Vertebral artery syndrome: symptoms and treatment

Insufficiency of blood supply to the brain is largely determined by one pathology – vertebral artery syndrome (SPA). This disease occurs most often in people under forty years. Syndrome vertebral arteries provokes a number of autonomic, cardiovascular and cerebral pathologies traffic circulation in the spine (the cervical spine), which occur due to deformation of the wall of the vessel or affecting its patency.

The causes of SPA

All causes of SPA can be divided into three groups:

  • The reasons that reduce the lumen of the artery, causing brain tissue suffering from ischemia. Such causes include a blockage by air, thrombosis, arteritis, the presence of atherosclerotic plaques.
  • Change normal shape of the artery – congenital excessive tortuosity, pathology structure and the lumen, the bends.
  • Infringement is the compression of blood vessels of different formations.
  • The peculiarity of these reasons is that under the SPA can be understand almost any damage to the vessel, but in practice the doctors, knowing that it is most often diagnosed SPA as a result of infringement of the artery. The emergence of the said disease is due to compression of the trunk vessel or spasm, giving rise to a decrease in blood flow to the brain substance and subsequent ischemia. The greatest negative effect on the vessel have osteophytes. This growths on the vertebrae are formed when abnormalities of the spine.

    The stage and the symptoms of the disease

    Vertebral artery syndrome has two stages: functional (dystonic) and organic (coronary). The first stage of the disease shows these symptoms: visual disturbances, vestibular disorders, and headache. Pain in the head is of a throbbing character, turning into aching. Patients complain of burning sensation, which increases with movements, head turns, and especially noted in the region from the occiput to the forehead.

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    Vestibular disorders are diagnosed in the form of feelings of instability, body rocking movements and frequent dizziness. Sometimes there is hearing loss. Visual perception in patients are also broken – they complain of a feeling of sand in eyes, the appearance of sparks during the change of body position, the tilt, there is a characteristic darkening. On ophthalmic examination diagnosed the change in the tone of the vessels of the eye. If vascular spasms recur frequently, it develops persistent ischemic lesion of the brain substance, due to the presence of SPA. The disease passes to the next stage.
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    The second stage is persistent or periodic violations of blood supply of the medulla. The patients report frequent dizziness, disorders of articulation, vomiting or nausea. Also in the stage of ischemia patients suffer drop attacks – sudden falls after you change the position of the head. Are observed and more severe disorders – fainting, lasting up to fifteen minutes. Usually the symptoms of vertebral arteries disappear if the patient lies down on the bed. The consequences of such attacks – the noise in my head, weakness, slight dizziness, headache, and visual disturbances. Manifestations of SPA are as follows:

  • Sympathetic zadnesheynyh syndrome – pain in the neck, which extends to almost the entire head. Most often, the pain is constant, in the early hours is becoming stronger, especially if patients slept uncomfortable. Remains discomfort while walking, shaking, when turning the neck. The nature of the pain shooting or throbbing, gives to the whiskey and crown.
  • Basilar migraine attacks resembling migraine. In addition there are disorders of speech, dizziness, noise in the head, erratic muscle movements. At the peak of the attack and possible fainting.
  • Atactic syndrome with vestibular disorders accompanied by dizziness, visual disturbance, nausea and subsequent vomiting.
  • The disorders in the syndrome of the vertebral artery accompanied by photopsia (the appearance before the eyes of subjects, which does not exist – points of light, «flies»). Eyes tire quickly, even with a low visual load. Diagnosed conjunctivitis, lacrimation and redness.
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    Diagnosis of the disease

    To define pathology hard enough in the first place because of the variety of characteristics that describes the patient. But if there are complaints of dizziness, instability when walking, impaired consciousness, headaches and photopsias the doctor needs to select a core of the syndrome and compare it with signs of vertebral artery syndrome. Since x-ray is uninformative, in this case it is better to use the Doppler.

    The treatment of the disease

    Therapy in SPA is based on the use of a variety of techniques. Patients clarify whether it is possible to cure the disease completely, but the main goal for the first stage of treatment is to eliminate compression of the artery and restore its gleam. Symptomatic treatment of integral is carried out after treatment of the cause of the disease. For this purpose:

  • anti-inflammatory drugs;
  • means for normalizing blood flow in the vertebral artery;
  • neuroprotective therapy;
  • drugs to enhance metabolism;
  • symptomatic treatment (muscle relaxants, drugs against migraine, antispasmodics, antihistamines).
  • If conservative treatment does not bring success, surgery – decompression of the vertebral artery, removal of vertebral growths. As a regenerative therapy are appointed gymnastics, massage of collar zone, acupuncture, Spa treatment, special exercises at home and physiotherapy.