Headache, dizziness, twinkling in the eyes are the first signs that signal possible problems with the cervical spine. Symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis are so ambiguous that the pathology is often confused with other diseases. Therefore, it is important to know the main signs of the disease and the methods of treating its complications.
The essence of the pathological phenomenon
Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is expressed by phenomena of a degenerative-dystrophic nature, affecting the cervical intervertebral discs. As a rule, destructive processes are observed in the mobile part of the neck.
The vertebrae in this part of the spine are moved closer to each other. The neck skeleton is not very mobile, which increases the risk of displacement of the vertebrae and pinching of nerve endings.
Compression of the vertebral artery causes a stroke. These factors destabilize the blood flow in the vertebral artery and lead to spinal ischemia.
Violation of blood circulation reduces the sensitivity of the muscles of the neck, causing weakness. Pathology acts as a factor provoking protuberances, hernias, which also impinge on the nerve endings, causing them to swell. The nerve root covers the entire cervico-vertebral canal, which puts additional pressure directly into the canal itself. This course of pathology is expressed by acute pain and exacerbation of the disease.
General features of the signs of the disease
Medical research shows that symptoms associated with cervical spine problems may not appear early in their development. As the disease develops, the patient may be disturbed by sharp pain when moving the head and neck.
Another manifestation of the pathology in men and women can be nausea, which is triggered by impaired cerebral circulation. Vomiting often begins, which can be caused by impaired blood flow in the arteries and a lack of oxygen in the inner ear, where the balance point is.
Another symptom of the disease in both men and women can be manifested by a lack of air, which occurs when the phrenic nerve, which is part of the structure of the cervical plexus, is irritated. A person can suffer from hypoxia, which is why he feels weak in the muscles in the morning.
Symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis are such phenomena as noise or ringing in the ears, flickering in the eyes. The vestibular apparatus is filled with blood coming exclusively from the vertebral artery, so tinnitus is a common occurrence. In addition to these sensations, the patient begins to suffer from a decrease in the general level of hearing. Collectively, these characteristics are defined as cochlear syndrome.
Considering that the visual analyzer feeds not only from the vertebral artery, but also from the carotid artery, visual impairment is rare. Atherosclerosis of the arteries in the brain or low blood pressure cause signs of reduced vision to appear. With the development of cervical osteochondrosis, the following symptoms are possible:
- twinkling in the eyes;
- change of focus;
- decreased visual acuity and blurred eyes.
If the flow of cerebral circulation is disturbed, patients may pass out.
This condition is caused by a spasm of the vertebral artery, which occurs as a reaction to irritation of the nerve roots, deformed protuberances of the vertebrae.
To restore the patient's normal well-being, it is necessary to give the body a horizontal position and raise the legs. This measure increases the flow of venous blood from the lower extremities, improves the condition of cerebral circulation in the vertebral artery.
Changes in blood pressure cause impaired blood flow to the elongated marrow, where the area of the vascular plexus is located.
Dizziness is a common symptom of the disease, which is caused by a lack of oxygen supply to the semicircular canaliculi in the inner ear, which are responsible for the state of balance.
Classification of symptoms and stages of pathology
All the main symptoms of pathology of the cervical spine can be divided into groups of syndromes:
- Vertebral artery.
The nature of the course and the severity of the disease allow doctors to distinguish three stages in the development of the pathology.
In the first stage, the capsule of the cervical intervertebral disc of the spine is ruptured. In this case, the characteristic manifestations of the pathology are headaches, painful sensations in the neck, shoulders, limitation of mobility in this area, a decrease in the sensitivity of the skin of the cervix area. Another alarming symptom is the twinkling of the eyes. Pain at this stage of disease development is of the nature of electric shocks.
Also at this stage, Wright's syndrome may develop, manifested by numbness, tingling in the pathological area.
The second syndrome that develops with disease is neck pain syndrome. This exacerbation occurs when inflammation affects muscle tissue.
