Dizziness is a common occurrence, which affects approximately one in seven people, and which manifests itself in the sensation of the movement of the surrounding world before the eyes or loss of balance, a sense of instability. Sometimes this phenomenon is accompanied by nausea, darkening of the eyes, tinnitus, hearing loss, other phenomena. Dizziness can have many causes. One of them is cervical osteochondrosis. We will explain why neck osteochondrosis can contribute to the occurrence of this phenomenon, and will advise how to fight it.
Causes of vertigo
Dizziness occurs as a result of disturbed activity of the vestibular apparatus, which is responsible for the orientation of a person in space. The causes of the symptom are extremely diverse, and the symptom itself may indicate a serious illness, as well as a slight temporary failure of the body.
Dizziness may be due to:
- brain diseases (injuries, tumors, hemorrhages);
- pathologies of the vestibular nerve or inner ear (viral infection, Meniere’s disease, etc.);
- vascular disorders (impaired blood supply to the brain, stroke, blood pressure surges);
- hypoglycemia (lowering blood sugar levels);
- intoxication (alcohol, drugs, some medications);
- stress, fatigue, anxiety, hunger, seasickness and other factors.
With such an abundance of causes and factors capable of provoking dizziness, it is necessary to consult specialists (a neurologist and an otolaryngologist) for diagnosis and adequate treatment. Seeing a doctor should be urgent if dizziness is accompanied by symptoms such as:
- headache or chest pain;
- heart rhythm disorder;
- loss of consciousness;
- hearing, vision, or speech impairment;
- numbness of the limbs or part of the face;
- violation of motor functions.
Vertigo with osteochondrosis of the neck
Often the cause of dizziness is cervical osteochondrosis – a pathological process characterized by degenerative changes in the bone and cartilage system of this part of the spinal column. This is manifested in the gradual deformation of the intervertebral discs and cartilage, which perform depreciation functions with loads on the vertebrae. The consequence of the reduction of these functions is the consistent deterioration of the vertebrae, their displacement, the proliferation of processes. The pathological process also involves nerves, blood vessels and muscles.
The development of these changes occurs under the influence of age (natural aging of the organism), various infectious, autoimmune and other diseases. But to a large extent, these destructive processes are accelerated by the wrong lifestyle of a person. A sitting position with a bowed head, in which the muscles of the body tighten, a sedentary lifestyle and poor diet, overwork and stress – all this disrupts metabolic processes, weakens the immune system, adversely affecting the musculoskeletal and vascular systems of the body, including in the neck.
Dizziness in osteochondrosis occurs due to spasm or compression of the deformed or displaced vertebrae of the vertebral arteries (or one of them), which provide blood supply to the brain and vestibular system. This is manifested by symptoms, which together are called the vertebral artery syndrome. In addition to dizziness, these include:
- headache pain usually appearing in the occipital region, then addictive and other parts;
- pain or crunch when turning the head;
- noise in ears;
- nausea and vomiting, which often accompany dizziness in osteochondrosis of the neck;
- short-term darkening of the eyes or fainting with sudden dropping back and turning of the head.
Dizziness: treatment and prevention
When the patient complains of dizziness, treatment is prescribed only after a thorough examination and identification of the cause of its occurrence. Medical care should be directed not only at improving the patient’s condition, but mainly at eliminating this cause. Only then will it be effective. Diagnostics for dizziness, in addition to clarifying the clinical picture by a specialist (neurologist or otolaryngologist), may include x-rays, MRI, computed tomography of the head and neck, ultrasound scan of blood vessels supplying the brain, and other examinations.
Vertigo in osteochondrosis of the neck requires measures to combat not only the symptom, but also its cause, that is, with pathological changes in this part of the spine to restore normal blood supply to the vestibular apparatus and the brain. Drug treatment includes the appointment of:
- drugs to improve cerebral blood supply;
- antispasmodic and vasodilators;
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that fight not only with inflammation, but also with swelling and pain;
- chondroprotectors (drugs that promote the restoration of cartilage of intervertebral discs).
If cervical osteochondrosis is the cause of dizziness, treatment should include not only drugs, but physiotherapy and physical therapy, which should be prescribed and developed by specialists individually for each patient. Physical therapy is a great way prophylaxis cervical osteochondrosis.
Exercise therapy and a healthy lifestyle to combat cervical osteochondrosis
Special exercises are designed to strengthen the muscles and ligaments of the neck, their acquisition of elasticity, which should help to keep the spine in the correct position, eliminating the phenomena that lead to circulatory disorders and dizziness. However, it is necessary to remember that effective Exercise therapy will be only if it is engaged every day and throughout life.
When dizziness worries, treatment should be accompanied by measures to organize a healthy lifestyle, which implies:
- reasonable alternation of work and rest;
- refusal of a sedentary lifestyle, prolonged sitting in front of a computer, tablet and other gadgets;
- sufficient physical activity;
- avoiding excessive doses of alcohol and smoking;
- healthy sleep using an orthopedic pillow and mattress.
In case of dizziness, a diet that can support recovery processes in the region of the cervical spine can also be a peculiar treatment. The basic principles of such a diet should be the following:
- restriction of salt, sugar, caffeine, butter products;
- rejection of fried, fatty, spicy, smoked, pickled dishes;
- otherwise, the diet should be complete: meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, cereals, vegetables and fruits;
- A special place should be occupied by dishes with gelling substances (cold asses, aspic, jellies), which contribute to the restoration of cartilage.
Food with osteochondrosis of the neck and the associated vertigo should be rational and moderate. Eating is necessary in small portions up to 5-6 times a day. Neither starvation nor overeating should take place. A healthy lifestyle and systematic physical therapy exercises are fully capable of resolving the problem of vertigo in osteochondrosis.