If you have chronic neck pain and headaches that just doesn’t seem to go away no matter what you try, you could have cervical spondylosis. If you have been diagnosed with cervical spondylosis you might be wondering what you did to cause this and how you can reverse it.
Cervical spondylosis goes by several names, including arthritis of the neck, cervical osteoarthritis, or even degenerative osteoarthritis.
These are all pretty scary names, but in a nutshell, cervical spondylosis is an age-related condition where the everyday wear and tear on the vertebrae of the neck develop small bone spurs while the discs get thinner, allowing the nerves to be pinched, often resulting in a tingling feeling in the extremities.
Anytime we experience neck or back problems we fear that something serious and terrible is happening. While this condition can cause pain, it is rarely progressive, is often successfully treated with conservative methods and even in the most extreme cases, surgery is also very helpful.
Not everyone with cervical spondylosis experiences symptoms, but for those who do, the most common symptoms are:
In more severe cases, symptoms might include:
This condition can usually be diagnosed with x-rays and a physical exam.
The main cause of spondylosis is simply age, but there are other causes that can increase the risk of developing this condition, including:
There is also a genetic cause as this condition appears to run in certain families. This condition also appears to affect more men than women although the reason for this is not known.
It is also believed that certain activities can increase the risk of cervical spondylosis, including gymnastics, being a professional dancer, martial arts, and weight lifters.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for this age-related problem and cervical spondylosis treatments are generally mild and conservative, but extremely effective for the majority of cases.
Get control over your cervical spondylosis by practicing the following 5 simple steps.
Many people find relief from their symptoms through physical rehabilitation exercises. Your chiropractor can suggest appropriate stretching and strengthening exercises that will help to improve mobility, stretch the neck so there is less pressure on the nerves, as well as strengthen the muscles that support the head and neck.
Chances are that you don’t need to see a physical therapist since most chiropractors offer physical rehabilitation exercises or programs at their clinics. Call your local chiropractor to see if this is true of your local clinic.
Massage has multiple benefits, many more than simply making you feel good. A chiropractic massage, which is done under the guidance and direction of the chiropractor, will be very beneficial for relieving the pain and stiffness that often comes with cervical spondylosis.
Massage therapy increases blood circulation, reduces swelling, and will offer some much-needed relief from painful muscle spasms. This form of therapy will also reduce inflammation and the pain it causes. For many with this condition, the muscles that are attached to the vertebra are often tight, which leads to painful spasms. Your massage therapist will work on relaxing these muscles layer by layer.
Some people wear a neck brace to help them deal with the pain and while these can be helpful for a day or two, wearing them for much longer than this causes weaker neck muscles that make spondylosis even worse.
Massage therapy can help lessen pain and muscle spasms, so you can wean yourself off of the neck brace. Also, performing physical rehab exercises as directed by your chiropractor (see Step #1) can also improve neck strength. If you feel you must wear the brace, speak to your massage therapist and/or chiropractor.
Inflammation causes pain, so limiting inflammation should be a top priority for those with this painful condition. There are many natural supplements that can reduce inflammation, however, please speak to your doctor, chiropractor, or pharmacist before consuming any supplement, regardless of how safe or natural it is advertised to be. Remember that arsenic is completely natural!
Some of the best anti-inflammatory supplements include:
Some supplements can cause drug interactions or even allergic reactions, so please speak to your doctor, pharmacist, or chiropractor before consuming any supplement, especially if you are taking any type of prescription medication.
What is the best treatment for cervical spondylosis? Comprehensive chiropractic care! If you have been asking yourself if chiropractic can help spondylosis, you should know that this is one of the most effective treatment methods.
No, chiropractic will not cure spondylosis, but then again, nothing will. Can chiropractic help arthritis in the neck, yes it does. Chiropractic care offers substantial pain relief by applying gentle traction techniques, designed to increase the space between the discs, allowing for a release of pressure on the nerves, as well as keeping the neck vertebra in proper alignment.
If you are concerned that the chiropractor is going to whip your head around or crack it like a nut, we can tell you that these are old wives’ tales. Only the gentlest of pressure is needed to restore alignment in the neck.
Your chiropractor might also suggest other types of physical therapy modalities, such as
Studies have found that chiropractic care was more effective for chronic neck pain from spondylosis than drug therapy or counseling and a meta-analysis of 6 studies found that all persons who had chronic neck pain experienced less pain and improved mobility after receiving chiropractic treatment.
The good news here is that nearly everyone with cervical spondylosis responds well to regular chiropractic care to reduce pain and improve mobility.
Of course, before modern medicine, people have been treating cervical spondylosis by way of home remedies. While there often times is little or no scientific evidence to back up these treatments, none of the following remedies will hurt you if they don’t work.
Most home remedies are designed to ease pain and relieve symptoms since there is no cure for this age-related problem. Some of the more common remedies include:
If you are experiencing neck pain, you should contact your local chiropractor for a complete check up and diagnosis. Early treatment can help prevent a mild case of spondylosis from becoming more painful and more severe.
We hope you found this article helpful. Please feel free to share it with others who might benefit from the information it contains.
At Better Health Chiropractic and Physical Rehab, we believe that no one should be forced to live in pain. If you have no insurance but believe you need treatment, please read this article.
If you have insurance, our helpful staff would be happy to check your coverage for you and find out information regarding deductibles or copay amounts. Please call one of our clinics for a same day appointment or you can make an appointment online here.
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Dr. Brent Wells has been a trusted chiropractor since moving his family from Oregon to Alaska back in 1998 and founded Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab – B.S. from Univ. of Nevada, Doctorate from Western States Chiropractic College, volunteer for Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Foundation, and member of the American Chiropractic Association. As a chiropractor his focus is on family, including his 3 children and wife of 20+ years, his clinics, and ongoing education.