Osteochondrosis is a degenerative bone condition that most commonly affects the spine and knees. This primarily causes excruciating pain and movement problems. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out complex treatment.
Osteochondrosis - what is it?
It is based on a violation of endochondral ossification. However, this condition is the result of local ischemia of hyaline cartilage in the metaphyses of the growing bone. This condition is often called juvenile osteochondrosis precisely because it develops in the developing skeletal system.
In patients with osteochondrosis, the cartilage tissue is ischemic, depleted and as a result dies. The cartilage does not mineralize but ossifies and then detaches from the bone on which it was formed because it is not very strong. The separation of cartilage from bone can be due to mechanical factors.
Osteochondrosis can manifest itself in various forms, but patients often have:
- Osteochondrosis of the spine, which in most cases includes the lumbar or cervical spine.
- Osteochondrosis of the knee with burdening of the tuberosity of the tibia, which forms the knee joint.
In this article, we will pay special attention to osteochondrosis of the cervical spine (SHO).
Osteochondrosis - causes
Osteochondrosis is a disease, the degenerative-dystrophic causes of which largely depend on the form of the disease occurring in a particular patient. In the case of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, its development may be the result of a violation of the tension of the structures responsible for the stabilization of the spine. The cause of the disease can also be a gradual loss of the cushioning properties of the intervertebral discs. As for osteochondrosis of the knee, it usually occurs as a result of an avulsion fracture of the tibial tuberosity. This is an overload arising from an imbalance between the cross section of the muscle, the surface of its attachment and the forces acting on a too small area, that is, the tuberosity of the tibia.
Characteristics of osteochondrosis of the cervical segment
Osteochondrosis of the cervical segment of the spine differs in manifestations from osteochondrosis of the lumbar and thoracic segments.
The neck region contains many blood vessels and nerves, including the vertebral artery, which enters the spinal canal. Therefore, with osteochondrosis of the cervical segment of the spine, when the vertebrae are displaced, nerve formations appear on the lateral sections (which can irritate the muscles and areas around the ligaments).
When the vertebral artery is compressed due to narrowing of the artery (stenosis), the blood supply to the brain stem and cerebellum decreases.
Symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis
Symptoms of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine are caused by the following factors: compression of the spinal roots (cervical radiculitis), compression of the spinal cord (myelopathy), damage to the spinal cord due to circulatory disorders associated with stenosis (narrowing) of arteries and veins.
Radicular syndromes (cervical sciatica)
Symptoms of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine are associated with compression (compression) of the nerve roots. Pain can occur from neck to shoulder and spread to the outer surface of the shoulder, forearm, and fingers. This can affect the sensitivity of the forearm, hand, and fingers.
Spinal artery syndrome
Headache (paroxysmal, persistent, impulsive, which intensifies when turning the head), dizziness, blurred vision, ringing in the ears.
In the acute stage, accompanied by severe pain, local administration of pain relievers and corticosteroids is indicated to relieve muscle tension in the motor segment of the vertebrae and reduce pain.
Combinations of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antispasmodics, analgesics and vitamins are effective.