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Syndrome of the vertebral artery: symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Constantly worried about a headache? Has vision and hearing worsened? Neck hurts? It is necessary to urgently consult a doctor, since such symptoms often indicate a syndrome of compression of the vertebral artery.

If you ignore your condition, counting on self-healing - you can quite earn an ischemic stroke.


Syndrome of the vertebral artery - what is it?

Syndrome of the vertebral artery

A person's skull is 70-85% supplied with blood 2 carotid arteries, the remaining 15-30% is supplied through another pair of vessels. Thus, only 4 arteries take part in the blood supply of the head, among which the drowsy play the main role.

And if they somehow do not fulfill their function, the brain simply does not get enough oxygen and nutrients. As a result, there are headaches and other signs that, on the whole, physicians are called the vertebral artery syndrome.

When such a disorder occurs, a person does not immediately feel unwell. Sometimes he does not pay attention to changing his state, writing off everything for fatigue or something else. However, doctors emphasize the danger of the syndrome and call 2 groups of reasons for its development:

  1. Vertebrogenic (diseases of the spine).
  2. Non-vertebral (vascular disorders).

Vertebrogenic syndrome of the vertebral artery is a frequent companion of cervical osteochondrosis. It is the infringement of the vertebrae that leads to the squeezing of the vessels, which disrupts the flow of blood into the skull. In addition, people suffering from this trauma suffer from a trauma in the neck.

Nonvertebrogenic causes of the syndrome are associated with the state of the vessels. This can be a congenital anomaly of the location and size of the carotid arteries, but physicians pay attention to acquired diseases - for example, atherosclerosis.

This ailment usually develops due to excessive clogging of the body with cholesterol, so the causes of the syndrome are also considered a metabolic disorder and obesity.

In addition, it is possible and the failure of innervation of the carotid arteries, and excessive synthesis of adrenal hormones, which directly affect adrenoreceptors, leading to a narrowing of the vessels.

Symptoms of the vertebral artery syndrome

Symptoms of the vertebral artery syndrome

Often a person turns to a doctor with a headache complaint for an unknown reason, and as a result, he is diagnosed with such a disease. In general, the symptoms of vertebral artery syndrome are characterized by the following symptoms:

  • a strong throbbing headache (appears in the nape of the neck and spreads to the forehead and whiskey);
  • dizziness;
  • violation of coordination of movements due to poor blood supply to the cerebellum;
  • deterioration of eyesight and hearing;
  • pain on the scalp;
  • drowsiness.

At an early stage of the syndrome of the vertebral arteries, the symptoms manifest themselves seldom and are transferred without special difficulties, however, at moments of exacerbation of the pathology, a person may experience painful pains. In the absence of treatment, the disease progresses, which leads to an aggravation of the situation and the appearance of additional symptoms:

  • fainting;
  • speech impairment;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • heartache;
  • decreased sensitivity of the lips, tongue and pharynx (inevitably disturbed swallowing).

What is the danger of the syndrome?

Deterioration of blood supply to the brain does not pass without a trace. In particular, the shortage of supplies of oxygen and nutrient compounds to nerve cells provokes a decline in their functional activity.

If the disturbance of blood flow reaches a critical level, it is seldom possible to avoid ischemic stroke - one of the most frequent causes of death.

Diagnosis of vertebral artery syndrome

Syndrome of the vertebral artery with cervical osteochondrosis is easy to identify. For this person they are asked to turn their heads and describe their feelings. If there is a sharp pain in the neck, then the problem is obvious.

In addition, palpation of underscored areas of the outgrowths will also give a result. But, in order to exclude the possibility of other diseases, the diagnosis is clarified by additional methods:

  1. X-ray examination. The pictures show the displacement of the vertebrae.
  2. Ultrasonic dopplerography (UZDG). Determine the state of the vessels.
  3. Biochemical blood test for cholesterol. They detect clogged vessels with atherosclerotic plaques.
  4. Magnetic resonance imaging. Refines X-rays. Well proven method of contrasting, through which you can see the course of the arteries.

How to treat the syndrome of the vertebral artery?

treatment of vertebral artery syndrome Symptomatic drugs are needed to relieve pain, but without getting rid of the cause of the disorder, there will be no improvement. What to do?

First of all, they eliminate the pinching of the vessels, which usually occurs with cervical osteochondrosis . Syndrome of the vertebral artery is difficult to treat, especially at a late stage of the disease: intervertebral discs sometimes atrophy to such a state that it is simply impossible to restore their health to the full.

Therapy begins with the vertebrae repositioning to their rightful place. To consolidate the success will have to regularly attend a masseur and engage in exercise therapy. However, there can be no question of large loads, since the probability of re-clamping the carotid arteries is high.

The key point in the therapy is the restoration of bone and cartilaginous tissues, for which chondroprotectors are used.

To normalize the blood flow by the medicamental method, it is usually resorted to after the elimination of pinching. If you start to drink pills at once, then there will be no effect: the vertebrae themselves will not become in place, and the vessels will not be straightened.

If the cause of the syndrome is not covered in cervical osteochondrosis, but in clogging of the arteries with cholesterol plaques, then the problem should be solved in a different way. A whole complex of drugs (statins, fibrates, etc.) is used to purify the vessels, but it is also necessary to exclude fatty and simple carbohydrate-rich foods from the diet.

Often this syndrome is observed in hypertension. In fact, this is an excessive narrowing of the vessels, which is reflected in the blood supply to the brain. The reason is often hidden in the dysfunction of the heart, however, and hormonal failures affect the condition of the capillaries, arteries and veins.

Cure the syndrome of vertebral arteries under the power of only a qualified doctor. Pathology is so complex that when an individual is treated, an ordinary person can simply harm his own body. Therefore, it is better to trust the doctor who will perform the necessary diagnostics, establish the cause and prescribe a comprehensive course of treatment.


And yet there is a way to prevent the development of this syndrome. First of all, you need to reconsider your view of life, giving preference to regular physical activity and rational nutrition.

If the cervical osteochondrosis in humans has already been identified, then it is necessary to emphasize the treatment of the disease, otherwise the vertebral arteries may be pinched at any time. To prevent this from happening, additional preventive measures should be taken:

  • sleep on a hard bed (fit orthopedic mattress);
  • use a small pillow to sleep;
  • attend a regular massage therapist;
  • to strengthen the musculature of the neck with the help of physical exercises;
  • if necessary, wear the collar of Shants for fixing the neck.

Syndrome of vertebral arteries usually manifests itself in the elderly, when the activity of a person naturally decreases. However, even at 35-40 years old they turn to a hospital with a similar problem, which resulted from sedentary work and lack of any physical activity.

Although it is not easy to overcome pathology, but to ignore it is dangerous, because at any time an ischemic stroke can develop.


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