Neck arthritis

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Neck arthritis, also known as cervical arthritis or cervical spondylosis, is one of the most common problems due to arthritis in older adults.

As people age, the joints in the neck become rougher. The discs that cushion the bones become dryer and the ligaments that hold the bones in place stiffen.

The end result is arthritis of the neck which presents as bony spurs along with degeneration of ligaments and bulging of discs.

The spinal canal may narrow, pressing on the spinal cord and nerves. A prior history of trauma will increase the likelihood of arthritis developing in the neck. The resulting pain may range from mild to disabling.

Symptoms and signs of this condition include:

• Chronic pain and stiffness in the neck that worsens with activity
• The sound or feeling of popping in the neck with movement
• Muscle spasms that cause pain or a loss of movement or headaches that originate in the neck
• Numbness and weakness in the arms, hands and fingers
• Weakness in the legs and difficulty walking

A doctor will base his or her diagnosis on the medical history and a physical examination. X-rays or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will show bone spurs. MRI will demonstrate whether disc bulging is causing significant nerve root damage.

If symptoms are mild, a neck brace, anti-inflammatory drugs and physical therapy will suffice. The latter should consist of ultrasound, electrical stimulation, gentle traction, as well as stretching and strengthening exercises if the neck is stable.

Epidural injections also are helpful.

Surgery may be needed if there is unrelenting pain. Progression of neurological symptoms is a definite indication for surgery.

Get more information about neck arthritis and related conditions as well as...

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Click here Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

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