The symptoms and treatment of cervical degenerative disc disease

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is the result of a sedentary lifestyle, improper diet. The first symptoms can appear in 25 years, if not treated, will develop serious complications. In disease therapy integrated approach – medication, diet therapy, exercise therapy and physiotherapy.

osteochondrosis of the cervical

Causes of degenerative disc disease of the cervical spine

Cervical osteochondrosis – a degenerative-dystrophic changes in the intervertebral discs, the joints that leads to reduced mobility of the neck, the appearance of pronounced pain syndrome. The main cause of the disease – disorders of mineral metabolism, causing the bones and joints become less strong.

Why is cervical osteochondrosis:

  • overweight, sedentary lifestyle;
  • violation of posture, scoliosis;
  • rheumatism;
  • flat feet;
  • VSD;
  • an improper diet.

To trigger the development of deformation of the cervical vertebrae can injuries, injuries of the spine, excessive physical exertion, stress. In women, low back pain often occurs during pregnancy, during menopause, the hormonal changes decreases the amount of calcium, the bone becomes brittle.

General symptoms and signs

At a constant high load on the cervical vertebrae becomes stiff, compressed blood vessels of the cervical, disturbed the circulation process, there are failures in metabolic processes – is changing the structure of intervertebral discs, they are deformed, begin to extend beyond the vertebral column.

What is osteochondrosis of the cervical spine:

  • radicular syndrome due to compression of the nerve endings there is pain that spreads from the neck to the shoulder blades, arms, covers the anterior chest wall;
  • muscle weakness in the hands, the visible swelling of the neck;
  • when you move your head you hear a crunch;
  • weakness, chronic fatigue, changes in blood pressure;
  • the disorder, often feel dizzy, attacks are accompanied by nausea, vomiting;
  • the deterioration of vision and hearing, noise, ringing in the ears;
  • numbness of the limbs, tongue;
  • frequent migraines;
  • in women aged 45-65 years during sleep there is pain, numbness, tingling in upper extremities, seizures can be repeated several times during the night.

With cervical osteochondrosis disturbed nutrition and blood supply in the brain, disturbances of a neurotic nature – anxiety, irritability, mood swings, sleep disturbance.

Classification of cervical degenerative disc disease

With the development of the degenerative disc disease goes through several stages of development, each of which has characteristic features. How does the affected segment of the spine at different stages, you can see in the photo.

The extent of the disease:

  1. Osteochondrosis of 1 degree, the initial stage proceeds without much symptoms, concerned about human rare and slight pain when rotating and tilting the head, the back muscles tire quickly.
  2. Osteochondrosis of 2 degrees – the vertebrae become unstable, pinch the nerve, discomfort in the neck become pronounced, gives to the shoulder, arm. Additional symptoms – fatigue, frequent headaches in the occipital region, a distraction.
  3. Low back pain grade 3 – pain becomes chronic, covers the upper back, arms, is pronounced muscle weakness, numb limbs, intervertebral hernia develops, there are often bouts of dizziness.
  4. Osteochondrosis of 4 degrees – there is a complete destruction of the intervertebral discs, they are replaced by connective tissue, the pathological process involves several segments of the spine. Observed poor coordination, frequent dizzy spells, which cause noise in the ears.

Acute low back pain – a consequence of the chronic form of the disease, is characterized by strong attack of severe pain that arises suddenly after waking up.

symptoms of degenerative disc disease

To what doctor to address?

If signs of cervical degenerative disc disease you must see a neurologist, in some hospitals there are more spine – specialist engaged in the treatment of diseases of the spine.

Diagnostic methods

Advanced forms of degenerative disc disease have a distinct clinical picture that allows you to supply the initial diagnosis already at the initial examination. To identify the degree of degenerative changes in the vertebrae will help methods of instrumental diagnostics.

Principal surveys of osteochondrosis:

  • x – ray method is effective only in the early stages of development of the pathology;
  • The MRI on the screen you can clearly see the structure of bone structures, the size and direction of development of intervertebral hernias, condition of the spinal cord;
  • The CT method is less effective than MRI, because it does not gives accurate information about the presence and size of hernia;
  • duplex scanning – allows you to see blood flow disorders;
  • the together – shows the presence of entrapment, inflammation, and other nerve injuries;
  • rheoencephalogram – prescribed for circulatory disorders of the brain.

