Osteochondrosis is considered one of the most common diseases of modern society. It manifests itself not only in the pain sensations in the back region, but in the form of various symptom-complexes, including cephalgia( headache) in the osteochondrosis of the cervical spine segment.
- Why the
- has a head Symptoms
- Nature of pain
Why the head
hurts After 30-35 years in the vertebrae and other joints of the human body degenerative-dystrophic changes begin due to metabolic disturbances and deterioration of the tissue supply - osteochondrosis. These pathological changes can affect both single intervertebral discs and a whole segment of the spine, for example, the cervical disc.
The vertebral disc consists of a dense shell and a gelatinous substance( nucleus) located inside the cartilage. Gradually the disc begins to dry up, lose its elasticity and mobility. Then it is flattened under the action of the load, protrudes beyond the permissible region of the spine or cracked, releasing the gelatinous nucleus outward, which leads to the formation of a hernia. To compensate for clamped discs, the bone structures of the vertebrae begin to expand, thicken, osteophytes( bone growths) are formed.
Neoplasms cause swelling and inflammation of the soft tissues, tenderness of the pathological site, spasm of the muscular structures, and compression of the blood vessels connecting the brain to the heart and the nerve roots departing from the spinal cord. Insufficient blood supply to the brain or neuralgia of the cervical nerves, stiffness of the muscles and become the causes of headaches in cervical osteochondrosis.
A common headache with characteristic manifestations is a common symptom of cervical osteochondrosis:
- The pain is aggravated by sharp movements( sneezing, coughing), turning of the head, eye rotation.
- Pain sensations do not pass even after taking analgesic drugs and often become chronic.
- The pain is quite intense and occurs suddenly, especially after unusual physical exertion, a prolonged stay in a static posture or nervous overstrain.
- Soreness is paroxysmal and can last up to 6 hours in a row or permanently.
- The main location of painful syndromes is the occipital part of the head and whiskey. Sometimes the pain spreads over the entire surface of the head, covers the eyes and teeth.
- Quite often, the pain syndrome manifests itself in the form of attacks in the morning because of the uncomfortable position of the body and head during sleep, and intensifies when the head turns.
Unpleasant sensations in the head, as a rule, accompanied by a shooting pain in the neck, aching pain and tensions of the shoulder girdle. If nerve fibers are involved, neurological dysfunctions( numbness or tingling in the fingers, a decrease in skin sensitivity, slowing of reflex reactions, temporary paralysis of the limbs) can be noted.
Often often cervical osteochondrosis, except for headache, is accompanied by:
- with nausea and vomiting;
- impaired coordination of movements;
- by dizziness;
- deterioration of the visual and auditory organs;
- increased intracranial pressure;
- sharp changes in blood pressure.
- As a result, a constant headache significantly reduces the level of patient's performance and quality of life, causes insomnia, disruption of the cardiovascular and nervous system( neurosis, excessive irritability, chronic fatigue, etc.), hypertension.
Nature of pain
Depending on the location of cervical osteochondrosis and its manifestations, headaches are divided into:
- Spinal artery syndrome( vascular cervicocranyalgia) or cervical migraine. It arises as a result of displacement of the vertebrae and compression of the arteries. Also, the cause may be joint dislocations, a disc herniation or protrusion. Symptoms: throbbing burning pain in the occipital part of the head, sometimes one-sided, dizziness and disruption of the visual organs, occasionally nausea. Pain syndrome is almost not stopped by analgesics.
- Occipital neuralgia. The pain is caused by the infringement of the posterior branches of the spinal nerves, which pass through the bony channels of the vertebrae of the neck. The emergence of pain and lumbago is due to sudden movements of the neck, worse with sneezing, coughing, physical exertion, pain can spread to the ears, lower jaw. First the paroxysmal pain is localized in the region of cervical vertebrae, then it moves to the occiput and crown, subsequently reaching the eye sockets. Can be bilateral or localized in one half of the head.
- Vertebrogenic cervical craniialia with muscular-tonic manifestations or tension headache. The cause of unpleasant sensations are muscular spasms of the neck and shoulder girdle, limiting the mobility of the site. Headaches occur after a long stay in an uncomfortable position( behind the desk, computer monitor, behind the machine), eye strain( for example, when working with a microscope), etc. Characterized by a feeling of constant pressure, tension or squeezing the head like a hoop, the intensity of the sensations from the lungsup to heavy, duration - from several minutes to several months. Can be accompanied by anxiety, depression, neurosis, extends to the temples and the frontal part of the skull.
Headaches for cervical osteochondrosis require complex treatment. As a rule, it is aimed at arresting the pain syndrome, eliminating the underlying causes that triggered the attack( prevention or therapy of spine diseases), strengthening and improving the entire body.
- analgesics of general action for the removal of pain;
- anesthetic local procedures( blockade with Lidocaine or Novocaine);
- vasodilator preparations;
- medicinal substances that improve blood circulation in the brain and the whole body;
- preparations containing nicotinic acid, vitamin complexes, vitamins of group B, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus and other microelements;
- if necessary, muscle relaxants( substances that relieve muscle spasms), antidepressants, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, etc., can be prescribed. An important role in the treatment program is played by therapeutic gymnastics. The complex includes both general strengthening and individual exercises, selected individually for each patient, taking into account the characteristics of his body and health.
- No less important is self-discipline: constant control of the correctness of postures and posture, creating conditions for the correct position of the spine and head during sleep and rest, for which special orthopedic pillows and mattresses are used.
- From physiotherapy, you can identify several types of procedures that reduce pain and improve blood circulation, the general condition and performance of the spine and intervertebral disks: electrophoresis, paraffin or mud applications, magnetotherapy, etc. Quite an effective method of relief of headache in cervical osteochondrosis is manual therapy( acupuncture, acupuncture, reflexo- and relaxotherapy).
Prophylaxis of cervical osteochondrosis, and hence headaches, consists in the rethinking and restructuring of the patient's lifestyle:
- Refusal of bad habits( smoking and drinking alcohol).
- Maintenance of normal physical form( daily morning exercises, long walks in the open air, active rest, breaks for warm-up of muscles during working hours).
- Compliance with normal rest and work.
- Full nutrition rich in vitamins and trace elements.
- Annual spa treatment in specialized institutions( therapeutic baths, mud, swimming, hydromassage and other procedures) or rest by the sea.