Unfortunately, today due to cervical degenerative disc disease symptoms feeling headache and neck pain is familiar to nearly every adult. And 70% of the population older than 25 years(and possibly earlier) these symptoms occur periodically. Doctors put the diagnosis: cervical osteochondrosis and prescribed treatment, depending on stage and nature of the disease.
What is cervical osteochondrosis?
Is degenerative changes in the intervertebral discs of the spine occur due to uneven load on the spine. The body of the vertebrae, from the first to the seventh cervical at the same time gradually deformed, depleted and destroyed. The main symptom of cervical degenerative disc disease is a headache, the pain can affect the neck, chest and in the shoulder and in other parts of the spine. The cervical spine is connected with all its divisions: thoracic, lumbar, sacral, and coccygeal. All vertebrae are sequentially connected to each other vertically. And any violation of the vertebrae of the cervical affects the entire spine.
Why headaches can be considered the main symptom of cervical degenerative disc disease?
Cervical spine is the most mobile of all spinal and most vulnerable. There are very small vertebrae vertebrae is much thinner than other departments. In addition, the neck must support the head when walking upright. The tension of the neck muscles leads to a permanent spasserovannye vessels of the head and neck. Hence the headaches that arise from time to time, or lasting for hours and days. A large number of muscles connect the back with the neck. Eight short deep muscle connects the occipital bone with the first and second cervical vertebrae. Two deep muscles connect the back of the head with each of the seven cervical vertebrae. Longest muscle of the head and neck connect the head and each vertebra with each other. Tension and spasm of any muscle can cause headache and neck pain. Therefore, to deal with a headache, starting with the treatment of cervical degenerative disc disease.
Other causes of cervical degenerative disc disease
Causes of cervical degenerative disc disease can be called, and the following factors:
- genetic predisposition
- a sedentary lifestyle
- heavy load on the spine
- stress and nervous shock
- of metabolic disorders
- wearing the wrong shoes
As you can see, specific causes leading to the development of cervical degenerative disc disease is not. The process of degenerative changes in the intervertebral discs often happens slowly and quietly.
Stages in the development of cervical degenerative disc disease
Very often people are not aware of the presence of such diseases as cervical degenerative disc disease symptoms feeling and a headache and neck pain prefer not to pay attention to, or limited by the intake of analgesic drugs. However, the development of osteoarthritis occurs in several stages:
- The first stage begins discomfort in the neck area with prolonged walking, prolonged sitting at the computer or behind the wheel in one position. In the intervertebral discs thus start to form small buds. Degenerative changes of the vertebrae at the initial stage.
- In the second phase of development of an osteochondrosis arise long pain in the neck, in the temporal part of the head, in the neck. You may receive a ringing from the ears, pain when bending and turning the head. The mobility of the neck vertebrae begins to decline, a possible disc protrusion.
- In the third stage headaches pronounced. The person feels dizziness, lack of air, shortness of breath. Can be present pain in the shoulders and different parts of the spine. The mobility of the neck thus restricted. The fibrous ring of the intervertebral discs breaks down, the nucleus pulposus loses its elasticity. Degenerative changes in the discs of the vertebrae pronounced.
- The last stage in the development of cervical degenerative disc disease is characterized by the presence of the herniated discs. Most of the destructive changes are irreversible. Affected almost all regions of the spine. Treatment is possible only through surgery.
Symptoms of cervical degenerative disc disease
Along with headache and pain in the neck, depending on the stage of development of the process of cervical degenerative disc disease, a number of symptoms that accompany this disease:
- A feeling of heaviness in the head
- The clicking of the vertebrae when turning or tilting the head
- Feeling the crunch in the neck
- Tinnitus and a feeling of stuffiness
- Numbness in shoulders or shoulder blades
- Chest pain
- The feeling of lack of air
- Lump in my throat
- The feeling of nausea
- Double vision, floaters before the eyes
- The increase in body temperature
- Increase in blood pressure
Symptoms can occur suddenly or have a regular. Often the pain in the neck and the back of the head are felt by the evening. Affects many hours of stationary sitting in one position. Vertebral artery carrying blood to the brain is compressed and spazmiruyutsya. As a result of continued circulatory disturbances are the first to suffer the brain. Often, spasm of arteries and muscles in the neck lead to limited mobility. Employees temporarily, or more often, a long period can not rotate the neck. Dizziness, noise and ringing in the ears, feeling of stuffiness occurs also as a result of lower blood flow from the vertebral arteries to the head. Dizziness can be systemic and not systemic. At system dizziness a person the sense of the circular rotation of the objects around them. If not system dizziness feeling circular rotation no, but there is an uncertain condition when the position of the body standing, also may be the presence of nausea.
Often with cervical osteochondrosis there is a pinched nerve. This condition is due to the displacement of the vertebrae to either side of the spine. Displaced vertebrae compress the nerve endings, this leads to spasm of blood vessels, feeling of shortage of air. Prolonged lack of oxygen, a person may begin as shortness of breath. Rapid heartbeat, compressing pain in the heart, increased blood pressure is a frequent concomitant symptoms in lesions of the intervertebral discs of the cervical spine.
The consequences and complications of cervical degenerative disc disease
Disrupting the normal blood flow in the vertebral arteries is suffering autonomic nervous system. Spasserovannye blood vessels and spikes blood pressure can lead to fainting. In the case of fainting, you should immediately give the person first aid. You need to put the body so that feet were above his head, it will lead to normal blood circulation in the neck and activates flow to the brain. Sometimes, in order to develop the cervical vertebrae and stretch neck satexpo prolonged exposure of the body in one position, the man begins strongly and quickly twist the head left and right. In the end, the vertebral artery spazmiruyutsya, and instead of a condition of relief, the person begins to feel dizziness, ringing in the ears, violent headache, which may also lead to increased blood pressure and fainting.
