What is dangerous cervical osteochondrosis: the whole truth about the consequences

Osteochondrosis, localized in the cervical spine, is the most dangerous form of degenerative-dystrophic pathology. It does not manifest itself in the initial stage of development. When a patient goes to a doctor, he is diagnosed not only with the disease itself, but with complications that have already arisen. Often, it is the consequences of cervical osteochondrosis that cause a person to make an appointment with a neurologist or a vertebrologist. These are headaches that have become habitual, gradually decreasing visual acuity and / or hearing, attacks of hypertension.

What is dangerous cervical osteochondrosis

The first symptoms of osteochondrosis occur at the stage of squeezing the nerve endings formed bone growths (osteophytes), displaced vertebral bodies or intervertebral discs. The process is observed only at the end of the 2nd and throughout the 3rd stage of the disease. Consequences of root infringement are often disguised as clinical manifestations of other pathologies. Therefore, people with visual impairments go for help to the ophthalmologist, and with headaches to the therapist.

Specific signs of cervical osteochondrosis are perceived as migraines, sleep disorders, sudden jumps in blood pressure. All these manifestations are secondary, provoked by spasm of skeletal muscles, infringement of small and large blood vessels, nerve endings. Destructive-degenerative processes in the cervical region provoke the development of serious diseases that are poorly amenable to conservative therapy:

  • circulatory disorders in the brain,
  • vascular dystonia,
  • vestibular function disorder,
  • thyroid disease,
  • hypertension, rarely hypotension,
  • stroke.

In patients with concurrent lesions of the cervical and thoracic vertebrae, the patients have a scapulohumeral periarthrosis, discogenic myelopathy, lateral or medial epicondylitis. If the intervertebral discs are located in areas 4 and 5 of the cervical vertebrae, then the neck-brachial syndrome develops. It is characterized by constant soreness of the neck, shoulders and forearms.

Causes of vascular complications

The numerous consequences of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine are due to the peculiarities of the location of the damaged structures. In these segments of the vertebral column are arteries, through which blood and nutrients and oxygen are delivered to the brain. In osteochondrosis, intervertebral discs and vertebral bodies undergo destruction. At the initial stage, all the symptoms of the disease occur due to reflex vascular spasm. After squeezing develop severe complications.

Osteochondrosis is most dangerous for the elderly and the elderly. In patients of this age group, the situation is aggravated by processes caused by the natural aging of the body:

  • narrowing of the diameter of the vertebral arteries,
  • loss of elasticity of vessels, violations of their permeability,
  • developing atherosclerosis of the arteries - the deposition of harmful cholesterol on the walls in the form of plaques.

Squeezing the vertebral artery disrupts blood flow to the brain. On the right and left side of the spinal column are blood vessels that supply blood to its most important divisions responsible for the regulation of all systems of vital activity. When squeezing the arteries, oxygen and nutrient deficiencies are felt in the brainstem, medulla, occipital lobes, cerebellum, inner ear, upper spinal cord.

The disorder of the trophism initially leads to disruption of the functioning of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Blood pressure control centers are located in the medulla oblongata; therefore, patients with cervical osteochondrosis often suffer from hypertension or hypotension, which assumes a chronic form of the course. As the disease progresses, coordination of movements is disturbed, visual and hearing acuity decreases, memory and concentration of attention deteriorates.

Formation of neurogenic syndromes

The neurogenic effects of progression of cervical osteochondrosis occur after involvement in the pathological process of the nervous system due to the deterioration of the blood supply to the brain. The main cerebral violation of a hypoxic nature is dizziness, which is also a typical manifestation of the “vertebral artery syndrome”.

It is often preceded by pulsating pains in the back of the head, which extend to the temporal-frontal lobes, aggravated by any movement of the head. The severity of dizziness does not increase even with the rapid progression of osteochondrosis. But the frequency of attacks increases significantly. Violation of the coordination of movements provokes falls that are dangerous to human life.

In medicine, the resulting persistent neurogenic syndromes are classified according to the part of the brain that is experiencing the most acute lack of oxygen and nutrients.

Consequences of root compression

Motility, sensitivity, trophism of small and large joints of the shoulder girdle depend on the condition of the upper segments of the spinal column. The destructive-degenerative processes occurring in them predispose to the development of arthrosis, as well as some inflammatory diseases of the joints: scapulohumeral periarthritis, bursitis, tendinitis, synovitis.

