Osteoarthritis of the unvertebral joints of the cervical spine

Dystrophic lesions of the joints located between the cervical vertebrae are called unvertebral arthrosis. The disease can be congenital or acquired. A feature of the pathology is the formation of hook-like growths on the joints. Because of this, discomfort occurs during movement. Formations on the spine crush nerve fibers and blood vessels, disrupting blood circulation, which threatens the development of complications.

What is the cause of the disease?

The deforming process affects the vertebrae C3 – C7, and provokes their unnatural contact with the subsequent formation of false joints (neoarthrosis).

The following factors provoke uncoarthrosis of the cervical spine:

  • neck injuries
  • intense physical activity associated with pressure on the cervical spine,
  • obesity,
  • professional sports
  • passive lifestyle, sedentary work,
  • congenital malformations in the cervical spine,
  • hormonal failure, endocrine system diseases,
  • impaired metabolism
  • age-related changes in the body,
  • flat feet.
Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologistShishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.

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Mechanism of disease development

At its core, uncovertebral arthrosis of the cervical spine is osteoarthritis affecting a specific segment of the spinal column. The disease destroys the cartilaginous layers between the vertebrae, providing cushioning under stress. After damage to the cartilaginous layers, the nerves and blood vessels passing through the spine lose their protection. Along with this, the formation of osteophytes occurs, restricting movements and compressing arteries and nerve tissue. Spinal mobility is lost, its curvature occurs, and it is difficult for the patient to do even a simple physical exercise. Blood circulation is especially affected when lesions of the vertebrae C5 – C6 or C4 – C6.

How is the pathology manifested: the main symptoms

At the beginning of the development of the disorder, the symptoms are weak. The patient feels heaviness in the neck and a feeling of fatigue. Severe pain rarely disturbs a person. In the absence of treatment, the progression of degenerative processes and the achievement of 2 tbsp. uncrovertebral arthrosis. Diseases are characterized by seasonal exacerbation and sensitivity to changes in weather conditions.

The development of pathology and the formation of uncovertebral joints has the following symptoms:

  • a crunch when you turn your head,
  • gradually increasing pain
  • loss of sensation in the fingers
  • decrease in visual acuity,
  • nausea,
  • increase in blood pressure
  • deterioration of the sweat glands of the face,
  • narrowing of the pupils
  • lowering of the lower eyelid,
  • dizziness, headache,
  • decreased neck sensitivity
  • lack of coordination of movements,
  • retraction of the eyeball.

Diagnosis of uncovertral arthrosis

The cartilaginous membrane of the joints and intervertebral layers is almost impossible to restore. Therefore, it is important not to allow the development of degree 2 of uncovertebral arthrosis, but to treat the pathology when the first signs appear.

A diagnosis involves several stages of the examination. Consultation of a surgeon, vertebrologist, orthopedist, neurologist. An anamnesis is required and an analysis of patient complaints. Since arthrosis of the uncovertebral joints of the cervical spine can affect the spinal cord, making the correct diagnosis is especially important. With an additional hardware examination, the following diagnostic methods are used:

  • X-ray The presence of osteophytes means the development of degenerative processes characteristic of osteoarthritis.
  • MRI In addition to the presence of bone changes, it indicates the condition of soft tissues, nerve fibers and blood vessels.
  • Dopplerography. Detects the degree of damage to the arteries.

What treatment is prescribed?

Therapy of uncovertebral arthrosis combines the use of the following agents:

  • medicines
  • physiotherapy procedures
  • massage
  • Exercise therapy.
  • restore blood flow to ensure normal nutrition of the brain and eliminate headaches,
  • stimulate the growth of cartilage,
  • eliminate muscle spasm and pain.


To eliminate uncovertebral arthrosis, the patient is prescribed drugs of the following groups:

  • NSAIDs, analgesics. Relieve inflammation and pain caused by the ingrowth of osteophytes into soft tissues.
  • Chondroprotectors. Repair damaged cartilage.
  • Painkillers. With severe pain, novocaine blockades are prescribed.
  • Vitamin complexes. Restore nerve tissue, strengthen the body as a whole.
  • Antispasmodics, muscle relaxants. Eliminate cramps, normalize blood circulation.


