Treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine: drugs, massage, exercise

osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

Treatment of cervical osteochondrosis is a set of procedures aimed at eliminating pain attacks and restoring spinal tissues. It is possible to achieve effective treatment results if you regularly use all the techniques in strict compliance with the instructions for their use.

pinched artery in cervical osteochondrosis

How the disease manifests itself

The spine has a complex structure. The coherence of the work of the whole organism depends on the preservation of each component in a healthy state. The seven cervical vertebrae are located near the base of the brain, where all vital centers are concentrated.

The destruction of the segments, changes in the structure of the intervertebral discs lead to the following symptoms:

  • headache that occurs in the neck and passes into the occipital region;
  • the muscles of the shoulder girdle gradually atrophy;
  • there is insomnia, bad mood;
  • there are problems of ophthalmic nature: floating points in front of the eyes, blurred vision, blurred surrounding objects;
  • slightly impaired coordination of movements;
  • painful sensations spread in the shoulders and forearms, as well as in the jaw;
  • there is often a sensitivity disorder in the hands, which is manifested by tingling and a feeling of "tingling".

The excruciating pain syndrome exhausts the patient. Early diagnosis will allow timely initiation of therapeutic measures to avoid surgery. Conservative treatment is performed on an outpatient basis and at home. Changing the lifestyle and quality of nutrition, strict adherence to the recommendations during sleep and wakefulness will stop the pathological process and allow you to live a full life.

Drug treatment of cervical osteochondrosis

The chronic course of osteochondrosis alternates between acute periods and breaks in remission. Medicines are prescribed throughout the illness and are prescribed only by a doctor. Medications relieve pain, eliminate inflammation, regenerate damaged tissues and heal the cervical region. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, tablet forms, intramuscular injections, vertebrae, topical exposure to ointments, gels are used.

  1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs have proven to be an effective anesthetic in the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis, while also acting in inflammatory processes. If there are signs of inflammation, it is recommended to use NSAIDs, but they have a number of side effects, especially manifested by a negative effect on the gastric mucosa. Therefore, when administered orally with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, stomach-suppressing drugs that suppress acid production are prescribed.
  2. Painkillers are used mainly for local neuromuscular blockades. The pain, which is not relieved by non-hormonal drugs, is stopped by direct injection into the active points or in the vertebral body.
  3. Glucocorticosteroids are steroid drugs that are synthetic analogues of hormones produced by the adrenal cortex. For the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis, corticosteroids are prescribed to eliminate severe pain, combat progressive inflammation, improve metabolic processes and immunomodulatory effect.
  4. Soothing agents to improve sleep and general well-being - tincture of valerian or peony. Weak sedatives with long-term use are not addictive and are effective in combating neurological disorders.
  5. Chondroprotectors are needed to stop the destruction of cartilage tissue, followed by the growth of bone processes. Chondroitin with glucosamine, which is part of the preparations, fills the structure of the vertebrae with the missing chemicals that improve cell nutrition, the ability to synthesize and self-renew. In order to achieve a lasting effect of the treatment, the drugs must be taken for a long time, and in some cases for life.
  6. Improving cerebral circulation is important in the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis. The drugs will eliminate dizziness, improve cell trophism, reduce the sensitivity of nerve roots and dilate blood vessels.
  7. Vasospasm raises blood pressure. When fixing a large number of systolic and diastolic indicators, antihypertensive drugs "ambulance" are taken.
  8. Decongestants with a diuretic effect are prescribed during the acute course of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine. Removing excess fluid will prevent high blood pressure, reduce stress and improve metabolism.
  9. The intake of a multivitamin complex with a sufficient amount of minerals and microelements improves the metabolism and ensures the normal course of biochemical processes in the body.
neck massage for osteochondrosis

Mass therapy

One of the additional ways to get rid of pain and discomfort in the neck and upper limbs is massage. The effect of the hands on the muscles of the collar area improves the local microcirculation of blood, relieves muscle tone by increasing the load, and also heals the neck itself. Bringing muscles to work improves the release of accumulated lactic acid, relaxing muscle tissue.

