What you should know about protrusion at the level of the cervical spine

protrusion of cervical vertebrae

protrusion of the cervical vertebrae

The term "protrusion of the disc" means protrusion of intervertebral discs into the spinal canal without rupturing the fibrous ring. It is very important to understand that protrusion of intervertebral discs is not an independent nosological unit. This is only a stage of development of osteochondrosis of the spine. The stage following the protrusion is a herniated intervertebral disc. And understanding the fundamental difference between these two concepts is also very important.

When the herniation of the intervertebral discs develops, the integrity of the fibrous ring and the intervertebral disk tissue disintegrate beyond the canal of the spine. With protrusion, this does not happen.

Table of Contents:

  1. Structure of the intervertebral disc
  2. Pathogenesis
  3. Symptoms of
  4. Treatment of

Intervertebral disc tissues even protrude into the posterior canal of the spine, but do not violate the integrity of the fibrous ring. This is the fundamental difference that determines the approach to treatment and the condition of the patient.

For a deeper understanding of the pathogenesis of protrusions, let's take a closer look at the structure of the intervertebral disc itself and the role it plays in the functioning of the spine.

Structure of the intervertebral disc

Structure of the intervertebral disc

Structure of the intervertebral disc

The intervertebral disc is nothing more than a structural unit of the spine performing a cushioning function. Amortization is necessary for both dynamic and static loads on the vertebral column. That's why the function of the intervertebral disc is so important, and its loss is so noticeable.

Each such disk includes two main parts:

  • Jelly-like pulpous nucleus
  • Fibrous ring

The fibrous ring mainly performs the function of fixing the vertebrae, the jelly core assumes the task of depreciation directly.

The fibrous ring not only limits the gelatinous nucleus of the disc, but also firmly binds the vertebrae to each other.


Pathogenesis of the disease of the spine

Pathogenesis of spine disease

As mentioned above, protrusion of the intervertebral discs does not constitute a separate disease. This is just a stage of a long chain of pathogenesis of osteochondrosis, which, if a person does not receive proper treatment, leads to the development of a herniated intervertebral disc.

Let's restore all the stages of the pathogenesis of osteochondrosis. Osteochondrosis is a chronic progressive disease in which degenerative-dystrophic changes in the cartilage of various joints develop. In this case, almost any joints that exist in the body of the body can be affected, but in most cases, intervertebral discs are affected, i. E.joints of the spine.

Nutrition of the cartilaginous tissue of the intervertebral articulations occurs diffusely. Sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition significantly exacerbate this shortage of cartilage cartilage. Therefore, degenerative-dystrophic processes in cartilage tissue are triggered over time. They lose their elasticity and their damping properties.

Mechanical damage, intense stress on the spine also contribute to the development of such changes and trigger dystrophic processes in the cartilaginous tissue of the spine.

However, not all links of the pathogenetic chain of osteochondrosis development have been studied. However, the factors contributing to its development and aggravating the dystrophic changes in the cartilages of the joints of the spine have been clarified precisely.

Such factors are:

  • Sedentary lifestyle and wrong poses when sitting

    Sedentary lifestyle and abnormal poses when sitting

    Excess weight

  • Seated lifestyle
  • Grave family history( hereditary predisposition)
  • Inadequate nutrition( lack of necessary trace elements)
  • Age over 35 years
  • Frequent injuries
  • Excessive strain on the spine, especially wrong withorthopedic point of view lined loads( incorrect work of the back muscles with incorrect posture, incorrect systematic exercise)
  • RaisedSystemic stresses on the spine due to improper distribution of mechanical stress during walking( flat feet, high heels in women, consequences of pregnancy)
  • Posture disorder

Combining these factors increases the risk of developing the disease. The decrease in the number of risk factors, respectively, reduces. However, none of the above factors is decisive.

Do not forget about the negative impact of stress, especially chronic.

Symptoms of protrusion

Symptoms of protrusion

When the osteochondrosis of the patient's spine develops, the patient begins to worry about pain in the back area. At the same time, depending on the level of primary lesion, the patient is usually concerned with pain in any one department: mainly at the level of the cervical, thoracic or lumbar spine.

Also, the patient may be disturbed by numbness in the limbs, headaches, dizziness.

A number of symptoms are characteristic, specifically for osteochondrosis at the level of the cervical spine.


  • Frequent headaches, dizziness
  • Flashing "flies" before the eyes
  • Pain radiating to the upper limbs and shoulders
  • "tinnitus"
  • Appearance of vertebral artery syndrome

The severity of the symptoms increases as the disease progresses.

Symptoms of protrusion of intervertebral discs at the level of the cervical spine

Having explained the essence of the pathological processes occurring in osteochondrosis, it is much easier to imagine the pathogenesis of changes occurring at one of its stages - the protrusion stage.

By itself, the protrusion of the intervertebral discs is manifested depending on the degree of degenerative changes and, accordingly, the degree of protrusion of the intervertebral disc tissues into the posterior part of the spinal canal.

The following symptoms are most typical for the defeat of the protrusion of the cervical spine:

  • Acute attacks of local pain( neck, neck pain)
  • Numbness in the fingers
  • Painful sensation in the arm when the head turns
  • Vertigo
  • Limitation of the volume of movements on the level of the cervical spine

Treatment of

Treatment of protrusion of intervertebral disks as a whole does not depend on the level of lesion of the spine and is part of the complex therapy of osteochondrosis, i.e.underlying disease.

This therapy includes several directions at once:

  • Treatment of protrusions of the neck

    Treatment of neck protrusion

    Removal of modifiable, i.e.those who are likely to be affected, risk factors( overweight, seated lifestyle, improper distribution of mechanical stress, improper exercise, high heels, flat feet, etc.)

  • Pain relief
  • Slowing of dystrophic processes in cartilaginous tissue
  • Admission of anti-inflammatory drugs

Treatment must be comprehensive and consist of a number of differently directed activities, without fail, including physiotherapy, manualtherapy, exercise therapy .

Manual therapist will help relieve the strain from the intervertebral discs, improve metabolic processes and diffuse nutrition, through which the trophism of the cartilaginous tissue occurs. Also, due to manual therapy, it is possible to correct an incorrect posture and thus achieve a more physiological distribution of the mechanical load on the spine.



Physiotherapy will help to remove the inflammatory reaction, pain syndrome, enhance the effect of drug therapy.

In cases of severe neurological symptoms, acupuncture is also indicated.

Recovery is impossible without a properly constructed system of medical exercise( LFK).Such exercises also contribute to the normalization of metabolic processes in the cartilaginous tissue and slow the degenerative-dystrophic changes in it.

LFK, or as it is also called "kinesitherapy"( motion treatment) - is the main method of conservative therapy of osteochondrosis in general and protrusion as its stage in particular. The doctor should carefully explain to the patient how important it is to correctly perform all the recommended exercises, adhere to the regime. To explain that only the discipline and diligence of the patient largely determine the success of the treatment. Exercises should be regular, properly performed.

Then the patient will be able to "deceive" the run of time, slow the degenerative-dystrophic changes in the cartilaginous tissue and will learn to be a doctor, learn the ways to a healthier lifestyle.

Do not forget about the correct balanced diet. Since malnutrition is also one of the significant risk factors, the patient's diet should be carefully thought out, adjusted, and the patient, in turn, realizing that the responsibility for the result of treatment lies, first of all, on himself - to take seriously the recommendationsdoctor and responsibly carry them out.

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