What is cervical spondylosis (cervical osteoarthritis)?
Cervical spondylosis is also known as osteoarthritis of cervical spine (neck). This is age related wear and tear of the discs, bones and joints of the neck. As the discs dehydrate and shrink with age, bony spicules start to appear along the edges of bones. Also the discs of cervical spine gradually break down and start losing fluid causing stiffness. Thus signs of osteoarthritis start to appear.
Due to compression of nerve or spinal cord in cervical spondylosis, there could be permanent damage as well.
Symptoms and causes
Usually, people experience no symptoms but when symptoms appear then they are pain and stiffness of neck. Further symptoms doesn’t appear unless there is nerve compression or there is narrowing of the space for spinal cord. If the nerve roots or spinal cord is compressed then there would be following symptoms:
Due to aging, there is wear and tear of the cartilage and bones of the spine of neck. Due to this wear and tear there is dehydration of the disc which acts like cushion between vertebrae of the spine. Due to drying up go th cushiony disc there is bone to bone contact causing pain and stiffness.
Diagnosis & treatment
Since conventional medicines doesn’t provide full relief in symptoms and have side effects of their own, homeopathy is an alternative method of helping people having cervical spondylosis. Homeopathy would not only help in relieving the symptoms but would also help in catching the disease at the current situation.
Various medicines are available for cervical spondylosis like silicea, natrum mur, bryonia, pulsatilla etc which can be given for the condition but should be taken only when prescribed by a homeopath.
Do’s & don’ts
The difficulties associated with cervical spondylosis go far beyond spelling it correctly! The problem of cervical spondylosis can be extremely painful making it difficult to sit or walk. As if cervical spondylosis alone was not enough to put up with, it can often be accompanied by headache. Bone spurs can be said to be a rather unusual phenomena but they can be one of the causes of cervical spondylosis is quite a few cases. This occurs when an extra bone grows to make the body stronger.
What causes cervical spondylosis?
While the causes of cervical spondylosis may vary, few causes are just as direct as injury is. A fall, or an accident can hasten the process of ageing and bring on cervical spondylosis sooner than what would have been usual. Sometimes, the nature of work can also lead to cervical spondylosis, as is the case with a lot of construction workers who suffer from it. Generally, as a person gets older, he or she can expect to suffer from cervical spondylosis. As a matter of fact, it affects about eighty five per cent of people over the age of sixty! One good thing though is the fact that only in certain, chronic cases is the condition life-altering, as most people are able to get on with their normal lives after taking some measures.
How to treat it?
In order to ease the pain, it is a good option to make use of some muscle relaxants, which can go a long way. Also, in case the pain is really bad, there are steroid injections which are available which reduce the tissue inflammation. For this same purpose, a person suffering can also make use of a narcotic such as hydrocodone. One solution which usually is not required in the case of cervical spondylosis is surgery. The surgeries for the issue are usually to correct the form of the bone structure, basically to remove spurs and create more room. However, doctors usually recommend this sort of solution when the pain is excruciating and persistent in nature.
Usually, muscles of those who suffer due to cervical spondylosis can get very sore. A simple but also a surprisingly effective remedy for this is to use a heating pack or a cold gel pack on one’s neck. Shot in the arm solution and a neck brace can an effective temporary solution. However, wearing a neck brace for too long can lead to weaker muscles, which will worsen the problem.
Cervical spondylosis is essentially a pain in the neck, but it is a manageable one!
Cervical osteoarthritis is also known as cervical spondylosis. It is a medical condition which involves changes in the joints, bones and discs of neck area. This is generally caused due to the degenerative changes in the bones and muscles owing to old age. With age, the discs present between the vertebrae tend to breaks down and loses all its fluids. This leads to stiffness in the spine. It occurs usually in middle-aged and old aged people. It may sometime also be caused due to abnormal loading or wrong postures of the spine. This causes stiffness and severe neck pain. Physiotherapy is the safest way of reducing pain and stiffness associated with cervical osteoarthritis.
Symptoms of Cervical Osteoarthritis:
1. Pain and stiffness in the neck.
2. Headache which usually emerges from the neck.
3. Severe pain in the arms and shoulder.
4. Not being able to turn the head or neck fully while driving.
5. Muscle spasm.
6. Grinding sensation or noise caused while bending the neck.
Cervical Osteoarthritis can be cured in the following ways:
1. Heat modalities - In this method, the pain and stiffness are reduced by putting heat on the affected area. This type of therapy is called heat therapy.
