A pinched cervical nerve is a common disorder with a pronounced pain syndrome, which is amenable to complete cure, but this process requires patience and time, so it’s best to pay attention to preventive measures that will help to avoid the disease or at least its recurrence
A pinched nerve occurs when compression of the nerve roots extending from the spinal cord, vertebrae, intervertebral discs, muscles and various pathological entities. Pinched nerves cervical vertebrae is called cervical radiculopathy, entrapment of the occipital nerve — occipital neuralgia.
Pinched nerve in neck: causes, symptoms and how to treat
- Features of the structure of the cervical spine
- Possible causes pinched
- Signs and symptoms
- Possible consequences
- Basic methods of diagnosis
- How to treat a pinched nerve in the cervical spine?
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Problems with a pinched nerve in the cervical spine are widely spread, and the intensity of the pain with this pinched is much more pronounced than when the pinched nerve in other departments.
Features of the structure of the cervical spine
The cervical spine connects the head with the body and has a complex structure. His channel is very tightly is a large number of nerves and blood vessels, including the vertebral arteries that feed the brain. The cervical vertebrae are closely adjacent to each other through layers of the intervertebral discs. For violation of cushioning disks in different places of the cervical may experience pinched nerves, accompanied by movement disorders and pain.
Possible causes pinched
The main causes of pinched nerves and arteries of the cervical are the pathological changes in the spine:
- the growth of connective tissue;
- bony growths;
- the cervical osteochondrosis and its consequences (protrusion and disc herniation, reduction of the gap between the vertebrae, protrusion or prolapse, or disc);
- spasms of the back muscles;
- displacement or subluxation of the vertebrae.
To provoke a pinched nerve root of the cervical spine can:
- a sharp turn of the head;
- growing tumor or growing scars;
- a sedentary lifestyle, and weakness of supporting muscles;
- physical and emotional overload;
- acute diseases and exacerbation of chronic;
- endocrine disorders.
- Cramping in newborns and children
The cervical spine is most vulnerable in the infant, especially in the first two vertebrae. Almost all newborns are offset to a small extent. Initially the top division the child is still weak, the ligaments and muscles have not perform movement and a locking feature.
In the first days of the newborn can be symptoms of infringement of the cervical nerve:
- crying when changing position;
- crying when taking on hands;
- fixed torticollis, sometimes associated with displacement of the upper cervical vertebrae;
- tension in the muscles of the head and neck;
- seal soft tissues of the neck.
Usually the clinical picture is impinging on the nerve associated with the moment of birth, because often in childbirth injured the cervical spine and head.
Sometimes the offset of the cervical vertebrae that cause pinching of the nerve, is formed from a baby still in the womb.
- Cramping during pregnancy and childbirth
During pregnancy improper formation of the upper part of the cervical and displacement of individual vertebrae of the fetus can occur due to:
- incorrect presentation;
- entanglement of the umbilical cord;
- the narrow pelvis of the mother;
- disorders of the intestine and its constant pressure on the fetus;
- elderly mother;
- injuries of the pelvis of the mother;
- scoliosis of the lumbar spine of the mother.
In childbirth is the most frequently injured cervical spine of the newborn. Birth trauma of the cervical occurs due to overloads during passage through the birth canal. In the process of elimination during birth of the head and shoulders of the baby load on the cervical spine becomes excessive. Sometimes in this moment you hear the crunch.
Birth injuries with displacement of the cervical vertebrae occurring as a result of:
- the inconsistencies of the birth canal and size of the child at large fetus;
- diabetic fetopathy fetus;
- the abnormal positioning of the fetus;
- post-term pregnancy;
- of fetal anomaly (hydrocephalus);
- entanglement of the umbilical cord.
Signs and symptoms
Depending on the localization of pain are divided into:
- the cervicobrachialgia (pain in the arm and neck);
- the cervicalgia (neck pain).
In the cervical compression possible:
- artery (the vertebral-basilar syndrome);
- the occipital nerve;
- the spinal cord and nerve roots.
In some cases prejudiced at the same time the nerves (nerve roots) and blood vessels, resulting in deteriorating blood flow to a certain area, causing additional symptoms of stroke.
When the infringement of any of the eight cervical nerves (roots) appear common and specific features arising from the innervation and spasm of the vasculature of the vertebral artery.