Two types of techniques are used to eliminate the effects of cervical osteochondrosis:

  1. The massage of the collar area is performed by a specialist in compliance with the exact instructions for the allowable load. The movements consist of stroking, kneading and intense massaging movements. Reducing pain and improving the motor activity of the upper shoulder girdle confirms that the procedure was performed correctly.
  2. Impact on hotspots with pressure movements is a less popular but effective way. The implementation of this technique requires special training of the masseur.

After the session you can not strain the neck muscles, so it is recommended to wear an orthopedic collar of medium hardness for three hours. This measure will strengthen the effect of the efforts of the masseur.

Not always the course of massage can lead to a positive result in the treatment of the cervical region, there are contraindications, the neglect of which leads to sad consequences:

  • oncological diseases with different localization;
  • active form of Koch's infection;
  • systemic blood diseases;
  • hypertension in the stage of decompensation;
  • dermatological skin lesions in the area of the collar and neck;
  • aortic aneurysm;
  • necrotic processes in the bones with the formation of suppuration.

Physiotherapeutic procedures for cervical osteochondrosis

The additional treatment of cervical osteochondrosis with the help of physiotherapy is always included in the therapeutic complex for cervical osteochondrosis. The use of this method allows the attending physician to reduce the dosage of pharmaceutical products, to minimize the possibility of complications and allergic reactions. Conducting a full course ensures normalization of metabolism, increase the circulatory capacity of blood vessels and eliminate pain.

Types of physiotherapy for cervical osteochondrosis:

  1. Electrical stimulation - the use of high frequency current to affect the muscles of the neck and shoulder girdle. During the session the effect of thermal heating of the neck appears, the blood circulation improves, the unpleasant sensations are eliminated.
  2. Magnetotherapy - exposure to a pulsed magnetic field on a diseased area. The waves penetrate to a depth of 7 cm, providing a cumulative healing effect. Pain, inflammation are eliminated, a stable therapeutic effect is observed until the next course of magnetic therapy. The procedures can be performed in outpatient clinics and at home, using special devices.
  3. Laser therapy is a method of alternative medicine based on low-intensity laser radiation. The rays are directed to the area of the cervical vertebrae and along the nerve roots. The laser eliminates pain and inflammatory reactions, promoting tissue regeneration.
  4. Detensor therapy is used to stretch the vertebrae and relax the muscles and connective tissue of the back. Under the weight of one's own body there is a slight "straightening" of the segments of the spine, improvement of metabolic processes, with the disappearance of muscle spasms restores the structure of the spine.
  5. Balneotherapy - in the sanatoriums the healing properties of the mineral waters are most often used.

Bathing has the following goals for the treatment of the cervical region:

  • the muscles relax, the pain disappears and the microcirculation of the blood improves;
  • metabolic processes are accelerated, toxins are removed from the body;
  • iodine and bromine ions react and together with hydrogen sulfide oxygen from the water penetrates the body and improves cellular nutrition.
exercises for cervical osteochondrosis


Significantly improve the condition and reduce the number of attacks of pain in osteochondrosis of the cervical spine will help to regularly perform special exercises. The instructor of physiotherapeutic exercises deals with the recommendation and compilation of a medical complex. The specialist will teach you the correct technique for performing the exercises and will plan the training scheme and the number of exercises.

It is necessary to start classes only in the inactive phase of the disease. Healing therapy relaxes muscles, regulates metabolism, allows you to forget about acute attacks of pain, dizziness and ill health. You can perform therapeutic movements at home, after consultation with a specialist.

When performing exercises for therapeutic exercise, for maximum benefit, you must follow some rules:

  • before starting the lesson you should make sure that you are in good health;
  • the movements must be performed slowly and smoothly, without sudden movements;
  • the recommendations for the number of exercises must be followed exactly with the instructions of the instructor;
  • if there is sharp pain during the lesson, you should stop the lesson immediately;
  • inform the physiotherapist about the changes.

Approximate list of exercises for the treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine:

  • in a sitting position, gently turn your head in different directions;
  • lower your head forward and down, touching the lower jaw of the body;
  • tilt your neck back without lifting your lower jaw;
  • place your head on the inside of the arm so that the arm is in a bent position with emphasis on a hard surface, tilt your head, creating resistance with your arm, repeat for each arm;
  • tilt your head down while creating resistance with your hand;
  • lower your arms, perform a static exercise while keeping your shoulders raised.