As part of the fight against uncovertebral arthrosis, the following types of physiotherapeutic effects are recommended:

You can not be limited only to the administration of prescribed medications, since the uncovertebral process is difficult to treat with medication.

Folk remedies

With the help of traditional medicine recipes you can only relieve pain, but it is impossible to eliminate uncovertral arthrosis. The most popular remedy for this pathology is ointment based on linseed oil. For its preparation, one part of propolis and turpentine and 4 parts of oil are mixed. The resulting mixture is rubbed into the sore neck. Before using folk remedies, you should consult a doctor and make sure that there are no allergies to its components.

Non-drug treatment

Depending on the degree of spinal injury, the patient is prescribed:

    Immobilization of the neck with a special collar. This removes the load from the vertebrae, prov >

Vertebral arthrosis threatens with complications such as:

  • intervertebral hernia,
  • radicular syndrome
  • compression of the arteries and malnutrition of the brain.

Due to the osteophyte clamping of a large artery, disability may occur with the assignment of the appropriate group. Manifestations of complications:

  • migraine,
  • hearing and vision impairment,
  • fainting
  • malfunction of the vestibular apparatus.

How to avoid breaking?

The prevention of uncovertral arthrosis is based on a complete rejection of self-medication. Even minor pain can be a sign of the development of the disease, so you should not try to eliminate it yourself. It is recommended to avoid hard physical work, which involves lifting weights. It is important to eat balanced and give up bad habits. People working sitting should periodically at 2 hours to perform special exercises that relax the muscles of the neck. Well-proven preventive massage and spa treatment.

Uncovertebral arthrosis (deforming arthrosis of the cervical spine) symptoms and treatment

Unvertebral arthrosis is a degenerative-degenerative process in the cervical spine, during which the intervertebral discs and arched joints of the spine are destroyed or deformed. More often a pathological process develops between the first and second cervical vertebrae. Deformation of the spinal area causes the patient considerable discomfort, movements in the neck are accompanied by pain, in addition, because of the displacement of the vertebrae, nerves and blood vessels that pass through the canal canals are often infringed.

Unvertebral Arthrosis: Symptoms

A special insidiousness of pathology is that at the initial stage it does not manifest itself in any way. The first signs of uncovertebral arthrosis of the cervical spine are obliterated and insignificant. The maximum that can attract attention is a sharp, shooting pain in a certain area of ​​the neck (at the site of the lesion), which occurs with a sharp movement of the head, nod, or turn. In this case, the episode of pain is short-lived, after a few seconds the pain goes away. In this regard, few people see a doctor at this stage of arthrosis of the uncovertebral joints, while at this stage, until irreversible changes develop in the intervertebral cartilages, the pathology can be successfully cured.

With the progression of arthrosis of the uncovertebral joints, the symptomatology becomes more intense. Pain bothers with almost any movement in the cervical region, then with any physical exertion, weather changes, in stressful situations. The patient’s natural desire is to protect the neck from movement, but this only exacerbates the situation: in a state of immobility, the intensity of blood supply to the tissues decreases significantly, the vertebrae become unstable, and the neck muscles lose elasticity. In general, signs of uncovertral arthrosis of the cervical spine are quite characteristic at this stage. In addition to pain in the neck of a patient with uncoarthrosis, the following symptoms may disturb:

  • feeling of numbness in the neck;
  • paresthesia (burning, tingling, goosebumps) in the neck;
  • dizziness, flickering flies in the eyes;
  • headache up to nausea;
  • decrease in visual acuity, both twilight and daytime;
  • fluctuation in blood pressure;
  • pain in the chest, often the patient attributes it to heart problems;
  • imbalance.

Of course, at this stage of the pathology, it is no longer possible to hesitate to go to the doctor. All of these symptoms indicate not only significant problems with the cervical spine, but also that their consequence was a deterioration in the blood supply to the brain. If treatment is not started at this stage of uncovertral arthrosis of the cervical spine, the cervical spine can completely lose mobility, and disturbances in cerebral circulation lead to irreversible consequences for brain tissue.