Common symptoms are cerebral symptoms local localization, the main ones are:
- dizziness that occurs when sudden change in body position (orthostatic dizziness);
- headache, including migraine nature and the pain in the head;
- numbness and tingling in one or both hands, wrists or fingers;
- pain throughout the length of the hand until the thumb;
- pain in the neck, shoulders and shoulder blades shooting, tearing, stabbing, or burning type;
- decreased performance;
- memory impairment;
- decreased muscle tone of the hands;
- light paralysis and paresis;
- in severe cases violation of the innervations of the oral cavity with speech difficulties, swelling of the mucous membranes and difficulty swallowing.
The most severe effects can occur when simultaneously pinched cervical nerve and cervical arteries that pass through holes in the lateral processes of the vertebrae from the second to the sixth.
When this vascular headache is an intense throbbing in nature, spreading from occiput to forehead and intensifies with every movement of the head. The development of the disease may lead to ischemic stroke.
Basic methods of diagnosis
Diagnosis of entrapment is made on the basis of patient complaints, and with the help of special equipment. On the basis of complaints it is possible to identify a correspondence between the localization of symptoms of the disease and the place of pinching one of the eight cervical nerves emerging from each of the vertebrae (see table).
The area of the pinched nerve
Signs of pinched nerve
1st vertebra (C1)
Pain in the occipital region and the neck
2nd vertebra (C2)
ol in the occipital and parietal regions of the brain and neck
3rd vertebra (C3)
Pain and numbness of the half of the neck, where zashumila nerve, paralysis of the hyoid muscles, decreased sensitivity of the tongue, speech disorders, are extremely rare symptoms
4th vertebra (C4)
Pain and numbness in the upper arm and the collarbone area, reduced contractility of the muscles of the neck of the head, respiratory disorders, hiccups, pain in the liver and heart pain is extremely rare symptoms
5th vertebra (C5)
Pain and numbness at the top and outside of the shoulder and shoulder region and weakness of their muscles
The 6th vertebra (C6)
Pain and numbness along the entire length of arm (from the neck through the shoulder blade on the outer surface of the shoulder and arm down to the wrist and thumb), is a very common symptoms
The 7th vertebra (C7)
Pain along the entire length of arm (from the neck through the shoulder blade on the back of the shoulder and arm, the dorsum of the hand and to the middle finger), sometimes with numbness and tingling — symptoms are extremely rare
The 8th vertebra (C8)
Dysfunction hands pain and numbness throughout the arm length (from neck to arm to the little finger)
Hardware diagnostics if you suspect a pinched cervical nerve is performed with the use of computed tomography and radiography.
How to treat a pinched nerve in the cervical spine?
Surgery for the treatment of pinched neck nerve is prescribed only in extreme cases, if conservative treatment methods do not produce the desired results. First of all, the therapy of the disease which caused the jamming.
In addition to medical treatment apply:
- the hood of the spine;
- therapeutic massage;
- traditional methods of treatment.
Early in the disease measures are taken to relieve the acute pain, and only after that your doctor may prescribe other methods of treatment. Many degenerative processes, developing in the cervical spine, can be treated drug-free ways. Drugs are assigned mainly to relieve pain and inflammation in addition to complex cases, when the process identified in poor condition.
- First aid
Upon detection of the first signs of pinching you need to contact the neurologist to give a direction on an x-ray revealed the cause of the disease and prescribed the appropriate treatment.
- What to do till the doctor comes?
First of all, you need to take the following measures:
- take pain medication;
- lie on a hard surface and try not to move.
Mandatory the doctor prescribes B-vitamins and ointment for external use. The main properties of ointments and gels is a pain relief and deep heating.
In order to make it easier to sleep, prescribed a light sedative preparations or decoctions of mint, lemon balm, St. John’s wort, Valerian, motherwort.
To ensure the immobility of the cervical recommended wearing a locking collar.
To relieve neck spasms sometimes prescribe muscle relaxants with Methocarbamol that have effect of sedative, so after their reception it is impossible to control the car.
For quick relief of inflammation and intense pain can be used injections of corticosteroids, which are extreme radical measure because of side effects.
After the release of the patient from the acute phase are assigned:
- treatment with leeches;
After the treatment the patient is discharged chondro — preparations for the restoration of cartilage.
- Treatment at home
At home, when the pain prevents visits to physiotherapy, you can use the warming with heating pads, which is applied three times a day for 15 minutes to the affected area.
Instead of a warmer you can use a bag filled with heated sand or salt, warming plasters and compresses. In the presence of a swelling to reduce it apply ice packs.
For rubbing can use:
- the solution ten tablets of aspirin and a bottle of iodine in a glass of alcohol;
- ointments of pine resin;
- a mixture of pine oil of Valerian.
