Cervical Spondylitis Symptoms Causes Treatment

CERVICAL SPONDYLITIS is an age-related condition that negatively affects the discs and joints in your cervical spine. The condition is popular as neck arthritis or cervical osteoarthritis. Its main causes include ageing and wear and tear of bones and cartilage. 

Today, almost 85 per cent of people experience the symptoms of this condition. Mostly, age over 40. Cervical spondylosis causes stiffness and severe chronic pain. However, in less severe conditions an individual can easily carry normal daily activities.
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Causes behind Cervical Spondylosis

The protective cartilage and bones in our neck are prone to daily wear and tear and this causes cervical spondylosis. Read on to know about the additional causes of this condition-
Dehydrated spinal discs
Our spinal bones feature discs between them that act as pad-like, thick cushions. They absorb the shock causes due to intense activities like twisting and lifting. Plus, these discs contain a gel-like in them which may dry out with age. As a result, the bones rub together more which leads to intense pain.

Some other causes

Bone spurs
To make the spine stronger the body grows an extra bone. If the bone overgrowths presses on the spine’s delicate areas, such as the nerves and spinal cord and the individual suffers from intense pain.
Injury due to fall/accident 
If you’ve had met an accident and got your neck injured the ageing process is accelerated. As a result, you may develop symptoms of cervical spondylosis at an early age.
Cracks in Herniated discs
In case of cracks in the Spinal discs,the internal cushioning material starts leaking. This leakage causes pressure on the nerves and spinal cord, resultantly the individual suffers from intense pain and arm numbness, radiating down an arm.
Overuse due to intense movements
Some hobbies and occupations involve heavy lifting or repetitive movements, such as construction work. Such activities press the spine, causing early wear and tear.
Stiffness of the ligament 
The tough cords connecting the spinal bones can become stiff with increasing age over time and this affects the neck movement, making the neck feel inflexible and tight.

Is Cervical Spondylosis Serious Problem? 

Some patients suffering from the symptoms of spondylosis hesitate to seek proper medical treatment possibly because they experience the symptoms occasionally. In few cases, individuals may not develop any symptoms at all. In any case, untreated spinal degeneration could worsen over time. In the rare cases, unaddressed spondylosis causes permanent nerve damage and this condition can cause countless problems such as reduced reflexes, numbness in certain body parts of the body and poor balance.

CERVICAL SPONDYLITIS SYMPTOMS 

A number of people suffering from cervical spondylosis do not develop significant symptoms of the condition. However, even if the symptoms occur they just try to be ignorant because initially they are mild and may turn severe gradually.
One of the most common symptoms of spondylosis is intense pain around the individual’s shoulder blade, in the fingers or along the arm.Usually, the pain increases when sitting, standing, coughing, sneezing, or tilting the neck backwards.
Muscle weakness is yet another common sign of spondylosis. It becomes tough for the weakened muscle to grasp objects firmly or lift the arms properly.

Other common symptoms of this condition are- 

• Stiffness in the neck that may worsen over the time
• Frequent headaches towards the backside of the head
• Numbness or tingling that affects legs, arms and shoulders
• Loss of bowel control or bladder
• Loss of balance
Seek medical attention immediately as soon as discover any of the above-mentioned conditions.
Treatment for Cervical Spondylosis
There are various treatments for cervical spondylosis, each of them focuses on reducing the risk of severe/permanent damage, providing relief from pain, improving the body posture and helping the individual lead a normal life. There are both surgical and nonsurgical methods for treating the condition; both of them are equally effective.

Medications

The expert prescribes certain medications according to the severity of the patient’s condition. Common medications used in fixing cervical spondylosis issue include-
• narcotics for pain relief- hydrocodone (Norco)
• muscle relaxants for treating muscle spasms- cyclobenzaprine (Fexmid)
• anti-epileptic drugs for relieving pain caused due to damage of nerves- gabapentin (Neurontin)
• Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) prescription for reducing inflammation- diclofenac (Voltaren-XR)
• steroid injections for reducing pain and tissue inflammation- prednisone.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy is one of the best options to get rid of spondylosis. It helps the individual in stretching his shoulder and neck muscles. Plus, the therapy enhances the strength of muscles, while providing relief from pain. In case the patient has neck traction, the therapist uses weights for relieving the pressure from the nerve roots and cervical discs.

Surgery

In case of severe conditions or non-effectiveness of the non-surgical treatments, the patient may need to go for surgery. The surgeon many parts of the patient’s herniated discs or neck bones, remove bone spurs, or may give more room to the nerves or spinal cord. However, Surgery is considered as the last option for treating CERVICAL SPONDYLITIS.

Precautions in Cervical Spondylosis

• Do not sit in stressful postures for a long period.
• In case of severe neck pain, avoid high-impact aerobics and running.
• Avoid lifting heavy weights on back or head.
• It is recommended to avoid bad roads when traveling by four/two wheelers.
• Avoid driving for long hours. It is ideal to take breaks in between the journey.
• Avoid taking more than one pillow below the shoulder and neck while sleeping.
• Make sure not to lie flat especially towards the stomach.
• In case of acute pain, don’t opt for spinal manipulations.

In addition, you should avoid the following bad postures in order to avoid worsening of cervical spondylosis-

• Keeping head in an abnormal position for a long period
• Keeping the shoulders up and forward for long
• Chest rounded and bent
• Tilted pelvic area
• Bent ankles,hips and knees

The Concluding Word 

Cervical spondylosis is turning out to be one of the common issues these days due to the lifestyle of today. If you discover even a small sign of CERVICAL SPONDYLITIS SYMPTOMS, do not hesitate to seek a professional’s help. Timely treatment can save you from severe conditions. 
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