For precise and thorough examination of the condition of certain of the vertebrae is carried out discography in intervertebral disc are injected a contrast agent that allows you to see the slightest changes in the tissues, to distinguish scarring from hernia.

Methods of treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical

At the initial stage of development to cure low back pain without drugs, it is enough to revise the diet, daily routine, regularly perform a complex of special exercises. With advanced forms of the disease effective treatment is possible only under condition of application of various medicines which help to delay degenerative changes in the vertebrae.

In the complex of therapeutic measures necessarily include physiotherapy – electrophoresis with drugs, ultrasound, magnetotherapy, laser therapy. These methods help to cope with pain, inflammation, swelling of tissues, improves metabolic processes and blood circulation.


Exercise therapy is prescribed in the recovery period, during exacerbation of osteochondrosis contraindicated physical exercise, gymnastics simple, you can do it at home, you need to engage regularly.

Gymnastics Bubnovsky for the treatment and prevention of cervical degenerative disc disease:

  1. In a standing position with arms freely lowered along the body. His head tilted forward, chin to try to chest, hold this position for a count of 3. His head tilted back, chin looks up, count to 3. Return to the starting position.
  2. In the standing position turn your head left, right, in every extreme point to fix the position for a few seconds. Repeat 3 times each side.
  3. In a standing position, tilt your head to the right, the left ear to try to reach the shoulder hold this position for 30 seconds. To perform 6 repetitions in each direction.
  4. Standing, hands on waist, chin parallel to the floor, pulled forward. Turn your head, chin to stay on the shoulder, the torso to rotate a little, linger for half a minute. Do 6 repetitions in each direction, may be slight pain in the spine.
  5. In the sitting position, back straight, hands on his knees. Dilute direct hand in hand, a little bit to get back, head at the same time to tilt back, to return to the starting position, repeat 5 times.
  6. In the sitting position the head to rotate to the right, the palm of his left hand to stay on the right shoulder, elbow parallel to the floor, his right hand lying on his knee, return to starting position. To perform 6 repetitions in each direction.
  7. In the sitting position put your hands up over your head, okay to join, elbows slightly bent, rotate your head to the side until a light pain, fixing the position at the point for a few seconds. Repeat for 6 turns in each direction.

Between exercises take a break in 30 seconds. Before starting gymnastics should take a warm shower, make a few smooth head tilts in different directions to warm up your muscles. After completion of charging, light stretching will help to avoid unpleasant feelings the next day.



Drug therapy in osteochondrosis aims to eliminate discomfort and restore mobility of the vertebrae, slowing of degenerative changes in the tissues. Acute attacks of pain relieve injections NSAIDs or corticosteroids, chronic diseases treated with ointments, pills.

How to treat osteochondrosis:

  • NSAIDs, they are produced in the form of tablets and drugs for external use, eliminate swelling, pain;
  • corticosteroids – cropped acute pain syndrome;
  • B vitamins, restore metabolic processes in tissues;
  • chondro – contribute to the restoration of cartilage;
  • medications to improve blood flow, nutrition to the brain;
  • nootropics improve brain function, memory;
  • muscle relaxants – eliminate muscle spasm;
  • for local treatment using creams and gels with anti-inflammatory, warming effect.

To drug therapy to be effective, you must combine it with exercise, diet, otherwise no medication will help get rid of degenerative disc disease.

Folk remedies

The popular treatment you want to use as a complement to drug therapy and physical therapy, to get rid of the disease non-traditional methods will not help.

