What is Cervical Spondylosis?
Cervical spondylosis is a common, age-related condition that influences the joints and discs in your cervical spine and neck. It’s otherwise called cervical osteoarthritis or neck arthritis. It creates from the mileage of cartilage and bones. While it’s generally the consequence of age, it tends to be brought about by different factors. Specific individuals who have it never experience side effects. For other people, it can cause chronic, severe pain and stiffness. Nonetheless, many individuals who have led normal activities are capable.
CAUSES OF CERVICAL SPONDYLOSIS
The bones and defensive cartilage in your neck are inclined to wear and tear, which can prompt cervical spondylosis. Potential reasons for the condition include:
- Bone spurs: These abundances of bone are the consequence of the body trying to develop additional unresolved issues to make the spine more grounded. Be that as it may, the extra bone can push on fragile spine areas, like the spinal cord and nerves, resulting in pain.
- Dehydrated spinal discs: Your spinal bones have disks between them, which are thick, pad like cushions that absorb the shock of lifting, twisting, and other activities. The gel-like material inside these disks can dry out over the long run. It causes your bones (spinal vertebrae) to rub together more, which can be painful.
- Herniated discs: Spinal disks can develop cracks, which permit leakage of the internal cushioning material. This material can push on the spinal cord and nerves, resulting in side effects, such as arm numbness and pain that radiates down an arm.
- Injury: If you’ve had an injury to your neck (during a fall or fender bender, for instance), this can speed up the aging system.
- Ligament stiffness: The extreme cords that associate with your unresolved spinal issues can be considerably stiffer over the long haul, which influences your neck development and causes the neck to feel tight.
- Overuse: Some occupations or side interests involve dull developments or hard work (for example, development work). It can come down on the spine, resulting in premature wear and tear.
RISK FACTORS FOR THE CONDITION
The most severe risk factor for cervical spondylosis is aging. Cervical spondylosis often develops because of changes in your neck joints as you age. Disk herniation, drying out, and bone prods are consequences of aging. Factors other than aging can increase your risk of cervical spondylosis. These include:
- neck injuries
- work-related activities that put extra strain on your neck from heavy lifting
- holding your neck in an uncomfortable position for prolonged periods or repeating the same neck movements throughout the day (repetitive stress)
- genetic factors (family history of cervical spondylosis)
- being overweight and inactive
SYMPTOMS OF CERVICAL SPONDYLOSIS
The vast majority with cervical spondylosis don’t have significant side effects. Assuming side effects do happen, they can range from gentle to severe and may develop continuously or happen unexpectedly. One common side effect is pain around the shoulder bone. Some complain of pain along the arm and in the fingers. The cervical spondylosis pain could increase when:
- tilting your neck backward
Another common symptom is muscle weakness. Muscle weakness makes it hard to lift the arms or grasp objects firmly.
Other common signs include:
- a stiff neck that becomes worse
- headaches that mainly occur in the back of the head
- tingling or numbness that affects the shoulders and arms primarily, although it can also occur in the legs
Symptoms that occur less frequently often include a loss of balance and a loss of bladder or bowel control. These symptoms warrant immediate medical attention.
CERVICAL SPONDYLOSIS DIAGNOSE
Making a diagnosis of cervical spondylosis involves ruling out other likely conditions, for example, fibromyalgia. Diagnosis involves testing for development and determining the impacted nerves, bones, and muscles. Your doctor might treat your illness or allude you to an orthopedic specialist, neurologist, or neurosurgeon for further testing.
TEST THAT IS TO BE DONE
- X-rays can be used to check for bone spurs and other abnormalities.
- A CT scan can provide more detailed images of your neck.
- An MRI scan, which produces images using radio waves and a magnetic field, helps your doctor locate pinched nerves.
- In a myelogram, a dye injection highlights specific areas of your spine. CT scans or X-rays are then used to provide more detailed images of these areas.
- An electromyogram (EMG)checks that your nerves are functioning normally when sending signals to your muscles. This test measures your nerves’ electrical activity.
- A nerve conduction study checks the speed and strength of the signals a nerve sends. It is done by placing electrodes on your skin where the nerve is located.
TREATING CERVICAL SPONDYLOSIS
Treatments for cervical spondylosis focus on providing pain relief, lowering the risk of permanent damage, and helping you lead an everyday life. Nonsurgical methods are usually very effective.
Your doctor might prescribe certain medications if over the counter (OTC) drugs don’t work. These include:
- muscle relaxants, such as cyclobenzaprine(Fexmid), to treat muscle spasms
- narcotics, such as hydrocodone(Norco), for pain relief
- anti-epileptic drugs, such as gabapentin(Neurontin), to relieve pain caused by nerve damage
- steroid injections, such as prednisone, to reduce tissue inflammation and subsequently lessen pain
- prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as diclofenac(Voltaren-XR), to reduce inflammation
If your condition is severe and doesn’t answer other forms of treatment, you could require a medical procedure. It can involve removing bone prods, portions of your neck bones, or herniated disks to give your spinal cord and nerves more space. The medical procedure is seldom essential for cervical spondylosis. Notwithstanding, a doctor might suggest it on the off chance that the pain is severe and affects your capacity to move your arms.
Cervical spondylosis is a common and often age-related condition that can cause stiffness, discomfort, and migraines related to neck pain. Your doctor will be unable to turn around the situation. However, they can often prescribe moderate medicines to assist you with overcoming discomfort and pain. Are you searching for the best doctor to defeat all your issues? Contact Physiotherapist Dr. Niraj Patel.