Uncovertebral arthrosis of the cervical spine treatment

Unco-vertebral arthrosis of the cervical spine C4, C5, C6: symptoms and treatment

Unco-vertebral arthrosis of the cervical spine is a chronic joint disease in which slow deformation occurs with dystrophic cartilage changes inside the joint.

The problem of unco-vertebral arthrosis of the cervical spine

Consequences are a violation of the mobility of limbs and joints associated with this part of the body, poor blood supply and innervation, which in the absence of proper treatment leads to necrotic changes.

What is unccovertebral arthrosis?

Uncovered vertebrae are called hook-like processes on the vertebral surface. In some cases, vertebrae c5 c6 may deform in the cervical region, but much more often than on any other vertebrae, arthrosis c4 c6 occurs.

Uncovertebral arthrosis of the cervical spine is a disease of the joints of the cervical department of a chronic nature, which is manifested by the presence of hook-like outgrowths in the cartilage that disrupt the normal functioning of the brain structures, the mobility of the upper limbs and the head due to impaired blood circulation, innervation and compression of tissues.

The difference between a healthy intervertebral disk from a disk with arthrosis

If at first the arthrosis of unco-vertebral articulations does not bring severe discomfort, then in the future serious complications are possible. Numbness, difficulty in turning the head, dizziness and headaches should alert a person and force him to turn to a specialist to be able to prevent dystrophic changes that can not be cured.

What causes the disease?

It's safe to say that almost everyone is exposed to this disease. The main causes that cause this pathology are the following:

  1. Excessive stress on the cervical region. Sportsmen and people, whose profession is associated with constant weight lifting, often get physical loads on this part of the spine. As for sports, no load exceeding the normal capabilities of the human body does not pass without a trace.
  2. Low physical activity and lack of physical activity also lead to dystrophic changes.
  3. Monotonous movements in the cervical spine. Usually it occurs in people of specific professions: work on the assembly line, for example.
  4. Overweight. Completeness is accompanied by an excessive amount of fat, which accumulates in the intervertebral discs and leads to dystrophic changes in the cartilage.
  5. Heredity. Wrong articulation of the cervical vertebrae, which leads to a violation of blood circulation, innervation and changes in joints.
  6. Injuries. Injuries always lead to negative consequences in the structure and functioning of the joints.
  7. Inflammation. The inflammatory process adversely affects the trophic of the articular surfaces, which subsequently leads to the formation of hook-shaped outgrowths on the vertebral surface.
  8. Dysfunction in the functioning of the thyroid gland. Hypo-or hyperthyroidism leads to a disruption in metabolism and trophism.
Physical exertion - the cause of arthrosis of the cervical spine

The cartilage cartridges are broken due to the influence of such factors:

  • blood supply disorder( as a result of which all nutrients are not delivered in sufficient quantities, and metabolic products are not removed in time, which leads to a slow toxic poisoning of the organism);
  • innervation( impaired perception of cells by joints of signals or nutrients, which leads to insufficient absorption of oxygen and other necessary elements);
  • malfunctioning of various organs( excessive or inadequate release of endocrine glands by hormones);
  • disturbed metabolism( obesity - a violation of the exchange of proteins, fats and carbohydrates).

As a result of the violation of cartilage cartilage in the joint capsule, a change in the structure of the joint occurs. But with unco-vertebral arthrosis of the cervical spine, the intervertebral disc is thinning. The body compensatory tries to facilitate the work of the disc and begins to form a hook-like outgrowth on the surface of the joint. However, any changes in the structure, especially the musculoskeletal system, adversely affect the functioning of other systems. In this case, mainly the nervous and circulatory system suffer. On the surface of the vertebrae there are special furrows, holes and grooves, through which the nerves and blood vessels pass. When these formations are transformed, their compression often occurs, which leads to dizziness, tissue hypoxia, sensitivity and mobility disorders.

Overweight - the cause of cervical arthrosis

What is the symptomatology of the pathology?