What to do when cervical osteochondrosis in house conditions:

  1. Fresh leaf horseradish pour over boiling water, cool slightly, inner side to attach to the neck, to lock thin natural cloth. The procedure to do before going to bed, compress to leave on all night.
  2. To grate raw potato, mix in equal proportions with warm, liquid honey. The mixture is used for compresses, the procedure is carried out 1-2 times a week.
  3. Mix a raw egg 100 ml sunflower oil 20 ml of vinegar and 20 g of flour, the mixture is removed to a dark place for 48 hours, remove the foil from the surface. A means to smear the inflamed area before bedtime, store in the fridge.
  4. In may to collect pine buds with a length of 2 cm, cut into thin slices, folded in a container of dark glass. 1 part raw take 2 parts sugar, medication to remove in a dark place for 2 weeks. Drink 5 ml of the mixture three times a day, just do not swallow, hold it for 2-3 minutes in the mouth. Course duration – 15 to 20 days, repeated 2-3 times a year.
  5. Grind 150 g of peeled garlic and 400 g of cranberries, blend folded in a glass bowl, after 24 hours, add 800 ml of honey, mix well. Take 5 ml of medicine three times a day before meals.

To cope with severe pain, pull the excess salt will help the cabbage leaf, smeared with honey, compress to lock on the neck warm with a scarf, leave on all night.

Massage with cervical osteochondrosis

Massage helps to strengthen muscle tone, improve blood circulation in the tissues, in severe forms of osteoarthritis sessions held by the specialist. In milder forms of the disease, prevention will help self – massage-the treatment is carried out at home.

Massage technique:

  1. Warm up muscles – both hands intensely hold back, lateral surface of the neck from top to bottom. The heating time is 2 minutes.
  2. The edge of a palm pressed to the bottom of the neck, sliding movements to move to the area of hair growth, then to the shoulder joints.
  3. With the fingertips of both hands to do circular rubbing motion in the neck area from the hairline to the forearms, from the spine to the ears and back.
  4. To pinch the neck muscles upwards, then in the opposite direction.
  5. Stroking of the neck to the shoulder blades carried out after each exercise.

Possible consequences and complications

The cervical vertebrae are located close to each other, the height of the intervertebral discs are small, so a variety of complications of osteochondrosis occur even with minor degenerative changes in the bone tissue.

How dangerous osteochondrosis of the cervical spine:

  • frequent migraine attacks;
  • heart rhythm disturbances, atherosclerosis;
  • protrusion, intervertebral hernia, bony growths of the vertebrae;
  • serious pathology of the brain;
  • the narrowing of the lumen of the vertebral artery that leads to the development of VSD, hypertension cerebral disability;
  • spinal stroke.

Contraindications in cervical osteochondrosis

To lead a full life in osteochondrosis, it is necessary to avoid actions that can provoke the onset of pain, worsening of the disease.

What not to do in cervical osteochondrosis:

  • to sleep on very hard or soft mattress, on a high pillow;
  • lift weights, if you need to lift something heavy, it should be done with a straight back with bent knees;
  • to carry the bag on one shoulder;
  • during exacerbation of pathology to do the active movements of the head, the neck;
  • to smoke, to drink alcohol;
  • walking without a scarf in cold weather, sitting in a draft near the air conditioner;
  • long to be in an uncomfortable position, sitting position;
  • wear high-heeled shoes;
  • crunching the neck.

Thermal procedures hot compress, a visit to the baths, warming the blue lamp, can be done only in remission of the disease. During exacerbation of heat only for a short time will relieve the pain, but soon the discomfort will return, to increase the degree of their manifestation.

Prevention of the disease

To preserve the health of the spine, it is enough to observe simple rules of prevention.

How to avoid cervical degenerative disc disease:

  • get rid of excess weight;
  • every morning to do gymnastics, swimming, yoga, dancing;
  • spend more time outdoors, especially useful for morning walks;
  • eat right, control salt intake, to observe the drinking mode;
  • in sedentary work every hour to do a workout for the neck, to monitor the posture;
  • to keep the neck warm;
  • to sleep, to avoid physical, mental and emotional exhaustion.

Cervical osteochondrosis is a chronic, slowly progressive disease, the symptoms do not manifest immediately. Good mix of traditional and folk methods of treatment, exercise and diet will help to cope with unpleasant symptoms and simple preventive measures to avoid recurrence of the disease.