Uncovertebral arthrosis: causes of the disease

The main cause of the pathology: excessive or, conversely, insufficient load on the cervical spine. Also, the problem may be in its incorrect distribution. As a result, blood supply to the spine, both bone tissue and cartilaginous layers, worsens, deformations occur, and arthrosis of the intervertebral joints develops.

In addition, the causes of uncovertebral arthrosis can be: excess weight, flat feet, the presence of curvature of the spine, interfering with normal walking, provoking an incorrect position of the body, head. Endocrine pathologies, injuries, anatomical abnormalities of the cervical spine, transferred polio, and myodystrophy make their contribution.

Diagnosis of uncovertebral arthrosis:

Diagnosis of pathology begins with a survey and examination of the patient, during the last doctor can determine by palpation an increase in the vertebrae. However, an accurate diagnosis is not possible without fluoroscopy of the cervical spine and MRI. Thanks to modern computer technologies, during a tomographic study, it is possible to identify not only spinal deformities, but also the intensity of blood supply to the tissues of the cervical spine, which will give the doctor a clear picture of the degree of the pathological process and will help to choose an adequate therapeutic tactic.

Unvertebral Arthrosis: Treatment

How to treat uncovertebral arthrosis of the cervical spine? The optimal approach to therapy is considered a comprehensive, that is, a combination of drug and non-drug treatment methods, the addition of conservative surgical methods, if necessary.

The basis of the treatment of uncovertebral arthrosis is conservative treatment. As a rule, for the relief of pain, the patient is prescribed NSAIDs. Such drugs act on the inflammation process, stopping it and, thereby, relieving pain. However, it should be remembered: all drugs from the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have an irritating effect on the digestive system. Therefore, their uncontrolled intake is unacceptable – it can cause the development of gastritis or even stomach ulcers. NSAIDs are prescribed only by a doctor, the course of taking such drugs should not be long. If the NSAIDs are ineffective, they can be supplemented or replaced with glucocorticosteroids, however, only a doctor can carry out such a replacement. It also determines the duration of therapy, since these are hormonal drugs and a sharp change in dose, cancellation is unacceptable. Prescription analgesics may be prescribed for additional pain relief.

With uncovertral arthrosis of the neck, it has proven itself to take chondroprotectors, for example, Don. The active basis of the drug is crystalline glucosamine sulfate, a component of healthy human cartilage. Without it, the normal course of metabolic processes in cartilage is impossible: glucosamine is an obligatory participant in the process of production of proteoglycan proteins, which form the structural basis of cartilage tissue. Don helps to improve the metabolism in the cartilage, eliminate inflammation, helps stop the destruction of the intervertebral joints. But you need to remember: to achieve a tangible result, the course of treatment should be several months, and you need to start it as soon as possible – before severe degenerative changes occur in the spine.

Also, a patient with uncoarthrosis can be shown drugs to stimulate tissue circulation and antispasmodics, eliminating spasm of the neck muscles.

With the ineffectiveness of conservative therapy, rapidly progressive deformation of the cervical spine, the patient may be recommended surgical treatment aimed at restoring spinal mobility.

Physiotherapeutic treatment is an important component of the therapeutic program for arthrosis of the uncovertebral joints. Mud and paraffin wraps, salt compresses, magneto and ultrasound therapy, electrophoresis have proven themselves well. Physiotherapeutic techniques can relieve muscle spasm and pain, relieve inflammation, enhance the effect of conservative treatment and consolidate its results. The only, but important condition: physiotherapy should be carried out only in a state of remission, when acute pain and inflammation are relieved. Otherwise, they may increase.

The same conditions apply to massage and physiotherapy exercises, which are exclusively indicated for patients with uncovertebral arthrosis. Exercise therapy, massage stimulate blood circulation in the tissues of the neck, an experienced massage therapist can remove the clamps and restore mobility in the neck in just a few sessions – the main thing is that these sessions are not carried out at the peak of the inflammatory process. Only a doctor should select exercises for exercise therapy, initiative in such a situation is unacceptable and can only provoke complete immobilization of the neck and a significant displacement of the vertebrae in the affected area.

