Close look on cervical spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis is defined as a deteriorating ailment involving the abnormal wear on the vertebrae and accompanying soft tissues in the neck. Those who end up with this condition start to experience pain and rigidity of the neck which typically increases with age.

Generally, the outcome is relatively excellent, and most cases respond after a few weeks of undergoing treatment.

Am I at risk for cervical spondylosis?

The usual risk factors linked with cervical spondylosis include:

  • Advanced age
  • Hereditary link among those with a family history of spinal ailments
  • Smoking
  • Previous traumatic spinal injuries
  • Certain occupations that involve excessive lifting of heavy objects
  • Prolapsed or ruptured cervical disc
    cervical-spondylosis

    Weakness, numbness or tingling sensations in the hands, arms and fingers.

  • Excess body weight linked with obesity which places increased pressure on the joints
  • Mental health issues such as anxiety or depression

What are the signs?

The typical indications of cervical spondylosis include:

  • Significant pain and rigidity of the neck
  • Muscle spasms in the neck and shoulder
  • Weakness, numbness or tingling sensations in the hands, arms and fingers
  • Loss of bowel or bladder function
  • Difficulty walking

Management

The treatment choices for cervical spondylosis is based on the seriousness of the symptoms. The objective of treatment is to lessen the pain and rigidity, resume daily activities and prevent lasting damage to the spinal cord and neighboring nerves.

  • Use a specialized neck brace to allow the neck muscles to rest while limiting the range of motion. This helps in reducing the irritation on the neck nerves.
  • Place a damp, warm towel or an ice pack on the neck to reduce the pain and swelling.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are given as part of treatment for cervical spondylosis. These drugs work by reducing the pain and swelling.
  • Muscle relaxants might also be given if there is muscle spasm in the neck region.
  • Corticosteroid injections into the epidural space can help in providing brief relief to the symptoms as well as improve the range of motion.
  • Some epilepsy drugs are effective in lowering the discomfort linked with the damaged nerves.
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