Cerebral vasospasm symptoms

A spasm of the neck vessels (narrowing of the arteries and veins of the cervical region) is a frequently occurring phenomenon that leads to disruption of the blood supply to the brain.

Causes of neck narrowing can be various disorders in the body – both local and general. Most often, this pathology occurs when:

  • cervical osteochondrosis – bone processes squeeze blood vessels and provoke their narrowing;
  • atherosclerosis;
  • spinal cord injuries;
  • thrombosis and embolism;
  • avitaminosis, especially when there is a shortage of vitamins D and B;
  • hypertension – with loss of elasticity by the walls of blood vessels due to a constant change in pressure;
  • lack of sodium in the blood, responsible for the peace of muscle cells;
  • tumors (expanding, they squeeze blood vessels);
  • thyroid and heart diseases;
  • congenital abnormalities of the vascular system;
  • instability of the vertebrae;
  • intervertebral hernia.

For all of the above diseases, the vessels are squeezed or cholesterol plaques and blood clots form in them, which leads to impaired blood flow.

Pathology becomes seasonal when several factors coincide, for example, during hypothermia, vitamin deficiency, unbalanced nutrition. Vessels of the neck can spasm under chronic stress.

Cerebral vasospasm symptoms

Symptoms of cervical vasospasm

On the manifestation of spasm of the cervical vessels affects its intensity, localization. The first thing you need to focus on pain syndrome.

In osteochondrosis of the spinal column, patients first develop some discomfort, a feeling of stiffness and a crunch in the neck. The pain appears already after that and spreads to the region of the occiput, temples, hands, shoulder girdle. When moving, for example, when turning or tilting the head, the pain increases. Then there is a spasm of muscles and nerve endings, which is manifested in a significant limitation of the mobility of the cervical spinal column.

When spasm of the cervical vessels one of the main symptoms – the presence of a headache. It is localized most often in the back of the head. The pain can be of a different nature: dull, throbbing, aching, bursting with a feeling of pressure on the eyeballs, constricting (with muscular tension). Painful sensations of a shooting character can manifest themselves in the shoulders and arms.

Also, when spasm of the cervical vessels often:

  • blood pressure is disturbed;
  • general weakness and feeling of fatigue, trembling in the hands;
  • sweating increases;
  • darkens in the eyes;
  • slight dizziness with head movements;
  • when coughing, the patient feels pain radiating to the brain;
  • there is a pre-unconscious state.

Neurological symptoms of cervical spasm include disorders related to the functioning of the brain. Most often the patient has such signs:

  • the occurrence of tinnitus;
  • vision deteriorates;
  • gait becomes shaky;
  • memory deteriorates, concentration decreases;
  • frequent mood swings;
  • disturbed sleep.

Before taking measures to relieve vascular spasm of the cervical spine, it is necessary to confirm the alleged diagnosis.


To diagnose any vascular pathology without additional research is almost impossible. Therefore, if you suspect a spasm of the cervical vessels, you may need:

  • taking biochemical analysis of blood;
  • ultrasound examination of the cervical region with doppler sonography;
  • x-ray of the spinal column;
  • rheoencephalography – a painless non-invasive method for the diagnosis of vascular status;
  • angiography – to assess the size of the lumen of blood vessels;
  • MRI of the cervical spine;
  • CT scan.

Methods of elimination and treatment of cervical spasm

Before visiting the clinic, you can take some actions to prevent muscle spasm after vascular spasm, namely, to limit physical activity and exercise. If the spasm is short-lived, it is necessary, when staying indoors, to open a window, to take a comfortable posture – lie down or sit down, relax, massage the neck area, temples, frontal area. You can take any remedy with a calming effect on the basis of valerian or motherwort.

When spasm of blood vessels caused by hypothermia, you must take a warm shower or bath. These measures can be taken in case of acute spasm before going to the doctor.

There is no exact answer to the question whether physical therapy exercises are allowed in the acute period. Some doctors do not recommend in such a state to engage in any kind of physical activity. However, in neurology today is widely distributed over, which focuses on physical exercises during the removal of spasm. Experts say that this method will allow the patient to feel relief.

For those who follow these recommendations, optimal traction therapy, which is based on the extension of the spinal column. Also, patients need to perform exercises to enhance blood flow to the muscles.

After a set of such exercises, the vessels expand, metabolic processes are improved. But you should not be too zealous – an excessive load can lead to tears in the muscle fibers, and the situation will only get worse.

The classic treatment option involves the use of physiotherapy and physical therapy only after complete removal of cervical spasm.

The following tools and methods are used:

  • The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (local, in the form of injections or orally). Intravenous administration of drugs “Papazol”, “No-shpa”, “Revalgin” will help to relieve the spasm and eliminate the pain. Cinnarizin, Spazmalgon and Papaverin are also effective in relieving spasm.
  • For the expansion of blood vessels – Atomax, Atromidin.
  • To relieve painful sensations, a Novocain blockade is performed, which is performed only by an experienced doctor.
  • Acupuncture. This is a highly effective method for eliminating spasms. To exclude dangerous consequences for the patient in the future, the procedure should be performed only by an expert in this field.
  • Manual therapy methods are quite effective in diagnosing hernia of intervertebral discs.
  • The use of postisometric relaxation – the forced stretching of muscles alternates with their relaxation.
  • Calcium antagonists are prescribed to reduce muscle fiber tension.
  • To stimulate brain activity, nootropic drugs are prescribed – Piracetam, Trental.
  • To restore the functions of the vascular network of the brain and neck – Actovegin.
  • Cryotherapy and laser methods are highly effective, but not all, available methods for removing spasm of the cervical vessels, allowing to relieve inflammation and pain, eliminate spasm, and activate recovery processes.
  • General recommendations of a specialist can be concluded in quitting smoking and drinking alcohol, as these habits lead to deterioration of the state of the walls of blood vessels, as a result of which blood circulation is disturbed. Also appointed a diet with the exception of too fatty, smoked and salty dishes and with plenty of vegetables and fruits. It is equally important to take vitamins.
  • Often, patients with spasm of blood vessels and muscles are given physiotherapy treatment methods: for example, electrophysiotherapy (current therapy) is used to improve blood microcirculation and restore metabolic processes. After such procedures, pain is significantly reduced.
  • It is also recommended to undergo treatment in sanatorium conditions.


At the onset of the disease, spasms of the cervical vessels may lead to reduced performance, increased fatigue, and deterioration of visual and auditory functions.

More serious consequences develop in the absence of treatment. The most serious and dangerous complication is a stroke that can be fatal or make a person disabled.

Preventive measures

In order to prevent spasm of the neck and brain vessels, it is necessary:

  • To control emotions, to monitor the state of the nervous system, preventing it from over-voltage.
  • Completely give up bad habits, spend at least 2 hours a day in the open air, observe the daily regimen, temper, do not forget about relaxation.
  • To establish a sleep mode – the body should rest at least 8 hours a day.
  • Adjust nutrition: abandon harmful products, give preference to raw vegetables, fruits, berries, greens (especially parsley), garlic, carrots, cabbage, from drinks – green tea. All listed products will help vessels to maintain their elasticity.
  • Black tea, coffee, fatty and smoked food is not allowed. In limited quantities should eat salted and spicy foods.
  • Such methods of hardening, such as taking a contrast shower, drenching the feet first with cool water and then with cold water will help strengthen the vascular system.

Thus, in the event of a spasm of the cervical vessels, you can try to help yourself, but only to temporarily alleviate the condition. In conditions caused by serious disorders in the body, only a doctor should deal with further diagnosis and the appointment of adequate treatment.

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