There are a wide range of folk recipes for the treatment of deforming arthrosis of the uncovertebral joints, however, they need to be treated wisely, understanding that they can serve only as an addition, but not a substitute for other treatment methods. Many folk recipes – compresses and warming up – are essentially altered physiotherapeutic effects, so before using these methods of treatment, you should consult a doctor.

Nutrition for uncoarthrosis involves limiting salt intake and avoiding junk food. It is also worth giving up on rigid diets and vegetarian food: the body must receive all the nutrients it needs. But bad habits can and should be struck up: alcohol and nicotine provoke disorders of tissue circulation, which only contributes to the progression of the disease.

Deforming unvertebral arthrosis is a severe pathology of the spine, however, provided that treatment is started on time and responsible, the unpleasant symptoms can be eliminated.

What is uncovertral arthrosis of the cervical spine?

When damage to the joints of the spinal column occurs, hook-shaped growths form on it, which cause suffering when the head moves. This pathology is called uncovertebral arthrosis of the cervical spine. The disease is not considered serious, however, if everything is left to chance, then the risk of complete destruction of the disk cartilage of the spinal column increases. Therefore, it is very important to understand how to treat pathology, and what preventive measures are needed.

What is uncovertral arthrosis

Pathology is the result of complete or partial wear of the cartilage joints. Deformation of the cervical spine occurs due to friction of the vertebrae, a variety of inflammatory processes and a decrease in the size of the vertebral discs. When the vertebrae come into contact, a person has unpleasant sensations. Over time, osteophytes form on the vertebrae. They are bone growths having an irregular structure. They help to compensate for excessive load on the cartilage tissue and reduce soreness.

Osteophytes in the cervical vertebral column create new uncrovertebral joints. Most often, uncoarthrosis is localized from 4 to 6 of the cervical vertebra.

Causes of pathology

Science knows many reasons that can provoke arthrosis of the uncovertebral joints of the cervical spine. Medicine divides them into congenital and acquired. For example, among birth defects, Olenik syndrome can provoke uncoarthrosis.

Conditions that provoke degenerative-dystrophic damage:

  • Systematic performance of physical activity associated with lifting heavy objects;
  • Lack of physical activity;
  • Diseases of the skeletal system;
  • Pathological conditions of the spinal column;
  • Problems in the field of endocrinology;
  • Flat feet;
  • Injury to the cervical vertebrae;
  • Polio;
  • Failures of metabolic processes in the body;
  • The lack of trace elements of the intervertebral region;
  • Loss of neck ligament elasticity;
  • Dislocations of the joints in the hip area;
  • Osteoporosis.

Experts call three categories of people most susceptible to the development of arthrosis:

  • Older people, by virtue of age;
  • Persons who are overweight;
  • Professional athletes due to uneven load on the neck.


The most important symptom indicating the presence of degenerative-dystrophic lesions is pain localized at the site of the damaged vertebra. The feeling of constant discomfort knocks a person out of the usual rhythm of life. Muscle cramps occur arbitrarily at a reflex level, this interferes with the normal rotation of the head. If at this stage of cervical uncoarthrosis seek help from a specialist, then with a correctly selected therapeutic system, the defect can be eliminated as soon as possible, otherwise the disease will begin to progress.

At the very beginning of cervical arthrosis, pain is a periodic phenomenon. Later, with a long stay in one position, the soreness intensifies. Therefore, patients are advised to change positions frequently. Another alarming symptom is a crunch that is localized in the vertebrae when the head is tilted. The intervertebral discs are a provocateur of pain, which, when touched, bulge and touch the ligaments. In the later stages of the progression of arthrosis, the pain is regular.

Without timely intervention, arthrosis of the uncovertebral joints can provoke a synovial cyst. Pain with such an ailment is transmitted to the limbs, and in advanced cases, paralysis appears.

Symptoms indicating the presence of uncovertebral arthrosis:

  • Pain in different parts of the head;
  • Frequent dislocations in the cervical spine;
  • A sharp change in pressure in the arteries;
  • The feeling of confined space;
  • Pain in the chest and back;
  • Sudden deterioration in vision and hearing;
  • Neuritis of the shoulder and other neuralgic manifestations.

The intervertebral discs bulge, due to which hernias appear, compressing the nerve roots and blood vessels of the circulatory system. This causes terrible pain to the patient.