At the initial stage of unco-vertebral arthrosis of the cervical region, symptoms are most often absent. Only sharp, clearly localized pains in 1-2 vertebrae are possible with a sharp turn of the head or with heavy physical exertion. With the progression of the disease, pain and crunching are possible with normal exercise, during sleep or even at rest. Sleep usually becomes intermittent due to neck swelling or severe pain.

In the presence of initial symptoms of the disease, timely access to a specialist and observance of all the recommendations in the treatment in almost two weeks, it is possible to prevent the further spread of dystrophic changes in the cartilage fiber. When treating in a more neglected stage, there is no need to talk about full recovery, since the recovery process will be very long, the probability of relapse is high.

Examination of a doctor with arthrosis of the cervical spine

Signs of neglected diseases are more pronounced, and it is almost impossible to confuse them with other pathologies. The pain is present even in a state of rest, and when you turn the head there is a crunch and a sharp pain, which can irradiate to any place. There is a feeling of numbness in the neck and head, constant headaches, dizziness, impaired coordination and some disorientation in space. These symptoms are a consequence of a violation of the blood supply and innervation of the brain, its hypoxia.

In more serious disorders of unco-vertebral joints, a synovial cyst may form. The tumor squeezes the tissue, so there is a severe pain that can irradiate even in the leg, and in the absence of treatment causes neurotic diseases and paralysis. In addition, if the growth of the tumor is not prevented, it can pass to the dorsal and even the brain. Ultimately, complete immobility in the cervical spine can develop.

Tactics and methods of therapy

As with other diseases, the treatment of unco-vertebral arthrosis of the cervical spine begins with the elimination of the causes that caused this pathology. First of all, this reduces the burden on the cervical region or, if the arthrosis caused no movement, an additional load, which is an element of therapeutic gymnastics performed in the absence of pain. It is necessary to reduce weight, and with it the fat layer in the neck region will go away, which will facilitate the passage of nutrients through the blood vessels and impulses along the nerve fibers.

The use of an orthopedic collar for arthrosis

Both during and after treatment, it is recommended to sleep on a special orthopedic pillow. The attending physician will individually select an orthopedic collar that will expand the intervertebral space and remove the symptoms: reduce pain, swelling, numbness.

The essence of curative gymnastics is to restore mobility in the transformed joints. Charge should be performed in a well-ventilated room or in the fresh air( ideally in a park or in a forest).It is better if the position of the patient is sedentary, so that when there is dizziness there is no chance of falling, bruises and concussion of the brain. Sharp movements should be excluded and when pain occurs, in this case, immediately stop the gym.

According to the doctor's prescription, a neck massage can be performed to restore blood circulation and maintain muscle tone. Massage can be with the use of cooling, warming or anesthetic ointments and oils.

Physiotherapy and acupuncture also have a positive effect on the treatment of unco-vertebral arthrosis of the cervical region.

The therapy of unco-vertebral arthrosis should be complex, and one of the important elements is the taking of medications:

  1. Analgesics and spasmolytic to reduce pain and cramps, which in later stages of the disease can be quite strong.
  2. Vasodilators for improving blood supply to the neck and head. Since the vessels are narrowed due to the transformation of the joint, their expansion with the help of medications will strengthen the blood flow and fill the lack of oxygen and nutrients.
  3. Preparations that improve the nutrition of cartilaginous tissue, which contributes to the rapid restoration of the damaged joint.
  4. Anti-inflammatory drugs.
  5. Soothing drugs to keep the patient in a good mood and without the release of adrenaline - a stress hormone that narrows the blood vessels in response to stressful situations and increased nervous tension.

Both the joint itself and adjacent tissues, vessels and nerves are treated with this method.

Although popular therapies do not have the desired effect of action, their influence makes life easier for the patient. Most ointments and compresses have an analgesic effect. Ointments for rubbing improve the blood supply of tissues that suffer from hypoxia, maintain muscle tone, and the risk of their dystrophy decreases.

In advanced stages of unco-vertebral arthrosis with insufficient effectiveness of medicines, acupuncture and physiotherapeutic procedures is treated by surgical procedure.

Treatment of arthrosis folk methods can only be done if there is no risk of allergic reactions and other side effects that will only aggravate the existing problems. We should not forget that folk methods are only an addition to the basic medical complex.

