Treatment of cervical osteochondrosis

A man is worried about cervical osteochondrosis, which requires complex treatment

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is a pathological process in which the nutrition of the vertebral discs is disturbed, which leads to their gradual damage. As the disease progresses, the intervertebral discs lose their shape and stop performing their main functions. The ability of the spine to withstand physical stress is lost.

Treatment methods

Effective treatment of cervical osteochondrosis includes an integrated approach to the disease, which combines drug treatment and physical therapy. If these methods fail to achieve a positive effect, they resort to surgical intervention.

Conservative treatment includes taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, vitamins, muscle relaxants. The first is designed to reduce inflammation and pain. If the pain is mild, topical ointments or gels can help. The use of vitamins helps to improve blood circulation, which leads to better nutrition of the brain.

But any medicine will not be enough when the cause of osteochondrosis is in the person's lifestyle and remains unchanged. If the disease occurs as a result of constant work at the computer, it is necessary to include certain physical exercises to warm the neck in the work rhythm.

Physiotherapy methods give good results:

  • electrophoresis;
  • water procedures;
  • massage
  • Physiotherapy.
Therapeutic exercises for cervical osteochondrosis under the supervision of an instructor

Therapeutic exercises will help to improve the blood supply to the injured joints, reduce pain and improve the mobility of the neck.

Hirudotherapy and manual therapy significantly relieve discomfort.

As a prevention during sedentary work, it is recommended to periodically perform self-massage, dispersing stagnant blood and ensuring the flow of nutrients to the brain. In addition, you should eat regularly, rest at night and control your weight.

Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is well corrected in the initial stages, before the onset of vertebral artery syndrome and cardialgia.

Treatment aims to eliminate pain, restore blood supply to the brain and slow down the progression of the disease. The patient is treated by a neurologist. Conservative therapy is as follows:

  1. statementNonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugslocally and systemically. Ointments, gels, tablets and injections cope well with pain in osteochondrosis.
  2. It is used in the acute stage of the disease, which is accompanied by severe painParavertebral block- Local administration of medicines (anesthetics and corticosteroids).
  3. Drug treatment is a combination of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antispasmodics.Analgesics and B group vitamin complexes.
  4. In severe pain, which affects the patient's nervous and mental state, tranquilizers can be prescribed. With long-term pain (more than 4 weeks), they changeAntidepressants. These drugs allow you to stabilize the patient's mental state.
  5. In the acute phase, it can be used to reduce compression of the nerve rootMuscle relaxants.
  6. It is prescribed to maintain cerebral circulationVasodilators, as well as means for improving metabolism in nervous tissue).

With the ineffectiveness of conservative treatment for several months and the progression of the disease, surgical intervention is sometimes resorted to.

Medical therapy

Drug treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine includes the use of various drugs.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (drugs) are used as a symptomatic treatment to relieve inflammation and eliminate pain during disease exacerbation.

For osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, the course of taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs usually does not exceed 6 weeks. Medicines have only a symptomatic effect, and after the end of the course, the pain may return. Often, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used together with antispasmodics, which help to relieve muscle tension in the paravertebral area.


Pain and muscle tension are effectively eliminated by local administration of anesthetics. Blockades are widely used from the combination of anesthetics with corticosteroids, which, in addition to the analgesic effect, have an anti-inflammatory effect.

As a local anesthetic, a solution is used that contains substances that limit the flow of impulses in irritated nerve endings and block its passage to innervated areas.


Glucocorticosteroid therapy can negatively affect the production of own hormones. Therefore, modern medicine is much less likely than before to use drugs of this group for the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis and only in the presence of serious indications.

Hormonal drugs, when taken, block the inflammatory process in the cells.

Important!With long-term use, glucocorticosteroids contribute to the destruction of cartilage, so they should be combined with chondroprotectors.

Medicines containing corticosteroids quickly relieve pain, but at the same time have a negative effect on many internal organs. The course of hormonal treatment rarely lasts more than 7 days, because with long-term use, bone loss and the development of osteoporosis are possible.

local irritants

As a result of the destruction of the intervertebral discs, displacement of the spine and the inflammatory process, the vessels in the tissues of the body are narrowed. You can improve blood circulation with the help of warming, topically irritating ointments.

When using such joints, due to the excitation of nerve endings, the blood flow to the problem area increases, which helps to improve the tissue nutrition process. After applying the ointment, the treated area of the skin reddens due to active influx. Since such preparations have a tonic effect, it is recommended to use them during the day.

The most popular product among the heating ointments is made on the basis of butoxyethyl ether of nicotinic acid. In addition, capsaicin and dimethyl sulfoxide ointments are used..