Uncovertral arthrosis of the spinal column of the cervical region destroys the cartilaginous tissue. As a result, intervertebral disc failure occurs. If treatment is not started on time, then arthrosis will progress, and the tissue between the vertebrae will become very thin. The intervertebral fluid begins to evaporate, as a result, the function of extensibility and elasticity is lost. Therefore, the spinal disc protrudes in both directions. All items near the disc are clamped. The person is in pain.


To make an accurate diagnosis at the initial appointment, the specialist asks the patient about the symptoms, and then, after a thorough examination and palpation of the affected area, prescribes:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging;
  • Roentgenography;
  • Angiography;
  • General analysis of blood and urine.

A medical examination allows you to visualize changes in the vertebral discs and facet joints, as well as see osteophytes. After a thorough examination, the doctor will accurately determine the uncovertebral arthrosis of the cervical spine and prescribe treatment.

How to get rid of the disease?

Treatment of degenerative-dystrophic lesions is carried out at home under the strict supervision of a physician. An integrated approach is needed. What can a doctor prescribe:

  • Medicines;
  • Physiotherapy;
  • Sanatorium vacation;
  • Physiotherapy exercises;
  • Proper nutrition;
  • Orthopedic techniques;
  • Surgical intervention.


In medicine, there are no drugs that can permanently eliminate the cause of the pathology of the cervical region. To slow down the course of the disease, and save the patient from pain, doctors prescribe:

  • Antispasmodics and medicines against pain. Usually these are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. For example, Ketanov, Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Diclofenac, etc.
  • Medicines to restore normal blood flow in the affected vertebrae. For example, Actovegin, Curantil, Pentoxifylline, etc.
  • Chondroprotectors. Restores cartilage, and slows down the decay process. For example, chondroitin, glucosamine, etc.
  • To relieve severe pain, novocaine blockades are performed.

These drugs help cope with arthrosis, but only a specialist can prescribe medication.


To improve the effect of drug therapy, doctors prescribe a set of physiotherapy procedures. If the patient has no contraindications, then physiotherapy has an anti-inflammatory effect, relieves pain and reduces all symptoms to “no.” Therefore, it is often prescribed both for prophylactic purposes and as an assistant to medicines.

The most effective methods according to experts:

  • Magnetotherapy. Act on the affected area with pulses of static current. Eliminates puffiness and inflammatory processes.
  • Amplipulse therapy. The modulated current removes pain in the shortest possible time.
  • Ultrasonic phonoresis. It is used to deliver an anesthetic drug to the affected area, to freeze the nerve plexuses during exacerbations.

Orthopedic treatment

One of the effective methods for eliminating the symptoms of uncoarthrosis at the initial stage is wearing a Shants collar. It is used to relieve nervous tension and overwork the neck. The collar can be compared to crutches, because it evenly distributes the weight of the head. Thanks to the invention of Shants, the head is fixed in the correct position, and the spinal column is resting.


Massage is one of the areas of manual therapy that has a positive effect on cervical arthrosis. Massage improves blood flow, relieves muscle spasms, gradually restores the basic functions of the joints. Carefully approach the choice of a massage therapist with uncovertral arthrosis, remember that this is a disease, which means that the “doctor” must have a medical background.


In some cases, traditional medicine is used to relieve pain and slow the development of uncoarthrosis. There are many recipes for the preparation of ointments, rubbing, decoctions, but full-time consultation with a specialist is recommended before use. Self-medication can lead to disastrous results.

Author: Petr Vladimirovich Nikolaev

The doctor is a manual therapist, orthopedic traumatologist, ozone therapist. Methods of exposure: osteopathy, post-isometric relaxation, intraarticular injections, soft manual technique, deep tissue massage, analgesic technique, craniotherapy, acupuncture, intraarticular administration of drugs.

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How does arthrosis of the cervical spine occur and how to treat it?

Unicovertebral arthrosis of the cervical spine is a degenerative disease of the unique joints of this area. As a result of this disease, a limitation of the motor ability of the neck develops and various neurological syndromes arise due to the close proximity of important bundles of blood vessels and nerves.

