It has been established that every year diseases of the spine and joints continue to grow younger. So, the first degenerative changes can be observed in patients at the age of 25. During the aging process, age-related diseases of tissues and cartilage occur, for example, arthrosis of the cervical spine. However, not only aging can cause the problem.
Causes of pathology
As mentioned above, dystrophic and degenerative changes in the joints in the cervical region mainly begin due to natural wear and tear during the aging process. The causes that can cause the development of pathology are usually divided into external and internal.
The internal causes of the development of arthrosis of the cervical spine include:
- Hereditary factors and mutations, as a result of which the body’s natural production of collagen is disrupted;
- Congenital problems with joints and vertebrae (fusion of the vertebra of the atlas with the skull);
- Inflammatory processes of different directions;
- Specific infectious diseases;
- Disturbances in the central nervous system;
- Age and hormonal changes in the body.
External factors causing arthrosis include:
- Injuries of the cervical spine;
- Increased physical activity;
- Constant strain on the neck;
- Diagnosis in a patient of hernia and protrusions.
Symptoms of the disease
The following symptoms are characteristic of arthrosis of the cervical vertebrae:
- Violation of the normal mobility of the neck;
- Private bouts of dizziness;
- Severe pain with a sharp turn and extension of the neck. Sometimes the pain extends to the lower part of the neck and to the shoulder girdle. Some patients complain of the so-called “wandering pain” when a pain attack passes from the neck to the arms and back, sometimes gives to the head;
- Patients with arthrosis often complain of vision problems, in advanced cases, the development of complete blindness is possible;
- Noise and ringing in the ears;
- Pain in the chest.
Since the symptoms are nonspecific, they are often attributed to other diseases. As a result, pain in the neck is eliminated with the help of analgesics, and degenerative changes continue to develop in the body.
Untimely treatment started leads to the development of complications, among which there is hypertension.
If you are diagnosed with at least one symptom, you should immediately seek medical help.
Uncovertebral arthrosis of the cervical spine
If the patient is diagnosed with congenital proximity of the cervical vertebrae and narrowness of the cervical spine, arthrosis can develop into a dangerous disease. So, osteophytes begin to hurt the ligaments and nerve endings, put pressure on the blood vessels, interfering with the normal blood flow.
Unicovertebral arthrosis of the cervical spine is a problem similar to osteochondrosis or hernia, which is complicated by radicular symptoms. In the cervical spine, osteophytes have a sharper structure, with their spikes they may well violate the integrity of blood vessels and nerves.
- Severe pain in the head and neck, which interferes with normal mobility;
- Symptoms of neuralgic diseases;
- Pain sensations do not have a clear localization and often extend to the shoulder area and arms;
- The patient complains of numbness and tingling in the limbs;
- Backache in the head;
- Severe dizziness, which may result in temporary loss of consciousness;
- Increased blood pressure with all the ensuing symptoms;
- Coronary artery disease;
How the disease is diagnosed
When the first symptoms of the disease appear, it is advisable to seek medical help. The surgeon will conduct a preliminary examination and interview the patient, after which he will be referred for diagnostic tests to confirm the diagnosis.
Diagnosis is based on:
- X-ray of the neck in different projections;
- Computed tomography of the cervical and dorsal spine;
- Magnetic resonance imaging;
- Angiography of blood vessels in the neck and head.
Treatment of arthrosis of the cervical spine is based on the same principles as when arthrosis of a different localization occurs. The treatment includes the following activities:
- Reception of analgesics to suppress pain;
- Taking special medications that relax the muscles and allow you to release pinched nerve endings;
- Removal of inflammation in the cervical region and nearby tissues;
- Recovery of damaged cartilage and bone tissue.
If the above methods do not bring the expected result, hormonal drugs can be prescribed to the patient by the attending physician.
Hormone treatment is prescribed in the most extreme cases, when other methods are ineffective. This is due to the fact that taking hormones can provoke serious disorders in the body – weight gain, impaired bone integrity, acute renal failure.
It is extremely important to have a comprehensive approach to solving the problem. So, in addition to taking medications, you can do yoga and exercise therapy. Physical activity is allowed only after consultation with the attending physician, the wrong approach to classes can only worsen the patient’s condition.
Complex of exercises
Shishkevich Vladimir, orthopedic and traumatologist, project editor-in-chief ExpertNews.
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Gymnastics Yuri Popov
To complete the first exercise, you need to lie on two stools so that the head and legs hang down. Hands are wound behind the head, fingers of one hand hold tightly on the thumb of the other hand. When performing the exercise, the back should be pressed as close as possible to the chair to reduce bending. We begin to gradually raise our hands with our heads and lower them to their original position.
The second exercise of the complex must be performed with maximum caution, especially for elderly patients. The first few workouts, it is advisable to do the exercise on the floor, placing a small roller under the back.
Over time, we move on to the chairs. Starting position – lying on two chairs, with hanging legs and head. Hands are fastened in the lock behind the head. In this position, it is necessary to make circular rotations of the head to the right and left. In the first training session, 3-4 repetitions are enough, gradually the number increases to 10.
A set of exercises 2
- Put your palm on your forehead and begin to tilt your head forward, while showing resistance with your hand. At the first stage, 10 repetitions are enough;
- Hands are placed on the whiskey, the head bends to the right and left, the hands create resistance. Exercise helps to develop lateral cervical muscles;
- Starting position: sitting on a chair, arms extended along the torso. Raise your shoulders to the maximum possible point and linger in this position for a few seconds;
- Self-massage of the cervical spine. Allowed exposure until the appearance of mild pain.
In addition to taking medications and special health-improving physical education, with arthrosis of the spine it is worth reviewing your diet. In general, the diet for vertebral arthrosis is aimed at stabilizing weight and restoring cartilage.
When dieting with arthrosis, it is important to adhere to the following principles:
- Be sure to include fatty fish in your diet (at least once a week to improve cartilage);
- Bright fruits like oranges and pomegranates have a positive effect on the condition of the joints. So, if you include a glass of orange or 50 ml of pomegranate juice in your daily diet, you can significantly improve the condition of cartilage tissue throughout the body. Pineapple juice is also shown to patients, you can drink it without restrictions (only freshly squeezed, there are no useful properties in canned compotes);
- Refuse fast food, fatty meat and fried foods;
- It is advisable to replace any oil used in food with olive;
- Drink at least two liters of water per day.
Observing simple preventive measures, you can forget about problems with the cervical spine:
- Try to sleep on a special orthopedic pillow, which will help the body to take the correct position;
- Maintain proper posture, do not slouch;
- Follow the suggested exercises for developing cervical muscles.
Arthrosis is an unpleasant and painful problem. Only timely treatment, physical education exercises and proper nutrition will help eliminate unpleasant symptoms and prevent the disease from developing further.