This syndrome is a significant violation of cerebral circulation due to compression of the blood vessels that feed the brain.
REFERENCE! Vertebral arteries provide 30% of the blood supply to the brain.
In the spine are two vertebral arteries. They are located symmetrically relative to the central axis of the spine. If you imagine a healthy spine, it is located strictly upright, like the blood vessels in it.
With cervical osteochondrosis, the vertebrae, discs, joints of the cervical spine change their position – they are displaced. As a result, the spine in this zone resembles the English letter z or s. Accordingly, blood vessels take a different form, and blood cannot move freely through the vertebral arteries.
Due to the protrusion of the intervertebral discs, muscle cramps occur, and the vessels experience an increased load, as a result of which the blood circulation is disturbed and blood pressure may increase. Although SPA is considered an independent disease, most often it is precisely a complication of cervical osteochondrosis.
At the initial stages, the prognoses are favorable: if the patient consulted the doctor on time, the blood flow of the vertebral arteries can be completely restored with the help of massage and drug therapy. In advanced cases, when a person ignores the symptoms, SPA leads to serious consequences, up to a decrease in working capacity, frequent ischemic attacks, disability, stroke and death.
- Common pathologies
- Stenosis and occlusion
- Consequences and possible complications
- Disease classification
- Symptoms of ailment
- Methods of diagnosis
- Vertebral artery syndrome in cervical osteochondrosis: symptoms and treatment
- What is the syndrome fraught with
There are various types of arterial pathologies that, as a result, lead to impaired cerebral circulation. Here are the main ones.
The tortuosity of vertebrates, as in principle, and the carotid arteries, occurs under the influence of hereditary factors. Due to the predominance of elastic fibers over collagen. As a result, the artery becomes more “sluggish.”
Types of crimp (pathology):
- S-shaped is a smooth crimp of an artery. As a rule, it does not cause sharp symptoms. Diagnosed during the examination, as a rule, ultrasound dopplerography.
- Kinking – kink at an acute angle. Often arises also under the influence of hereditary factors. But it manifests itself even in childhood, since the child manifests insufficiency of cerebral circulation, in the form of headaches, nausea, vomiting, tinnitus, shakiness, etc.
- Coiling – this tortuosity manifests itself in the form of a loop. There is no sharp bend in this case. But the intensity of blood flow decreases in this area, and accordingly, higher, that is, in the brain.
As a result of pathological tortuosity of the vertebral artery, the following symptoms occur:
- Headaches, both minor and transient in migraines.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Fainting states.
- Dizziness and the appearance of flies in the eyes.
- Awkwardness in coordination of movements.
- A person is sometimes able to suddenly lose balance.
- Perhaps the occurrence of paresis in the upper limbs.
- Various speech disorders.
The operation is carried out only in the event of a threat of ischemic stroke.
In other, not so serious cases, standard conservative medication is used to treat the symptoms.
Stenosis and occlusion
With occlusion, the artery is narrowed due to the formation of a blood clot. In this case, a complete blockage occurs, that is, the blood stops flowing further along its channel. As soon as occlusion occurs, its development can be divided into 4 main stages:
- An asymptomatic condition, which can only be detected by conducting specific examinations.
- Ischemic attack. At this point, the vessel is not completely plugged. Symptoms disappear within 1 day.
- With the development of the course of the disease, regular manifestations of neurological symptoms, such as headache, high blood pressure, occur.
- Stroke, as a result of a completely clogged artery.
The main symptoms are:
- Localized pain in the area of the formation of a blood clot.
- The vessel does not pulsate on the neck precisely in the area where the thrombus is formed.
- The skin becomes characteristic pallor. Subsequently, cyanosis forms.
- In the area and around the place where the thrombus formed, there is a sensation of goosebumps, tingling, numbness and other similar symptoms. This is the so-called paresthesia. As a result, skin insensitivity is still observed.
To eliminate occlusion resort to:
- Anticoagulants that can be injected.