In addition to ointments, special patches impregnated with active substances are used as local irritants. So, for example, the composition of the well-known pepper tincture includes hot pepper extract, belladonna, lanolin oil. These components have an irritating effect, relieve muscle spasm and increase local blood circulation. At the same time, the supply of oxygen to the cells and tissues is accelerated, due to which the pain disappears.


There is an active discussion around these drugs. Not all doctors use chondroprotectors to treat osteochondrosis. These preparations contain glycosaminoglycans and chondroitin sulfates, which form the structural basis of intervertebral discs. Chondroprotectors are believed to prevent the destruction of vertebral cartilage and articular surfaces.

The composition of such preparations may include chondroitic acid, mucopolysaccharides, animal cartilage, glycosaminoglycans, etc. Sh.

Reference.Some experts believe that the effect of these drugs is insignificant, although it differs from the effect of a placebo, and the achieved result is not comparable to their high price.

Medicines to improve blood microcirculation

This group of drugs helps expand blood vessels. Medicines improve blood microcirculation, eliminate venous outflow disorders, normalize metabolic processes, stimulate regeneration and increase the frequency of nerve impulses. As a result, blood circulation is normalized, metabolic processes in soft tissues improve and the degree of their swelling decreases, brain activity is restored.


During osteochondrosis, the attending physician can prescribe individual vitamins or vitamin complexes. Special attention is usually paid to B vitamins (B1, B6 and B12). Their intake enhances the nutrition of nerve fibers, promotes metabolic processes in the cartilage tissue and gives it elasticity, improves blood circulation and the functioning of the central nervous system, and stimulates metabolic processes.

In addition to B vitamins, it is extremely important to provide the body with ascorbic acid. With its regular intake, the process of bone and cartilage tissue regeneration is improved, toxins are released, carbohydrate, protein and mineral metabolism processes are regulated. It can partially reduce the need for additional intake of vitamins B1, B2, A and E.


It is indicated in the absence of a visible effect of the disease using conservative methods, as well as in the development of complications.

Indications for surgical treatment of cervical osteochondrosis:

  • Spinal stenosis, due to a herniated or bulging disc - "stretching" of the spinal cord and/or nerve roots, causing pain, cramps, weakness or numbness;
  • Cervical spondylolisthesis - a condition when the vertebrae are displaced along the horizontal axis relative to each other, slip during movement and cause pressure on the nerve roots and spinal cord;
  • Disc herniation - depends on the severity of symptoms, the severity of the patient's condition and the effectiveness of conservative therapy.


Massage is one of the main methods of treatment. In this case, it is not only a useful, but also an indispensable procedure. You must first complete a professional course. To get the maximum effect, it is recommended to conduct at least 10 sessions. During cervical osteochondrosis, massage can achieve the following effects:

  • Pain relief and muscle spasm relief;
  • reduce swelling;
  • muscle strengthening;
  • restoration of normal tone;
  • improvement of blood supply and nutrition in intervertebral discs;
  • increasing the conductivity of nerve impulses;
  • improvement of metabolic processes;
Massage for effective therapy of cervical spine osteochondrosis

A course of therapeutic massage of the cervical area can significantly improve the condition of the cartilage tissue in the neck.

After a professional course, you can perform simple tricks at home on your own. The peculiarity of the cervical osteochondrosis procedure is the passive stretching of the muscles from the position of excessive tension with massage elements. It is necessary to use the technique after the spasmodic muscles are warmed by a bath, hot compress or kneading.

For self-massage, the same technique as in the professional version is used. It is a tap, a knead, a point stroke, a caress, a thin. Massage is done with warm hands. Massage oil should be used to improve gliding. The sequence of techniques is as follows:

  • cuddle;
  • trituration;
  • to knead
  • catch.

Ending a self-massage session should also be boring. It is important that there is no severe pain during the procedure.

Reference.In addition to traditional cervical spine osteochondrosis massage, other techniques are used, for example, acupressure or vacuum massage. In the second case, medical banks or special vacuum devices are used.

Massage is very useful for cervical osteochondrosis. However, there are a number of factors that are an absolute contraindication:

  • blood diseases;
  • osteomyelitis;
  • thrombosis;
  • malignant or benign neoplasms;
  • aneurysms;
  • active stage of tuberculosis;
  • the presence of many warts and moles on the body;
  • Spider veins on the back.

There are also temporary contraindications:

  • heat
  • infectious diseases;
  • Exacerbation of chronic processes.

Exercise therapy

If the disease has already developed and been diagnosed, after eliminating pain and neurological symptoms with the help of drug therapy, the first step is a course of physical therapy as an integral part of complex treatment. A moderate load on the neck muscles during remission helps to strengthen and form a muscular corset that supports the intervertebral discs.

