Vertebral osteochondrosis is the most common disease of the human musculoskeletal system. Degenerative processes in the cervical spine are particularly common: in about 30-40% of all cases of osteochondrosis, the disease affects this part of the back.
Even with an inactive lifestyle, daily stress falls on the cervical zone, leading to the gradual destruction of cartilage tissue in the intervertebral discs. The cervical vertebrae support the head, provide lateral movement, lean forward and backward. Both a sedentary lifestyle and excessive spinal stress are detrimental to cartilage tissue.
Osteochondrosis develops slowly, but almost always leads to painful manifestations and severe consequences. This article discusses in detail the treatment of cervical osteochondrosis at home, in which cases it is reasonable and advisable what procedures should be followed to reduce painful symptoms and eliminate the primary causes of the disease.
When can osteochondrosis be treated at home?
Osteochondrosis is rare and sudden - usually preceded by an initial stage characterized by back fatigue, rapid fatigue, and decreased performance. It is important to take therapeutic measures at the first signs of the disease until degenerative and dystrophic processes have spread from cartilage tissue to nearby structures.
The task of treatment is to stop the pathological transformations of the intervertebral discs in the early stages of the disease. No therapy can reverse destructive processes, but there is a chance to prevent dangerous and painful consequences.
You can practice home treatment in the following cases:
- When the diagnosis is accurately known and clinically confirmed;
- If the disease is mild or moderate;
- If home and self-care are approved or sanctioned by a doctor;
- In the recovery phase after full clinical therapy in the form of relapse prevention.
Diagnosis in the clinic and consultation with a specialist (orthopedist, vertebrologist or traumatologist) is a mandatory step in the treatment of osteochondrosis. Starting treatment without an accurate diagnosis can cause irreparable damage to the spine. Even if you are absolutely sure that you have osteochondrosis, you need to find out its stage, determine the extent of tissue destruction, and identify the diseases associated with it.
The danger of osteochondrosis of the neck lies in the many manifestations of this disease. As the most important neural pathways and vessels pass through this stage, any displacement of cartilage and bone structures from their anatomical position, as well as the transformation of discs and vertebral bodies, is fraught with compression of nerve endings and arteries.
Compression leads to headaches, impaired blood supply to the brain, and decreased intellectual ability. The most dangerous complication of compression is stroke: a sharp deterioration in the oxygen supply to the brain, leading to the death of parts of it.
Irresponsible and dangerous treatment of cervical osteochondrosis at home in the presence of compression. Massages, manual therapy and exercise should be performed under strict medical supervision. Only in the case of progressive degenerative changes can professional massage therapists and therapists perform manual and hardware effects on the vertebrae.
General rules of self-therapy
Some people think that cervical osteochondrosis is a temporary disease that occurs after sleeping in an awkward position or working at a computer for a long time. People often ignore the symptoms of neck pain, believing that these are caused by excessive work, “salt deposits, ” and colds.
The factors listed may indeed trigger an attack of osteochondrosis, but it is not these causes but the predisposing factors of the pathology. Eliminating them can relieve the symptoms, but it does not cure the disease itself.
The treatment of osteochondrosis needs to be approached scientifically and practically. The earlier you start therapy, the better your chances of restoring cervical spine function. If you want to regain mobility in your neck, get rid of the crackling and fatigue in the back, start treatment as soon as the first signs of degenerative changes appear.
Treatment of osteochondrosis of the collar zone at home is a necessary and beneficial effect if properly and authorized by professionals.
You can do it at home:
- Therapeutic therapy;
- Hardware massage using mechanical and electrical devices;
- Physiotherapy procedures;
Basically, any conservative treatment can be practiced at home. Traditional methods of influencing are popular with the general public - a variety of body lotions, compresses and applications in the affected department. Such treatment options are sometimes quite effective and really help with the symptoms of pain and other unpleasant manifestations of osteochondrosis.
The basic rules for self-care are:
- Painkillers and other medicines should only be taken with medicines prescribed by your doctor;
- Massage and physiotherapy exercises should not be practiced during acute pain and disc movement;
- Doubtful and unapproved traditional medicine is not applicable;
- At the slightest sign of deterioration in health, you should stop home therapy and go to the clinic.
In general, experts even recommend self-treatment, as the clinic only performs procedures that require the presence of a specialist or complex equipment. Only strictly adhere to medical recommendations regarding home therapy techniques.