- Anticoagulants in the form of tablets.
- Thrombolytics prescribed by your doctor.
- Thrombectomy, as an effective elimination of occlusion by surgery, in the case of ineffective medication.
Stenosis occurs when the lumen in the artery decreases by half due to the appearance of sclerotic plaques. The following symptoms appear (regardless of whether the arteries suffer from the right, left, or simultaneously on both sides):
- Severe headaches not amenable to drug exposure.
- Lumbar pain They can significantly increase with increasing loads.
- Goosebumps, itching, numbness to a greater or lesser extent.
- The manifestation of hypertension.
- The causes of vascular stenosis are as follows:
- Hereditary predisposition.
- Violations of metabolic processes in the body caused by various diseases.
- Age-related changes in the body, as a rule, they appear after 40 years of age.
- Injured vessels.
Ways to eliminate stenosis are:
- Medication, for example, drugs of the statin group.
- Surgical intervention.
Aplasia accompanies cerebral diseases. It is expressed in the underdevelopment of a certain part of the Velizian circle, or rather the connecting arteries from one or the other side, or from two at the same time.
Hypoplasia on the right side is characterized by increased meteosensitivity, weakness, increased fatigue, inability to concentrate, memory loss, speech impairment, decreased sensitivity of the skin in different parts of the body.
Hypoplasia on the left side can lead to congestion in organs, ischemia, pain in the cervical spine, hypertension.
One of the main reasons affecting the appearance of vertebral artery syndrome is cervical osteochondrosis. In addition, it can be diseases that contribute to the formation of cholesterol plaques, clogging blood vessels.
But the following concomitant factors can enhance the symptoms and adversely affect the course of the disease:
- Head injury.
- Diabetes mellitus, both type 1 and type 2.
- Ingestion of excess caffeine in the form of tea or coffee, especially if the dose is large.
- A variety of kidney diseases that can increase swelling and poorly remove excess water from the body.
- Diseases of the cardiovascular system.
- Infections in the body.
In addition, the patient’s appearance itself can tell about how the blood flow is disturbed.
If the venous outflow is disturbed, dark circles under the eyes will appear on the face. Bags may also appear.
With vertebral artery syndrome, namely when the artery malfunctions, a person’s face acquires an earthy tint.
If the arterial current increases, and the venous outflow is worsened, then there will be hyperemia of the skin.
The anatomy of the vertebral artery, both left and right, is arranged in such a way that they are protected by openings of the transverse processes, starting from the 6th vertebra and up to the 2nd, inclusive. The vertebral artery departs in the overwhelming majority of cases from the subclavian artery, and only in every 20th person is it diverted from the aortic arch.
Then the vertebral arteries pass through the vertebra Atlanat (1st vertebra) and pass through the posterior large opening in the skull to the brain.
Sometimes, with the development of the fetus, he develops a tortuosity of the vertebral artery of one or two at a time. This condition is congenital and occurs most often due to genetic heredity. With it, a decrease in collagen fibers in the vessels is observed, as a result of which they become more “soft” and supple.
This condition requires the supervision of a doctor, since at an early stage of development of the child, insufficient supply of the brain can have negative consequences for its development, starting from the articulatory apparatus, ending with cognitive impairment and the formation of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Vertebral arteries can change in the process of life.
A decrease in blood flow can occur for two main reasons, each of which can be divided into additional ones.
The first reason is an external effect, expressed in degenerative changes in the spine, in the cervical region. That is, vertebral artery syndrome most often occurs against the background of cervical osteochondrosis. Displacement of the vertebrae, the formation of protrusions and hernias, pinching of the roots of the nerves, spasms in the muscles of the neck and shoulders form either excessive pressure or displacement of the artery. This reduces the amount of blood that flows through the arteries, which causes further health problems.