Also in the cervical region are localized structures that regulate the functioning of internal organs, which are located in the upper and middle part of the abdominal cavity. If competent treatment of osteochondrosis is not carried out, then a violation of innervation predisposes to the appearance of persistent "reflected" pain in the gastrointestinal tract. The main reason is the compression by osteophytes or displaced discs of the nerve plexuses located on both sides of the spine. And then work of a gall bladder, stomach, intestines can be upset.

Consequences of cervical osteochondrosis are often closely associated with formed hernias. When the intervertebral disc is displaced, the posterior longitudinal ligaments are torn. Stable discs bulge into the spinal canals. Intervertebral hernia is formed, causing the most severe complications:

  • changes in tendon reflexes,
  • muscle weakness of the upper limbs, their numbness,
  • paresis, muscular atrophy.

If the hernia is compressed by the nerve endings, then the sensitivity of the parietal region of the head, tongue, skin of the shoulders, forearms, and hands may be disturbed. Some dysfunctions become irreversible over time. Cases of respiratory failure, accumulation of sputum in the respiratory tract, which is a favorable medium for the reproduction of pathogenic microorganisms, have been noted.

If at the initial stages the complications that occur are reversible, then over time the consequences of osteochondrosis cannot be completely eliminated. Therefore, the first discomfort should be a signal to consult a doctor.

In therapy, drugs are used to improve the blood supply to the brain, eliminating muscle spasms and squeezing of nerve endings.

Protrusion and herniated disc in the cervical region

Nerve, compressed hernia - that's what's going on in the spine, which is affected by osteochondrosis

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is characterized by a chronic course of the disease - the symptoms of the disease appear and then die out for several weeks, and if there are provoking factors, they appear again. Most often, the pathogenesis of osteochondrosis gradually develops, each time manifested by severe pain, disorders of a neuralgic nature, vascular disorders, which do not require days and weeks, but months to eliminate.

At first, protrusions are formed: the pulpal nucleus of the disc bulges, but the fibrous ring is not yet destroyed. Bulging of the pulpal nucleus in the cervical vertebrae of only 1 mm is fraught with serious consequences, impairments, whereas in other parts of the spine - thoracic, lumbar, this pathological phenomenon may go unnoticed.

With the destruction of the fibrous ring, the disease proceeds to the next stage - the formation of hernias of intervertebral discs. At this time, all violations in the vertebrae and the symptoms accompanying them reach their apogee.

Mechanical complications

At the initial stage, the disease is characterized by pain in the cervical region, which, after urgent therapeutic measures - medication: analgesics, NSAIDs, muscle relaxants, topical preparations - ointments and gels, passes.

If the disease is not treated at an early stage, the pain is increasing, and “soft” medications do not help, a long-term medication is required for this ailment of the cervical section of the chronic form. If you run it, it will entail the development of the IRR.

VSD or vegetative dystonia

Many doctors do not consider vegetative-vascular dystonia to be a “real” disease, it is widely believed that this is a complex of certain symptoms that indicate other diseases present in the body. However, vegetative dystonia, as one of the variants of complications of cervical osteochondrosis, entails a disruption in the normal functioning of the vegetative and vascular systems. As a result, it leads to the pathological development of a number of negative consequences in the body's work, ranging from vegetative-vascular dystonia, turning into hypertension or hypotension, ending with various kinds of cardiac rhythms, the development of panic attacks, which seriously complicate the lives of patients.


Patients with advanced pathology of the cervical region constantly suffer from headaches, their condition is always weakened. With headaches, patients cannot engage in either mental or physical labor, since they lose the ability to quickly and efficiently think and think, focus, and concentrate on important things.

It is impossible to ignore headaches, even if patients wish it with all their might. They do not suspect that the cause of torment from headaches is osteochondrosis of the cervical region.

Hypertension and hypotension

The compression of the artery and as a consequence of "starvation" of the brain

It is no coincidence that hypertension is called the “silent killer”: it is not uncommon when a person dies due to a heart attack or stroke, which for their loved ones was a complete surprise. After all, this disease sneaks up on a person imperceptibly, without visible symptoms. A person does not think to associate uncomfortable, unpleasant sensations in the cervical spine with hypertension, which takes lives more often than tuberculosis, cancer, and AIDS combined.

