Cervical Vertebral Osteochondrosis – Cause of Headache
Cervical vertebral osteochondrosis is a very general diagnosis, behind which various pathologies are hidden. This may be cervicalgia – nonspecific pain in the neck as a cause of a headache due to sudden movement or hypothermia, osteoarthritis of small joints.
The most obvious symptom of cervical osteochondrosis is neck pain provoked a headache. Usually, it appears in the late afternoon, especially if a person spends a working day in a static posture. Other disturbing symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis are:
- arm muscles’ weakness;
- hand muscles’ weakness;
- numbness of the fingers;
In the cervical spine, there is the vertebral artery, which provides blood to the brain. When the vertebrae are displaced, the artery is constricted, because of which the brain no longer receives enough blood. The consequence of such neck pain is headaches, flickering of black dots in the eyes, hearing loss, and tinnitus.
Noticing one or more symptoms, you should immediately make an appointment with a neurologist. He will select the optimal treatment for cervical osteochondrosis. If the disease was noticed in a timely manner, then most likely the treatment will be conservative. It will be enough for the patient to take prescribed medications, do physiotherapy, therapeutic exercises, go for massage and acupuncture, and, of course, avoid physical exertion, especially weight lifting.
First of all, the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis is aimed at relieving pain attacks, for this, analgesics and local painkillers are prescribed. Then anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antioxidant therapy is carried out. After that, normal blood circulation needs to be restored.
When the drug treatment is completed, the inflammation is removed, you can and should go to physical therapy classes. In principle, the exercises can be performed at home independently, but it is optimal to first work out them with a specialist.
Reflexotherapy (acupuncture), massage, magnetotherapy, and pool are no less effective.
Surgical intervention is prescribed very rarely, in cases when osteochondrosis occurs on the background of other back diseases:
- complicated disc herniation;
- displacement of the vertebrae.
If you suddenly feel back or neck pain, the first thing you need to improve the spine immobility. It is recommended to lie on a flat hard surface. The pain syndrome may decrease in the position on the abdomen with a pillow placed underneath. In other cases, it will be more comfortable to pose on the back with rollers located under the lower back and knees, so that the legs are bent at an angle of about 90 degrees.
Gels and ointments with anti-inflammatory drugs will help relieve pain during an attack. In the acute period, agents with a warming effect are contraindicated, since they have an irritating effect, increase blood flow and can enhance local edema and compression of the nerve endings.
When to visit a neurologist?
You should definitely contact a neurologist if:
- you suffer the first symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis;
- within 2-3 days the symptoms have not passed, and even worse;
- new symptoms have appeared.
Among the alarming additional symptoms, there are:
- a weakness in the legs;
- chest numbness of the body;
- impaired urination;
If they are present, it is necessary to exclude a more severe pathology.
There are many diseases that can manifest itself as pain in the neck and mimic cervical osteochondrosis, but at the same time, they are severe and even fatal. These are tumors, abscesses, spinal tuberculosis, spinal stenosis.
Is it worth visiting a massage therapist?
If there are no contraindications, then you need to visit a massage therapist. It is not recommended to massage those who have severe pain in the neck, there are signs of compression of the nerve roots, shortness of breath and a number of other disorders. If the doctor assured you that you do not have these problems, you can undergo massage therapy.
The skilled hands of a professional massage therapist will help improve blood circulation in the muscles and ligaments, accelerate tissue regeneration, reduce pain and eliminate muscle spasm.