Neuralgia of the cervical spine: symptoms and treatment
When pinching of the occipital nerve neuralgia develops the cervical spine, the symptoms of which are manifested severe pain extending from the occiput to the shoulders. They are often confused with headaches and migraines. Advanced forms of the disease can lead to loss of sensation, numbness and muscle atrophy. To avoid this, one must know the causes and symptoms of dysfunction of the nerves in the neck.
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Why is there
Neuralgia neck wearing is pinching the nerve roots of the cervical segment of the spine as a result of violations and the flattening of the structure of the intervertebral disc.
The disease can be primary and secondary. Idiopathic (primary) development of neuralgia is characterized by a sudden manifestation of symptoms of disease without apparent cause; secondary (symptomatic) neuropathy is a consequence of any disease or tumor processes. In neurology there are two forms of the disease, recognition of which depends the effectiveness of therapy:
- Dietetyczna – violation of small nerve fibers and the appearance of surface pain;
- Trunkline – pinched spinal nerves and paralysis of the hands.
Cervical – the most mobile part of the spine, and the weight and size of the vertebrae themselves less than in the lumbar. While the load on the vertebrae of the neck have significant. The most common and basic reasons for the development of neurological changes in the neck are:
- Muscle spasms that occur as a result of lack of motor activity;
- The destruction and violation of proper metabolism of the tissues of the spine and complications of degenerative disc disease of the neck, accompanied by the appearance of hernias and protrusions;
- Traumatic injury (separation of the muscles, fractures of the arches and bodies of the cervical vertebrae), complicated by involvement of the nerve and the development of tumors in the neck and neck;
- Excessive hypothermia.
Read also: the symptoms and treatment of hernia of the cervical spine.
Cervical neuralgia can occur as a result of indirect complications of existing chronic diseases. Such causes occur less frequently and are considered secondary. Among them:
- Inflammation of the Central nervous system;
- Meningococcal and encephalitis infections;
- Viral disease;
- Diabetes mellitus 1 and 2 type;
- Tubercular lesions of the vertebrae in the cervical region and spine (spondylitis);
- The deposition of salts, leading to articular diseases (arthritis, gout, and others);
- Autoimmune disorders;
- Peripheral vascular disease;
- Polyneuropathy caused by a complication of diabetes;
- Frequent stress and strong emotional expressions.
An additional factor that complicates the clinical picture of cervical neuropathy is disorders of the peripheral and Central nervous system.
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The main symptom of the disease is pain, which is manifested in the cervical nerve that spreads in the coming divisions of the vertebrae of the neck and often wearing unusual character:
- Unexpected a manifestation, provoked by turning the head or touching around the occipital nerves;
- Different localization: at the initial stage in the lower part of the neck, nape, behind ears; later in the eye area
- Unilateral or rarely bilateral lesion of the nerve endings;
- Acute pain like the stroke of lightning or electric current, characterized by the sudden appearance and disappearance;
- Increased photosensitivity, manifested by pain in the eyeball;
- Unpleasant sensations in contact with the scalp.
Often these symptoms are confused with symptoms of migraine, degenerative disc disease and otitis media, to distinguish which will help medical advice and diagnosis.
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Expression headache is a syndrome of a vertebral artery, or the so-called cervical migraine pathology that causes poor circulation to the posterolateral parts of the brain and is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Cranially – sided headache, wearing aching and constant in nature and spreading from occiput to forehead;
- Soreness of the skin of the head, appearing when light touching or combing of the hair;
- Kohleovestibularnyi changes: dizziness, ear ringing,mild loss of hearing, imbalance;
- Visual disturbances: flashing of lightning, darkening and double vision;
- Neurotic symptoms: irritability, emotional lability, insomnia;
- Autonomic changes: fever, chills, coldness of the hands;
- Blood pressure jump.
In the description of the syndrome symptoms neuralgia cervical secrete pathogenetic manifestations of the disease:
- Cervicalgia — cervical aching pain, which is maximally expressed in the movement of the head, fits of laughter and coughing;
- Cervicobrachialgia — the concentration of pain in the neck and head;
- Cervicobrachialgia — painful symptoms in the shoulder and forearm, the neck;
- Syndrome lower oblique muscle — aching unilateral pain in neck and occipital, aggravated by turning the head;
- Rib-scapular syndrome — pain attacks in the neck and upper corner of the scapula, radiating into the shoulder and the sternum. The pain increases when the brush behind him.
The first manifestations of neuralgia of the cervical, numerous the symptoms which are described above, it is necessary to turn to a medical facility for a diagnosis and target therapy. Self-treatment in this case is excluded, as it can lead to serious complications and even death.
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Diagnosis and treatment
Diagnosis of neuralgia of the cervical spine includes the data of anamnesis, clinical signs and hardware studies (x-ray, CT, MRI).
Treatment is prescribed by a neurologist and depending on the severity of the lesions of the nervous tissues, and causes pathology.
You first need to remove the pain syndrome and then proceed to the recovery of motor skills of the neck. With this purpose, the following prescribed medication:
- Local anesthesia with Novocain or lidocaine;
- Antidepressants (amitriptyline);
- Anti epileptic syndrome (gabapentin);
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
The main conditions in the period of exacerbation of the disease – adherence and long lying on a hard, flat surface. To relieve inflammation and increase blood flow the affected area apply warming compresses and rubbing his neck.
Motor function recovers well physiotherapy, acupuncture, massage, therapeutic physical training complex.
In severe or ineffective therapy of neuralgia of the cervical resorting to surgical intervention. The result of the surgery, are removed, compressing the nerve tissue. To treat cervical neuralgia using traditional methods. To resort to them only after obligatory consultation with a doctor. Unconventional techniques recommended for use as a Supplement to basic treatment medicines.
To prevent the occurrence of pathology of the cervical spine, it is necessary to lead an active and healthy lifestyle, eat rationally, to visit the pool regularly perform physical exercises for the spine and to avoid hypothermia. Attentive to their health can get rid of problems of the musculoskeletal system and to improve the quality of life.