All exercises are performed in a sitting position with a straight back. Each movement is performed 8-10 times.

Self-massage for treatment

Self-massage is an effective treatment. The advantage of the procedure is the ability to manipulate at any time. The patient feels how hard to press the cervical area so that it feels pleasant warmth, not pain.

Self-massage technique:

  • You can perform massage movements with one or two hands;
  • you must cover the entire surface of the neck;
  • you should start the session with a smooth stroking, lightly pressing the skin;
  • the next step is rubbing the muscles with the edge of the palm or thumbs;
  • active muscle seizures with palms with pulling to the side;
  • light tapping in the collar area;
  • you have to finish with stroking movements.

Each action is performed in 30 seconds, the total time for self-massage should be approximately three minutes. All manipulations are performed at a slow pace, each person determines the force of pressure individually.

neck collar for osteochondrosis

Orthopedic regimen

The treatment of cervical osteochondrosis is impossible without medical devices designed to unload the vertebrae and surrounding tissues:

  1. The Shants collar is one of the most prescribed medical devices for unloading and treating the neck. The neck orthosis is intended for use during the waking state in case of possible tension of the neck muscles: prolonged computer work, cooking and others.
  2. Orthopedic pillow for good rest during sleep. The product is selected individually, taking into account the length of the shoulder girdle. When using a therapeutic pillow, the spine is not subject to unnatural abnormalities, the blood supply is not disrupted, the person feels rested.
  3. The orthopedic mattress is designed to treat diseases of the spine: osteochondrosis, bulges, intervertebral hernias. The therapeutic effect is based on the principle of stretching the segments of the spine in a vertical position.

Diet therapy in the treatment of neck

In the treatment of osteochondrosis it is necessary to follow the principles of proper nutrition. The diet should be low in calories, with sufficient content of vitamins and minerals.

What you should not include in your daily diet:

  • pickles;
  • sausages and smoked meats;
  • mayonnaise and sour cream with high fat content;
  • sugar and confectionery;
  • sweet carbonated drinks;
  • alcohol.

Authorized products:

  • dairy products rich in calcium;
  • topping of fish or beef legs;
  • natural juices;
  • low-fat varieties of fish and meat;
  • fresh fruits and vegetables.
sea ​​buckthorn tea for cervical osteochondrosis

Alternative methods for the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis

Ancient recipes of healers are an excellent addition to the treatment of the neck. The experience gained over the years allows us to use only the most effective products, prepared regardless of the available natural ingredients. Herbs, medical alcohol and animal derivatives can serve as a healing base.

Popular recipes for treatment:

  1. Three medium lemons, without peel, turn in a meat grinder. To the resulting mass add five chopped garlic cloves and half a cup of honey. Pour the mixture with boiling water and leave to simmer for two hours. Drink 100 ml every morning on an empty stomach.
  2. Prepare 200 grams of pine buds and grind with two cups of granulated sugar. The healing mass is taken daily 1 tbsp.
  3. Mix a small amount of honey with aloe juice and add a little alcohol. The resulting solution is used for rubbing into the cervical spine.
  4. Crush the boiled potatoes and add honey. Apply the resulting composition on the inflamed area, fix it with stretch film on top and wrap it with a warm blanket. It is fashionable to leave the compress for 3 hours.
  5. The ground raw material from hop cones is mixed with oil to the consistency of an ointment. Rubbed into sore spots to relieve pain and inflammation.

Despite the plant origin of the components of traditional medicines, their use can be harmful.

Therefore, before using this method, it is necessary to exclude possible contraindications:

  • susceptibility to allergic reactions;
  • damage to the skin in the area of intended use;
  • individual intolerance to the components;
  • inflammation in the acute phase;
  • pathology of the stomach, liver, kidneys when administered orally.


The health of the whole organism depends on the condition of the spine. To prevent the occurrence of degenerative-dystrophic changes in individual segments, simple rules will help:

  • lead a healthy lifestyle without bad habits;
  • exercise regularly;
  • eat right, avoiding being overweight;
  • if you experience persistent neck pain, contact an orthopedist for medical advice.

Treatment of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is a long process that requires patience and strict adherence to doctor's prescriptions. The positive result depends on the quality of the therapeutic manipulations and the attitude of the patient himself.