The second reason is the internal effect on the human arteries. As a result of various deviations in the metabolic processes of the body, plaques from cholesterol appear, the walls of the vessels become more fragile and brittle. All this leads to the formation of a small lumen diameter in the artery. The result is a decrease in blood circulation, with all the ensuing consequences.
There are two types of classification of the causes of the syndrome. According to the first, there are three groups of reasons:
- acquired as a result of vascular disease;
- acquired as a result of diseases of the bone, muscle system, tumors.
According to another classification, there are two groups of reasons:
- Vertebrogenic (associated with the spine);
- non-vertebrogenic (not related to the spine).
Anomalies of the spine that can trigger SPA:
- intervertebral hernia,
- degenerative-dystrophic changes,
- osteophyte overgrowth as a result of spondylosis,
- inflammation of the facet joints,
- vertebral injuries
Risk factors associated with blood vessels are hypertension, atherosclerosis, thrombosis, arthritis, arthrosis, ankylosing spondylitis, embolism and other diseases associated with a decrease in vascular lumen.
Separately, tumors in the neck, muscle cramps, sharp turns and tilts of the head, and trauma to the spine can be distinguished.
Congenital causes of SPA:
- Kimmerley anomaly, in which an additional bone arch is present in the cervical spine;
- excessive tortuosity of blood vessels, excesses of the artery;
- congenital hypoplasia;
- congenital instability of the vertebrae;
- asymmetry of blood flow in the vertebral arteries (pathology in which arteries develop unevenly);
- birth injuries.
It is worth noting that congenital pathologies for many years may not make themselves felt and do not disturb a person. But then the vertebral artery syndrome and its cause associated with the congenital features of the vascular or musculoskeletal system are revealed. Sometimes the cause of SPA is several factors at once.
With such violations, patients often turn to the therapist. For the diagnosis are assigned:
- X-ray of the cervical spine;
- MRI or CT of the area;
- duplex scanning of vertebral arteries;
- vertebral dopplerography on the background of functional loads.
Interestingly, the vertebral artery on the left is more often affected. This is due to the structural features of the blood vessel.
In order to correctly diagnose and determine the deficit of blood flow in the main arteries, the doctor may prescribe:
- Doppler ultrasound. With the help of it, the direction and speed of blood in the arteries is determined.
- With the help of compression samples, the resource that will be necessary to normalize the blood supply is detected.
- Duplex scanning – determine the quality of the walls of blood vessels.
- Dopplerography – indications for its implementation – surgical intervention in the brain.
- Angiography – allows you to adjust the left or right vertebral artery.
Consequences and possible complications
In the absence of treatment or its low effectiveness, SPA can lead to serious consequences.
The first thing a patient may encounter is an extensive circulatory disorder in any area of the brain. Due to a lack of oxygen, necrosis of a certain part of the brain can occur.
In other words, one of its structures ceases to function. Initially, the functions of this area are taken over by neighboring zones, but over time, the load becomes too large, and the irreversible loss of the functional brain structure is determined.
Depending on which zone of the brain has stopped working, a person may lose vision, hearing, speech, a decrease in intellectual activity, psychoemotional disturbances, and mental disorders can be noted. In some cases, there is a violation of motor activity up to numbness of the limbs and paralysis. So, a person becomes incapacitated.
Another consequence is the destruction of bone tissue due to narrowing of blood vessels.
SPA can lead to ischemic stroke. Often it is preceded by ischemic attacks. This is the most serious consequence of the disease, which often ends in the death of the patient.
Sometimes in case of circulatory disorders, the body compensates for it by increasing blood pressure. Hypertension affects the work of the whole organism, worsens the general condition, accelerates the process of wear of the heart muscle and can lead to myocardial infarction.
Finally, with severe bouts of dizziness and impaired coordination, when the disease reaches a severe stage, a person may bump, fall, lose consciousness, which can also lead to death in the absence of first aid.
The main preventive measure of the syndrome is the normalization of motor activity and sleep and wakefulness.