The main and common complication of cervical degenerative disc disease is the appearance of intervertebral hernia and protrusion. Hernia of the spine is a result of the degradation and destruction of the intervertebral disc. With hernias and protrusions is compressed and the protrusion of the content of the fibrous ring in any direction. The person feels constant pain due to friction of the compressed intervertebral discs to each other. The most serious complication of cervical degenerative disc disease can be considered disease – myelopathy , where the spinal cord is destroyed. Myelopathy is most often localized in the cervical spine. In this disease the person feels numbness or tingling in extremities, weakness and involuntary twitching of the muscles of the body, pain in the chest and between the shoulder blades.
Diagnosis and detection of cervical degenerative disc disease
In the presence of one or more symptoms pointing to the occurrence of cervical degenerative disc disease, you must consult a doctor. Doctor a neurologist or orthopedic surgeon will examine the patient's assessment of pain and mobility of the cervical, identify related symptoms and recommend the necessary diagnostic measures. The most accurate is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). As a result of inspection of the patient it is possible to identify with 100% accuracy the presence of cervical osteochondrosis and protrusion or hernia. As contraindications to magnetic resonance imaging include the presence of the patient's pacemaker. Children's age and pregnancy contraindications do not apply for the reason that MRI is not happening x-ray irradiation. Unlike x-ray, which shows only the bones, while MRI shows all soft tissue, muscles, ligaments, discs, spinal cord in the neck and nerve fibers. X-rays as a method of detection of cervical degenerative disc disease is only applicable in the early stages of the disease. The advantage of this method of examination can be considered as the speed, accessibility and low cost. X-ray can reveal only the degree of change in the intervertebral discs, eliminating the examination of the soft tissues, muscles and nerve fibers in the neck.
Prevention of cervical degenerative disc disease
As prevention of occurrence of cervical degenerative disc disease can list some tips:
- To avoid elevations of gravity. If you need to lift heavy, you need to properly distribute the load on the entire spine.
- To avoid long seats in one location, eliminating many hours of watching TV, without changing the position of the body.
- Bed and pillow to sleep and rest should be easy. Desirable orthopaedic and anatomic mattress and orthopedic pillow, we select according to individual size.
- Must comply with the rules preventing the bending posture. Correct and level position of the head, neck and back when walking and sitting ensure the health of not only cervical, but also the whole spine.
- Proper nutrition with plenty of protein foods, grains, fruits and vegetables will provide the body with essential vitamins and minerals.
- The inclusion in the diet of foods such as jelly, jelly, saltwater fish and seafood with collagen content, will undoubtedly be useful for the bones, ligaments and cartilage.
- Correct and sufficient use simple clean water will prevent drying of the contents of the intervertebral discs and the occurrence of osteochondrosis.
- A very important exercise and physical activity at any age. Except for walks in the fresh air is very helpful Jogging, swimming, aerobics, yoga and Pilates.
Treatment. Cervical degenerative disc disease symptoms feeling
For the treatment of cervical degenerative disc disease used medications, physiotherapeutic procedures, massage, special exercises and gymnastics, and in extreme cases not ruled out surgery. For pain relief successfully used analgesics. To remove the inflammatory process is shown non-steroidal drugs. If muscle cramps doctors recommend muscle relaxers. When regular spasms of the neck muscles will need to wear a special orthopedic collar. To reduce pain use anti-inflammatory creams. In low cervical osteochondrosis, of remission appointed physiotherapy treatments. Well established in the treatment of osteoarthritis Sanogo: magnetic therapy, electrophoresis, UHF and shock wave therapy. During physiotherapy procedures, the remission of the inflammatory processes in the body, improves blood circulation in the cervical spine. Regular massage is also indicated for osteoarthritis.
Among the exercises to treat cervical degenerative disc disease are widely used 5 core running at a slow pace. Repeat exercises should be three to five times.
- Exercise one. Is the slow head turns left and right. The shoulders remain stationary.
- Exercise the second. Press the forehead with his palm, gently straining the neck muscles.
- Exercise third. Is to head tilts left and right, while tilting to the left, should be as low as possible to lower his head and touch your left ear to your left shoulder and tilt to the right – touch right ear to right shoulder.
- Exercise the fourth. It is recommended to press the left palm on the temple on the left side of the head, similar to your right hand to press on the temple on the right side of the head.
- The fifth exercise. Slowly tilt the chin to the neck while turning his head first left, then right.
These simple but effective exercises you can perform every day, with 10-15 minutes of free time.
In our body the spine has five departments. Cervical spine deserves special attention. In view of the complex of symptoms, the presence of multiple comorbidities and the lack of sufficient control, the occurrence of cervical degenerative disc disease is a serious problem. Starting with the usual mild discomfort in the neck, without proper treatment, the spinal discs begin to undergo degenerative changes, causing the person a lot of inconvenience. Dizziness, pain in the occipital and temporal parts of the head, neck pain, ringing and noise in ears – the main but not the only manifestations of the symptoms of cervical degenerative disc disease. To cervical degenerative disc disease at the stage of its appearance is not passed to irreversible changes and their consequences should follow simple rules of nutrition and water regime, regular exercise, to monitor the posture and position of the head during walking, standing or sitting. Strictly contraindicated prolonged exposure of the body in a stationary state.