixation of the vertebrae is disrupted and they begin to fall off. Dislocations can even occur. The patient develops very severe pain in the neck and heart, there is paresis and paralysis of the upper extremities, the spine is bent. Tendon reflexes at this stage of the development of osteochondrosis are practically absent. A complication of this degree of cervical osteochondrosis is a spinal stroke.

If a person is "rescued" from illness at home without consulting a doctor, then this behavior can result in disability.

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine cannot be completely cured, but timely and correct therapy can slow down its progression.

What syndromes cause osteochondrosis?

So there are certain sets of symptoms that indicate that a person has a certain syndrome. If at least one sign is absent, then it is not necessary to talk about such a pathological condition.

There are several syndromes caused by cervical osteochondrosis:

  • Root. Otherwise, it can be called "cervical radiculitis. "It appears as a result of pinched nerves. It is characterized by the following symptoms: the presence of pain that radiates to the shoulder blades, runs down the shoulder and spreads to the forearms and fingers; the appearance of "flies" before the eyes; tingling in fingers, forearms, hands. The location of symptoms may vary depending on the pair of roots that is damaged.
  • Irritating reflex. It is characterized by a sharp burning pain in the neck and occiput, which appears due to movement after sleep, when sneezing. Unpleasant sensations can be given to the chest.
  • Vertebral artery syndrome. Here the following symptoms stand out: loss of consciousness, nausea, severe burning headache of nature, spreading to the parietal, temporal and occipital parts of the skull. The patient is characterized by weakness, hearing impairment, eye pain, and blurred vision.
  • Cardiac. It has a peculiarity: it is easy to confuse it with an attack of angina pectoris, so the prescribed treatment can turn out to be wrong. If the patient is diagnosed with cervical osteochondrosis, the symptoms of cardiac syndrome are as follows: pain of sudden onset, which increases with the slightest movement; tachycardia; the inability to stop the attack with special pills for the heart that promote the expansion of the coronary vessels. At the same time, there are no signs of circulatory disorders on the cardiogram.

Since osteochondrosis has a chronic form, its exacerbations occur periodically. The intensity of the symptoms increases. The feelings can persist for a long time and only an anesthetic injection can eliminate them. The tablets may not be effective.

How is pathology diagnosed?

To accurately determine the severity of osteochondrosis, to identify the degree of destruction of the vertebrae, the patient must undergo a comprehensive examination. It includes the following procedures:

  • External examination of the patient.
  • Neurological tests.
  • Duplex scan or Doppler ultrasound of blood vessels.
  • Magnetic resonance.
  • Cervical spine radiograph in two views.
  • Electrocardiogram.

Laboratory tests in this case are not informative. Although they are sometimes prescribed to determine the cause of the development of osteochondrosis.

Features of the treatment of pathology

Therefore, the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis should be carried out in the early stages. Also, a sick person can take the necessary drugs, do therapeutic exercises at home, but only after a thorough examination and consultation with specialists.

Therapy must be comprehensive. It is not enough to eliminate the symptoms of the pathology. It is necessary to try to restore the functionality of the cervical spine. For this, a person needs drugs (painkillers, hormones, vitamin complexes, chondroprotective drugs), as well as therapeutic exercises.

To eliminate severe pain that pills cannot stop, a special injection is used, which is performed in the inter-joint region. However, this blocking method can only be used a few times a year.

In addition to drug treatment, the patient is offered physiotherapy procedures: massage, ultrasound and ultraviolet treatment. If conservative therapy does not work, then the patient is prescribed surgical intervention. But it is, rather, an extreme measure, and it is better not to allow the disease to reach such a state.