With the same work, whether it is office work at the computer or work “on foot”, it is imperative to take breaks with a cardinal change of activity. If a person has to sit for several hours in a row, at least once an hour you need to get up and walk or do a little workout. When standing work, on the contrary, it is recommended to sit down occasionally.
Regardless of the type of activity, you must definitely go in for sports at least 3-4 times a week. It can be either professional work in the gym with a trainer, or a regular jog in the yard, walking or exercising in the morning.
The vessels and the musculoskeletal system are positively affected by general massage for prophylactic purposes, visiting the bathhouse, walking in the fresh air, proper nutrition. Foods with a high content of all vitamins, micro and macro elements, especially calcium, must be present in the diet.
An unconditional item in the list of preventive measures is the rejection of bad habits. A healthy 8-hour sleep should be on a comfortable bed in a comfortable position, so it is preferable to opt for an orthopedic bed, mattress or pillow.
Properly sized clothing plays a special role: squeezing cuffs, turtleneck collars and tight jeans can adversely affect blood supply. Finally, even with a slight ailment, you should consult a doctor and not self-medicate.
Vertebral artery syndrome has been rapidly growing younger. Young people and middle-aged people are often forced to work in conditions that can lead to cervical osteochondrosis and SPA, malnutrition provokes the accumulation of “bad” cholesterol and the formation of plaques in the vessels, which, in turn, leads to atherosclerosis. By following preventive measures, the development of the disease and its consequences can be avoided.
To maintain all brachiocephalic arteries in a healthy state, it is necessary:
- Monitor your body weight, avoiding strong fluctuations in the direction of its increase.
- Make the right diet. It should be completely eliminated harmful fats, fast food dishes that contribute to the formation of sclerotic plaques.
- Perform daily special exercises.
- Maintaining an active lifestyle, but in moderation, without undue stress, as they also negatively affect the body.
- Do not resort to neck massage on your own or by unskilled specialists.
- Do not make sharp head movements, as this can provoke injuries of the cervical spine, pinching of the nerve roots and constricting of the vessels.
Each of the vertebral arteries is located on the back of the neck, slightly on the side (each on its own side) and equips with such parts of the brain as:
- And, accordingly, the cervical spinal cord.
It follows from this that the earlier the diagnosis is made, with a qualitatively conducted examination, the faster and easier it will be possible to get rid of the symptoms. In addition, prevent the development of more serious pathologies. Treating which will be much more difficult than in the initial stages of the disease.
Symptoms of the vertebral artery syndrome in cervical osteochondrosis can occur depending on the type of disorder:
- With a dystonic (functional) type of disorder, the patient will be disturbed by the characteristic symptoms in the form of a headache, visual impairment, nausea, and dizziness. Headache is usually aching or throbbing in nature, worse with neck movements or forced stay in one position.
- Ischemic (organic) type is accompanied by the development of morphological disorders in the cerebral tissue. Changes can be reversible, while during the ailment the coordination of movements is disturbed, nausea, which turns into vomiting, impaired speech and a general disorder of speech motor skills, is observed. With irreversible changes, the risk of developing ischemic stroke increases.
When the first signs of violations appear, the patient is advised to seek the advice of a therapist, neurologist or vertebrologist, and undergo a comprehensive examination. According to the results, the doctor will choose the appropriate treatment strategy.
Symptoms of ailment
Since SPA is a complex symptom complex, the simultaneous development of several signs of disturbance at once is possible. In some cases, a single symptom may play a leading role. SPA is characterized by the development of the following disorders:
- With the development of posterior cervical sympathetic syndrome (found under the name of Barre-Lieu syndrome), complaints arise about painful sensations in the neck and neck, which can go to the crown of the head and forehead, as well as visual impairment. The development and intensification of pain is observed immediately after waking up (especially with an uncomfortable position of the patient’s body and neck during sleep), intense physical activity, driving in shaking vehicles, and also due to head turning.
