Symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis

cervical osteochondrosis

Each department has its own symptoms of osteochondrosis depending on the location of the spinal lesions. Some of these are directly related to spinal structures, others violate the innervation of those organs and structures belonging to the affected part. Typical symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis. Belongs to several groups or syndromes:

  • vertebral body;
  • vertebral artery;
  • heart;
  • extreme.

Vertebrogenic syndrome of cervical osteochondrosis

Back pain from cervical osteochondrosis

Due to changes in the bone and cartilage tissue of the spine in osteochondrosis. Violating the mobility of the spinal joints, the reduced distance between the vertebrae leads to their deformation and restricted movement of the neck region.

Degenerative dystrophic changes in the intervertebral disc are not necessarily age-related, they can be the result of overloading, poor posture, etc. , which are especially evident in the cervical spine. For these reasons, cervical osteochondrosis can occur even at a young age.

The tissue changes are reversible, however, the morphological signs of osteochondrosis are always present and diagnosed radiologically: dehydration, shrinkage and degeneration of the intervertebral disc.

As the process worsens - bone growths form on the vertebrae. Vertebral syndrome is the main symptom of any form of osteochondrosis. Its manifestations in the neck area:

  • Violation of the mobility of the cervical spine;
  • pain when turning or tilting the head;
  • Changes in the structure of the spine (body and discs).

They are also disturbed at rest during periods of increased pain in the neck area (cervical pain). It is characterized by pain that radiates to the occipital area of the head (cervical cranial pain) and sometimes spreads throughout the head, becoming severe and unbearable.

vertebral artery syndrome

Neck pain due to osteochondrosis

Compression of the vertebral arteries due to the degenerative process of the spine (or tissue edema during exacerbation) manifests as impaired blood flow to the brain and symptoms of hypoxia. Dizziness, nausea and vomiting, changes in common arterial and intracranial pressure, tinnitus, somnolence, and coordination disturbances were noted.

Not only mechanical compression due to osteochondrosis in the neck region, but also irritation of the arterial walls, their nerve endings contribute to the presentation of specific symptoms.

Severe headaches of the migraine type, with a sudden turn of the head and fainting, are typical manifestations of vertebral artery syndrome in cervical osteochondrosis.

heart syndrome

Compression of nerve roots in the cervical region, reflex spasm of the blood vessels due to osteochondrosis occurs in the heart region. Cardiac syndrome manifests as sternum pain, palpitations, weakness, and a feeling of lack of air. Cardiac syndrome may be combined with increased blood pressure as osteochondrosis worsens.


Compression of nerve roots emerging from the cervical spine is manifested by movement disorders (paralysis, hemiparalysis) and sensitivity of the areas they innervate.

Signs of conduction disturbances in cervical osteochondrosis:

  • 1-2 pairs of roots: headache, numbness or increased sensitivity in the back of the head;
  • 3-4 pairs of roots: pain and sensory disturbances in the pharynx (tongue), larynx (hiccups, dysphagia), throat, ears;
  • 5-6 pairs of roots: arm, shoulder, shoulder blade pain and movement disorders;
  • 7 pairs of roots: lesions cause impaired movement and numbness of the fingers - middle and index fingers, 8 pairs - ring and little fingers.

Confirm Diagnosis

Various symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis are related to the effects of the process on the nerve roots and trunk, which can lead to sensory disturbances in innervated areas, motor function, pain, and circulation disturbances.

Diagnosis is difficult if patients have symptoms of hypertension, cardiac disease, and neurological symptoms that may mask stroke or transient ischemia.

Sudden loss of consciousness may be a sign of osteochondrosis and acute cerebrovascular accident in vertebral artery syndrome. In both cases pallor, weakness, and tachycardia may occur as a response of the autonomic system.

Another cervical osteochondrosis syndrome that requires a close differential diagnosis is cardiac. It is also important to determine the dependence of blood pressure jumps on osteochondrosis.

According to the symptoms at the time, the examination plan for cervical osteochondrosis includes:

  • X-rays of the spine;
  • CT and MRI of spine and brain;
  • ECG and cardiac ultrasound;
  • Dynamic ECG advertisements;
  • General blood analysis.

The intensity of symptoms during cervical osteochondrosis exacerbation may require not only extended examinations, but also hospitalization in cases of suspected emergency risk: acute neurology or cardiology pathology.