Characteristics of osteochondrosis of cervical segment
Osteochondrosis of cervical segment of the spine is different in its manifestations of osteochondrosis of lumbar and thoracic segments. The symptoms features of osteochondrosis of cervical segment are related to anatomical specificity of this segment of the spine. The sizes of vertebras of cervical segment are significantly smaller than the sizes of the bone structures of the other segments of the spine. The cervical segment constantly faced with the effort maintaining the head, and while it is distinguished by high mobility and namely in the common mobile segments (C-5, C-6, C-7) most frequently are encountered the degeterative changes of discs.
There are features in the case of compression of vascular and nerve formations if osteochondrosis of cervical segment of the spine. Neck region contains many blood vessels and nerves, including vertebral artery, which passes into the spinal canal. All are pretty well “packaged”. Therefore, if osteochondrosis of cervical segment of the spine, when there is a dislocation of the vertebras, it appears the neural formations on the lateral parts of vertebras (which can irritate the muscles and near ligaments), if protrusion or hernia of disc, oriented to spinal canal (and namely few millimeters hernia – is a large size of hernia of cervical segment of spine), it occurs root and its membrane injury and it is forming the edemas. Given the narrowness of the intervertebral canal of cervical segment of the spine the edematous root fills all the canal space and it occurs the compression of swollen root. It appears the venous congestion and inflammation of the spine.
In the case of compression of vertebral artery due to narrowing of vertebral artery (stenosis), it is reduced the blood supply to the brain stem and cerebellum. As a result, if cervical osteochondrosis it can be developed the persistent ischemia of the brain and spinal cord. The acute disruption of blood feeding in this region is called spinal stroke.
Cervical osteochondrosis symptoms:
The symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis are caused by the following factors: compression of spinal roots (cervical radiculitis), compression of spinal cord (myelopathy), spinal cord injury due to circulatory disorders associated with stenosis (narrowing) of arteries and veins.
Radicular syndromes (cervical radiculitis)
The symptoms of osteochondrosis of cervical segment of spine are associated with squeeze (compression) of nerve roots. The pain may be from the neck to the shoulder and is spread on the outer surface of the shoulder, forearm and hand fingers. It may be affected the sensitivity of skin of forearm, hand and fingers.
Irritative – reflex syndromes
The disease symptoms: intensive, penetrating pain in the region of neck or occipital and neck region (especially gets worse in the morning, with head movement, coughing, etc.). It can reside on the shoulder and on the lateral side of the thorax; it may be dull pain in the shoulder and arms region.
Spinal artery syndrome.
Headache (paroxysmal, persistent, dull, impulsive, which gets worse by turning the head), dizziness, blurred vision, ringing in the ears. With disease progression it can develop the permanent disorders of blood circulation (ischemia) of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms: nausea, joint disorders, loss of consciousness. These symptoms often occur to the head turning.
The symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis are similar to the real symptoms of stenocardia but the organic changes of the heart are missing. There is persistent pain in the heart, shoulders and neck. The pains are intensifying when turning the head, during the sneezing, etc.
The electrocardiogram, done at the time of the attack, does not confirm the disorders of the coronary blood circulation. The pain is not docked at the receiving of the dilated coronary preparations.
The symptoms (pain in the region of pectoral muscle on the left or in the region of skin above the pectoral big muscle) may occur in the case of roots compression in the lower segments of the cervical spinal region.
This syndrome can also occur during the phrenic nerve irritation because the nerve fibers of this nerve go to the pericardium. In this syndrome can occur tachycardia and extrasystole.
Treatment of cervical osteochondrosis
The treatment of osteochondrosis of cervical segment of spine in our clinic is performed by the methods described in detail on the page “Osteochondrosis and treatment”. To the described methods of treatment there are added the “craniosacral techniques” – a method of manual action on bones and soft structures of the skull, which aim is to restore the proper circulation of cerebrospinal fluid. To the above said it might add that the treatment of osteochondrosis of cervical segment is a difficult and responsible procedure that requires the doctor’s qualification and relevant experience.