Cervical spondylosis is an ailment caused by aging which leads to gradual wear and tear of the spinal discs and joints of the neck. It is also known as cervical osteoarthritis or neck arthritis.
Our spine is made up of 24 bones called vertebrae. Between each bone is a soft gel-like cushion called discs which cushion the immense pressure on the spine and keep the bones from rubbing into each other. The discs provide our back and neck the flexibility they need to function properly.
In spondylosis, the gel-like disks dry up, harden and make the cervical joints stiff causing arthritis of the neck.
Symptoms of spondylosis
There aren’t usually any visible symptoms rather than stiffness and pain in the neck. Sometimes, the degeneration of discs and cartilage leads to the formation of bony spur-like growth along the neck spine called osteophytes. This abnormal growth can cause narrowing of the interior of the spine causing the nerves to pinch get damaged.
The pinching of spinal cords or nerves can cause problems like: –
- Tingling, numbness, and weakness in your arms, hands, legs, or feet
- Lack of coordination and difficulty walking
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Muscle spasms
Severe damage like that may require corrective surgery.
Causes of Cervical Spondylosis
The main cause behind spondylosis is aging. As we age degradation of bones and muscles is a natural phenomenon. A majority of the population above 50 experiences some kind of symptom of spondylosis.
The damage depends on the various risk factors. Apart from aging obviously the other risk factors which lead to severity of spondylosis are:-
- People with occupations that include a lot of stress on the neck, and its awkward positioning are at higher risk of spondylosis. Athletes like weightlifters, gymnasts, and swimmers are also prone to the ailment in later life.
- Neck injuries aggravate the risk of spondylosis
- Bad Posture can lead to permanent spinal damage which can lead to spondylosis
One should be mindful of how much pressure they are putting on their neck as it can make a big difference later on in life.
The diagnosis of spondylosis is done through a physical exam, X-rays, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Treatment for Cervical Spondylosis
Spondylosis needs a comprehensive regimen of rest, physiotherapy and precautions to be treated. Other treatments may include:-
- Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Wearing a cervical collar
- Regular chiropractic treatment
- Physical therapy like heat and cold therapy, traction therapy
- Steroid injection into the joints of the spines
Cervical spondylosis is a chronic condition but in most cases, it is not progressive; that means it does not cause further damage. But, as discussed earlier sometimes it can damage important nerves and surgery is needed to rectify the situation. Sometimes implants are also added after removing the affected disks or the bone spur growth or parts of vertebrae are fused to prevent further damage.
Permanent damage to a nerve leads to disastrous consequences such as permanent disability and thus surgery is advised in case the ailment becomes progressive.
Park Hospitals is one of the top hospitals in the country with the best of amenities and a dedicated and experienced staff. Park hospital West Delhi has the best orthopedician in Delhi and you must contact us if you have any symptoms of spondylosis or any kind of pain or stiffness in your joints or bones.