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  • Writer's pictureRobin R Varghese, PT.

Your pain is our concern

Osteoarthritis of neck

Cervical spondylosis is also called cervical osteoarthritis. It is a condition involving changes to the bones, discs, and joints of the neck. These changes are caused by the normal wear-and-tear of aging.

The discs dehydrate and shrink, leading to signs of osteoarthritis including bony projections along the edges of bones also called bone spurs. These mechanical and degenerative factors are more likely to be present in chronic neck pain

  • Symptoms of cervical spondylosis manifest as neck pain and neck stiffness and can be accompanied by radicular symptoms when there is compression of neural structures.

  • Central cord syndrome may also be seen in relation to cervical spondylosis and in some cases dysphagia or airway dysfunction have been reported.

  • Symptoms may exhibit in three different ways:

1. Non-specific neck pain - Pain localized to the spinal column. This happens when degenerative changes start in the intervertebral discs with osteophyte formation and involvement of adjacent soft tissue structures. 2. Cervical radiculopathy – Pain in the neck, shoulders, upper limbs and interscapular area. There will be numbness, suboccipital headache, paresthesia, weakness or loss of function. Complaints often represent affected dermatome or myotome level. 3. Cervical myelopathy - A cluster of complaints and findings due to intrinsic damage to the spinal cord itself. Numbness, coordination, gait issues, grip weakness and bowel and bladder complaints may be reported. Pain may or may not be present.

  • Treatment:

Non-surgical treatment includes 4-6 weeks of physical therapy, durable cervical collars, cervical pillows, muscle relaxants, NSAIDs, steroids and epidurals.

Surgical intervention is usually considered in patients with severe or progressive cervical myelopathy, as well as those with persistent neck pain or cervical radiculopathy following failure of non-operative measures.

Studies show that patients with cervical spondylosis have shown good improvement with physical therapy treatment alone, or when done along with NSAIDs rather than by taking NSAIDs without physical therapy. Systematic reviews of manual treatments provide some evidence showing mobilization physiotherapy and manipulations are more effective for chronic neck pain than less active treatments like drug treatment, education and counseling.

We, at Valley Healing Hands provide the best physical therapy in Brownsville, Texas and we are specialized in treating and curing Cervical spondylosis using our expertise.

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