Hypotension does not pose a direct threat to the life of the patient, but the very existence of the patient is made so that, according to reviews of patients, I do not want to live. Hypotension causes constant lethargy, the patient is in a bad mood, his working capacity decreases, headaches appear, faints and dizziness are frequent.

Insufficient blood supply to the brain, which is present with hypotension, inevitably leads to deterioration of memory, attention, thinking processes, very often the desire to do something disappears altogether.

In osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, a drop-syndrome characterized by sudden fainting is a frequent complication. Loss of consciousness - short-term. The drop syndrome is preceded by headache, drowsiness, and tinnitus.

Neurological effects

Very often there are neurological consequences of osteochondrosis of the neck. Doctors particularly distinguished: diencephalic syndrome. Dysfunctions of the hypothalamus due to neck disease, manifested in symptoms resembling neurotic disorders, among them:

  • increased fatigue
  • apathy or irritability,
  • mood swings.

These symptoms are combined with a characteristic crunch of the neck, stiffness of movements, pain sensations of the cervical spine.

Vestibular-stem syndrome

Neck osteochondrosis has a direct effect on the vestibular apparatus and causes vestibular-stem syndrome, which is accompanied by dizziness and the feeling that all surrounding objects rotate.

This group of complications can be attributed to the cochlear syndrome, characterized by hearing loss, tinnitus. The symptoms of this syndrome can be confused with the symptoms of other diseases. The clear sign that this is a neurological complication of the disease is uneven tinnitus: nothing happens in one ear, it is “healthy”, and background sounds are heard in the second ear.

A common occurrence in osteochondrosis is the laryngeal syndrome. It is manifested by the sensation of a foreign body in the throat, the resonance of the voice decreases.

Osteochondrosis and complications, the consequences are the concepts that are always present in the diagnosis of osteochondrosis of the cervical region. The most terrible and dangerous consequence for human health and his life - vascular disorders. Vascular trunks, passing on both sides of the spine, perform vital functions. They feed the brain with oxygen and essential substances, supply blood to the brain and upper spinal cord. It is in the brain stem that the vasomotor center is located, which is responsible for the operation of blood pressure, regulation of heart rhythm, respiratory function and swallowing.
Conclusion: in case of vascular disorders provoked by cervical osteochondrosis, there are many problems in the cardiovascular system, organs of respiration, sight and hearing.

Features of cervical osteochondrosis

Apart from the fact that the neck is the most mobile part of the body and it has a large load, it plays an important role in supplying blood and oxygen to the brain. In the vertebrae is located the spinal cord, here are numerous arteries that are responsible for the blood supply to the brain. It is thanks to this section of the spine that a person can perform various actions, and the spinal cord transmits commands to the human body from the head through impulses.

The main danger of neck osteochondrosis is unpleasant, painful sensations in the neck, in the human body the supply of oxygen to the brain is disturbed, which is fraught with very serious consequences: transmitted blood vessels and atherosclerosis.

A patient with a squeezed vertebral artery, initially did not even pay attention to the first symptoms. Although at this time in his body already undergoes irreversible processes. The cerebellum responsible for the work of the vestibular apparatus suffers from a lack of oxygen, therefore, the person begins to suffer from headaches and dizziness. In addition to disorders of the vestibular apparatus, failures occur in the autonomic centers, which are responsible for the basic vital processes.

Still thinking about whether the cervical osteochondrosis is dangerous? Definitely dangerous. Depending on how strongly the artery is squeezed, a person other than mild dizziness may:

  • Feel blurred in the eyes and lose consciousness,
  • Hear extraneous sounds in your head,
  • Feel the numbness of the upper limbs,
  • May decrease or increase pressure
  • The emergence of vegetative-vascular dystonia,
  • Exacerbation of hypertension.

Stage of the disease

Violations of posture, sedentary lifestyle, excess weight, poor nutrition lead to degenerative changes in the intervertebral discs.

Initially, there are areas with a nutritional deficit, where cracks, fibrous fibers and thinning are formed. The disk core loses moisture.

The next stage is the formation of disk protrusion, when the pulpous nucleus bulges and the physiological shape of the disk changes. If the deformity touches the nerve roots, the patient feels pain when moving or staying in the same position for a long time.

Already in the first two stages of osteochondrosis, spinal instability can be observed.

Further, the scenario of the development of the disease can go along the path of the formation of an intervertebral hernia: when the pulpal core breaks the cartilage tissue of the ring or the distance between adjacent vertebrae decreases due to pathological thinning of the disc. The latter option is complicated by the formation of calcium growths up to the fusion of the vertebrae.

