What is Cervical Spondylosis?
Cervical spondylosis (e.g. cervical osteoarthritis and neck arthritis) occurs from wear and tear of the cartilage and bones in the neck (cervical spine). This is due to abnormal joint mechanics, which can be caused by other factors such as poor neck alignment. It has been said to be present in more than 90 percent of people over the age of 65. While this number may seem high, many people with the condition never experience symptoms. On the other hand, sufferers that have chronic pain from this condition still seem to be able to conduct normal, daily activities.
The good news about cervical spondylosis is that non-surgical chiropractic methods are usually very effective. The goal is to provide pain relief while optimizing good spinal mechanics to improve posture and alignment. Doing this means we lower the risk of permanent damage, and help you lead a normal life.
Goldsboro Spine Center cannot reduce the slippage of spondylolisthesis, but can address the spinal joints above and below the slipped vertebra to relieve pain and improve function. Your treatment plan will be customized for your condition. This includes various types of spinal adjustment to improve biomechanics, exercises to stretch and strengthen your neck and shoulder muscles, as well as cervical traction, to increase the space between the cervical joints to relieve pressure on the discs and nerve roots.
Causes and risk factors
- Loss of natural cervical lordosis
- Neck injuries
- Activities that put extra strain on your neck (heavy lifting, poor posture, repetitive movements, etc.)
- Family history of the condition
- Being inactive and overweight
Around middle age, your spinal discs can undergo changes. They may become dry and begin shrinking, or develop cracks that causes them to bulge or become herniated. These changes can cause joint pain since they can put pressure on your spinal cord and nerve roots. Your spinal ligaments might also become stiffer and thickened as you age making it more difficult for normal neck function.
As the condition progresses, you may experience neck stiffness, aching or tingling sensation in one or both arms, and headaches. Shooting pain can develop if the bone spurs grow laterally and irritate the nerve roots. If the spurs affect the spinal cord, then headaches, loss of balance, weakness in the arms, and loss of neck movement can result. As the natural curve is lost, severe cervical spondylosis causes the vertebrae to fuse together. A grinding feeling and sound occurs with neck movement in addition to the other symptoms listed above.
When to seek medical care
Since the early effects of cervical spondylosis are mild, the only way to know if you’re suffering from this condition is by being properly X-rayed. That allows the doctor to see decreased disc height, and if there is any bone spur formation.
There are three common symptoms that may present themselves as cervical spondylosis worsens: pain around the shoulder blade, and pain and/or muscle weakness along the arm and in the fingers. This pain can increase with movement, sneezing, coughing, or backward bending of the neck?
Other common signs include:
- Stiff neck that worsens
- Headaches in the back of the head
- Tingling or numbness in the shoulders and arms
- Loss of balance
If you have the sudden onset of these symptoms, you should seek chiropractic care right away.
Contact Us for Your Consultation
If you think chiropractic treatment can help, contact us to schedule a consultation. The consultation includes:
- X-ray review and measurement
- Lifestyle and activity assessment
- Doctor examination
- Spinal adjustment
- At-home care recommendations
If new X-Rays need to be taken, they can be done the same day as your appointment.