2. Electro modalities like IFT, TENS can also help in pain reduction and muscle relaxation.
3. Neck exercise - Regular stretching and strengthening exercises for the neck can reduce pain and stiffness.
4. Manipulating therapy - A physiotherapist may identify and manipulate the joints so that the muscles can function smoothly.
6. Cervical traction - This is a common non-surgical treatment which cures pain in the neck by opening the cervical foramen (hole or passage).
Physiotherapy is the most natural and safe way of treating cervical osteoarthritis. If you are diagnosed with cervical spondylosis, you should start physiotherapy as soon as possible.
Cervical spondylosis is fast becoming the bane of modern life. An age-related wear and tear problem affecting the spinal discs in your neck, cervical spondylosis is increasingly affecting the young because of the use of cell phones, laptops and the like.
Cervical spondylosis is a general term used to define shrinkage of discs in between vertebrae in the neck region. Along with disc degeneration, bony projections also form in the area and are called bone spurs.
Other causes of cervical spondylosis are dehydrated discs. Discs are thick, pad-like cushions in between vertebrae that act as shock absorbers. They are made of a gel- like material that can dry over time. This causes the spinal vertebrae to rub together causing pain. The discs also crack which allows the internal gel-like material to spill out and impinge on spinal nerves causing symptoms.
There is a narrowing of the space required by the spinal cord and nerves that emanate in the upper spine to go to various parts of the body. Pinching of these nerves can cause alarming symptoms like
Treatment and management
Usually, cervical spondylosis doesn’t cause any symptoms. But when you start experiencing pain, stiffness and weakness of muscles, it’s best to go to a doctor who will diagnose the problem and then treat it.
Treatment for cervical spondylosis depends on the severity of your symptoms. Its goal is to get rid of pain, allow you to carry on your daily activities and prevent any permanent damage to your spinal cord and nerves.
Cervical spondylosis surgery typically involves removing:
Cervical spondylosis is a disorder that affects the joints and disc around the cervical region or neck. Earlier, it was believed that spondylosis can occur in old people only and is an age-related disorder. However, it is not true nowadays. Today, even youngsters complain of pain in the neck region due to cervical spondylosis. It occurs mostly to people who spend longer hours sitting and working on the computer. It is caused due to damage of cartilage and bones in this region. Symptoms of cervical spondylosis include chronic pain and stiffness around the neck.
Causes for Cervical Spondylosis-
A number of factors can be responsible for cervical spondylosis. Following are the common causes for the disorder:
1. Overgrowth of bones in the neck region: This can hamper the sensitive areas around the spine.
2. Drying of fluid: The spinal bone is made up of disc-like structures. There is fluid present in between the disks. Spondylosis is often caused due to the drying up of this fluid.
3. Herinated disks: In some cases, cracks get developed on the disks. This causes leakage of fluid in between them. Consequently, the nerves in this region get damaged.
4. Injury: If you have had an injury to your neck, such as during a fall or car accident, this can accelerate the aging process.
Homeopathic Medicines to Cure Cervical Spondylosis-
There are homeopathic medicines, which can cure cervical spondylosis over a period of time. However, the dosage of these medicines must be administered properly to get rid of the disorder. Some of these useful medicines have been listed below:
1. Conium: This medicine is prescribed for patients suffering from vertigo. If a patient feels pain or vertigo while turning the head sideways or lying down on bed, this medicine can prove helpful. Other symptoms that should be taken into account while prescribing this drug include feeling of tightness in the temporal region and pain in occipital area.
2. Gelsemium: If the pain in the neck region extends to the back of the head, one may be given doses of Gelsemium. The patient complains of having the pain at the centre of the occipital region. Besides, the patient will feel inactive, dull and dizzy most of the times.
3. Kalmia Latifolia: This is given when the pain spreads up to the arm region and fingers. The pain can also be felt around the shoulder blades. The patient suffers from frequent nausea. The pain increases when the patient tries to look down.
4. Silicea: When the pain is felt on the eyes or forehead, this medicine is prescribed. It is also useful in treating spine curvature. These patients cannot adjust to cold weather. They feel chilly most of the times. The get quick relief by warm fomentation.
5. Calcarea Phos: This is useful for treating patients who have developed spondylosis due to the overgrowth of bones in the cervical region or bone spurs.