These recommendations are suitable for home treatment in compliance with all other doctor appointments.
- Treatment of folk remedies at home
Folk remedies for the treatment are divided into tools for external use (compresses and rubbing) and for internal use.
To compress with a wrap, traditional medicine offers:
- the infusion of garlic and red pepper three times a day;
- the cake of flour and honey at night;
- the pulp is pressed minced celery;
- the mixture of pressed pulp of crushed potatoes with a small proportion of kerosene for a few hours;
- the mixture of pressed pulp of crushed potato and horseradish (1:1) with one tablespoon of honey for half an hour through the day.
Regular rubbing for three days in 200 ml of vodka, insist leaves.
For internal use:
- the juice squeezed from the crushed celery;
- two-week infusion (in a dark warm place) barberry fruits in alcohol, diluted in half with water, one teaspoon 2 times a day;
- infusion of herbs: horsetail, fruits and leaves of barberry, knotweed, strawberry leaves in equal proportions (2 tablespoons, pour two cups of boiling water and insist 4 hours) 100 ml after a meal.
- Surgical treatment
If conservative treatment does not give a positive result, you should consider surgical intervention to eliminate the causes of infringement of the nerve.
The decision of having the surgery affected the patient’s medical history, his condition and age.
Postoperative recovery period usually takes from six to eight weeks.
After relieving the acute condition of pinched nerve recommended therapeutic massage, which promotes relaxation of the muscles of the neck, which can compress the nerve and improve blood flow.
A complex massage combining techniques General and targeted massage, eliminate pain, hypertonicity of muscles and muscle spasm, restore nerve conduction and blood flow to the brain. At the same time massage is the prevention of degenerative disc disease, a major cause of pinched nerve.
- Manual therapy
Manual therapy is aimed at relieving pressure on the pinched nerve, restore mobility of the spine, nerves release of pinched status and elimination of muscle spasm. As a result of ongoing events pain syndrome is removed. Sometimes manual therapy is appointed before a full recovery with the aim to remove the clamp of the nerve by hand.
Manual therapy can produce results in restoring the cushioning properties of the intervertebral discs and increase the gap between the vertebrae. In any case, the treatment focused more on the cause of the pinched nerve. Very rarely, treatment involves stretching the spine to eliminate the compressive effect.
Most often, a chiropractor frees the nerves and arteries from pinching thanks to the soft hand techniques. Manual therapy is not prescribed if the cause of the pinched nerve is the destruction of the fibrous ring of the disc or in the formation of a herniated disc.
Reflexology (acupuncture) is an ancient unique technique, which consists in the influence of special thin needles on the bioactive points located throughout the human body. Reflexology helps to reduce pain and blood pressure and eliminate muscle spasms.
Treatment program after pinching involves physiotherapy aimed at strengthening of the neck muscles that support the upper spine. These exercises are a good prevention of recurrent pinched nerves.
The complexes are selected for each patient individually, but the following exercises are included in almost any of them:
- stand up straight, put your chin to your chest and begin slowly lifting the chin up, reject the head back until it stops, repeat five times, half a minute rest and repeat again.
- clasping his hands on his head and pressure head, the maximum straining muscles of the neck and providing hands resisting the effort to repeat the first three times, and then for two weeks to increase the load on the neck muscles and the amount of exercise.
- Physical therapy
When pinched cervical nerve may be prescribed by the ultrasound treatment. The sound waves acting on the painful area, promote tissue regeneration and termination of the inflammatory process. With the same purpose appointed electrophoresis, including analgesics for pain relief.
- Spa treatment
After removing the acute symptoms of pinched nerve a patient recommended SANATORNO–resort treatment. In the sanatorium he can get a massage, a course of physiotherapy, physiotherapy, manual therapy, acupuncture or leech therapy. Very useful the treatment with sulphide and radon baths and mud therapy.
After completion of the primary stage of treatment should avoid excessive strain on the neck. At a constant work at a computer or Desk should take breaks and stretch your neck. You need to constantly maintain posture and doing exercises to strengthen the muscles of the neck. It is desirable to limit the weight lifting. To sleep better to purchase orthopedic pillow and mattress. Good for strengthening the muscles of the neck freely.
A pinched cervical nerve is a common disorder with a pronounced pain syndrome, which is amenable to complete cure, but this process requires patience and time, so it’s best to pay attention to preventive measures that will help to avoid the disease or at least its recurrence.published econet.ru.
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