On the causes, symptoms and treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

causes of cervical osteochondrosis

How to treat osteochondrosis of the cervical spine and what is the reason for its occurrence? This question worries those women and men who are forced to deal with new health problems every day: from annoying discomfort in the neck area to severe headaches and other ailments.

The main reason for the development of the disease is a decrease in the distance between the vertebrae due to the destruction of cartilage tissue between them.

For reference. Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is a progressive degenerative-dystrophic disease that is prevalent due to excessive mobility of the spine in the neck. Spinal osteochondrosis is caused by uncontrolled physical activity, injuries and a weak muscular corset. All of these reasons ultimately lead to the development of cervical osteochondrosis.

Etiology of the disease

The main reason why cervical osteochondrosis develops is a decrease in the distance between the vertebrae due to the gradual destruction of cartilage tissue between them. Any unsuccessful position provokes a displacement of the vertebrae, and the vessels and nerves are suppressed.

The most common causes of osteochondrosis:

  • Genetic predisposition to disease.
  • Overweight and metabolic disorders.
  • Frequent infections, intoxication of the body.
  • Poor, inadequate nutrition with a minimal intake of vitamins, minerals and fluids, which leads to deformation of the vertebrae.
  • Spinal curvature, trauma, bruising, fracture, poor posture (initial section osteochondrosis). Flat feet and instability in segments of the spine, including the vertebral bodies of the cervix.
  • Work that is accompanied by heavy lifting or frequent changes in body position (jerks, turns).
  • Sedentary lifestyle, bad ecology.
  • Performing hard work with an underdeveloped musculoskeletal system, which leads to vertebral deformity.
  • Prolonged forced body position, nervous tension and stress.
  • "Wrong" sleeping pillows that change the position of the cervical vertebrae.
symptoms of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

A sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of disease.

It is important to remember that the onset of osteochondrosis may not be noticed. This is why in case of any discomfort in the neck area, it is necessary to consult a specialist in a timely manner.

The following causes of osteochondrosis are theoretical but are encountered in practice:


It is associated with trophic tissue disorders during the aging process, which mainly involves the intervertebral discs and vertebrae, where a large number of blood vessels pass.


Along with hormonal disorders in the body, degenerative changes occur (osteochondrosis), with the involvement of intervertebral discs in the process.


Observed in violation of segmental circulation and water-salt metabolism. Subsequently, degenerative changes form in tissues and organs, including osteochondrosis of the neck.


An infection that occurs in the intervertebral discs of the cervical spine and surrounding tissues disrupts the spread of lymphatic fluid and leads to a change in the nutrition of the tissues and vertebrae of the cervix. This is what causes degenerative changes in the spine, characteristic of osteochondrosis.


Inversion of the vector forces of bioelectric fields in the intervertebral disc occurs due to injuries, overloads and temperature changes. After all, spinal osteochondrosis appears, and is more often polyglotting.


Significant spinal injuries and overloads lead to disruption of the ring fibrosis integrity and degeneration of the cervical spine discs.


This refers to congenital anomalies of the spine and its individual structural parts. At the same time, the healthy vertebrae of the cervical spine receive a double load, which leads to their rapid ear and the development of cervical osteochondrosis.


Primary pathological changes are related to muscle tissue due to congenital or acquired factors. Uneven muscle contraction in an airplane provokes osteochondrosis of the neck.

Stages of the disease

Osteochondrosis of the cervix has four stages of the disease. Characterized by specific symptoms and changes affecting the cervical spine:

stages of development of cervical osteochondrosis
  1. Grade 1 damageoccurs in the nucleus pulposus as a result of metabolic disorders. It becomes less elastic, dries out and can not withstand the loads on the cervical spine. In grade 1, the patient feels no pain, only occasionally hardening occurs. The treatment at this stage of the cervical spine is most effective, a simple massage course helps.
  2. Grade 2anulus fibrosus is damaged, microcracks form on the lateral and posterior surfaces of the vertebral disc. A patient with pathology in this degree begins to feel pain in the neck.
  3. Grade 3bone structure changes, the fibrosus ring deforms and tears. All nearby tissues, nerves and blood vessels are affected, the patient experiences shortness of breath, ringing in the ears and head. Osteochondrosis of the neck in the 3rd degree is characterized by the appearance of painful pain in the back of the head, it becomes very difficult to turn the head.
  4. Grade 4degenerative spinal restoration occurs, the process takes about a year. In the deformed vertebra, there is a change in the growth of bone tissue (increases in width). The diseased spine gradually turns into a static, painless, frozen bone spine.

