Such damage to the spine, or rather, to the intervertebral discs, such as osteochondrosis, is increasingly common in our time. This is one of the diseases from which absolutely no one is immune. The risk increases with age, however young people can also suffer from osteochondrosis.
Particularly unfortunate is the fact that, in the absence of adequate treatment, osteochondrosis actively provokes the development of a whole range of concomitant diseases. Among them are arterial hypertension, neuralgia, increased intracranial pressure, metabolic disorders, limited mobility of the head and back, and many others. Sometimes the condition of patients becomes critical, there is a serious risk to life.
In representatives of different sexes, the course of osteochondrosis has its own characteristics. Of the five patients with osteochondrosis, three are women. The weaker sex at the same time suffers from more pronounced symptoms and is also much more likely to suffer from side effects of the disease. This trend is explained by the specifics of the work of the female body.
Features of the disease
According to statistics, osteochondrosis in women mainly affects the cervical region. This is because the cervical vertebrae are much more fragile than others. Also in the neck area there are extremely fragile muscles and a fairly thin bone structure. Due to this, the constant pressure, the load on the spine have a faster and stronger effect on this area.
Women often perform jobs considered risky in terms of osteochondrosis of the neck: a cashier, a seamstress, a computer operator, an accountant. At the same time, it is extremely difficult to notice the initial stages of the development of the disease, as the patient may not experience any severe pain or special discomfort. Meanwhile, when the symptoms are detected, osteochondrosis can already lead to significant degenerative processes, disrupt the functioning of the nervous system and blood flow, and this is fraught with deterioration of the nutrition of brain tissues.
It is extremely dangerous if, in addition, a woman encounters one or more of the following manifestations.
- menopause and related problems of the cellular metabolism of cartilage and bone tissues;
- genetic predisposition to osteochondrosis, other similar diseases;
- hematopoietic problems;
- hormonal disruptions;
- metabolic disease;
- scoliosis, curvature of posture;
There are a number of factors that, with prolonged exposure, will inevitably lead to the disease. In view of the characteristics of the organism, it is possible to separately distinguish quite specific causes of the development of osteochondrosis in women. They are based on three stages in the development of the disease in ascending order.
- First stage. It is caused by a regular overload of the muscle fibers of the neck due to the uncomfortable position.
- Second phase. It is caused by the onset of tissue degeneration in the intervertebral discs, as well as in the vertebrae themselves. There is a feeling of numbness, deterioration in the sensitivity of the limbs, limited mobility of the spine.
- Third stage. Associated with the development of intervertebral hernia. Motor activity is blocked, fibrous rings are torn. Pain covers the neck, head, thoracic region, vertebral artery syndrome develops.
The main provocateurs of female osteochondrosis include the following:
- strong emotional and physical stress;
- regular and prolonged forced stay in a position where the neck is squeezed or there is a need to tilt the head forward;
- spinal injury;
- increased pressure on the spine (for example, during pregnancy, overweight);
- abnormal changes in the structure of the skeleton;
This is a group of general causes that contribute to the development of the disease, but without the first group of factors they are unable to provoke it.
- hormonal disorders;
- age-related degenerative changes;
- autoimmune, vegetative problems;
- frequent hypothermia of the body;
- excess weight;
Symptoms of the disease
Symptoms of cervical osteochondrosis appear in women in the same way as in men. The main ones are listed below.
- The main alarm is pain. Cervical osteochondrosis is characterized by frequent sharp or paroxysmal pains in the neck (less often - the back of the head and face). The sensation intensifies if you try to move your head.
- Often there is limited mobility, spasms of the neck, thoracic region.
- After age 50, many patients experience tinnitus, impaired vision, hearing, and intense snoring.
- Sometimes the disease causes a loud crunch when turning the neck.
- Another common symptom is dizziness, a gradual loss of coordinated movement.
The very first signs of the disease should lead the woman to understand the need for urgent action. A number of diagnostic and therapeutic methods can only be selected by a doctor, so the listed symptoms are a reason for urgent medical attention.
The condition is considered especially dangerous if a constant state of lack of air, a feeling of coma in the throat, closed ears, clouding of the eyes are added to these manifestations.
Elimination of the disease or its main symptoms is necessarily preceded by a complete diagnosis. For this, computed tomography, ultrasound and doppler, and sometimes X-ray machines are involved. A prerequisite is the preventive diagnosis of osteochondrosis in older women, the rest should be done if a disease is suspected.
Effective therapeutic measures are based on an integrated approach, as well as taking into account the individual characteristics of a particular clinical case. Depending on the stage of development of osteochondrosis, some approaches may be effective.
The following points must be taken into account in the treatment of women:
- the presence of diseases of the cardiovascular system;
- the quality of the endocrine system.
Therapy with classical medicines is the standard approach, simpler, but at the same time very effective. However, drug treatment of cervical osteochondrosis is carried out in women only if the more benign options have shown their ineffectiveness.
Before turning to medical preparations, a woman is advised to turn to herbal infusions (chamomile, dandelion roots, celandine), natural compresses (from wax leaves, burdock or horseradish, garlic cloves, cottage cheese with vinegar, honey) . They also resort to aromatic baths, lifestyle correction and nutrition, stress relief.
They cover the lack of effectiveness of these drugs with classical medicine. These are analgesics and non-steroidal drugs. Taking both groups of drugs is always carried out taking into account the phase of the menstrual cycle.
At the end of the cycle, with an increase in pain sensitivity, a decrease in the body's defenses, the dose of analgesics increases. For menopausal women, analgesics are consistently recommended at higher dosages. At the same time, for pregnant women, as well as at the beginning of the menstrual cycle, analgesics are minimized.
The specificity of the treatment of female osteochondrosis is the regular intake of sedatives. Mood swings, irritability and stress greatly interfere with the progress of any therapeutic or preventive technique, if we are talking about a weaker field.
More difficult cases include the additional intake of chondroprotectors and corticosteroids.
Properly selected gymnastic complexes are an integral part of a balanced therapy. Treatment of the consequences of cervical osteochondrosis in women focuses, among other things, on the return of mobility in this part of the body, and here is the physical therapy complex the main help.
Specific exercises are always selected by the doctor. In this case, both classic movements (inclinations and turns of the head, rotation of the shoulders) and specific movements can be involved. Often, yoga poses are used to relieve pain. Such treatment is also allowed at home, if the complex is carried out regularly and clearly according to the prescriptions of doctors.
Along with physical therapy, neck massage, manual therapy and a special diet work well against osteochondrosis. These exercise methods can have an added effect. The mode of massage sessions for women is selected taking into account the cycle. Also, with special care, a massage technique is determined for women during menopause.
After recovery, it is extremely important to follow preventive measures with utmost clarity. This will help avoid relapses and are common with osteochondrosis, mainly due to the repeated influence of causative factors.