Cervical spondylosis is the degenerative condition of the cervical spine. It is a degenerative osteo arthritis of the joints between the neural foraminae and the spinal vertebrae. It can be caused by repetitive strain injury which can be caused by the patient’s lifestyle that doesn’t have ergonomic care. Examples of this lifestyle are working in front of the computer, travelling, driving and etc.
It can also be caused by smoking, mental health issues such as depression, injuries like one acquired from car wrecks and it can also be genetically acquired, meaning your family has a history of this disease.
Cervical spondylosis can be mild or severe. Symptoms may vary. Some symptoms are suboccipital, stiffness and pain in the neck, weakness and numbness in the arms, hands and fingers, having trouble to walk, losing balance and weak hands and/or legs. There can also be cases of headaches, popping and grinding sound and feeling in the neck during movement and muscle spasms in the shoulders and neck. There are also cervical spondylotic myelopathy or CSM and radicular symptoms.
There are different tests that a patient can undergo to see if he has a cervical spondylosis. The tests can be a CT scan, spine MRI, neck or spine x-ray, EMG and x-ray or CT scan after the spinal column has been injected with dye.
Once diagnosed with Cervical spondylosis, the patient can undergo simple therapies like NSAIDs or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, narcotic medicine or muscle relaxants, cortisone injections to the specific area in the spine, physical therapy and can also take several medications like phenytoin, carbamazepine or tricyclic antidepressants like as amitriptyline.
If these simple treatments, medications and therapies cannot cure the pain then a surgery might now be considered. However surgery should be your last resort.
One of the most effective techniques is the chiropractic. Chiropractic involves the manipulation of the spine to correct spinal problems and help relieve nerve irritation. The misalignment of the spinal vertebrae that the chiropractic technique cures is called the spinal subluxation.
Cervical spondylosis can be treated easily one it is detected especially if it’s still in its early stages. However there are also possible complications that it can fall to. The possible complications are chronic neck pain, progressive loss of the muscle function and feeling, inability to control feces and urine production. Plus progressive loss in the muscle function and feeling and worst is the permanent disability.
You can try the simple treatments and medications to help you feel at ease but you should call for medical help once you observed that your condition worsened and if there are signs of complications. You also have to contact medical attention immediately if you observe that there are new symptoms that you do not have before.
On a sadder note, most cases cannot be prevented early. But you can prevent some like neck injury by using the right and proper equipment and doing the right technique when playing sports.
By the way, cervical spondylosis can also be called cervical osteoarthritis and neck arthritis.
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