In addition to the thinning of the intervertebral disc, the growth of osteophytes, the spinal joints (faceted, uncovertebral) are also subject to degenerative changes. As a rule, these changes are carried out according to the type of arthrosis.

According to research, arthrosis of the spinal joints causes up to 10-15% pain in the back and spine among the population.

At each stage of spinal degradation, characteristic symptoms appear, which are called independent diseases.

  • protrusion,
  • radiculopathy
  • vertebral artery syndrome,
  • intervertebral hernia,
  • leafy,
  • stenosis of the spinal canal, etc.

Localization hazards

Depending on the location of the collapsing discs and the degree of their degeneration, multiple complications arise. Violations of the functions of organs and systems are due to:

  • squeezing the nerve endings
  • inadequate blood supply,
  • muscle spasm.

In the book A.V. Tereshina "Concept" is a table in which many common diseases are associated with the incorrect mutual arrangement of the vertebrae.

The last study on the relationship of pathology of the spine and digestive organs confirmed the hypothesis Tereshin. Scoliosis was detected in 50% of young patients with dysfunction of the digestive system, and among the elderly (over 60 years old), degenerative-dystrophic changes were found in 100% of Th6-Th11 and L4-S1 sites.

Not all the ideas of the author are scientifically confirmed, but the functions of the organs in many cases improve after the restoration of the spine.

Complications of cervical osteochondrosis

Abnormalities caused by degeneration most often occur in the lower segments of the cervical region. This is due to the constant load in one direction. Pain in the neck, head and sensitivity disorders are caused by muscle spasm, compression of the vertebral artery or pinching of the nerve root. Most often, C6-C7-C8-T1 segments are under threat.

Vertebral artery syndrome is the clearest illustration of the topic “what is the risk of cervical osteochondrosis”. The disease is characterized not only by functional, but also by organic changes due to impaired cerebral circulation.

At the first stage, the patient complains of pulsating headaches, impairment of speech, vision or hearing, nausea, disorders of the vestibular apparatus. It is not excluded that transient ischemic attacks (sudden falls without turning off consciousness or loss of consciousness for a short time) are also consequences of cervical osteochondrosis.

“Heart rate and blood pressure are controlled by the medulla. Lack of nutrition and oxygen in case of infringement of the vertebral artery leads to a malfunction of the center, and hence to a violation of the organs under control. It is these processes that underlie an increase in blood pressure and arrhythmia in the degeneration of the vertebrae in the cervical region. ”

No less dramatic complications of cervical osteochondrosis are pinching nerves that control the work of the deltoid muscle, shoulder and forearm. Numbness, weakness, muscle wasting can seize the hand to the very little finger. Stenosis (narrowing) of the canal in this area can cause paralysis.

Results of spinal pathology in the thoracic region

The pain caused by osteochondrosis of the thoracic, often confused with the heart. But she does not pass after taking heart drugs. Sharp, as if struck with a knife, it penetrates the area between the shoulder blades. Lumbago (dorsago) suffers from people with curvature of the spine or those who have to sit a lot. The attack causes spasmodic back muscles.

Monotonous pain in the thoracic region, aggravated by movement, is characteristic of another echo of osteochondrosis, dorsalgia. The third consequence is called intercostal neuralgia. In this case, the pain spreads along the ribs, to the sternum. In all cases, difficulty breathing.

Inhalation and exhalation pain, as a consequence of thoracic osteochondrosis, is confused with pneumonia and pleurisy. Unlike respiratory diseases, osteochondrosis is not accompanied by cough.

The spinal canal in the thoracic region is normal already than in other areas, so any, even minor, narrowing can lead to compression of the spinal cord and nerve roots. This, in turn, violates the innervation of the muscles of the chest, heart and lungs.

Problem loin

The consequences of osteochondrosis in the sacro-lumbar region are popularly called radiculitis. An image of an old man surrounded by a warm shawl is drawn before his eyes. Do not be deceived - dystrophy of the vertebrae in the lumbar region is significantly younger due to a sedentary lifestyle.

Her results medicine called terms:

  • lumbago (backache) - acute pain after a sharp turn, tilt or excessive physical exertion,
  • sciatica - pain gives up,
  • lumboischialgia - burning, aggravated backache, extending to the leg.