Before prescribing or prescribing any medication, a good doctor will always tell you how to use it, what results to expect, when and for how long you should complete the treatment procedures. The ultimate goal of any practice is not just to stop the symptoms, but to block or eliminate the causes of the disease.
Home Management Methods
There are several home treatments for cervical osteochondrosis. We consider the most basic - the most efficient and affordable. Once again, only full implementation of medical recommendations will give you a chance to recover.
Trained physicians take into account all influencing factors - from the position they take during sleep to the nature of the diet. The diet for osteochondrosis is based on the exclusion of fatty, refined and over-spiced foods and the mandatory inclusion of mucopolysaccharides in the diet - compounds that nourish cartilage tissue.
Almost every aspect of life needs to be brought into line with the principle of competent and correct treatment.
The basis of effective therapy is a complete system of physical activity. The set of exercises is selected individually, taking into account the stage of the disease, the age and physical condition of the patient. Physical education is not complementary, but the most important therapeutic method for osteochondrosis of the collar region.
Gymnastic exercises solve several problems at once:
- Develop and strengthen the neck and shoulder girdle;
- Stimulates local blood flow by improving the nutrition of intervertebral discs and other tissues in the affected area;
- Accelerates metabolic processes, helping to restore physical activity;
- Eliminate muscle blocks and cramping.
In the initial phase of therapy, it is better to have more sessions led by a practical instructor. You can then practice physical education at home. When exercising, be sure to wear comfortable clothing and provide regular ventilation of the area.
Indicative criteria for the usefulness of exercise are lack of pain, improvement of well-being, increase of range of motion. If acute and regular pain symptoms occur, the practice should be stopped until the causes of the phenomenon are clarified. Pain usually occurs when the disc is moved and the nerve is compressed. To avoid this, you should perform the movements smoothly, avoid bouncing and twisting the spine.
Manual and hardware massage
Self-massage reduces pain and stimulates local circulation. Self-massage techniques (rubbing, caressing, kneading) will be taught by a doctor or professional massage therapist. Strong pressure, blow, pinching should be avoided.
Proper self-massage often surpasses even medication in its effectiveness. The gentle hand effect not only relieves pain, but also relaxes muscles, speeds up blood flow and metabolism. It is recommended to perform the massage in a sitting position, using only the fingers and directed from the spine to the peripheral parts of the back.
A separate method of hardware massage with mechanical devices and modern electronic devices. In the absence of severe pain and dislocation of the plates, the use of massage products is recommended. Cheap hand massagers and expensive computer-controlled devices are available in medical stores.
Another powerful tool is the applicators for the static effect of the affected areas. Tools such as the Lyapko applicator or the Kuznetsov applicator have been shown to be effective methods for treating the symptoms of pain and eliminating the causes of the disease. The main rule for using such tools is regularity. Exposure sessions should be practiced continuously - only then can stable and marked health-enhancing results be achieved.
Applicators are based on the principles of reflexology - the effect on the active parts of the body and the initiation of the body's self-healing mechanism. Home acupuncture with Lyapko devices and exposure of the devices with Kuznetsov’s devices literally brought some patients to their feet.
Other orthopedic aids are also useful - special sleeping pillows that ensure the proper position of the body at night, mattresses, pillows for car and office chairs.
Exposure to magnetic fields, ultrasound, a certain spectrum of light - these are all very effective methods for treating moderate to mild osteochondrosis. Physiotherapy is usually practiced on an outpatient basis in clinics, but these methods are also fully applicable at home.
Magnetic therapy, ultrasound and electrical neurostimulation devices, as well as other devices for the treatment of spinal structures, are marketed in pharmacies and specialist shops. Such devices eliminate pain, stimulate metabolism and blood flow, and eliminate muscle cramps. These devices can only be used after the physiotherapist has prescribed them.
Compression, rubbing, other traditional medical procedures
The following alternative treatments are acceptable:
- Applications with medicinal clay;
- Compresses of honey, vodka, agave;
- Concentration of honey and mustard;
- Creams for propolis, aloe juice and vodka;
- Uterine venom treatment;
- Rubbing with herbal preparations (the most popular option is a mixture of 2-legged hot peppers and vegetable oil).
Phytopreparations can be used in the absence of allergies and after the method has been approved by a doctor.
Modern medicine offers a number of fairly effective and safe treatments on a natural basis to eliminate the signs of osteochondrosis of the cervix. Herbal and combination creams, ointments and patches are applied topically in the first manifestations of pain and in the rehabilitation therapy phase.