Arthritis in the neck, or cervical spondylosis, is a form of degenerative osteoarthritis.
When talking about the spine, the top part that creates the neck is called the cervical spine. The cervical area of the spine comprises a set of seven bones called vertebrae. As the name implies, they originate at the back of the head.
Osteophytes, bony growths that form on the ends of vertebrae, are a common symptom of cervical spondylosis. Discs lose thickness and shock absorption capacity as we age, leading to various uncomfortable symptoms.
Often, patients with cervical spondylosis report little discomfort. If symptoms do emerge, they usually go away without surgery. Your healthcare provider might advise you to consider surgical correction.
Continue reading to gain insight into cervical spondylosis's causes, symptoms, and management.
Age-related wear and tear in the cervical spine (neck) can cause pain, stiffness, and other symptoms, known as cervical spondylosis. This issue is often referred to as neck arthritis or osteoarthritis.
Cervical spondylosis is caused by wear and tear on the bones and protecting cartilage in your neck. The condition could have a variety of origins, including:
When the body tries to strengthen the spine, it sometimes produces abnormal bone growth.
However, the additional bone can cause pain by pressing on sensitive spinal structures, including the spinal cord and nerves.
The impact of lifting, twisting, and other actions are absorbed by the discs that sit between your spinal bones. These discs' gel-like interiors are susceptible to drying up over time. This increases the rubbing of your bones (vertebrae in your spine), which can be quite uncomfortable. In your 30s, this may start to happen to you.
Cracks in the spinal disc can cause the nucleus pulposus, the soft centre, to leak out. Because of the pressure it puts on the spinal cord and nerves, this substance can cause symptoms like tingling or numbness in the arms.
A neck injury, such as that sustained in a fall or automobile accident, can hasten the ageing process.
Over time, the tough cords that connect your spinal bones might stiffen, limiting your range of motion and leaving your neck feeling tight.
Jobs or pastimes that call for constant motion or carrying large objects are only for some (such as construction work). The spine may experience premature wear and tear due to the added stress.
You may have cervical spondylosis without realising it. There are often no outward signs of this illness.
If you do have symptoms, here are some common ones:
Cervical spondylosis treatment aims to alleviate symptoms, reduce the likelihood of permanent damage, and restore normal function.
Nonsurgical treatments are quite efficient in most cases.
The medical professional in charge of your care may recommend that you see a physical therapist. A physical therapist can help you stretch your neck and shoulder muscles. This strengthens them, which in turn reduces their pain.
Moreover, neck traction could be an option. Weights are used to widen the gap between the cervical vertebrae, reducing stress on the spinal cord and nerves.
If nonprescription remedies don't help, talk to your doctor about getting a prescription pill.
Surgery may be necessary if your condition is severe and does not improve with current treatments. Removing bone spurs, a portion of your neck bones or a herniated disc may be necessary to make room for the spinal cord and nerves.
Cervical spondylosis rarely requires surgical intervention. But if the pain is bad enough to prevent you from using your arms, your doctor may suggest it.
Common with advancing age, cervical spondylosis can lead to neck pain, stiffness, and even migraines. However, even if your doctor is unable to cure your disease, they may be able to suggest conservative therapy to ease your suffering.