- The development of the ophthalmic syndrome is accompanied by increased fatigue of the pupils after exertion, a visual field defect appears in the form of a blind spot. The patient may complain of the appearance of “stars”, “sparks” in front of the eyes, this symptom is mainly reversible. In some cases, the development of conjunctivitis, redness of the eyes, complaints of a foreign body in the eye area, pain in the eyeballs are observed.
- With drop attacks, weakness appears in all limbs, followed by a violation of their motor activity. In this case, the patient may suddenly fall, but remain conscious. Such a symptom occurs if you sharply throw your head back.
- For a transient ischemic attack, visual impairment, sensitivity and motor activity, the development of dizziness and vomiting, are characteristic.
- Vegetative failures are observed during an exacerbation of vertebral artery syndrome. Symptoms are manifested in the form of increased sweating, flushing of heat or cold, chills, fluctuations in blood pressure, sleep disturbances. The patient may complain of a lack of air, palms and feet becoming wet and cold.
- With Unterharnscheidt syndrome, a person has the opportunity to lose consciousness for a short period of time. A similar reaction may be due to a sharp turn of the head. After the victim comes to his senses there are complaints about the development of weakness in the arms and legs.
- During vestibular disorders, complaints of dizziness caused by a sharp turn of the head, darkening in the eyes, and the development of vomiting begin. The patient can observe an imbalance and a feeling of instability during walking, hearing problems, tinnitus.
Among the main reasons that provoke the development of vertebral artery syndrome, there are:
- The impact of extravasal factors in the form of vertebral instability, the effects of osteochondrosis of the intervertebral hernia, tumors, cervical spondylarthrosis. In this case, the syndrome develops under the influence of reflex spasms.
- Artery deformation, provoked by anomalies in the anatomical structure of the vascular walls, kinks or pathological tortuosity.
- The effects of atherosclerosis, embolism, systemic vasculitis, thrombosis of various origins.
- Injury received during birth. The danger is that congenital disorders may not occur for a long time.
The development of the syndrome is observed if compression of the arteries is accompanied by pathological changes in the vascular walls. One of the main reasons for the development of vertebral artery syndrome is cervical osteochondrosis.
At risk are people with these diseases, as well as those who, in infancy (during childbirth), injured their backs. Vertebral artery syndrome is often observed after injuries sustained in a traffic accident. Often, when an ailment occurs in adults whose professional activities require a prolonged sitting position (office workers).
Methods of diagnosis
- X-ray of the cervical spine, which allows to identify osteochondrosis, structural abnormality, excessive joint mobility.
- Magnetic resonance imaging of the spine in order to assess the condition of the spinal cord and its roots.
- Computed tomography, if there is a need for more detailed information.
- Rheoencephalography to detect concomitant vascular disorders.
- Ultrasound scan of cerebral vessels and duplex scanning to study blood flow.
In some cases, brain MRI, ophthalmoscopy, and audiometry are additionally prescribed. According to the results, treatment will be prescribed to eliminate the root cause of vertebral artery syndrome and related disorders.
Depending on the type of disease and the manifesting symptoms, treatment of the vertebral artery syndrome in cervical osteochondrosis can be carried out in an inpatient or outpatient setting.
In acute disorders of cerebral circulation, immediate hospitalization of the victim is required. The treatment regimen is selected taking into account the age of the patient, the presence of concomitant diseases, individual characteristics of the body.
First of all, efforts are directed to the normalization of metabolic processes and blood circulation in the brain to prevent the development of stroke.
Basic drug treatment should be comprehensive and involves the use of the following drugs:
- Medicines that help eliminate edema based on diosmin or troxerutin: Troxevasin capsules, Detralex.
- To normalize blood circulation in the brain, the use of Vinpocetine, Trental, Cinnarizine, Pentoxifylline may be recommended.
- Neuroprotective drugs are designed to normalize metabolic processes in the brain and prevent possible disorders in patients with an increased risk of cerebral ischemia. The doctor in this case will appoint Actovegin, Mildronate, Mexidol.