Anterior scalene syndrome includes a group of symptoms that occur when the lower roots of the brachial plexus and subclavian artery are pinched.
At the second stage, there is a violation of the connections between the discs, which is accompanied by a decrease in the distance between the vertebrae and drying of the fibrous ring.
At this stage, severe pain with cracking, muscle weakness appears, twinkling of the eyes increases, and the clarity of tendon reflexes decreases. In addition, there is pain radiating to the area of the scapula. The patient suffers from headaches and insomnia.
The second stage of the disease lasts for several years. Periodic exacerbation of the pathology causes drooping head syndrome, a nebula in the eyes.
At the third stage, there is a change in the structure of tissues and intervertebral discs. At this stage, the vertebral body is completely torn, the gelatinous body falls off, and a hernia is formed.
Symptoms of this stage are characterized by the following features:
- sharp pains;
- paralysis of the shoulder muscles;
- curvature of the spine;
- lack of sensitivity in the neck and shoulder area.
At this stage of the development of the disease, complications such as paralysis or paresis develop due to impaired cerebral circulation.
The consequences of the development of pathology of the neck can be divided into several groups.
The first group includes complications of a mechanical nature. These include displacement of the intervertebral discs, the formation of osteophytes, a decrease in the height of the vertebra, the formation of a hernia.
As a rule, such complications lead to a neglected state of the disease and an exacerbation, which was not treated in time.
The second group of consequences are complications that affect the condition of the blood vessels. Violation of cerebral circulation due to damage to the vertebral artery leads to the development of paralysis of the entire spine, the appearance of dizziness, twinkling in the eyes.
The third group consists of complications of a neurological nature, among which the main ones can be distinguished:
- diencephalic syndrome, which develops against the background of dysfunction of the hypothalamus. In this case, the patient is susceptible to neurotic ailments, his headaches become more frequent, weakness is felt in the body;
- gout syndrome. In such a situation, the patient may experience sudden fainting. The loss of consciousness is preceded by headaches, tinnitus;
- laryngeal syndrome. With these complications, the sonority of the voice decreases;
- deterioration of vision. This complication appears as a result of straining the cerebral circulation of the cervical spine when the vertebral artery is compressed. The patient has twinkling in the eyes, pain in the neck.
We start to fight the disease
Exacerbation of cervical osteochondrosis is accompanied by severe pain, so first aid is pain relief. You can take pain relievers, apply ointments with anti-inflammatory components to the affected area.
The doctor may also inject relaxation medication into the painful area. Such help is needed to relax muscles and relieve tension. Weakness appears in the body, but the spasm and pain subsides.
The exacerbation of the disease can be eliminated by blockages, which reduce acute pain, reduce its intensity.
In a hospital setting, the doctor determines the treatment methods to be applied for a particular situation. Drug treatment to eliminate the symptoms of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine consists of taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants. To reduce the load on the neck area, doctors recommend wearing a Shant collar.
Neck traction can be done in the hospital. As a result of this procedure, the distance between the vertebrae increases, and the degree of compression of the vertebral artery decreases.
Gymnastics as a treatment
Considering that dystrophic changes occur against the background of destruction, it is necessary to pay attention to physical exercise. To eliminate the symptoms of the disease, you can play sports. Physiotherapy, yoga, Pilates have a positive effect on the problem of the spine. You can only play sports after eliminating the pain. If there is an exacerbation, it is better to refrain from playing sports.
Sports should be supervised by specialists, as the cervical spine is sensitive and any damage is life threatening. Physical activity eliminates muscle weakness, reduces the level of stiffness in spinal movements, and eliminates circulatory disorders. You can do physiotherapy at home, after receiving the recommendations of a specialist.
The disease should be combated at the stage of its onset in order to avoid an exacerbation of its manifestations. Emerging symptoms signal the need for treatment, as any change has serious consequences.