Only timely prevention of osteochondrosis will help prevent the development of the disease.

Primary onset of osteochondrosis, including polycythemia, occurs after age 35, and the older a person gets, the more often patients come to a specialist for neck pain specialist. The most common causes of pathology nowadays are a long stay at the computer and driving a car. Such binding positions of the spine lead to destabilization in the spine.

Typical clinical manifestations

The symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis have a pronounced personality and differ from the symptoms of the disease in other parts of the back. This is due to the structural characteristics of the vertebrae and the fact that they are much closer than in the thoracic and lumbar regions. This is why, even with the most insignificant pathologies, cervical osteochondrosis makes itself faster.

The following signs of cervical spine osteochondrosis are the most characteristic:


The first symptom that lets a person know about the onset of a neck problem. Can be localized: neck, back of head, shoulders, upper arm. If a nerve root is involved in the pathological process, which is "responsible" for innervating the upper arm, unpleasant sensations resembling pain appear. Occipital pain occurs with severe spasm of the neck muscles attached to the occipital bone. In addition, blood flow is impaired, which causes symptoms of poor blood supply to the brain.

Weakness in the hands

clinical manifestations of cervical osteochondrosis

This symptom is caused by damage to the nerve root and fibers that perform motor function and irritate the arm muscles.

A symptom of the disease may be weakness and poor sensitivity in the hands.

Poor sensitivity in the hands

This symptom is due to damage to the sensitive nerve fibers that irritate the skin.

Crunch and restriction of neck movement

These are characteristic symptoms that indicate a "drying" of the intervertebral disc. In addition, there is an increase in bone tissue and degeneration in the small nodes located between the vertebrae of the cervix.

Poor coordination

Symptoms indicate that cervical osteochondrosis is progressing. Both the nerves and the vertebral artery are compressed, and with the formation of fibrous tissue and displacement of the vertebrae, blood flow deteriorates, leading to symptoms indicating poor blood supply to the cerebellum and brain. In severe cases, the following symptoms develop: hearing loss, numbness of the tongue, vision problems.

As you can see, osteochondrosis is by no means a harmless disease, which is eloquently indicated by the symptoms.

Principles of therapeutic interventions

Treatment of cervical osteochondrosis in men and women is based on stopping all symptoms of the disease and eliminating the causes of cervical osteochondrosis. Symptoms are mainly associated with compression of nerve fibers and blood vessels, therefore, it is mainly important to eliminate edema, inflammation and restore normal blood supply. Osteochondrosis of the cervix in the initial stages is successfully withdrawn with the use of physiotherapy exercises, when they do not use medication.

The success of treatment depends only on the teamwork of qualified physicians.

With the development of cervical osteochondrosis, the local therapist, who is almost always addressed initially, does not help much. As a rule, its treatment is only symptomatic, but it is not able to detect and completely eliminate the cause of the disease. Therefore, the success of treatment depends only on the teamwork of qualified physicians: vertebral neurologist, neurologist, surgeon, physiotherapist and massage therapist.

methods of treating cervical osteochondrosis

it is important to start treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine at the earliest stage, otherwise in 2-3 stages a strong change in the vertebrae occurs and the treatment will be long, difficult andnot always effective. The mainstay of treatment for neck problems is medication, physical therapy, massage and remedial gymnastics.

Medications used for cervical osteochondrosis:

  1. NSAIDs.
  2. Vitamin.
  3. Medicines that improve blood flow.
  4. Muscle relaxants.
  5. Chondroprotectors.

Treatment of cervical osteochondrosis is performed using the following physiotherapy methods:

  • Ultrasound (relieves pain, improves metabolic processes).
  • Electrophoresis (delivery of drugs to a problem area).
  • Laser therapy (relieves inflammation and improves blood circulation).
  • Magnetotherapy (relieves tissue swelling).

Cervical osteochondrosis should not be underestimated. Too often, men and women experience minor neck discomfort, especially when sitting at a computer for long periods of time or in any other forced position. At first, you do not need to take medication, but try to eliminate the cause or periodically do light exercise (at work or at home). Indications for surgical treatment: lack of effect from conservative treatment (medication, physiotherapy, gymnastics), persistent pain, myelopathy, cerebrovascular accident.