To eliminate the root cause of vertebral artery syndrome – osteochondrosis, the following groups of drugs are used:
- Chondroprotectors are agents that help restore the structure of damaged cartilage and provide nutrition to the cartilage tissue. Prescribe drugs based on glucosamine, chondroitin, collagen.
- Medications from the group of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and inflammation. Drugs based on diclofenac, ibuprofen, nimesulide can be used.
- External creams, ointments or gels that help to provide analgesic, distracting and anti-inflammatory effects: Fastum gel, Ketoprofen gel, Nise.
As a symptomatic treatment, it is additionally worth using:
- Preparations from the group of antispasmodics and muscle relaxants.
- Multivitamin complexes based on vitamins of group B.
- Drugs from the statin group, when there is an increased level of cholesterol.
- With violations of the psychoemotional state – sedative drugs. In severe cases, the therapist can prescribe a course of antidepressants. To eliminate migraine attacks and intense headache, medications with anti-migraine effect are used: Tryptan, Sumatriptan, Anti-migraine.
As an addition to medical treatment, the elements of physiotherapy are involved:
- Magnetic therapy
- Diadynamic therapy (exposure to electric current).
After eliminating the aggravation of the vertebral artery syndrome, it may be recommended to perform specially selected exercises of therapeutic gymnastics in order to strengthen the neck muscles.
In order to achieve the best therapeutic effect, in addition to taking medications and physiotherapy, patients should pay attention to the following recommendations:
- Revise the diet: abandon excessive intake of salt, excessively fatty, spicy, fried foods.
- Observe the regime of work and rest.
- Limit the impact of stressful situations. If necessary, ask a doctor to prescribe a herbal preparation with a sedative effect.
- Stop smoking and alcohol abuse.
- It is recommended to pay attention to moderate physical activity. The positive impact is yoga, gymnastics, swimming. The easiest option is daily morning exercises.
- If the medication does not have the proper therapeutic effect and the symptoms of the disorder persist, you should immediately inform your doctor. Additional studies and a review of the prescribed treatment regimen may be required.
- In the case when a person is at risk, recommended observation by a neurologist and preventive examination once every 12 months.
In order to reduce the load on the cervical region of the spine, it is recommended to use a Shants collar.
With the ineffectiveness of drug treatment, physiotherapy and the threat of developing ischemic lesions in the brain, the question of the advisability of surgical intervention is being considered. Radical treatment of vertebral artery syndrome in cervical osteochondrosis can be carried out through the following procedures:
- Reconstruction of the vertebral artery. During the operation, the doctor removes the inner wall of the affected area of the vertebral artery.
- Surgical decompression of the vertebral artery.
- Removal of osteophytes – bone growths that form on the vertebrae and contribute to the compression of the vertebral artery and nearby vessels.
- Periarterial sympathectomy.
Vertebral artery syndrome in cervical osteochondrosis: symptoms and treatment
Vertebral artery syndrome and cervical osteochondrosis are interrelated diseases. Against the background of pathology affecting the cervicothoracic spine, adults may experience concomitant symptoms, for example, a feeling of heaviness, pressure in the temples, dizziness, and flies in the eyes. This condition is caused by a decrease in blood flow in the vertebral artery.
- the left vertebral artery, the jamming of which is accompanied by noise, pain in the ears, pain in the eyes, burning sensation in the area of hair growth on the back of the head, mainly on the left;
- the right vertebral artery, the damage of which gives itself off with similar signs, except that the localized pain and discomfort are mainly on the right side.
The disease, which according to the ICD code 10 is called the syndrome of irritation of the sympathetic plexus of the vertebral artery, is dangerous, because it can lead to early development of cerebral ischemia and a number of other diseases, for example, tachycardia, hypertension.