Unco-vertebral arthrosis of the cervical spine is a serious disease, but with timely access to a specialist at an early stage, it is easily amenable to complex treatment.


Unco-vertebral arthrosis of the cervical spine: symptoms and treatment

Deforming or unco-vertebral arthrosis of the cervical spine is a lesion of the joints of the spine and intervertebral discs, in which there are bony outgrowths on the cervical vertebrae. From Latin, unco-vertebral means: the formation is like a hook + vertebra.

Many of us who feel pain and an unpleasant crunch when turning the head, can have this pathology. Let's see how dangerous it is and whether it can be treated.

unco-vertebral arthrosis: cervical vertebra in a section

Causes of unco-vertebral arthrosis

The causes that cause the disease can be conditionally divided into congenital and acquired. Congenital pathologies include anomalies in the development of cervical vertebrae. Among the acquired causes, the most common injuries are the cervical spine and the effects of flat feet.

A sedentary lifestyle and overweight can provoke a disease. And this affects most urban residents. But the rest of the population may be at risk, because weight lifting and unregulated physical activity can also cause disease.
What changes occur in the affected spine? In unco-vertebral arthrosis, the intervertebral disc is affected. Its cartilaginous tissue plays the role of a cushioning "padding" between the vertebrae. It protects the intervertebral nerves and vessels from damage. During the disease, the cartilaginous disc loses its fluid, becomes thin and less elastic. As a result, he can not perform his functions to the fullest, bulges out and squeezes nearby tissues, causing painful symptoms.

In addition, on the cervical vertebrae begin to appear osteophytes - acute spines from bone tissue. They grow towards each other and injure sensitive ligaments of the spine.

Symptoms and signs of

The main symptoms of development of arthrosis of univervertebral joints * are:

* Uncovertebral joints are joints( neoarthroses) forming between the hook-shaped processes of the cervical vertebrae and the base of the arch and / or the body of the overlying vertebra. Normally do not exist, are formed as a result of a decrease in the height of intervertebral discs.

  • Severe pain in the area of ​​the affected vertebra, which is provoked by abrupt movements
  • Subluxation of joints between arcuate processes that serve to connect two adjacent vertebrae
  • Soreness that increases with prolonged positioning in one posture
  • Severe crunch when turning the neck
  • Dizziness
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Headpain

If you have these symptoms, you need an urgent examination with a neurologist or orthopedic vertebrologist. In the initial stages, this disease can be overcome. In later stages, treatment can only bring temporary relief.

Methods of treatment

Treatment of unco-vertebral arthrosis is carried out on an outpatient basis and is directed to the removal of pain and muscle spasm. When the disease worsens, the use of an orthopedic collar is necessary. It will help reduce the burden on the cervical vertebrae.

Medications for the treatment of

  1. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain and inflammation( diclofenac, nimesulide)

  2. Muscle relaxants for the removal of muscular tension( sirdalud)

  3. To improve blood circulation and microcirculation in affected areas, the use of actovegin, curantyl

  4. Chondroprotectors - drugs supplying cartilage cells necessary substancesto restore them. These medicines allow you to suspend the course of the disease and slow the destruction of the intervertebral discs

The treatment regimen and dosage of medications are prescribed individually after careful examination of the patient.

Physiotherapy methods

Physiotherapy has a good analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect, helps to eliminate unpleasant symptoms. The following 3 methods are the most effective and will really help to overcome uncoovertebral arthrosis:

  • magnetotherapy - relieves pain, inflammation and swelling in the affected area with a magnetic field.
  • sinusoidal modulated currents( amplipulse therapy) - the device "Amplipulse", which helps to get rid of painhelp modulated currents of different directions and frequency
  • phonophoresis with a solution of novocaine or lidocaine - the administration of an anesthetic drug to the patient site with the help of ultrasound

Manual therapy

Massages are a very effective method. In combination with curative gymnastics and acupuncture, the health effect improves significantly. However, it must be remembered that the course is conducted during remission( without exacerbation of symptoms) - when there are no severe pains.

