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Medikoe Health Expert

  Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru     Feb 9, 2017

   4 min     


Do you know that after back-pain and simple neck pain, cervical osteoarthritis is the most common musculoskeletal cause of consultation in the medical practice? Cervical Osteoarthritis, also known as cervical spondylosis or neck arthritis is a widespread age-related disorder that affects the joints and discs in your neck. It develops from deterioration of the cartilage and bones present in your cervical spine. Aging of an individual is the most common cause and women are more prone to cervical spondylosis.

Symptoms of Cervical Osteoarthritis                                       

Most people who suffer from cervical osteoarthritis don’t have too many major symptoms. If at all they do occur, they will develop gradually but may get worse suddenly.

1. You might complain about pain along the arm and in the fingers (rarely), which might get exacerbated whilst coughing, sneezing, standing or coughing.

2. Pain that radiates from or between the shoulder blades.

3. Muscle weakness makes it hard to grasp objects firmly or loss of balance.

4. Pain, rigidity, and stiffness felt first thing in the morning and easing out after getting up and moving around.

What Causes Cervical Osteoarthritis?

As mentioned earlier, the most common cause of this condition is associated with the aging of an individual. Some of the other causes are:

  1. Bone spurs (Cervical Osteophytes): An osteophyte is a bony outgrowth that the body generates due to a weakened spine and appears in the spinal vertebrae of the neck. You may experience burning, aching or throbbing pain and tingling in the neck and arms.

  2. Dehydrated Spinal Disks: Spinal bones have pad-like disks between each one that bears the shock of turning, twisting and other activities. The gel-like substance inside these disks can dry out over some time, resulting in immense pain.

  3. Herniated Disks: The spinal disks can develop cracks and permit the leakage of the internal cushioning substances. This substance can press on the spinal cord and nerves, which will further result in sciatica and arm numbness.

  4.  Injury: If you have had a car accident or a fall in recent years, it could also speed up the aging process.

  5. Overuse: Some jobs require heavy lifting of objects, for example, heavy weight lifters or construction workers. This puts extra pressure on the spine and will result in a lot of wear and tear.

Cervical osteoarthritis exercises

A person can ease the symptoms of cervical spondylosis with a few simple neck exercises.

Neck stretch

  • Keep your body straight.

  • Push your chin forward in a way that stretches the throat.

  • Softly tense the neck muscles.

  • Hold this for 5 seconds.

  • Return your head to its center position.

  • Push your head back with the chin held high, and hold for 5 seconds.

  • Carry out 5 repetitions.

Neck tilt

  • Tilt your head forward so that the chin touches the chest.

  • Softly tense the neck muscles.

  • Hold this for 5 seconds.

  • Return the head to a neutral position.

  • Carry out 5 repetitions.

Neck tilt (side-to-side)

  • Lean your head down towards either shoulder, leading with the ear.

  • Softly tense the neck muscles.

  • Hold this for 5 seconds.

  • Return your head to the center and repeat on the other shoulder.

  • Carry out 5 repetitions.

These exercises can help to moderate the impact of the condition and alleviate pain or feelings of stiffness. However, they will not cure cervical spondylosis.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options

A thorough physical examination, EMG, MRI of the neck and neck X-ray help in the diagnosis. The non-surgical treatment procedures that can be followed are:

a. Resting when the pain is severe.

b. Physical therapy in the form of neck exercises will help maintain range of motion and prevent stiffness of the neck. The therapist will recommend you exercises that make your neck muscles stronger. You may also have neck traction, which is performed to increase the gap between the cervical joints and relieve the pressure on the nerve roots and cervical discs.

c. Muscle relaxants to help decrease painful muscle spasms in the neck, spine, and surrounding muscles.

d. Using a cold pack or application of heat is known to alleviate pain caused due to Cervical Spondylosis.

e. Wearing a soft neck brace or collar to get temporary relief.

f. You can also visit a massage therapist, who does a spinal manipulation or performs acupuncture to help get relief.

The best treatment option includes:

Some of the best medical treatments available for treating cervical spondylosis are-

  • Physical therapy that involves stretching and using weights

  • Medications like muscle relaxants (cyclobenzaprine), narcotics (hydrocodone), anti-epileptic drugs (gabapentin), steroids, and anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

All in all, this is a condition that affects almost 85% of the human population once they have crossed the age of 60. Your doctor may not be able to completely reverse the disorder but can provide you with umpteen relief measures to help you beat the pain and discomfort.

Cervical osteoarthritis natural-treatment

Some simple yet effective cervical osteoarthritis pain relief home remedies that can provide relief from cervical spondylosis are listed below.

  1. Garlic

  2. Turmeric

  3. Sesame Seeds

  4. Ginger

  5. Apple Cider Vinegar

  6. Indian Lilac Or Neem

  7. Castor Oil

  8. Omega-3

  9. Vitamins

  10. Essential Oils

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Tags:  Headtilt3spine, Cervical Osteophytes, Physiotherapy, cervical spondylosis,Cervical Osteoarthritis, injuries, truma

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