The most common sign of damage to blood vessels in osteochondrosis of the cervical spine is a headache. Attacks happen suddenly, pain is localized in the occipital region, can “spread” to the forehead and temples. Over time, this symptom intensifies, headache recurs more often and occurs when turning, tilting the head and even a sharp change in position.
Even skin and hair can hurt, especially when touched, combed. There is a burning sensation in the neck. A person may hear a crunch of vertebrae when he turns his head.
- noise, ringing, pain in the ears;
- dizziness, feeling lightheaded, up to loss of consciousness;
- bouts of nausea;
- eye pain, impaired vision.
The occurrence of arrhythmias against the background of vertebral artery syndrome is also not uncommon, because there are nerve connections between the heart and cervical spine, which, with cervical osteochondrosis, provoke the development of cardiac disturbances.
- brain stem and cranial nerves;
- temporal lobes;
- inner ear.
Although the vertebral arteries supply the brain with 15 to 30% of the blood, their pinching and damage lead to oxygen starvation.
Syndrome paravertebral artery with cervical osteochondrosis makes itself felt coordination disorders, frequent mood swings, headaches.
It is quite difficult to diagnose it until a person has a pathology that destroys the bone structures of the cervical spine.
Causes of vertebral artery syndrome in cervical osteochondrosis:
- Most of the blood vessel that feeds the brain passes through the mobile channel, which is formed by the vertebrae and their processes.
- The right and left vertebral arteries are braided by Frank’s sympathetic nerve.
- With osteochondrosis, the distance between the vertebrae decreases, because bone formations with thinned discs sag, pinching blood vessels and nerves.
The lumen of the artery narrows, less blood enters the brain, respectively, the functioning of the departments that feed these blood vessels is disrupted.
What is the syndrome fraught with
If the condition is not treated, the disease will go into the organic stage, which is characterized by transient ischemic attacks. Attacks are expressed by sudden dizziness, impaired coordination, speech, accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
The attack can provoke a sharp movement of the head, rotation, tilt, and also a change in position, sitting or lying on a standing. However, if a person lies down during the condition, the intensity of the symptom decreases, nausea and dizziness will disappear.
After such attacks, the following may persist:
- feeling of weakness;
- flashes before the eyes.
The most formidable consequence of an untreated condition is stroke. The doctor diagnoses the symptom, for this you may need:
- X-ray examination of the cervical spine;
- magnetic resonance or computed tomography of the neck;
- scanning arteries.
If the symptom was triggered by a pathology that destroys the vertebrae, the doctor will prescribe a comprehensive treatment for vertebral artery syndrome in cervical osteochondrosis, which includes:
- therapy of the pathology that led to the development of the symptom;
- restoration of arterial lumen;
- additional treatment and further prevention.
To stop the pain, a person will be prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs, for example, Meloxicam.
- decongestants, celecoxib;
- angioprotectors, venotonics, for example, Diosmin, Troxerutin;
- drugs that relax spasmodic muscles, such as No-shpa;
- chondroprotectors, which are aimed at restoring the cartilage structures of the spinal column;
- fortifying complexes of vitamins and minerals.
If the artery is strongly squeezed by the damaged vertebrae, physiotherapy, manual therapy are prescribed. If the method does not help, surgery is recommended.
The standard for the treatment of vertebral artery syndrome that has developed due to osteochondrosis includes physiotherapy, neck massage and acupuncture, which are carried out in a hospital.
The treatment regimen includes not only medication, physiotherapy, but also therapeutic exercises, which must be practiced every day. Exercises can be performed at home.
Therapeutic exercises for vertebral artery syndrome are aimed at relaxing spasmodic muscles, restoring blood circulation, supporting the spinal column. Muscular corset of the cervical spine is weak, therefore, strengthening it, it is important not to overdo it:
- in no case to make sudden movements, turns, tilting the head;
- perform all movements of the gymnastic complex slowly and smoothly, without overloading the neck muscles;
- refrain from performing therapeutic exercises during exacerbations of osteochondrosis, intense attacks of headache, dizziness;
- during physical education classes to ensure the influx of fresh air, for example, open a window, exit to the balcony.
