Arthritis of the neck (also called cervical spondylosis) is a common condition among older adults. At TriHealth Orthopedic & Sports Institute and Beacon Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, we’ll work closely with you to help you find relief from arthritis in your neck. Together, we’ll come up with a treatment plan that helps ease your symptoms and gets you back to enjoying the activities you love.
Arthritis of the Neck
Natural wear and tear of the cervical spine causing arthritis of the neck. As you age, the discs that serve as cushions between vertebrae begin to bulge, shrink or weaken. This allows the vertebrae to start collapsing on one another. This causes pain, stiffness and loss of range of motion. Your body responds to these changes by growing new bone (bone spurs), which can narrow the area around the spine.
Arthritis of the neck causes
Arthritis of the neck (cervical spondylosis) is most often a result of aging. It can also be caused by:
- Family history
Arthritis of the neck symptoms
Many people with arthritis of the neck (cervical spondylosis) don’t experience any symptoms. However, some symptoms may include:
- Grinding noise when turning the neck
- Loss of balance
- Muscle spasms in neck and shoulders
- Neck pain
- Popping noise when turning the neck
- Stiffness in the neck
- Trouble walking
- Weakness in the legs, arms, hands or fingers
Arthritis of the neck treatment
Your treatment will depend on the cause of the pinched nerve. Treatment may include:
- Physical therapy –A certified physical therapist will teach you exercises to reduce pain, improve flexibility and strengthen muscles in the neck.
- Medicine – Over-the-counter and prescription medicine can help relieve chronic pain, reduce inflammation and help you find comfort.
- Injections – Corticosteroid injections, medial branch blocks and other injections can help reduce inflammation and help relieve pain caused by arthritis in the neck.
- Acupuncture – Thin needles are inserted into specific spots along the spine to trigger the release of certain chemicals into the body, helping reduce pain. Acupuncture, along with traditional treatment, like pain management or physical therapy helps with pain.
- Massage – Medical massage therapy can help reduce inflammation, ease pain and provide relief from certain back conditions. Your doctor may recommend massage therapy along with other treatments.
- Anti-inflammatory Diet – A diet that helps boost your body’s natural ability to fight inflammation may help reduce symptoms, when combined with other treatment plans.
Generally, surgery is not needed to treat arthritis. Your provider may recommend surgery if your arthritis is causing another cervical spine condition, like a pinched nerve.
Arthritis of the neck risk factors
You may be at higher risk of developing arthritis in the neck if you:
- Experienced trauma or injury to the neck
- Have a family history of neck pain or neck arthritis
- Have a job that requires repetitive neck movement or overhead work
Arthritis of the neck prevention
Nearly everyone over age 60 will develop cervical spondylosis. But, you can take steps to reduce your risk and minimize your pain:
- Eat healthy
- Exercise regularly
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Strengthen back and core muscles