In some cases, the pain is reflected and “masked” as pyelonephritis. Stenosis of the spinal canal in the area of ​​Th12L1-L5 is characterized by increased pain during movement.

The problem does not always end with pain. Lumbar osteochondrosis can manifest as loss of sensitivity, tingling, weakness in the legs, urinary incontinence, defecation disorders, paresis. Men complain of reduced potency, and women complain of lack of orgasm.

Violations of the innervation of the lower back leads to a pathology of blood flow: venous insufficiency or spasm of the arteries of the lower extremities.

  1. Barinov A.N. Complex treatment of tunnel pelvic neuropathies in the pathology of the lumbar spine / A.N. Barinov // The attending physician. - 2013. - № 7 - p. 87-92.
  2. Vertebrovisceral reflex interactions in patients with functional disorders of the digestive tract / G.А. Ivanichev, R.F. Akberov, P.I. Sakhovsky [et al.] // Vertebroneurology. - 2007. - № 1-2. - p. 36-40.
  3. Dorosh J.V. Painful form of osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine as a disease, screening exacerbation of chronic cholecystitis / J.V. Dorosh, L.B. Lazebnik // Clinical and experimental gastroenterology. - 2014. - pp. 28-29.
  4. Zyatdinov K.Sh. Vertebrogenic biliary dyskinesia / K.Sh. Zyatdinov, E.N. Nosova // Actual problems of neurology and neurocherapy. - Lviv, 1996. - p. 152.
  5. Pasiashvili L.M. Early diagnosis of osteoporosis in patients with spinal osteochondrosis on the background of irritable bowel syndrome / L.M. Pasiashvili, A.B. Andrusha, A.V. Parovina // Sіmayna medicine. - 2011. - № 3. - p. 94-96.
  6. Popelyansky I.Yu. Orthopedic neurology. Vertebrology: a guide for doctors / Ya.Yu. Popelyansky. - Kazan, 1997. - V. 1: Syndromology. - 554 s.

What is osteochondrosis of the cervical

Cervical osteochondrosis is a progressive degenerative-dystrophic lesion of the intervertebral discs of this area, pathology leads to changes in the vertebrae and intervertebral discs. The process is accompanied by the formation of osteophytes. - bone growths in the vertebrae of the neck, which cause irritation and overstrain of the muscles, further aggravating the patient's condition.

The mechanism of disease development is directly related to the anatomical features of the body, since the cervical region consists of only 7 vertebrae. In the thoracic and lumbar parts, the vertebrae are relatively homogeneous; in the neck, due to the large amplitude movements of the head of the shoulder girdle and the head, they differ in structure.

The movable neck goes into a relatively static thoracic region, so 1, 2, 7 vertebrae differ from each other. In addition to the spinal cord, blood vessels, spinal nerves, a large number of peripheral nerves pass through this area.

Some of these vagus nerves, for example, innervate the abdominal organs and diaphragm. In addition to the nerves here are important main blood vessels. When osteochondrosis increases the risk of circulatory disorders of the brain, there may be neck pain, headache, etc. The development of the disease can provoke pathologies of a neurological nature, and the work of the central nervous system may worsen.

The causes of the development of the disease are very differentMany of them are associated with deformations of cartilage tissue due to the accumulation of salts in the lymph and blood.

With proper nutrition and regular physical activity, the salts do not accumulate, in severe cases, the cartilage tissues become less mobile, their flexibility decreases, and as a result of displacement of the vertebrae, the nerves and arteries become pinched.

The main cause of pathology of the cervical spine is considered sedentary lifestyle, the disease is well known to office workers. People who are forced to engage in heavy physical labor also suffer from osteochondrosis, since the increased load on the back as a whole in an uncomfortable body position and long-standing back injuries have an adverse effect, which leads to an overstrain of this zone.

In medicine, it is customary to distinguish 2 main factors leading to the development of osteochondrosis.:

  • pathological - degenerative processes of intervertebral discs and other vertebral structures with the involvement of nearby tissues, nerve bundles and vessels occurs under the influence of negative external factors, the heavier the factors, the higher the rate of development of the processes,
  • physiological - all processes are determined by natural age-related changes, aging of cartilage tissues in the spine, salt deposits, etc.