Absolute contraindication to the massage is the loss of the herniated intervertebral disc. This disease can be a complication of spinal arthrosis. Therefore, before proceeding to treatment, it is necessary to consult a specialist.

Remember that a timely visit to the doctor will help you to stay healthy. Only an experienced specialist can choose a complex treatment that will help to eliminate all unpleasant symptoms and will lead a full life.


Unco-vertebral arthrosis of the cervical spine is a chronic degenerative-dystrophic disease. It affects the arcuate joints that connect the processes of the vertebrae on the posterolateral surfaces of the cervical region. The disease is accompanied by neurological symptoms due to the infringement of nerve structures by bone growths.

Causes of uncoarthrosis of the cervical department of

Most often, unco-vertebral arthrosis develops due to the following reasons:

  • heavy physical exertion( especially weight transfer on the shoulders);
  • professional sports,
  • spine injuries( mainly in the cervical spine),
  • overweight,
  • sedentary lifestyle( "sedentary work" leads to increased neck strain);
  • disorders of the structure of the vertebrae of the cervical region( congenital anomalies cause the wrong articulation of the vertebrae of the neck, which makes the load uneven);
  • diseases characterized by impaired metabolism( endocrine diseases, including inflammation, insufficient or excessive thyroid function).

Pathogenesis of Uncoarthrosis

The immediate cause of unco-vertebral arthrosis is insufficient nutrition of articular cartilages, which are represented by intervertebral discs. The support functions of the spine as a result of the thinning of the discs gradually decrease. As an adaptive reaction on the vertebrae, bony growths appear, they to some extent take on a part of the load. But osteophytes change the normal arrangement of nerves and blood vessels, as a result of which these structures can be restrained.

Symptoms of Uncoarthrosis

The initial stage of the disease can occur almost asymptomatically. Minor pain at the end of the day, patients usually write off for fatigue. Severe pain is rare, only with sharp or awkward turns of the head. Unco-vertebral arthrosis of the cervical spine is characterized by steady progression, especially if treatment is not initiated in the early stages. In the future, a person begins to feel pain in the neck already under normal load or as a result of changes in the weather( dampness, rain, snow, etc.).The exacerbation of the disease is most often manifested in the autumn or spring time.

Symptoms of uncoarthrosis is not only a pain syndrome. The main difference between the disease and other forms of osteochondrosis( chondrosis) is a neurological symptomatology. The patient can make the following complaints:

  • numbness, tingling and loss of sensation in the hands;
  • stably increased blood pressure, which is poorly removed by antihypertensive drugs;
  • recurrent nausea( especially at the time of high blood pressure);
  • headache down to migraine;
  • pain along the nerves( from the elbow to the little finger);
  • marked decrease in the volume of mobility in the neck( the patient has to turn around with the whole body).

Other characteristic signs of arthrosis of unco-vertebral articulations include shakiness of gait and imbalance.

Diagnosis of the disease

To begin with, the doctor interrogates and examines the patient to identify the objective symptoms of cervical uncoarthrosis. Then, to clarify the diagnosis, laboratory and instrumental studies are assigned. Radiography is the most important for unco-vertebral arthrosis. In rare cases, use magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography. Usually, the pathological process is detected in the region of C3-C7 vertebrae. Between them there are processes, where the joints are formed.

Treatment of unco-vertebral arthrosis

Treatment of this disease includes the following components:


The following factors contribute to the disease:

  • completeness and low mobility;
  • regular lifting of heavy weights, inadequate load.

First of all, the disease attacks the intervertebral discs, which are a cartilaginous lining between adjacent vertebrae. It is this gasket that effectively protects the articulation of the vertebrae and the spinal cord.

As a consequence of the disease, the discs become thin, their degradation, loss of elasticity, and therefore the fact that they stop doing their work. The disease is accompanied by the growth of bone tissue - osteophytes. This leads to deformation and the formation of intervertebral hernias.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Pain sensations in the neck and under the nape, which are located in the upper spine, are the most frequent manifestation. Pain occurs exactly where there are damaged vertebrae. The pain syndrome is not characterized by an increase, - the pain is immediately strong.

