Arthritis of the Neck
Arthritis of the neck is also called cervical spondylosis. It occurs when one or more joints between the 7 cervical vertebrae in the neck becomes inflamed. Various conditions can cause inflammation in the neck including rheumatoid arthritis, age-related degeneration of the bones or vertebral discs (separating the vertebrae), and traumatic injury to the neck structures. Pain from arthritis in the neck can be very debilitating and can refer down the arms to the hands and fingers as well.
Symptoms of Arthritis in the Neck
- Stiffness and pain in the neck that may increase with activity
- Inability to turn the head or bend the neck
- Arm, hand, or finger numbness and weakness
- Difficulty walking or balancing
- Muscle spasms in nearby muscles
- Crepitus sounds while moving the neck
Causes of Arthritis in the Neck
- The vertebral discs separating the vertebrae lose water with age and they begin to dry out and become weak and stiff
- Bony facets of consecutive vertebrae, once separated by the vertebral discs, increase the pressure on one another which breaks down the cartilage layer around the bones
Risk factors of Arthritis in the Neck
- Family history of neck pain
- Occupation involving lots of neck motion and overhead work
- Previous traumatic injury to the neck (i.e. in a car wreck)
Complications with Arthritis of the Neck
- Difficulty with daily activities such as driving that involve a lot of neck movement.
- Bone spur development that may narrow the space through which nerves pass (Stenosis)
Prevention of Arthritis of the Neck
- Maintaining good posture while sleeping, sitting, and standing
Things to do at home for arthritis of the neck
- Ice and/or heat
- Maintain good posture while sitting, standing, and sleeping
Treatment of Arthritis in the Neck
We use the following approaches to relieve arthritis symptoms in the neck:
- ASTR® Tools: Our doctors use a variety of ASTR® tools to release scar tissue and myofascial restriction, which can decrease mobility and flexibility.
- Special exercise program to decrease pain, strengthen the muscles, stabilize and help the patient to return to normal function and activities.
- Special instructions on how to speed up the recovery time.
- Cold Laser Therapy: Tissue inflammation is common with arthritis in the neck. Cold laser is used in order to decrease inflammation that causes pressure on the affected area.