The main way to prevent cervical osteochondrosis, as well as weakness of the cervical region, is to strengthen the neck muscles. This will help with therapeutic exercises. To get tangible results, you should perform 2-3 exercises at least 2-3 times a day. Starting position - sitting with a straight back.

  • Exercise number 1.Bend your head slightly forward and place your hands on your forehead. Then press your palms on your forehead and hold the position for 30 seconds without moving your neck.
  • Exercise number 2.Tilt your head back and slowly turn left and right for 1 minute. This exercise improves blood flow in the veins.
  • Exercise number 3.At the same time, raise your shoulders, try to bring them to your ears, and then lower them to the starting position. Then alternately - one shoulder below, the other above. The total duration is 2 minutes.
  • Exercise number 4.Put your palms together above your head, spread your elbows out to the sides. Press your palms tightly together for 2-5 seconds, then relax your hands. Repeat 3 times.
  • Exercise number 5.Make a smooth tilt of the head forward - on exhalation, back - on inhalation (3 times).

The gymnastics complex is completed with self-massage - massage the neck with rotating circular movements.

Exercises that contribute to the treatment and prevention of cervical osteochondrosis

Do a small set of exercises every day and you will soon feel much better.

manual therapy

It is a set of non-narcotic therapeutic and diagnostic techniques aimed at eliminating certain diseases of the spine.

Reference.Usually, about 10 sessions are held with an interval of 2 days. After the first procedures, the patient may have mild pain, which is considered normal. But if the pain does not disappear in the future, you should stop the course. Constant pain indicates either the low professionalism of the specialist or the wrong diagnosis.

During the first visit, an experienced osteopath always performs a diagnostic palpation of the cervical region. The doctor determines the most painful places, assesses the condition of the muscle tissue and skin. The success of further treatment will depend on proper examination.

The session begins with warming up the muscles and a light massage. Then the doctor stretches the muscles, reducing spasms in the cervical segment. At this stage, the patient should not feel pain. After that, the therapist goes directly to the manipulation.

This is the most painful part of the procedure. The doctor pushes the cervical vertebrae with great effort and tries to pull them back. Often during such manipulations, patients hear a terrible crackling sound, but this is considered normal. At the end of the session, the chiropractor performs a relaxing massage.

Immediately after the session, sudden head movements, tilts and turns should be avoided. If possible, it is better to lie down for half an hour.

A patient with cervical osteochondrosis shows manual therapy sessions

Manual therapy can restore neck movement the next day. If you feel any stiffness and limitation in movements, try to contact a chiropractor.

Important!A doctor who uses manual therapy techniques must master them in order to avoid harm to the patient.


Acupuncture affects the body by inserting needles into biologically active points in a certain area. In this case, a reaction occurs, which is manifested by the directed production of hormones that regulate metabolic processes and the state of immunity. Because of this, inflammatory processes are actively suppressed.

Therapy is effective in cervical osteochondrosis. Under the influence of the procedure, the vessels of the neck expand, blood circulation improves, the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the brain increases, headache, tinnitus, dizziness disappear, and the anti-inflammatory hormone cortisol flows into the blood. growing.

Acupuncture for cervical osteochondrosis excludes inflammatory processes

Chinese medicine specialists claim that they can treat more than 250 different types of diseases, including those related to osteochondrosis.

Folk remedies

Traditional medicine has many recipes that can relieve pain and unpleasant symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis. However, although these prescriptions alleviate the condition, they do not eliminate the cause of the disease, so other measures cannot be canceled.

Compresses and tinctures are the most popular means. They warm the muscles, improve blood circulation, relieve pain.

Recipe 1.A mixture of lard, horse chestnut, turpentine, agave and vodka. Method of preparation:

  • 3 tablespoons of horse chestnut;
  • 100 g of American agave;
  • camphor oil - 50 ml;
  • purified turpentine - 30 ml;
  • vodka - 200 ml;
  • Unsalted lard - 50 grams.

Grind and mix the ingredients, then put in a dark place for 9 days. To use, apply a thin layer on brown bread and apply to the painful area. If a burning sensation occurs, the compress is removed. After the discomfort disappears, you can repeat the procedure.

Recipe 2.Calendula tincture.

It is necessary to take a glass bottle, pour 50 g of calendula into it and pour a glass of camphor alcohol. Then add a glass of cologne and a glass of vodka. Put the closed bottle in a dark place and leave it for several weeks. The obtained tincture is rubbed on the painful area.

Prevention of osteochondrosis is easier than treatment. All achievements in the fight against the disease will be reduced to zero if the patient continues the same way of life: move little, do not play sports, gain excess weight. This can again lead to pathologies of the intervertebral discs and exacerbation of osteochondrosis.