Causes of tachycardia in osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

Tachycardia is one of the most commonly diagnosed symptoms of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine. The difficulty in diagnosing the disease is that this phenomenon can also be directly related to pathologies of the cardiovascular system. That is why, when it occurs, it is important to undergo a comprehensive medical examination to more accurately establish the cause.

The mechanism of tachycardia as a symptom of osteochondrosis

Among the main signs of tachycardia: increased heart rate, the appearance of anxiety and dizziness. As a complication of osteochondrosis, the phenomenon occurs in more than twenty percent of cases. In this case, the patient’s cardiovascular system can be absolutely healthy.

When the tissues of the spine are erased and worn out, the intervertebral discs are destroyed, bone growths (osteophytes) are formed. The resulting squeezing causes spasms of the capillaries, as a result of which blood pressure rises and the heart rate increases. Over time, the deformation intensifies, osteophytes grow in size and begin to irritate the nerve endings, causing pain in the thoracic region. Complications of all these processes can be extrasystole and arrhythmia in osteochondrosis.

Detection of tachycardia

The occurrence of the phenomenon is accompanied by a general deterioration in well-being, dizziness, anxiety, weakness and irritability. If these signs appear, it is recommended to independently perform a procedure to detect tachycardia.

This will require:

  1. Take a comfortable position. Prepare a stopwatch;
  2. Feel for a pulse by pressing an artery on the wrist of the left hand;
  3. Count the number of heartbeats for exactly one minute.

Normal heart rate is from sixty to eighty beats per minute (for an adult). An increase in the number of reductions to a mark of eighty or more indicates the occurrence of tachycardia and requires action. The lack of timely treatment can lead to serious consequences for both the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems. In addition, arrhythmia often develops along with hypertension, which also poses a danger to the health and life of the patient.

Scientific research

The answer to the question of whether osteochondrosis can cause tachycardia was obtained as a result of numerous studies of the relationship between the pathologies of the musculoskeletal system and cardialgia in one of the medical institutes. During the experiment, patients were injected with novocaine in the area of ​​spinal injuries, as a result of which their condition improved noticeably, and the heartbeat stabilized. When exposed to irritating factors, the heart rate again increased, pain in the chest arose. This experimental result indicates that an impulse to the heart muscle was sent directly from the affected nerves of the spinal cord.

During medical research it was also established that with destructive changes in the spine, heart pains acquire a reflected form and appear in the anterior section of the chest.

This phenomenon is a consequence of one of the pathophysiological syndromes:

  • Reflex. An insufficient number of impulses from the affected nerves of the spinal cord is sent to the cervical spine. And its receptors at the same time cause autonomic innervation (reflex heart contractions), due to which the pulse noticeably quickens.
  • Compression. It occurs due to compression and tension of the capillaries and nerve roots of the spinal cord. Pain in the chest area is manifested as a result of the spread of impulses to the center of regulation of the heart rhythm.

Tachycardia in cervical osteochondrosis caused by pinching of the vertebral artery is a symptom of the most dangerous complications for the patient’s health. Often in this case, it is accompanied by breathing problems, diseases of the cardiovascular system, as well as visual and hearing impairments.

Concomitant symptoms

Tachycardia with thoracic osteochondrosis and cervical destruction occurs periodically and is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  1. Stitching chest pains;
  2. Difficulty breathing;
  3. Pain in other internal organs;
  4. Increased sweating;
  5. Fast fatiguability;
  6. Poor performance;
  7. Feeling of heat in the chest;
  8. Pain arising from palpation of the affected area of ​​the spine;
  9. Impaired urination;
  10. Sleep disturbance.

Feeling of heat in the chest Violation of urination Sleep disturbance

Diagnosis and identification of the relationship between heart rhythm disturbance and osteochondrosis

If a violation of the heart rhythm of the patient is detected, they are immediately sent to an electrocardiogram and an echocardiogram. This is necessary to confirm or deny the presence of heart disease. In the event that they are not detected, the doctor additionally prescribes the following procedures:

  • Ultrasound examination of the heart;
  • Ultrasound of the kidneys;
  • Electromyography (with its help exclude neuropathy, which can also cause a malfunction of the heart);
  • X-ray (examination is performed on the heart and spine, helps determine the current state of bone, muscle and cartilage, detect osteophytes and abnormal mobility of the vertebrae);
  • Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (allows you to better visualize the affected and painful areas.

Before radiography, a contrast agent is often injected into the cervical region to improve visualization.

The order of treatment

Arrhythmia in osteochondrosis of the thoracic spine can be eliminated with the help of specialized drugs that restore heart rhythm. However, the treatment of the initial problem should include the following tasks:

  1. Elimination of inflammatory processes in the affected area;
  2. Elimination of direct compression of nerves;
  3. Improving metabolism in the tissues of the spine and intervertebral discs;
  4. Restoration of the functions of neurons in the affected area.

Therapy is carried out in several stages using different types of exposure.

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In addition to drugs that restore normal heart rhythm, other medications aimed at eliminating the painful focus are also used:

    Non-stero >As additional measures of mandatory prescribed physical therapy and manual therapy, as well as acupressure. In addition, physiotherapy methods are used:

  1. Magnetostimulation;
  2. Ultrasound treatment;
  3. Vibration stimulation;
  4. Laser treatment.

Physiotherapy is carried out for eight to ten sessions. It has the following types of effects on the spine:

  • Improves blood supply to affected tissues;
  • Restores the functionality of muscles and blood vessels;
  • It improves well-being and prevents unpleasant symptoms.

Additionally, a therapeutic diet can be prescribed, excluding fast food, fatty and heavy foods.

In difficult situations, the method of surgical treatment of diseases of the spine is used. During the operation, osteophytes that compress the capillaries and nerve endings are removed. Surgical intervention requires the patient to undergo a recovery period using preventive drugs, diet and exercise therapy.

General recommendations for the treatment of osteochondrosis and the prevention of tachycardia

In order to accelerate the treatment of osteochondrosis and cardiac arrhythmias, it is necessary to use the following recommendations:

  1. To refuse from bad habits;
  2. To diversify the daily diet with fresh vegetables and fruits, eat more products containing gelatin;
  3. Take more time to rest and sleep;
  4. Systematically monitor your heart rate;
  5. Avoid stressful situations.

Along with this, you should not:

  • Expose the body to high temperatures (visit baths and saunas, do hot compresses, take a hot shower). An increase in temperature can enhance inflammation, accelerate heartbeat, increase blood pressure, cause swelling and increase compression of the capillaries and roots of nerves.
  • Massage yourself. Mechanical action on the affected spine without the participation of a specialist can aggravate the situation.
  • Take medications that affect the state of tissues and the cardiovascular system without consulting a doctor.
  • In addition, it is important to monitor posture and refuse to stay in front of a computer for a long time. It is also recommended not to use a pillow and choose a stiffer mattress.


The fact that tachycardia can be a sign of a complication of diseases of the spine, not all patients know, therefore, they primarily turn to a cardiologist.

The problem can arise even with a healthy cardiovascular system, however, in this case, too, it requires complex treatment aimed at eliminating the main symptoms and improving overall well-being, as well as restoring the functions of the spine and blood vessels.

Anatoly Kudravets

Anatoly Kudravets, Orthopedic Traumatologist. He works with severe cases, practices operative methods of treating connective tissues