At the very beginning of development of unco-vertebral cervical arthrosis, the pains are periodic in nature, if they are provoked by inclinations, lifting of weights. An appeal to the doctor at this time will allow to cure the disease within one to two weeks with good efficacy.

In the further development of the disease the pains are characterized by constancy, with the movement of the neck there is a crunch. If the neck is in a stationary state, then the pains tend to increase significantly. This is the reason that patients often change the position of the neck, and this in turn leads to an even greater wear of the cervical vertebrae.

The appearance of a number of symptoms can be triggered by the development of arthrosis of the cervical vertebrae:

  • instability disorder, observation of unsteadiness;
  • pain in the naked, especially in the nape;
  • some vision impairment;
  • high blood pressure;
  • feeling of compression in the chest.

This is due to the fact that the deformations of the discs sooner or later acquire a pronounced shape, and this leads to the entrapment of the blood vessels and nerves with osteophytes.

Diagnosis of the disease

Diagnosis in some cases is performed by the method of palpation or palpation, this is done for the primary detection of affected vertebrae.

But the most effective measures of disease detection are various methods of visual diagnostics: MRI and X-ray of the cervical spine. These methods accurately reveal the presence and size of osteophytes.

Treatment of unco-vertebral arthrosis

Treatment of arthrosis of cervical intervertebral joints is prescribed on an outpatient basis. The main task of the whole treatment is a significant reduction in pain, especially when serious exacerbations are observed.

Treatment uses the following techniques:

  • use of the collar of Shantz, which is a special device that protects the neck from unnecessary movements. This allows you to significantly relax the neck and vertebrae of the cervical region;
  • medications that effectively relieve spasms and pain syndrome include: naproxan, diclofenac( ointment, gel, injections), celecoxib, nimesul. With severe spasmodic phenomena, which are detected locally, it is recommended that muscle relaxants be taken;
  • use of drugs to normalize blood supply, among the drugs are: kurantil, actovigin, productin and pantoxifellin;
  • use of chondroprotectors - drugs that are capable of restoring and replacing tissues in the joints. The drugs are chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine acids.

Physiotherapeutic procedures are very effective:

  • magneto-therapy;
  • procedures by electrophoresis;
  • chiropractic;

Treatment of this disease is very effective if you seek help in a timely manner. There may be a remission, that is, a slowdown in development, but in most cases the disease is cured in the early stages.

The video below shows a set of exercises to relieve pain in the cervical spine:


All you need to know about unco-vertebral arthrosis of the cervical spine

Methods for diagnosing the disease

First the doctor determines the frequency of the occurrence of pain and their nature,localization of painful points in the neck. However, the main methods of diagnosing this disease are X-ray and computed tomography of the cervical spine, angiography of vessels and the method of magnetic resonance imaging( MRI).

With these methods, the physician will visually assess the degree of damage to the cartilaginous tissue, the presence of osteophytes, the degree of compression of the vessels, nerve endings and spinal cord, as well as their possible damage.

Treatment methods used for arthrosis of the cervical spine

When uncovertebral arthrosis is detected, an urgent need for complex therapy is needed, since a rapidly progressing disease can cause severe impairment of sensitivity and cerebral circulation, which can lead to disability. Treatment of the disease is most often carried out at home( outpatient).

To begin with, it is necessary to stop the pain syndrome and provide rest to the cervical spine( as the acute period is characterized by increased pain during movement).To reduce the motor activity, the doctor individually selects an orthopedic collar, which not only restricts movement, but also produces a soft skeletal spinal traction. The duration and time of wearing the collar is determined by the attending physician.

Medication for pain relief and muscle spasm

For arthrosis, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as nimesulide, celecoxib, diclofenac, naproxen are usually prescribed. You can take medications only after consulting a doctor who will choose a drug and prescribe a dosage individually. Do not self-medicate, as some drugs in this group, reducing pain and eliminating inflammation, can adversely affect the condition of cartilage tissue, weighting the development of the disease.

With strong local muscle spasms that do not pass independently, muscle relaxants are prescribed( special drugs that relieve muscle spasms).

