Cervical spine syndromeA cervical spine syndrome, or cervical spine syndrome for short, is a collective term for back pain or arm pain that affects the cervical spine area. Usually between acute cervical spine syndromes. Chronic cervical spine syndromes distinguished.
Typical of a cervical spine syndrome are neck pains that often radiate into the arms. At the same time tensions can be. Determine hardenings in the adjacent musculature. The pain can radiate not only into the arms, but also into the head and lead to severe headaches, dizziness, vision problems and tinnitus. Neurological symptoms such as numbness, tingling or even paralysis are also observed.
What is a cervical spine syndrome?
A cervical spine syndrome, or cervical spine syndrome for short, is a collective term for back pain or arm pain that affects the cervical spine area. In most cases, a distinction is made between acute cervical spine syndromes. Chronic cervical spine syndromes distinguished. In the case of acute cervical spine syndromes, injuries caused by sudden overuse are usually the cause. This includes z.B. the injury of the neck spinal column (Cervikalwirbelsaule) with traffic accidents, the so-called neck spinal column whiplash. However, acute cervical spine syndromes can also occur in the context of unaccustomed stress during heavy physical activity or exposure to drafts.
Chronic cervical spine syndromes are usually based on degenerative changes in the load-bearing structures in the cervical spine area. Here especially in the area of the intervertebral joints.
How does a cervical spine syndrome manifest itself??
Typical for a cervical spine syndrome are neck pains, which often radiate into the arms. At the same time tensions can be relieved. Find hardening in the adjacent musculature. The pain can radiate not only into the arms, but also into the head and lead to severe headaches, dizziness up to visual disturbances and tinnitus. Neurological symptoms such as numbness, tingling or even paralysis have also been observed.
Depending on the symptoms, one can distinguish between an upper and a middle as well as a lower cervical spine syndrome: In the case of upper cervical spine syndrome, there is often radiation of pain to the back of the head, z.T. extending over the ears into the forehead region. The change in the area of the vertebral body joints also plays a role here. The so-called uncovertebral arthrosis refers to a degenerative change in the area of the joint connections between the vertebral bodies that occur only in the cervical spine.
In moderate cervical spine syndrome, symptoms typically present with radiating pain between the shoulder blades and beyond the shoulder. Here it can also come to disturbances of the nerve function with corresponding symptomatology in the arms. This means that in addition to arm pain, numbness or even paralysis can occur in the arm.
In lower cervical spine syndrome, similar to upper cervical spine syndrome, there are disturbances in the arm. In addition to the well-known arm pain, the pain sensation characteristically extends to the hand, so that depending on the localization of the pain in the hand, it can be concluded that the nerve root is involved. affected by the cervical spine syndrome.
What causes can be found for cervical spine syndrome?
The causes of cervical spine syndromes must be divided into their biomechanical causes. The majority of cases are caused by degenerative changes in the cervical spine.
Intervertebral disc changes (protrusion or disc prolapse): Ligamentous disorders (dysfunction of retaining ligaments). Disorders of the vertebral joints. Osteophyte reactions (additional bone growth in the cervical spine).
Congenital developmental disorders:
– Scoliosis – Scheuermann's disease
– rheumatoid arthritis. – Ankylosing spondylitis. – Infectious disease of the cervical spine (so-called. spondylitis or spondylodiscitis due to bacteria).
– Whiplash injuries of the cervical spine
What types of pain can occur in the cervical spine syndrome?
The cervical spine syndrome is also described as so-called cervicobrachialgia (as neck-shoulder-arm syndrome). Cercivobracialgia is a collective term of the cervical spine syndrome for disorders of various causes with radiating pain in the neck or z.B. in the shoulder girdle or in the scapula area represent.
The most frequent cause of the cervical spine syndrome is the acute blockage of vertebral joints. These vertebral joint blockages manifest themselves in painful restrictions of the rotational or inclination mobility of the cervical spine. These can then lead to radiating pain in the shoulder or arm. Reflectively, the cervical spine muscles are also tense, so that even after the vertebral blockage has subsided or been resolved, painfully tense muscles remain for several days.
These in healthy cervical vertebrae present themselves as a "stiff neck" external short-term and completely reversible changes are opposed by the chronic longer-lasting blockages in degenerative changes of the cervical spine. This can lead to the development of a chronic cervical spine syndrome. This is then based on the anatomically altered vertebral joints, which no longer allow complete release of the vertebral joints and thus head and neck mobility.
How is the diagnosis of cervical spine syndrome made??
After taking a detailed medical history, a physical examination is performed. The mobility and functionality of the spine and the individual intervertebral joints are tested here. The musculature is also palpated for tension, hardening and prere pain. Sensation, strength and reflexes in the arms are also tested. If these are pathologically altered, an examination by a neurologist may also be necessary. Another important step in the diagnosis is the taking of an X-ray image. Sometimes an MRI must be performed to confirm the diagnosis.
Which therapy can help with a cervical spine syndrome??
In the case of cervical spine syndrome, nerve root or cervical cord damage must be ruled out as the primary cause. This means that the entire spectrum of clinical, radiological and neurological diagnostics must be used, especially in the case of recurrent cervical spine syndrome. In addition to a thorough clinical and neurological examination, this also includes electromyographic and magnetic resonance imaging diagnostics of changes in the cervical spine. If a surgical indication can then be ruled out, a wide range of conservative therapy methods can be used for cervical spine syndrome. Among them:
Intensive manual therapy and physical applications with heat and stimulation current. Chirotherapeutic deblocking of the vertebral joints.
If necessary. can even in individual cases the injection of local anesthetics with neurotrophic drugs into the painful muscles or radiologically controlled even to the vertebral joints may be necessary. Now and then even the short-term immobilization in a neck brace is useful in the cervical spine syndrome.
As a rule, the symptoms of acute cervical spine syndrome subside quite rapidly within a few days and after appropriate treatment.
In chronic cervical spine syndrome based on degenerative changes in the cervical spine, however, recurrent symptoms are to be expected. Also, complete freedom from symptoms is often no longer achievable. Here it is necessary to weigh exactly, when a chronic cervical spine syndrome of a stabilizing operation with, if necessary, a stabilizing operation with a stabilizing operation. Stiffening or the use of a disc prosthesis requires.