Do you feel acute pain in the neck at times? Do the joints in your neck area keep causing trouble? This is no ordinary muscle pull, but a medical condition known as cervical spondylosis. It causes the cervical vertebrae to lose its cartilage lining. When this condition is not treated properly, it could cause further bone damage. Read further to understand the causes and treatments of cervical spondylosis.
What Is Cervical spondylosis?
The neck of any human body is the most sensitive and delicate area. Even a little muscle pull can put you in deep trouble. Cervical spondylosis is an age-related ailment that affects the joints in your neck. It is also known as the 'wear and tear' of the vertebrae and discs in the neck. The symptoms are tricky to identify because they occur at different intervals of time. In other words, the pain frequently starts and stops. To deal with cervical spondylosis, people usually resort to painkillers. But that just worsens the condition. The alternative names for this condition are cervical osteoarthritis and neck arthritis.
Causes Of Cervical Spondylosis
The causes of cervical spondylosis involve changes in the bones, spinal disks, and joints of the neck. This condition is typical among those who spend long hours in front of the computer. It occurs more frequently in gymnasts and athletes. Also, your spinal disks turn dry and begin to shrink when you turn 40. This reduces the cushioning between the bones in your neck. Your bones start cracking when you grow old. You may also develop bone spurs or extra bony growths. Bone spurs put extra pressure on your nerve roots and spinal cords, causing severe joint pain. Since the ligaments in your spine are connected to your bones, they grow stiffer as you age. This makes it painful for you to move your neck.
Some Other Causes Of Cervical Spondylosis Are:
- • Neck injuries
- • Genetic factors (family history of cervical spondylosis)
- • Work-related activities that put extra strain on your neck from heavy lifting
- • Cigarette smoking
- • Holding your neck in an uncomfortable position for prolonged periods or repeating the same neck movements throughout the day (repetitive stress)
• Being overweight and inactive
Symptoms Of Cervical Spondylosis
• Neck stiffness
This is usually seen in the morning after waking up from long hours of sleep. You would be able to hear a grinding noise. This is because of the loss of bone cartilage and rubbing of joints. If you are unable to turn your neck or head, it means that you are heading towards cervical spondylosis.
• Neck pain
If you find excessive neck pain after standing or sitting for an extended period, or maybe while sneezing, coughing, or even laughing, you could be suffering from cervical spondylosis. You might feel the pain while tilting your neck sideways or bending it backward. Some people experience persistent pain while some suffer from sudden flare-ups.
This begins from the back of the head and moves downwards
• Cervical Radiculopathy
This symptom of cervical spondylosis is characterised by a sharp, shooting pain below the arm. It also causes numbness in either one or both arms and weakness in a part of your arm or hand.
• Cervical Myelopathy
This symptom is extremely painful. It causes lack of muscle coordination, difficulty in walking, muscle spasms, and a tingling sensation in the arms, hands, legs or feet. In a few extreme cases, a person may suffer from a loss of bladder control.
Cervical Spondylosis Diagnosis
At Dr. Batra’s, a thorough examination is conducted for the patient. Medical history and necessary details are needed to diagnose cervical spondylosis. Some tests may be required to confirm the diagnosis as well as assess the extent of the damage. Those tests can also be used to track the progress of the condition over a period.
Some of the tests conducted are:
- • X-ray of the cervical spine (neck) – detects the development of spurs (bony outgrowths) on the vertebrae
- • CT (Computerized Tomography) scan
- • EMG (Electromyogram) – detects abnormal muscle electrical activity in case of nerve affection
- • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) spine – determines the extent of neural damage, if any
- • X-ray or CT scan after dye is injected into the spinal column (myelogram)
Cervical Spondylosis Treatment
The next time you suffer from persistent pain in the neck or experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, do not ignore them. Rush to the nearest clinic of Dr. Batra’s and get the best treatment for cervical spondylosis.