With complex drug therapy, in order to improve the nutrition of the cartilaginous tissue and ligaments of the neck, antiaggregants and preparations improving tissue microcirculation, such as pentosifillin, actovegin, prodectin, quarantil, are prescribed.

Until drugs are fully cured arthrosis, but the modern pharmacological industry can offer drugs that slow down the destruction of cartilage and stop the development of the disease( chondroprotectors).The main active substances of chondroprotectors( chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine) supply the cells of cartilaginous tissue "material" for restoration. The intake of these medicines helps to improve the performance of joints and reduces pain.

Physiotherapeutic methods of treatment

To such methods experts include:

  • Exposure to sinusoidal modulated currents
  • Electrophonophoresis with analgesics( lidocaine or novocaine)
  • Amplipulse therapy
  • Magnetotherapy

If pains are absent( in remission), the purpose of reflexotherapy, physiotherapy and massage,acupuncture, manual therapy.

It should be remembered that the prognosis of the disease depends on how quickly after the appearance of the first manifestations of the disease treatment was prescribed and how accurately the patient followed the recommendations of the treating doctor.


If a person sees any of the described symptoms, it is recommended to have a checkup with a neurologist. When diagnosing the disease at an early stage, can be successfully handled. In the later stages, treatment will only bring temporary relief.

This is important to !Unco-vertebral arthrosis of the cervical spine at the initial stages manifests itself as periodic pain. They worry about sudden movements of the neck or lifting of the weight. If you seek professional help at this stage, you can completely eliminate the violations within two weeks. If there is no treatment at this stage, the disease will quickly progress.

In the case of development of the described disease from an early stage, subluxation of joints begins, discomfort from permanent presence in one posture increases.

How the disease affects the spine

This type of arthrosis begins with the destruction of cartilaginous tissue. Gradually disrupted the functioning of the intervertebral disc. It's the discs that are responsible for damping the movement and prevent damage to muscles, nerves and blood vessels.

The disease progresses without proper treatment, and the intervertebral tissue becomes very thin. Inside this tissue there is a liquid, but it gradually evaporates. The elasticity of the fabric and its ability to stretch are lost. These processes cause the disk to move forward and protrude in both directions of the .There are severe pain in the neck.

Methods for timely diagnosis of

When referring to a doctor with complaints of pain in the neck, the patient should accurately describe the nature of the pain and the situation when the pain syndrome manifests itself particularly strongly. Based on these data, the doctor performs palpation of the painful neck areas to identify possible muscle spasms. But this is a general examination, after which it is still impossible to make an accurate diagnosis.

For accurate diagnosis of uncoarthrosis, it is necessary to conduct modern imaging techniques of .This is a computed tomography, MRI, and renting. As a result of these techniques, images can be obtained that will allow us to determine the degree of damage to the cervical vertebrae.

Treatment of

The patient should begin to monitor his posture and completely give up hard physical labor, even wearing heavy loads. It is necessary to exclude sharp movements of the neck, sleep should be on the orthopedic pillow. Swimming helps with almost all diseases of the spine, this is no exception.

Most often, the treatment of arthrosis of this species is carried out in the outpatient setting of .At the initial stage, it is important for doctors to stop pain and to provide absolute muscles to the neck muscles.

The main components of treatment:

  • Minimize the mobility of this part of the spine. Often, a fixed collar is worn;
  • Taking medications that eliminate muscle spasms and pain .For this, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are used. They relieve pain and help reduce inflammation. Take the pill should be strictly according to the doctor's prescription, otherwise you can negatively affect the condition of the cartilaginous tissue and only aggravate the disease;
  • Restoration of blood flow in the area of ​​patients with vertebrae .Special drugs are prescribed that improve blood circulation inside tissues;
  • Taking medications that help to restore cartilage tissue .They do not completely relieve arthrosis, but slow down the process of destruction of intervertebral discs;
  • Physiotherapeutic procedures .This effect on the diseased region with a pulsed static current and others.

With timely attention to pain symptoms in the neck, you can notice the development of the described disease in its initial stage .If at this stage to complete a complete course of treatment, the disease can be completely eliminated.


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