Other, more rarely used names of this pathology are uncoarthrosis, and cycovertebral osteoarthrosis.

Briefly about the structure of the cervical spine

The cervical spine consists of seven vertebrae. Each of them, except the first and second, has in its composition two parts: the body and the arc. These parts form a large vertebral foramen where the spinal cord is located. Seven processes branch out from each arch: spinous, heading posteriorly, a pair of lateral transverse and two articular ones above and below. The presence of an intervertebral disc can be traced only starting from the third vertebra.

On the outer edges of the five lower cervical vertebrae (C3, C4, C5, C6, C7) there are hook-shaped or lunate processes. Due to such a special shape of these processes, the vertebral body looks like a “saddle” in which the body of the vertebra above is “sitting”.

Joint Lushka

The junction of the lunate processes with the lower surface of the body of the overlying vertebra is called the Lushka joint or the uncovertebral joint. The articular surfaces of this joint are covered with articular cartilage, and on the outside there is a capsule.

Most scientists believe that these joints normally do not exist and are formed as a result of exposure to certain static-dynamic loads. Sometimes the formation of such joints is considered as a complication of cervical osteochondrosis – thinning of the intervertebral disc leads to “subsidence” of the vertebrae and the subsequent formation of uncovertral joints.

Osteoarthritis arthrosis, which is characterized by bone growths in the area of ​​the hook processes, can cause mechanical irritation and trauma to the vertebral artery and cervical vertebral nerves.

What is uncovertral osteoarthritis?

Unicovertebral arthrosis of the cervical spine (cycovertebral) is one of the varieties of deforming osteoarthrosis. It is usually localized on one or two vertebrae of the cervical spine and is accompanied by the formation of bone growths (osteophytes) on their surface.

Osteoarthrosis in the joint of Lushka is of two types – deforming and sclerosing.

Deforming uncoarthrosis

With osteoarthrosis of the deforming type, osteophytes appear along the entire edge of the hook-shaped process. As a result of this, it takes a pointed shape, lengthens and deviates outwards, acquiring a horizontal position. Similar changes occur on the other articulated surface of the Lushka joint.

Sclerosing Uncoarthrosis

With sclerosing type osteoarthritis, the hook-shaped process increases in size, acquires a rounded shape, its structure becomes more dense and massive. However, there are no osteophytes in the appendix. They appear near the articular surfaces in the body of the vertebra located above. The intervertebral foramen are narrowed, posterior uncovertebral bone growths protrude in them, which can compress the roots of the spinal nerves.


The disease develops gradually. Various reasons can provoke its development, among which the most common are:

  • A sedentary lifestyle – lack of exercise.
  • Sedentary work with poor posture.
  • Overweight.
  • Excessive physical activity for a long time.
  • Endocrine diseases, for example, thyroid pathology.
  • Neck injuries.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Flat feet.
  • Polio in the past.
  • Dislocation of the head of the hip joint, etc.


The initial stage of uncovertebral osteoarthritis usually goes away without pronounced symptoms. Short-term pain may appear in one or two cervical vertebrae, for example, during physical exertion, a sharp turn of the head, or a sharp rise in gravity.

With the progression of the disease, the pathological process goes into the stage of severe symptoms. As a rule, uncoarthrosis is manifested by three main syndromes:

  1. Pain syndrome. Pain sometimes occurs even with minor head movements. It is localized, as a rule, in the projection of the affected vertebra. Pain is usually accompanied by severe crunching with any neck movements.
  2. Vertebral Artery Syndrome. With compression (compression) of the vertebral artery, symptoms of cerebrovascular accident appear. Their severity depends on the degree of compression. Patients complain of dizziness, frequent headaches. Often arterial hypertension appears. Sometimes symptoms such as impaired vision, hearing, memory, etc.
  3. Radicular syndrome. Clinical symptoms can be very different and depend on at what level compression occurred (compression). This pathology can be manifested, for example, by pain and / or muscle weakness in the entire upper limb or part of it (shoulder, hand, forearm, fingers). As well as numbness of certain parts of the neck, upper limbs, the area of ​​the clavicle, scapula, etc.


Based on typical complaints and examination, osteoarthrosis in the joints of Lushka can be suspected.

