Osteochondrosis of the cervical spine: symptoms

Cervical osteochondrosis belongs to the category of diseases that affect the intervertebral discs. Qualitative changes are observed in the moving parts of the spine, which leads to disruption of the nerve endings in the cervical region.

Reflex symptoms

Symptoms of this category are characterized by a crunch of the vertebrae during head rotation, which, due to pain, forces patients to take a certain position. Osteochondrosis provokes pains of a pressing nature that spread to the temporal zone. Sometimes patients experience a decrease in visual acuity.

Irritation of the nerve connections of the vertebral artery can provoke the onset of a syndrome that is often diagnosed as a violation of cerebral circulation, which causes dizziness.

In this case, dizziness and nausea can additionally be caused by a sharp movement of the head. Symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis also include cardialgic syndrome. Its manifestation resembles an attack of angina pectoris.

Radicular syndromes

Radicular symptoms of osteochondrosis of the neck are usually the result of compression of the spinal root. Violations of the musculoskeletal system or sensitivity directly depend on which nerve ending is affected:

  • S1 - leads to a violation of sensitivity in the occipital zone;
  • S2 - causes pain in the parietal zone, which can cause dizziness;
  • S3 - reduces the sensitivity of the neck, in addition, there may be a violation of speech;
  • S4 - leads to a decrease in sensitivity in the shoulder area, reduces the tone of the neck muscles and provokes respiratory failure;
  • S5 - causes pain, and a violation of susceptibility in the outer part of the shoulder;
  • S6 - causes pain that moves from the neck to the shoulder blade, the outer part of the shoulder, and even to the thumb;
  • S7 - leads to pain, spreading from the neck towards the scapula, the back of the shoulder and to the II-IV fingers of the hand.
  • S8 - causes pain, a decrease in sensitivity that moves from the neck to the forearm, up to the little finger.

Symptoms by group

The division of clinical phenomena into groups will help to better understand the symptoms of osteochondrosis. With osteochondrosis, three key groups are observed. The first group determines the manifestation of pain, the second is reflected in movement disorders.

As for the third group, it is characterized by vascular manifestations. Based on this, it is necessary to consider in detail each individual type of complications of cervical osteochondrosis.

Nervous system

The defeat of the remote part of the nervous system can lead to the manifestation of cervical osteochondrosis. The pain effect will be accompanied by regular pain in the neck.

Among the main symptoms are:

  • muscle pain;
  • pain in the joints;
  • pain in the chest area.

Most often, the occurrence of pain occurs without external stimuli. When you try to roll over to the other side, raise your head or cough, there may be an increase in the pain effect. The main localization of pain falls on the neck.

The manifestation of pain may be similar to an electric shock. In addition, there is tension in the neck muscles, difficulty breathing. With exacerbated osteochondrosis, a non-standard posture gradually arises: the head of the patients is slightly tilted to the side.

Cervical lumbago restricts turning movements of the head. While the rotation of the head is often accompanied by a crunch of the vertebrae and noise phenomena, especially if the disease has been started. Patients often believe that the cause of pain spasm may be hypothermia of the neck or increased stress on the cervical spine. Therefore, it is important to understand which symptoms in cervical osteochondrosis cause pain, and which exacerbate the clinical manifestations of the disease.

back pain with cervical osteochondrosis

Resulting symptoms

Osteochondrosis of the cervical vertebra often provokes the development of cervical and shoulder sciatica. As a result, patients complain of pain in the occipital region and upper neck. There are times when the pain moves to the area of the shoulder girdle.

This usually occurs when the muscles that are connected to certain nerve endings are tense. The main reason is the compression of the nerve endings from the vertebrae.

Movement disorders

Osteochondrosis often leads to the development of torticollis. This is the result of a spasm of the neck muscles. Such manifestations of the disease lead to a lack of movement in the cervical spine.

Each attempt to turn the head is accompanied by a crunch of the vertebrae and pain in the neck.

X-rays of the cervical spine show clear changes in individual vertebrae. Compression of the vessels weakens the pulse on the radial artery. Osteochondrosis in the cervical spine is often accompanied by blanching of the fingers.

An additional manifestation of osteochondrosis of the cervical vertebrae is pain in the shoulder joint. Painful spasm usually occurs at night. Pain is given to the neck or arm, especially during an attempt to take the arm to the side.

Attempts to provide peace to the hand cause the development of stiffness of the joint, and form a kind of posture: the shoulder pressed against the chest. As a result, osteochondrosis of the cervical vertebrae in a neglected form allows you to raise your hand only at eye level. Periods of exacerbation are often accompanied by increased skin temperature.

Vascular phenomena

Insufficient blood flow leads to brain manifestations of the disease. The main symptoms of osteochondrosis of the cervical vertebrae with vascular manifestations:

  • hypothalamic;
  • drops syndrome;
  • vestibular-stem;
  • ochlear-stem;
  • pharyngo-laryngeal;
  • visual disturbances.

The first symptom indicates a malfunction of the hypothalamus and leads to increased fatigue, sleep disturbance. There is a decrease in the ability to remember. Cases of manifestation of causeless fear or anxiety are known. You can also note a decrease in sexual desire and frequent urination.

The second symptom is characterized by the fact that it causes dizziness, a state of fainting and loss of consciousness. Attacks usually lead to weakness in the legs and a feeling of weakness. The third syndrome causes dizziness, nausea, and unsteadiness while walking.

However, dizziness can be the cause of a number of other diseases. For example, conditions such as vestibular neuritis, migraines, or a brain tumor can also cause dizziness.

The fourth symptom is manifested by tinnitus or hearing loss. The main manifestations of the fifth syndrome are a feeling of dryness or a foreign body in the throat, loss of sonority of the voice and fatigue during a conversation. The last sign of cervical osteochondrosis is determined by a drop in visual acuity.

Factors affecting the compression of nerve endings:

  • displacement of the vertebral discs;
  • osteophytes;
  • the formation of protrusion of the vertebrae;
  • change in the height of the spinal disc.

Cervical-thoracic osteochondrosis

The basis of osteochondrosis of the cervicothoracic spine is the destruction of spongy bone tissue. Pathological changes in the spine create conditions for the infringement of nerve endings in the thoracic region. As a consequence, there is a sensation of electric shock, for example, when trying to bend the neck.

Cervical-thoracic osteochondrosis is accompanied by pressing and dragging pains in the chest area. Complications cause impaired mobility of the elbow and shoulder joints. But, since in the thoracic region there are no conditions for traumatism of the spinal discs, this pathology rarely leads to the formation of a hernia.

Symptoms of cervicothoracic osteochondrosis:

  • fatigue;
  • headaches, chest pains;
  • drops in blood pressure;
  • fog before the eyes;
  • dizziness;
  • tinnitus;
  • pain in the neck (vertebrae) and ribs;
  • numbness of the fingers;
  • impaired coordination of movements.