Cervical osteochondrosis

Diseases of the spine can be very unpleasant. In the event that they affect the cervical spine, there is a risk of complications in the spinal cord and brain. Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine often leads to headaches, changes in the functioning of internal organs and circulatory disorders.

Doctors divide the development of cervical osteochondrosis into three stages. In the first and second stages, degenerative-dystrophic changes in the vertebral discs (dryness, flattening) appear. In this case, the structure of the disks themselves does not change.

neck pain - symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis in a woman

At the initial stage, the symptoms of the disease are just beginning to appear. At the second stage, their manifestation is more specific, while intensifying with head movements, severe fatigue and stress. The third stage is the appearance of pathological processes of the spinal disc (osteophytes), a rupture of the fibrous ring is observed, which leads to the prolapse of the nucleus of the vertebral disc and, as a result, the formation of a herniation ofthe cervical spine. At the third stage, the pain is observed continuously, while the movements of the head and shoulders are difficult, the person is not able to perform standard household operations.


One of the main symptoms of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is pain in the neck, caused by pinching or inflammation of the nerve roots. In this case, the pain usually radiates to the neck-collar area, shoulder, forearm and under the scapula. The pain can spread to the left or right hand and numb some fingers.

In addition to pain, cervical osteochondrosis is characterized by:

  • dizziness,
  • "Flies" in front of the eyes,
  • hearing impairment
  • memory loss
  • headache with localization at the back of the head and temples.

If the disease lasts for several years, vascular atherosclerosis and discirculatory encephalopathy (a severe decrease in mental capacity) may be added.

With a circular motion of the head, a patient with cervical osteochondrosis usually hears a characteristic crunch.

The reasons

The main cause of cervical osteochondrosis is the improper posture of the body when sitting. In addition, during daily operations tilted forward, during construction and repair work with the head tilted back, it is also easy to acquire symptoms of this disease. This is due to the fact that excessive stress on the neck can change the structure of cartilage tissue, which can lead to pathological changes in the intervertebral discs. In addition, the reasons for the development of cervical osteochondrosis can be a violation of calcium metabolism in the body, hereditary factors, trauma, severe hypothermia and increased sports.


It is only possible to completely cure and prevent the re-development of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine with a complete change in lifestyle, constant prophylaxis and thermal therapy. In practice, few people succeed.

At the first stage of the development of osteochondrosis, the patient is usually helped by conservative non-drug therapy. At the same time, it is necessary to correct the posture, pay more attention to the right equipment of the workplace and often stop for simple physiotherapy exercises. Swimming, increased physical activity and the intake of vitamin and mineral complexes can have a positive effect on the entire musculoskeletal system.

In the event that treatment began in the second or third stage of the disease, the main task is to relieve pain. In advanced cases, surgical methods of treatment may be prescribed to stabilize the damaged vertebrae, but these cases are individual and modern physiotherapy often helps to prevent this.

Physiotherapy methods

In cases when drug therapy is contraindicated or has not shown the necessary positive effect, physiotherapy methods of classical and alternative medicine are used in the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis. First of all, they are aimed at eliminating muscle spasms, inflammation and pain.

Reflexology.The essence of the method is to stimulate the biologically active points by inserting special fine needles into them at a certain depth. The procedure is painful and helps relieve pain in the spine. A complete reflexology course consists of several sessions.

Massage.The classic method to eliminate muscle pain and improve blood circulation.

Shock wave therapy (SWT).It is able to restore blood circulation and remove osteophytes, restore the normal structure of cartilage tissue. The positive effect is observed after 1 to 2 sessions. The course of shock wave therapy usually includes up to ten procedures and can be prescribed as part of complex therapy.

Physiotherapy. A number of specific daily exercises help strengthen the muscles of the cervical spine, which in turn can reduce stress on that area. Exercise therapy is indicated at all stages of the disease, as well as as a preventive measure. A set of such exercises can include:

  • head turns on the sides;
  • the head tilts forwards and backwards;
  • raise the shoulders;
  • alternating tension of the flexors and extensors of the neck with a stationary head position.

The exercises should be repeated 5-7 times. The duration of the lesson is 15 to 20 minutes.

The set of exercises is always selected by specialists in physiotherapy, taking into account the specifics of the disease and the patient's condition.

Food and lifestyle. Both in the process of conservative treatment and after surgery, it is recommended to eat foods rich in calcium and vitamins, to correct the usual postures and posture in general, orthopedic pillows and a mattress.


It is necessary, if possible, to avoid hypothermia and infectious diseases, a prolonged stay in front of the computer in one position. If you are going for a long trip, use a neck support pillow which can reduce muscle tension. For daily sleep, it is recommended to use orthopedic pillows and a mattress that can ensure the correct position of the head.