Diagnosis of uncovertral osteoarthritis is possible only on the basis of additional research methods. The most widely used radiography in direct and oblique projections. Modern research methods are computed and magnetic resonance imaging (CT and MRI).


Treatment of patients with uncovertebral ostearthrosis is carried out by an orthopedic surgeon or vertebrologist. Let’s look at what therapies are used for this disease.

A prerequisite for treatment is the creation of the right lifestyle. It is necessary to form the correct posture when reading, writing, working at the computer. It is limited to carrying weights, sudden movements of the head, excessive physical exertion.

It is necessary to sleep on a special orthopedic pillow.

In the acute phase of the disease, a special orthopedic collar on the neck (Shantsa) is used. This collar provides soft traction of the skeleton in the neck and reduces the load on it. After reducing the acute process, neck motor activity is gradually restored.


Drug treatment for this pathology has three main goals:

  • Relieving pain and muscle spasm. For this, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are used – ibuprofen, indomethacin, etc. Sometimes, with severe muscle cramps, muscle relaxants are prescribed.
  • Correction of vascular disorders. Prescribed drugs that improve microcirculation and antiplatelet agents – trental, chimes, Actovegin, etc.
  • Improving the restoration of the structure and nutrition of cartilage. Such drugs are called chondroprotectors (glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin sulfate). Their use strengthens cartilage and improves its quality characteristics.

It should be remembered that all medications and their doses should be prescribed only by a doctor. For example, NSAIDs at improperly selected dosages can significantly affect the metabolism in cartilage and complicate the course of the disease.


For physiotherapeutic treatment on the neck area are used:

  • Sinusoidal modulated currents.
  • Amplipulse therapy.
  • Phonophoresis and electrophoresis with painkillers.
  • Magnetotherapy.
  • Massage and manual therapy.
  • Application heat therapy.
  • Local barotherapy.

Massage and manual therapy should be performed by a specialist with a medical background. Incorrect manual exposure techniques can lead to exacerbation of the disease and even disability.

In the absence of pain symptoms, acupuncture of the neck can be used.

Exercise therapy and gymnastics

Physical therapy should be practiced outside the period of exacerbation. The set of exercises of therapeutic gymnastics is selected so that when they are performed there is no pain.

Gymnastics must be performed daily.

Swimming also gives a good healing effect.


With the ineffectiveness of conservative measures and the deterioration of the patient with uncovertebral osteoarthritis, surgical treatment is used, for example, removal of osteophytes.

Uncovertral arthrosis of the cervical spine

When the joints of the spine are affected, hook-like growths form on them, creating discomfort with any movement of the head. This condition is called unvertebral arthrosis. This disease is not considered serious, but can cause dangerous complications for the human body.

What is uncovertral arthrosis of the cervical spine

The pathology of the arched articular processes or intervertebral discs is called unvertebral arthrosis. The disease leads to a structural change in the transverse channel, therefore, in the process of its development, pinching of the nerve and vascular bundles is observed. The disease makes itself felt with pain at every turn or tilt of the head. The patient cannot move his shoulders freely. Sensory disorder is noted. Uncovertral arthrosis with c5-c6 cervical vertebrae or c4-c6 is more often observed.

Causes of spinal arthrosis

The main reason for the development of arthrosis is the low physical activity of the cervical spine, the lack of dynamic stress. The following factors contribute to the development of the disease:

hard physical work;

  • pathology of the spinal column;
  • impaired metabolism;
  • bone system diseases;
  • insufficient nutrition of the intervertebral cartilage;
  • obesity;
  • trauma;
  • flat feet;
  • loss of elasticity of the cervical ligaments;
  • thyroid disease.
  • symptomatology

    The very first symptom with uncovertral arthrosis of the cervical spine is the appearance of pain in the region of one or more cervical vertebrae. Constant discomfort prevents a person from leading a normal life. The muscles of the cervical region are also often reflexively strained, which interferes with the full rotation of the head. If you consult a doctor at this stage, then with adequate treatment, you can quickly eliminate the violations.

