A modern sedentary lifestyle is the reason that such a common disease as cervical osteochondrosis is actively getting younger. "IT people", drivers and other representatives of "sedentary" professions are increasingly complaining about him. According to doctors, even 17-year-old teenagers complain of cervical osteochondrosis. As a rule, these are those who actively use a smartphone.
The fact is that depending on the inclination over the gadget, the human spine experiences a load of 12 to 27 kg. The more time a person spends in this position, the faster the intervertebral discs wear out, pain in the neck and back occurs, and then osteochondrosis. Doctors strongly recommend starting treatment immediately when the first symptoms appear, otherwise the consequences of neglecting one's health may be irreversible.
What is this disease - cervical osteochondrosis?
The most mobile among all parts of the spine is the cervical. It has seven vertebrae which are connected by elastic intervertebral discs. Each disc has an anulus fibrosus with a nucleus pulposus inside.
A metabolic disorder in it may indicate the appearance of osteochondrosis, in which the intervertebral disc loses its strength and elasticity. In the future, under the influence of loads, the fibrous ring protrudes, cracks appear on it.
The cervical region has many nerve channels and blood vessels to provide nutrition to the brain, and the vertebrae are closely adjacent to each other. Thus, even a moderate deformation of one of the vertebrae leads to the fact that the nerve structures and blood vessels are compressed.
What are the symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis and what is their danger?
The first signs of the disease manifest themselves in the form of tension and tingling sensations in the muscles of the neck, pain that can radiate to the back of the head, shoulder blades, and arms. When cerebral circulation is disturbed due to osteochondrosis, migraines, vegetovascular diseases, and hypertension appear. Also, the disease has a bad effect on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, general coordination, hearing and vision deteriorate.
If treatment is not started in time, cervical osteochondrosis can cause intervertebral protrusion, hernia, and vertebral artery syndrome.
Diagnosis of cervical osteochondrosis
Diagnosis and treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine are carried out by highly specialized specialists - orthopedic traumatologists and neurologists specializing in the field of vertebrology. First of all, the doctor determines the severity of the symptoms of the disease. Possible causes of the appearance are also determined - harmful working conditions, patient habits, the presence of injuries.
If this is necessary, the patient is recommended an additional examination:
- X-ray shows the degree of instability of the cervical vertebral bodies.
- MRI can detect the formation of protrusions, herniated discs and the condition of soft tissues.
- Ultrasound of the vessels of the head and cervical region (Dopplerography) is recommended for cerebrovascular accidents, migraines. This examination allows you to determine the condition of the vertebral arteries, veins, as well as the presence of pathological tortuosity and vascular loops. Ultrasound also allows you to see violations of the patency of blood vessels. Together, all these examinations allow you to see the overall picture of the state of the cervical spine in order to correctly establish the diagnosis and prescribe the most effective treatment and further rehabilitation to secure a long-term result.
Features of the treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine
The treatment is aimed at improving the blood supply to the brain and tissues surrounding the cervical spine, increasing the mobility of blocked segments of the cervical spine, and reducing pain and myotonic syndrome.
To achieve these goals, various methods are used:
- Massages in combination with light orthopedic corrections to improve blood flow in the cervical spine.
- Short lever method for spinal correction. This non-traumatic method allows you to effectively eliminate functional blocks and restore segment mobility.
- Shock wave therapy to improve metabolic processes, renew cells and affected tissue areas, and eliminate muscle spasms.
- Carboxytherapy (therapeutic effect of carbon dioxide on the tissues of the spine and joints).
- Physiotherapeutic methods of treatment (electrotherapy and magnetotherapy).
- Drug treatment (blockades, multizonal and other injections) in combination with the above methods. Medications are used only in some cases, to relieve an acute condition with myotonic (soft tissue edema) and pain syndrome.
Exercise therapy for osteochondrosis of the cervical spine
In the treatment of diseases, physiotherapy exercises are becoming increasingly popular. It is used not only in a state of remission, but also as a prevention of cervical osteochondrosis. Physical exercises improve blood circulation, strengthen the muscular corset, eliminate restrictions on the mobility of the vertebrae, increase the range of motion, and allow you to restore neuromuscular connections.
Effective results are achieved by therapy according to the Finnish-German David method, which is carried out at the Institute of Vertebrology and Rehabilitation. In the course of complex computer testing, the vulnerability of the cervical spine, muscle asymmetry in the cervical region, the predominance or lack of development of the muscular system is determined. Based on these indicators, the possible load is calculated and an individual training program is formed on innovative medical simulators. For treatment and consolidation of the result, a course of 24 sessions should be taken twice a year. The results of training on simulators are usually visible after 5-6 sessions.
Self-medication is not an option
Signs of cervical osteochondrosis are often ignored or self-medicated. Meanwhile, it can lead to serious complications. A person is especially at risk in the case of self-treatment or the use of traumatic manual techniques and physical manipulations, which not only do not cure, but can even aggravate the disease. It is better to entrust the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis to qualified specialists who will select for you gentle, modern and effective methods that exclude the possibility of injury to the affected cervical spine.