Pain in the cervical spine is one of the most common problems in the population. In order to designate pain syndrome of non-visceral etiology, localized in the back or neck, the term “dorsopathy” was introduced. Currently, a huge number of people around the world face this disease. Treatment for this pathological process should be complex, including not only medications, but also physiotherapy procedures, massage, and so on. What is dorsopathy of the cervical spine and why does it occur?
Reasons for the development of dorsopathy of the cervical spine
Dorsopathy of the cervical spine is a collective term that combines all pathologies accompanied by pain syndrome and associated with degenerative changes in the spinal column. This disease has a chronic, gradually progressive course and, in the absence of timely medical care, can cause a number of serious complications, up to and including disability. It is worth noting that with such a pathological process, not only bone and cartilage tissues are captured, but also muscles and ligaments located nearby.
According to various sources, from 30 to 50% of people around the world experience neck pain. About 15% of people have chronic pain syndrome (lasting more than 3 months). Most often, dorsopathy of the cervical spine develops after 40 years. However, it should be noted that this pathology can occur at a younger age. Women are more likely than men to experience neck pain.
With such a lesion of the spine, the cervical spine suffers most often. This is presumably due to the high mobility of the neck, frequent increased stress on it, and so on. Earlier we have already said that if untreated, dorsopathy can lead to extremely serious complications. First of all, this can be attributed to the violation of blood flow to the brain due to compression of the vertebral arteries. Myelopathic syndrome, vegetative-vascular disorders, severe limitation of mobility in the cervical spine – all this can occur against the background of dorsopathy.
The classification of cervical spine dorsopathy includes three of its main forms:
- Deforming – caused by a pathological setting and curvature of the spinal column;
- Vertebral form – this includes traumatic, inflammatory and dystrophic spondylopathies;
- Discogenic form – characterized by degeneration of the annulus fibrosus.
There are many factors that can lead to the development of dorsopathy of the cervical spine. First of all, this includes frequent stress on the neck and traumatic effects. Pathological changes on the part of the feet, for example, flat feet, can lead to uneven load on the spine axis, and, as a result, overload of the cervical spine. Improper organization of the workplace, the use of too soft or hard mattress for sleeping, frequent stress, hereditary predisposition, endocrine and metabolic disorders – all this increases the risk of this disease.
The clinical picture of dorsopathy of the cervical spine
The main clinical manifestation of cervical dorsopathy is recurrent or persistent neck pain . The pain syndrome can be aching or shooting in nature, increases with head movements, often spreads to the back of the head. Another characteristic symptom is a crunch in the neck when tilting the head.
A sick person may complain of pain irradiation to the arm, sensory disturbances from the upper extremities. Examination reveals muscle spasm in the neck. The range of motion in the cervical spine gradually decreases, the mobility of the shoulders is limited.
When the vertebral artery is compressed, the clinical picture is complemented by headaches of a different nature, nausea. In severe cases, visual disturbances, tinnitus, dizziness, and coordination problems may occur.
In general, dorsopathies of the cervical spine can be accompanied by completely different symptoms. It all depends on the specific form in which the disease proceeds.