Greetings .. Gloria is away this week, and will resume posting on February 4, 2008. In the meantime, please enjoy this article about Neck Arthritis. // HART
For many people cervical spondylosis can be a real pain the neck, as it is the result of the degeneration of the padding with the disks in the back in the cervical spine. This form of neck arthritis is the most prevalent cause of neck pain and is most common in the older population. Typically, in patients over 60, about 75 percent of men and women suffer from some form of neck arthritis. While the aging process is the most common cause of this problem, a neck injury that may have occurred several years prior, can also be blamed.
Cervical spondylosis, also known as cervical osteoarthritis or neck arthritis, is a degenerative condition cause by the unusual wearing of the bones in the neck and the loss of cartilage, which cushions the vertebrae in the neck. Neck pain can also be caused by bone spurs on the bones that can break off an work their way into the cartilage. The loss of cartilage also creates an open space between the vertebrae into which nerves can be compressed, causing additional pain in other extremities.
Pain the neck, arms and back can result from this nerve interaction and if the spinal cord is affected by neck arthritis, the pain can also make its way into the legs. In addition to the pain caused by neck arthritis, a loss of feeling may also be experienced.
Non-Surgical Treatments Used In Treatment
For persons in the first stages of neck arthritis, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications can help ease the pain, but one of the principal concerns is to prevent damage to the nerves and the spinal cord. In some cases, a neck brace may be needed to stabilize the neck area and prevent awkward movements. As the conditions worsen, holding the neck still with a cervical brace may be recommended and cortisone injections into the affected part of the cervical spine may relieve some of the pain.
In more severe cases of neck arthritis, hospitalization may be required with a traction device to prevent the neck from moving and causing nerve and spinal cord damage. In these case, while hospitalized with neck arthritis, a person may be given muscle relaxers and narcotic pain relievers.
As a last ditch effort, doctors may recommend surgical intervention of reclaim the space between the vertebrae. Surgery may also be needed to remove any bone chips or fragments what have moved into the space vacated by the degenerated cartilage.