Specific causes of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine:

  • metabolic disorders, some stages of obesity,
  • diseases of the cardiovascular system, causing pressure drops, circulatory disorders in the brain,
  • hypodynamia - accompanied by limited mobility, this category includes diseases or herbs, sedentary work, sedentary lifestyle,
  • bad posture - different forms of rheumatism, scoliosis, flatfoot,
  • injuries of the cervical spine (bruises, blows, sprains), injuries to other parts of the spinal column can play a big role,
  • increased physical exertion on the cervical spine, resulting from heavy physical labor or intense sports,
  • excess body mass
  • sedentary lifestyle - leads to an overstrain of the cervical spine and
  • hernia of cervical vertebrae, associated diseases,
  • forced prolonged holding of the head in an unnatural or uncomfortable position, when muscles are overstrained, spinal curvature occurs,
  • nervous tension, constant stress,
  • congenital anomalies of the structure of the spine.

Video: "Consequences of osteochondrosis"

What is dangerous in the first stage?

The first stage is accompanied by the formation of cracks in the vertebral discs and the drying of the pulpal nucleus.As a result, the fragility of the structure increases, and the resistance to loads is reduced. At this stage, there is pain and stiffness in the neck.

What is dangerous in the second stage?

In the second stage, the destruction of the surface of the vertebrae, as a result, the nucleus is squeezed out and expands the intervertebral space, resulting in protrusions and disc herniation. They provoke strong incessant pain, stiffness, weakness, numbness in the face and hands.

What is dangerous in the third stage?

The greatest danger is the third stage of the disease., accompanied by the formation of intervertebral hernia. The process of destruction of the surface of the vertebral disc continues, the risk of damage to the blood vessels located near the spine, muscles, ligaments and nerves increases.

Each vertebra becomes sharper and coarser, which has a negative effect on the muscles, due to an involuntary contraction is limited not only the motor activity of the cervical spine, but also the entire spine. As a result of pinched nerves, the conductivity of nerve impulses to individual organs and tissues deteriorates.

Symptoms of the third stage are aching pain in the neck and neck., extending to the shoulder and hands, numbness and pain, hampered head movements. The patient feels impaired hearing and vision, often vomiting and nausea.

The main dangers of cervical osteochondrosis

Cervical vertebrae are very small. The number of functions that they perform during the day is difficult to count. These are the most mobile vertebrae, so often the loads that they experience lead to the displacement of the bones, respectively, this entails infringement of the nerves and squeezing of blood vessels. In the neck is the most basic vertebral artery that feeds the brain. If the vertebrae are displaced, then no compression of the artery is possible. There is a clamp nerve root, which causes the development of the inflammatory process.

Knowing the danger of cervical osteochondrosis, each person will be interested in early diagnosis and treatment of the disease. So, changes in the cervical vertebrae can provoke serious complications, such as ischemia or spinal stroke. In this case, the patient is impaired vision and hearing, coordination of movements, there are frequent dizziness. In advanced cases, an intervertebral hernia or protrusion may appear, and this is already the first step towards disability. For fragile cervical vertebrae, even millimeter hernia is very large.

Often, in case of cervical osteochondrosis, osteophytes are actively formed. Osteophytes are bone growths outside and inside the vertebrae. Such bone growths are irritating to the tissue. If these are internal osteophytes, then the nerves and vessels inside the spinal canal are compressed. As a result, blood circulation and nutrition are impaired, and nerve sensitivity decreases.

Osteochondrosis of the neck is dangerous because it is almost impossible to identify at the initial stage of the disease. It proceeds without pronounced symptoms. And when the symptoms become apparent, it is difficult to diagnose the disease. This is due to the fact that during the squeezing of blood vessels and nerves signs appear, very similar to angina.

The patient has tenderness in the area of ​​the heart, shoulder blades and shoulders. However, the use of conventional heart drugs in this case does not bring the expected relief.

Often, cervical osteochondrosis is diagnosed already at that stage when, in addition to pain, the patient feels strong tension in the muscles. There is even a crunch in the vertebrae when turning the head. All this makes it possible to realize whether osteochondrosis is dangerous.

Dangerous signs of cervical osteochondrosis

In addition, the patient with a diagnosis of cervical osteochondrosis is constantly disturbed by pain in the neck, a crunch when turning the head, hands go numb, shoulders and hands hurt, coordination is disturbed, the sensitivity of the upper limbs decreases, there are more serious consequences of this disease.The following syndromes may occur:

  1. Vertebral artery syndrome,
  2. Cardiac syndrome
  3. Irritative-reflex,
  4. Radicular.

Is it dangerous with osteochondrosis not to pay attention to the first signs? Of course! In the process of this disease, the large vessels, which are responsible for feeding the main part of the brain, are strangled. A violation of cerebral circulation can lead to disastrous consequences.

