Today, cervical osteochondrosis is considered far from a rare disease, and it occurs not only in middle-aged patients, but also in relatively young people, which is most often due to inactivity or physical inactivity.
A similar pathological condition of the cervical vertebral tissues occurs mainly in accountants and programmers, writers and office workers, as well as in people whose profession involves prolonged sitting in a static position.
Improper load or lack of coordination in muscular activity causes degenerative disorders in the tissues. All this occurs during long work in an uncomfortable static position, during prolonged sitting, leaning on one arm, etc. But the neck is a transitional area from the spinal cord to the brain and many arteries and nerves that feed the brain pass through it.
Dystrophic disorders lead to compression of these supply lines, which causes functional disorders of the cervical vertebrae – difficulties with head movements (turning or tilting), which are accompanied by pain and muscle spasms. The processes of cerebral nutrition are also disrupted, which is manifested by frequent dizziness, semi-fainting, and frequent migraines.
The role of remedial gymnastics in cervical osteochondrosis
Treatment of osteochondrosis of the neck requires complex actions and necessarily includes gymnastic therapy. Therapeutic and gymnastic technique provides a lot of positive effects:
- Promotes the strengthening of muscle fibers;
- Increases vertebral resistance to harmful external influences;
- Reduces muscle tone, which is extremely important during osteochondrosis exacerbations;
- Strengthens the ligamentous- articular system;
- Increases articular-vertebral mobility;
- Restores material balance in the affected tissues.
Experts recommend starting with a good, positive attitude, getting a lot of pleasure from performing gymnastic elements. This approach promotes the release of dopamine (the hormone of pleasure), which is most beneficially reflected in the effectiveness of gymnastic treatment and the general condition of the body.
The benefits and lasting results of gymnastic procedures are ensured by fulfilling a certain list of rules, the observance of which prevents all kinds of damage to the nerve endings, the articular-ligamentous apparatus and excludes the development of osteochondrosis complications.
So the rules:
- Each gymnastic element must be previously agreed with a specialist in exercise therapy and only then is it allowed to be performed;
- Any element should bring a feeling of relief, but if the movements increase the pain syndrome, then they cannot be done;
- Exercises for cervical osteochondrosis should be performed correctly, therefore it is better to conduct the first trainings with a specialist or, in extreme cases, engage with video support;
- Overloads are not allowed;
- With osteochondrosis exacerbation, only those elements are allowed that exclude active movements;
- If circumstances require it, then training should be carried out in a special collar.
Following this simple list of rules ensures maximum effectiveness and lasting results of gymnastic therapy.
Home treatment complexes
Specialists have developed several most effective therapeutic and gymnastic complexes, taking into account the stage of development of osteochondrosis lesions. These groups of gymnastic elements differ in different intensity of performance and load in accordance with the severity of osteochondrosis lesions.
In general, gymnastic therapy is carried out in a gentle, training and treatment-training regime.
The movements performed in a group of elements of such a regime are aimed at vertebral mobilization and extension of the spine, elimination of muscle fiber spasms.
The therapeutic principle is based in this case on the performance of the elements in the supine position, when the cervical vertebrae are unloaded. For greater relief, it is necessary to put a small pillow under the head (preferably orthopedic) so that the neck is at a 15-20-degree slope.
When the symptoms of exacerbation begin to fade away, they begin to perform an isometric complex of elements, gradually increasing the level of load. If the cervical spine is unstable, then it is fixed with a special collar. The isometric complex is aimed at tensioning the cervical muscles in order to train them.
At the acute stage of cervical osteochondrosis development, it is recommended to perform the following elements for 5 minutes:
- Lie comfortably on your back with your legs bent and your arms extended along your body. Relax completely and breathe freely;
- I. p. Is similar to the previous one. Move your feet slowly, raising and lowering them;
- I. p. The same. Hands, palms up. Squeeze the hand firmly while inhaling deeply through the nose. Then open the brush and exhale slowly.
When the pain symptoms subside, they begin to perform more active therapeutic and gymnastic exercises:
- Lie on your back. Press your chin to your chest. Repeat such pressing about five times;
- Placed on your back, put a small roller under your knees. Cross your arms over your chest. Change hands: left over right, then vice versa;
- Draw in your stomach, while taking a deep breath and staying in a similar position for 5 seconds, then slowly exhale and relax the muscles;
- Standing on all fours, raise and lower your head. The rhythm is slow and smooth.
Gradually, when the vertebrae begin to get used to training, the duration of therapeutic and gymnastic sessions is increased, supplementing with more active elements.
Therapeutic training regimen
Training in this mode increases the performance and endurance of the cervical muscle corset and relieves motor disorders in the vertebral segments that have been affected.
Medical and training exercises are used after the complete elimination of acute symptoms in order to increase the tone and strengthen muscle tissues.
An important point in such a training is the inadmissibility of performing elements with lifting straight legs or trunk from a supine position, as this can lead to osteochondrosis exacerbation. In addition, exercise therapy trainers (for more details here) recommend excluding forward bends from training, since they also heavily load the spine.
During the treatment and recovery period, it is strongly recommended to perform elements aimed at strengthening and increasing the stability of the cervical muscles:
- Stretching the chin forward;
- Raise your head, as if looking at the sky, then lower your head, looking at the floor;
- Head turns to the sides;
- Raising the shoulders;
- Tilt your head to the sides while resisting with your palm;
- Throwing back the head.
Physiotherapy practice shows that the greatest efficiency of such trainings is achieved when performed together with isometric elements.
The training regimen is aimed at stabilizing the vertebrae, it is used as a preventive measure or as a therapeutic technique at the stage of osteochondrosis remission. You can perform the following elements:
- Lie on a thin pillow and press your head as hard as possible on the floor;
- From a prone position on the stomach with hands placed on the back of the head, perform head lifts, while resisting with your hands;
- From a lying position on your side, perform head lifts while holding it in weight for 8 seconds.
Such training helps to avoid osteochondrosis disorders in the vertebrae and significantly strengthens the cervical-muscular corset.
Simple gymnastic elements developed by Dr. Bubnovsky have proven their highest therapeutic efficacy in anti-osteochondrosis treatment.
Such a therapeutic and gymnastic complex is suitable for all patients, regardless of their physical fitness.
According to observations, Bubnovsky’s gymnastics alleviates the condition after a week of regular exercise, although daily exercises for three months are necessary to achieve significant therapeutic progress.
Dr. Bubnovsky recommends fighting the disease by performing the following elements:
- Move your head back and forth;
- Raise your shoulders to the maximum possible limit;
- Make head turns with manual resistance;
- Tilting the head all the way with the chin to the chest;
- Circular head movements;
- Turning the head to the maximum possible limit.
This is the basic set of elements recommended by Bubnovsky to be performed for cervical osteochondrosis lesions. There are other exercises for which you may need a simulator, so they should be performed in the physical room of a polyclinic or dispensary.
Regular performance of the therapeutic and gymnastic complex helps to acquire an even posture, due to improved blood circulation, to increase the activity of the brain, stop further osteochondrosis progression and improve the condition of the vertebrae and adjacent tissues.