    Degenerative changes

    The second alarming symptom that manifests itself even at the beginning of the disease is a crunch in the vertebrae when the head is tilted. The main provocateurs of pain during physical exertion are the intervertebral discs, which protrude and affect the ligaments. At the first stage, pain occurs intermittently, but gradually becomes regular. In the first place, the cartilaginous tissue of the disc suffers, which becomes thinner and loses elasticity. Outgrowths occur on the cervical vertebrae.

    Common symptoms of the disease

    Without proper treatment, uncovertebral arthrosis progresses very quickly, which can trigger the formation of a synovial cyst. Pain with this pathology can give to the lower extremities, and in severe form causes symptoms of paralysis. Arthrosis of the spine without timely therapy leads to the following symptoms:

  • persistent headaches;
  • back pain and / or chest pain;
  • change in blood pressure;
  • dizziness;
  • brachial neuritis and other neurological conditions.
  • How to diagnose arthrosis of the uncovertebral joints

    Unvertebral arthrosis is known to be one of the varieties of deforming osteoarthrosis. Only after several examinations the doctor will be able to make an accurate diagnosis. First, the nature of the pain syndrome is determined, then, with the help of palpation, muscle spasms of the painful areas are revealed. For additional diagnosis, the doctor prescribes imaging techniques: x-rays and MRI. The images obtained make it possible to determine whether the ligaments are affected, how functional the blood vessels are, and whether there are osteophytes on the posterior surfaces of the vertebrae.

    Treatment of the cervical spine

    Therapy of uncovertebral arthrosis begins with the formation of the correct posture in the patient. The patient should refuse to carry weights, exclude sudden movements of the neck, and during sleep, an orthopedic pillow should be used. A regular visit to the pool, exercise therapy (physiotherapy exercises) is beneficial for the condition of the cervical spine. If necessary, drug therapy is prescribed. Basically, all diseases of the cervical spine are treated on an outpatient basis.

    Wearing a Shants collar

    Arthrosis of the cervical vertebrae of the first stage is sometimes eliminated when wearing an orthopedic collar of Shants. It is a wide collar made of soft fabric that encircles the neck and is fastened with Velcro on the back. Shants’s collar does not treat cervical uncoarthrosis, but only alleviates the symptoms. It is used to relieve fatigue and stress. It performs the function of crutches, distributing the weight of the head to the base of the neck and collarbone. Thanks to the orthopedic collar, the head is fixed in the correct position, and the tendons, ligaments and muscles of the neck are unloaded.

    Medication for arthrosis

    Medicines that can eliminate the cause of the disease do not exist. To slow down the development of the disease and remove local pains, the doctor, as a rule, prescribes a set of medicines:

    Painkillers Relieve severe pain with Aspirin, Ibuprofen.

  • Blood circulation medications. The appointment of Pentoxifylline, Actovegin helps restore normal blood flow.
  • Chondroprotectors. Slow down the process of destruction of cartilage, help restore cartilage tissue. Popular drugs: Chondroitin, Glucosamine.
  • Physiotherapeutic procedures

    In order for drug treatment to be effective, the use of various physiotherapy procedures is prescribed. If there are no contraindications, then they have an anti-inflammatory effect, remove symptoms, therefore, they are often used after the main therapy for prevention. The most effective methods that help in the treatment of cervical problems:

    exposure to a magnetic field eliminates swelling of tissues, relieves inflammation;

    ultrasound phonophoresis is used in order to deliver novocaine or l >

    Traditional medicine for arthrosis

    The use of alternative recipes during the complex treatment of uncovertebral arthrosis provides a quick positive effect. Gifts of nature improve blood circulation, provide an antibacterial effect on the affected areas. If the pain persists for a long time, use the following recipes:

    Mix equal amounts of pork fat with hop cones. Rub until smooth. Apply ointment to the affected area before bedtime until pain is reduced.

  • Grind three grams of celery root, pour a liter of boiling water, leave for 10-12 hours. Take the infusion daily to reduce pain one tablespoon on an empty stomach.
  • Alcohol (300 ml) pour dry bearberry flowers (50 g). Insist for 2-3 hours, then use as a compress for the night with severe pain.
  • Morozov Georgiy

    Georgy Morozov, rheumatologist. For more than 20 years, he has been involved in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of joint diseases.