So, in the case of the manifestation of vertebral artery syndrome, a person does not leave the morning headache. Just by opening the eyes in the morning, the person already feels heaviness in the occipital region, in the area where the head connects to the neck. The pain can be throbbing, it becomes stronger during turning or tilting of the head. Gradually, the pain captures a larger area of ​​the head, moving to the temples and crown.

Persistent headache covers most of the head and gives to the eye. Such attacks make a person have a handful of migraine pills, but they have little effect. Frequent migraine, accompanied by increased intracranial pressure, should alert you. This is the first sign of cervical osteochondrosis. If you do not pay attention to this signal of the body in time, you can start the disease to a state of chronic vascular insufficiency. If the brain suffers from a lack of oxygen, both vegetative-vascular dystonia and hypertension begin to develop, as well as fluctuations in blood pressure levels. The patient may have fainting and a brain stroke. With a constant lack of oxygen, the disease quickly takes the form of chronic, the sick person's memory and other brain functions deteriorate. Dementia may gradually develop.

Cervical osteochondrosis is dangerous for the main human organ - the heart. The same cardiac syndrome occurs precisely because of cervical osteochondrosis. The patient has pain in the region of the heart and chest, gives to the area between the shoulder blades. Unpleasant sensations become stronger during coughing or sneezing, as bone growths squeeze the roots of the spinal cord. This process, in turn, leads to the fact that the coronary arteries narrow. And even a person who has never complained of heart disease becomes susceptible to myocardial infarction.

Prevent cervical osteochondrosis

Now, knowing the danger of cervical osteochondrosis, you understand how important it is to monitor your sensations and diagnose it at an earlier stage. To avoid this dangerous disease, as well as to restore the cervical spine, you must:

  • exercise regularly, which is aimed at improving the flexibility and mobility of the neck,
  • engage in strengthening the muscular corset so that the strong muscles of the neck can take over part of the load from the spine,
  • work on stretching the neck muscles, especially those located in its lower part. This will relieve muscle spasms and relieve squeezing of blood vessels and nerves.

Keep track of your health, lead an active lifestyle, try to always keep the correct position during work and leisure. At the slightest manifestation of symptoms of osteochondrosis, immediately consult a doctor. Remember that cervical osteochondrosis is easier to treat in the initial stages.

The causes of osteochondrosis are always associated with aging of the body and age-related changes in the tissues, but some factors increase the risk of pathology and rejuvenate it:

  • fixed lifestyle, sedentary work,
  • prolonged regular presence in one static position
  • overweight, especially in the case of a sharp weight gain,
  • constant stress, nervous tension,
  • frequent hypothermia of the neck,
  • autoimmune pathologies in which cartilage tissue is affected,
  • injuries in the neck or neck,
  • congenital abnormal vertebral structure.

In addition, heredity, hormonal stability and metabolism will play a big role.

Symptomatology is mainly localized in the neck, head and upper half of the back. Patients complain of the appearance of lumbago, increased pain during attempts to turn his head, the emergence of a crunch when moving. Sometimes a person cannot move at all due to severe pain.

In addition to lumbago, sick people are worried about constant headaches, which give to the eyes and temples. Vision or hearing may also deteriorate, and a haze appears before your eyes. After sudden movements of the neck, nausea appears, sometimes vomiting, dizziness may occur, and consciousness will be disturbed.

Special attention should be paid to radicular symptoms, the manifestation of which depends on the defeat of a particular nerve ending:

  • C1 - pathological sensitivity or its disappearance in the neck,
  • C2 - the appearance of pain in the region of the parietal bones or neck,
  • C3 - loss of control over the tongue, resulting in impaired speech, neck soreness on the part of the affected nerve,
  • C4 - muscular hypotonia in the neck and head, impaired breathing, irradiation of pain in the right hypochondrium and the region of the heart,
  • C5 - pathological sensitivity on the outer surface of the shoulder,
  • C6 and C7 - pain that extends to the neck, shoulder blade and arm from the side of the compressed nerve root.

