Cervical spondylosis is an age related condition that impacts the neck joints. It occurs as a result of damage in the cartilage and bones of the cervical spine. This condition is also known as cervical osteoarthritis or neck arthritis.
Causes and Risk Factors
One of the main reasons for cervical Spondylosis is wear and tear in the neck joints due to age. The spinal discs become dry / start shrinking and sometimes develop cracks with age.
- Previous neck trauma or injuries
- Repeating the same neck movements throughout the day
- Work-related activities that put extra strain on the neck
- Family history of cervical spondylosis
- Being overweight and inactive
Visible and invisible symptoms:
Most people suffering from cervical spondylosis will not have any noticeable symptoms. If the symptoms occur they can be mild or severe and may develop gradually or occur spontaneously. Some of the symptoms include pain in the arm or fingers, shooting pain while standing, sneezing, tilting the neck backwards or coughing. One can also have headaches at the back of the head or a severe stiff neck.
Physical therapy: The doctor might advice physical therapy to help stretch the neck and shoulder muscles to make them strong.
Medications: Some of the medications may include muscle relaxants and narcotics such as anti-seizure drugs and steroid injections, as a part of the treatment.
Surgery: The last resort is surgery and is rarely necessary for cervical spondylosis.
Lifestyle Changes: Exercising and using a heating pad or cold pack on the neck can provide pain relief for sore muscles. Although a neck bracelet can give temporary relief, it is not recommended for long periods as it makes the muscles weaker.
If you have a sudden onset or numbness or any tingling in certain parts of the body like shoulder, arms or legs or lose bowel control, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.