Features of the manifestation of 1, 2 and 3 degrees of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine

Cervical osteochondrosis is a common form of the disease that affects the upper spine, causing specific symptoms at each stage of development. Most patients let the problem go by itself, without going to the doctor for help.

neck pain with osteochondrosis

Reasons for the development of osteochondrosis of the neck

Osteochondrosis of the cervical region of the second and third degree causes degenerative-dystrophic changes in the tissues of the spinal column. First, the fibrinous ring is destroyed, then the protrusion and prolapse of the nucleus of the intervertebral disc occurs. Pathology is accompanied by pain, dysfunction.

Causes that negatively affect the spine and the development of cervical osteochondrosis of varying degrees:

  • hypodynamia (sedentary work, minimum physical activity);
  • genetic predisposition to the disease;
  • problems with the immune response;
  • unbalanced nutrition, against the background of which there is a deficiency of minerals, trace elements or a specific group of vitamins;
  • frequent hypothermia, a tendency to inflammatory processes;
  • systematic failures in the work of the endocrine system;
  • obesity at any stage;
  • spinal injuries;
  • hard physical labor.

Osteochondrosis of the cervical region of the second and all subsequent degrees is considered the most severe. The reason is the close location of the nerves and blood vessels responsible for nutrition, innervation of the brain.

More often, the pathology is found in people over the age of 50, cervical osteochondrosis of the 3rd degree is diagnosed.

What is and symptoms of osteochondrosis of the neck

Osteochondrosis is a dystrophic process that has a devastating effect on the bones and cartilage that form the spinal column, on soft tissues located nearby.

With the development of degenerative-destructive cervical pathology, the discs lose their protective properties.

Gradual destruction, displacement of anatomical elements leads to negative consequences:

  • cartilage partially or completely loses its depreciation qualities;
  • disk deformation;
  • destruction of the fibrous ring (begins at the initial stage);
  • the formation of osteophytes - bone growths on the surface of the vertebrae.

Each degree of cervical osteochondrosis is characterized by special manifestations. If at the initial stages (first and second stages) a person is bothered by slight discomfort, then in an advanced form the disease causes a number of complications.

doctor's consultation with cervical osteochondrosis

First degree

Osteochondrosis of the 1st degree of the cervical can occur without clinical manifestations. The main complaint of the patient is pain in the neck.

Massage helps relieve discomfort. On palpation, the patient feels stiffness of the muscles in the collar zone, strong or moderate tension. If you start treatment in a timely manner, you can stop the initial process of anomalies of osteochondrosis of the first and second degree.

Second degree

Symptoms of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine of the 2nd degree are more pronounced. The period of exacerbation is accompanied by severe discomfort. Immediate and complex treatment with injections is required.

Main manifestations:

  • persistent headache;
  • discomfort when moving the head;
  • stiffness of movements in the neck-collar area;
  • during the period of exacerbation, it is possible to stop the pain syndrome for a short period of time;
  • lethargy;
  • sleep problems;
  • increased fatigue;
  • decrease in the level of working capacity;
  • posture suffers, a person cannot freely take a comfortable position;
  • dizziness.

Manifestations depend on which artery, vein or nerve bundles were clamped. The muscles of the cervical-collar zone and the face, ears, head can become numb. The person may be disabled.

Third degree

The third degree is characterized by an active lesion of the fibrous ring.

Violation leads to the occurrence of protrusions, intervertebral hernias.

The stage of progression of cervical disease is characterized by a pronounced pain syndrome, which is not always possible to stop with strong analgesics. Neurological disorders gradually progress.

fourth degree

At the last stage, degenerative-destructive processes reach their peak. It is difficult for patients to move around, stiffness reaches its maximum. Sometimes the pain may subside, but this is a dangerous sign. Bone tissue begins to grow between the vertebral elements, which will cause an even greater aggravation, deterioration of well-being.

Stage diagnostics

Instability of the discs of the spinal column, questions about the elimination of the consequences of tissue destruction are considered by a neurologist. The doctor checks the neck reflexes with a hammer, coordination tests.

Instrumental research:

  • radiography;
  • CT scan;
  • Magnetic resonance imaging;
  • Ultrasound of the vertebral arteries.

X-rays are taken from the front and side.

MRI and CT are informative research methods. The only drawback is the high cost of the procedure.

Ultrasound is done if it is necessary to determine the degree of damage to the vertebral arteries, to assess the condition of the cervical region of the spine. The results will help form the prognosis of the disease.

Therapy of osteochondrosis of the cervical spine of the second degree

The basis of any therapeutic effect in osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is taking medications that help get rid of the manifestations of the disease. The treatment regimen is determined by several specialists - a therapist, a neurologist.

Anesthesia of patients

Treatment of patients with osteochondrosis of the neck of the second degree begins with a complex of painkillers. The doctor selects analgesics from the standpoint of their effectiveness, the presence of contraindications in the patient.

Fight against foci of inflammation

Anti-inflammatory drugs help to eliminate foci with inflammation and reduce the level of pain in patients with cervical osteochondrosis.

Non-steroidal drugs have one negative consequence - they aggressively affect the mucous membranes of the digestive tract.

Anti-inflammatory analgesics of the non-steroidal group can be prescribed in tablets or injections, as in exacerbation of osteochondrosis in the second and third stages of development. Often, gels, ointments, creams are used for external treatment.


In the schemes for the treatment of osteochondrosis of the neck of the second degree, a special role is assigned to the protectors of cartilage and bone tissue.


If the therapy of cervical osteochondrosis of the second and sometimes third degree with drugs takes place at home, then radical treatment requires hospitalization of the patient. Indications for surgery:

  • instability of the spinal column;
  • compression of the spinal cord;
  • hernia formation.

It is impossible to completely solve the problem of pathological destruction of the neck with the progression of osteochondrosis.

Therapeutic gymnastics and exercise therapy

If it is impossible to fully restore the functional potential of the spinal column, then it is possible to stop the progression of the disease.

In the early stages (first and partially second degree of cervical osteochondrosis), simple folk methods, therapeutic exercises will help. Such recreational activities are not expensive, easy to perform, do not bring pain, do not cause discomfort.

At the later stages of the formation of neck osteochondrosis of the second or third degree, gymnastics and exercise therapy are recommended. Exercises are performed under the supervision of a specialist. It is important to do everything right. The main goal: to strengthen the muscles of the neck and relax at the same time.

It is important that the patient strive for recovery, carefully follow the recommendations of specialists, the prescriptions of doctors.