In the development of cervical osteochondrosis, four stages of the disease are distinguished, which differ in the intensity of symptoms and changes in the vertebrae:

  • In the first stage, fluid reserves disappear from the nucleus of intervertebral discs, from which its location changes, the functioning and physiological structure is disturbed. At this stage, there are no clinical manifestations, since the pathological process has not yet spread beyond the vertebra.
  • In the second stage, the disk becomes flatter, which increases the load on the ligaments and muscles. They overstrain, it becomes harder for them to work normally. Vertigo with cervical osteochondrosis may appear already at this stage.
  • The third stage is characterized by bright changes in bone and cartilage tissues, the development of subluxations, arthrosis. There is a pronounced clinical picture.
  • In the fourth stage, the occurrence of bone growths in the vertebrae, trauma of nerve fibers.

Detection of the disease in the early stages increases the chance of a full recovery, and later initiation of treatment can lead to unpleasant consequences.

To determine the stage, neglect and prevalence of the pathological process, the patient is prescribed a number of additional examinations:

  • X-ray - is determined by the change in mobility and location of the vertebrae, reduction of intervertebral cracks, salt deposits,
  • computed tomography - provides an opportunity to see the breaks, change in the height of the disk, instability of the vertebrae, compression of the nerve fibers and spinal cord,
  • Magnetic resonance imaging - allows you to accurately see the pathological changes, determine the blood flow and the state of the nerve roots.

Usually, only radiography of the cervical spine is sufficient; more expensive methods are used in confusing and unclear cases.

The following syndromes are characteristic of osteochondrosis of the cervical vertebrae:

  • vertebral - pathological processes in the cartilage and bone tissue of the vertebrae,
  • cardiac - resembles the pathology of the cardiovascular system, for example, angina pectoris or preinfarction state,
  • vertebral artery - compression of blood vessels that supply blood to the brain,
  • radicular - violation of the functions of the nerve roots.

Each syndrome has its own characteristic list of symptoms that must be present in this symptom complex.

Treatment of the disease

Treatment of osteochondrosis in traditional medicine is carried out with the help of massage, special exercises, physiotherapy and the use of drugs. The choice of methods depends on the course of the disease: in the acute process, treatment with the help of drugs comes to the fore, and in osteochondrosis in remission, physiotherapy and self-massage.

To eliminate the cause and reduce the intensity of symptoms, several groups of drugs are used:

  • analgesics - eliminate pain, with severe pain they are injected intravenously, and when the disease subsides, prescribe tablet forms of drugs,
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory - during oral administration they have an anesthetic effect, and when applied locally they relieve swelling and inflammation,
  • muscle relaxants - help to relax the neck muscles, which are in constant tension with osteochondrosis,
  • vitamins - strengthen the overall health of the patient.

Drug therapy is actively used in the acute phase of the disease, other methods are used during remission.

Folk remedies

Means based on various plants (decoctions, tinctures or infusions) are often used to prevent the recurrence of the disease. However, before using traditional recipes, you should consult with your doctor and make sure that there are no contraindications, such as allergies.

Some of the most popular recipes are lilac, dill or hop. Funds based on them help fight inflammation, relieve pain, improve neck mobility.

Massage with cervical osteochondrosis

Massage with osteochondrosis should be prescribed only during the remission of the disease. In rare cases, it is allowed to use massage therapy in the acute phase, however, then a specially trained person is needed. It should affect certain points of the body, reflexively affecting the neck muscles, it is strictly forbidden to massage the affected area.

During the procedure, the muscles of the neck and back of the patient, at least the upper part, should be completely relaxed. You can sit in a sitting position or lie on your stomach, but for the first option you should use a special massage chair.

Regular procedures help overstrained muscles to relax, as a result, painful sensations decrease, stiffness disappears. In addition, blood and lymph flow improves, which has a beneficial effect on the development of the disease.


Exercises for cervical osteochondrosis are allowed to do strictly during remission, movement in the acute phase can lead to a deterioration of the patient's condition. All therapeutic physical training is reduced to turning and bending the head. It is important to perform actions slowly, without sudden movements. In case of pain - stop the lesson and seek the advice of a specialist.

To preventive measures include:

  • tracking posture
  • neck exercises
  • breaks when working at a computer, reading, writing, etc.
  • use of chondroprotectors and vitamins,
  • playing sports.

If a person has a tendency to develop pathology, he needs to periodically visit a specialist and undergo research. This will help to identify the disease at an early stage and start treatment on time.

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