Bubnovsky’s exercises for vertebral artery syndrome and cervical osteochondrosis are good because they can be performed at any time of the day while sitting, lying or standing. Some movements can be done even in public transport and during a work break:
- Metronome, an exercise during which you need to tilt your head alternately in different directions and fix the position for half a minute.
- The spring includes smooth movements of the head down and back. In this case, the head should be tilted as low as possible, but slowly and smoothly.
- The frame involves not only the neck and head, but also the hands. The right hand should be put on the left shoulder, and the head should be turned in the opposite direction, that is, to the left. Lock position for half a minute.
- The fakir involves turning the head in different directions with raised hands clasped at the top.
- The heron is carried out with the most straightened back. A man puts his hands on his knees, then gently leads them behind his back, raise his chin.
The main measures to prevent the development of a symptom that can lead to a stroke of the brain include a healthy active lifestyle and quality rest. Therefore, a person should take care of bedding, a comfortable orthopedic mattress and pillow.
Prevention of vertebral artery syndrome in cervical osteochondrosis includes the correction of nutrition and lifestyle. A person should:
- to be more in the fresh air, to make walks;
- varied and fully eat, do not overeat;
- if the work is sedentary, for example, at the computer, in the office, every hour and a half do a warm-up for the neck;
- quit smoking;
- do not abuse alcohol.
These simple rules will help to maintain the health of the back and vertebral arteries, so that a person will feel active and alert, and dizziness, nausea, tinnitus, headaches with osteochondrosis of the cervical spine will be a thing of the past.
Vertebral artery syndrome in cervical osteochondrosis, the treatment of which must be started as early as possible, is the result of severe destructive changes in the cervical spine. With osteochondrosis, the internal channel of the spine changes, the location and appearance of the vertebral bodies and their processes. This leads to deformation of the artery that feeds the cervical spine and brain.
The vertebral artery is a large blood vessel that originates from the subclavian artery, on both sides it enters the openings of the transverse processes of the vertebrae, at the level of the sixth cervical vertebra and rises to the skull along the spinal canal, flowing into the occipital artery.
Thus, the location of the vertebral artery determines its contact not only with the spine, but also with the surrounding muscles and ligaments. Therefore, all pathological changes associated with osteochondrosis also affect the state of blood vessels and nerves. With osteochondrosis, the vertebral artery is deformed due to:
- vertebral deformities;
- decrease in intervertebral space;
- squeezing with soft tissues.
The vertebral artery supplies nutrients and oxygen to the brain – the occipital part, the medulla oblongata and the cerebellum. Violation of blood flow due to compression starts the process of hypoxia and metabolic disturbances.
Vertebral artery syndrome in cervical osteochondrosis is dangerous for its consequences – ischemia and cerebral stroke. The nerves of the cervical sympathetic trunk are braided throughout the artery. Therefore, the symptoms of the disease are not only vascular in nature, but also neurological.
Compression of the artery and adjacent nerve fibers causes symptoms characteristic of stenosis of the vertebral artery:
- migraine pain, aggravated by movement and tension;
- decrease in hearing acuity and analyzer functions (noise, mainly in one ear, partial hearing loss);
- disturbances in the vestibular apparatus (sudden head movements cause dizziness, loss of stability, feeling of slipping of support);
- violation of the function of the organs of vision (double vision, loss of clarity, pain and discomfort, “midges”);
- pathology of the cardiovascular system (tachycardia, arrhythmia, increased blood pressure);
- dysfunctions of the autonomic nervous system (feeling of hunger, thirst, heat, etc.);
- violation of swallowing function (Berner-Horner syndrome);
- nausea, vomiting;
- loss of consciousness.
A complication of the disease is a transient ischemic attack, which is accompanied by:
- loss of consciousness;
- fluctuations in blood pressure;
- motor and sensory disorders.