Cervical osteochondrosis is a common disease that causes many unpleasant symptoms and significantly worsens the quality of life. It is almost impossible to cure it without surgery. But you can stop the development of the process and get rid of a significant part of the symptoms. Only physical therapy can help with this.
Appointment of therapeutic exercises for osteochondrosis
Osteochondrosis is the degeneration of bone and cartilage (intervertebral discs) tissues of the spine. As a result, its discs are deformed, bulge between the vertebrae, growths form on the body of the vertebrae.
As a result, nerve endings are pinched, blood vessels passing along the spine are pinched, and surrounding tissues are injured by bone outgrowths. Poor blood supply and immobility due to pain accelerate the development of pathology. As a result, the patient receives a whole "bouquet" of unpleasant symptoms:
- Sharp pains ("lumbago")
- Visual and hearing impairments.
- Changes in intracranial pressure.
- Attacks of nausea.
- Limited mobility in the neck.
Medicines can reduce inflammation and pain. But they are not able to release the restrained nerve roots and blood vessels, set the intervertebral discs in the correct position and restore mobility. It can only special exercises. Therefore, therapeutic exercises are the most important component of the treatment of osteochondrosis.
Indications for the use of gymnastics
Therapeutic exercises are useful at any stage of osteochondrosis (there are four of them in this disease). However, it gives noticeable results only in the early stages. The presence of the disease and its stage is determined by the doctor. The reason for passing the examination and performing therapeutic exercises should be any of the symptoms listed above, as well as a crunch in the neck when moving.
Previously, cervical osteochondrosis was considered a disease of people of mature age (from 40-45 years old), but in recent years it has dramatically "younger" and occurs even in adolescents. The reason is prolonged motionless sitting at a computer or at a table. Therefore, even healthy young people do not hurt to study the set of exercises shown for cervical osteochondrosis and perform it for prevention purposes. This does not require any equipment and sportswear, you can do it at lunchtime or instead of a "smoke break".
Contraindications to therapeutic exercises
This does not mean that physiotherapy exercises can be done at any time and by anyone. Osteochondrosis can be in the acute stage, subacute and in remission. The acute stage is characterized by a clear manifestation of several symptoms of the disease (they are found in different people in a different set) and, of course, by severe pain when moving.
At the acute stage of osteochondrosis, it is necessary to remove pain and inflammation with the help of drugs (they will be prescribed by a doctor) and physiotherapy procedures in the clinic. Physical education is strictly contraindicated.
Only at the subacute stage can you start doing gymnastics. When moving the neck, there should be no sharp pain, dizziness, "flies" before the eyes, noise in the ears. Minor discomfort is acceptable. Also contraindicated:
- Serious disorders of blood pressure.
- Malignant tumors.
- Feverish conditions.
Classes at the stage of remission are required (at least 3 times a week). If treatment is started at an early stage, there is a chance that with a conscious attitude to physiotherapy exercises, the acute stage of the disease will not return for many years.
Rules for performing therapeutic exercises
Exercises for patients with cervical osteochondrosis are simple. They are movements of the head, shoulders and arms. But they should be carried out, adhering to a number of rules. Only in this case they will give a result.
- Before starting training, the muscles must be warmed up. The easiest way to do this is through self-massage.
- Movements must be performed with the maximum possible amplitude. It may be small at first, but should increase as you progress.
- Movements should be smooth, without jerks.
- The number of repetitions of each exercise is 5-10 times. If it is symmetrical, repetitions are counted separately in each direction.
- You can do gymnastics while sitting (with obligatory back support on the back of a chair or armchair) or standing. The first is even better, so it is convenient to do gymnastics in the office at the workplace.
- There should be no breaks in class. An exception is the transition of osteochondrosis to an acute stage or the appearance of a disease accompanied by a high temperature.
- Minor discomfort should be tolerated (unsharp mild pain, pulling sensation, crunch), especially at the beginning of classes. But if there is a sharp pain or other pronounced symptoms of osteochondrosis, you should immediately stop exercising and consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Often doctors recommend doing therapeutic exercises always at the same time. Compliance with this rule is desirable, but not required. If for some reason you can’t do it at the same time, you can do it at different times. It is important not to skip classes at all.
If you do not follow the rules of classes listed above, gymnastics will not only not help, but can also give the opposite result. Incorrectly performed movement can lead to pinching of the nerve or displacement of the intervertebral disc.
The main set of exercises for cervical osteochondrosis
Today, there are many systems for the treatment of osteochondrosis with the help of physiotherapy exercises. The choice can be made by yourself or on the advice of a doctor - all systems give results. There are also several basic exercises that are included in almost all complexes.
- Tilts of the head to the shoulders.
- Turns to the sides (in this case, you need to pull your chin to your shoulder).
- Turns to the sides with simultaneous application of the palm to the opposite shoulder.
- Tilts back and forth. It is good if, when tilting back, the head presses on the headrest of a chair or chair, overcoming a slight resistance.
- Raising and lowering the shoulders.
- Tilt the head to the shoulder while raising the other shoulder.
- Stretching the neck forward and pulling it back (called "chick peeking out of the nest").
- Stretching the neck forward, followed by turning the head to the side (called "goose").
- Tilts and turns of the head to the sides with arms raised and brought together above the head (called "fakir").
- Stretching the neck forward and up with the simultaneous abduction of straight arms behind the back (called the "seagull").
Also, patients with osteochondrosis are recommended to tilt their heads to the sides and forward, as well as turns to the sides with a very small amplitude. The number of repetitions in such cases should be greater (at least 10 times). These exercises are sometimes called "ay-ay-ay", "yes-yes" and "no-no". They are especially recommended for those who have the so-called "widow's hump" (aka "housewife's roller") - swelling in the region of the 7th cervical vertebra.
It is better if the first few classes will be held under the guidance of a specialist in physical therapy. He will teach you how to perform the exercises correctly, and then the patient himself will be able to do it. If getting to such a specialist is difficult, you can use the video tutorial.
The implementation of such a complex (in compliance with all the rules) will require no more than 20 minutes. So it is obvious - it is better to start exercising quickly than to endure all the troubles prepared for patients with cervical osteochondrosis.
Osteochondrosis of the neck is a disease that a doctor cannot cure. Without the active participation of the patient in the treatment process, he can not do. But, if you start doing therapeutic exercises on time, you can avoid unpleasant manifestations of osteochondrosis for a long time.