Neck pain is a common issue affecting a majority of individuals. In fact, approximately 85 percent of the United States population suffers from neck or back pain at some point in their lifetime. Neck pain can be caused by a variety of complications, however, these can often be associated with age. As we age, the discs and joints found in the cervical spine, or neck, will gradually begin to degenerate, leading to symptoms of pain and discomfort.
Cervical spondylosis, commonly known as arthritis of the neck, is the medical term used to describe these age-related, wear-and-tear changes that occur in the cervical spine over time. Neck arthritis occurs frequently among people over the age of 60 and its well-known symptoms can be debilitating and impairing for many while others may experience no noticeable symptoms. If diagnosed in time, cervical spondylosis can be treated effectively.
Causes and Symptoms of Neck Arthritis
Cervical Spondylosis, or neck arthritis, generally develops naturally as a result of degenerative changes which deform the structures of the spine with age. These changes are normal and they occur in everyone, commonly without causing painful symptoms.
Anatomy of the Spine
The spine consists of a variety of complex tissues that provide flexibility and mobility to the body. The vertebral discs, found between each adjacent vertebra, primarily function as a shock absorber to comfortably cushion the spinal bones when we move. Spinal discs also act as ligaments to hold the vertebrae of the spine together and as cartilaginous joints that allow slight mobility within the spine. Healthy discs are composed of two parts: a tough outer portion and a soft inner core, much like a jelly doughnut, which are designed to evenly distribute the stress and pressure that is placed on the spine.
As the discs in the spine age, they begin to lose their fluid-like content and become weaker and stiffer, causing the discs to be less capable of adjusting to compression. This degeneration also causes loss of disc space height, reducing the amount of space between each vertebra and greatly restricting the individuals original range of motion in the spine. While a majority of older people have undergone spinal degeneration without experiencing symptoms of discomfort, in some individuals, it can become painful.
When symptoms of neck arthritis do occur, they usually include pain and stiffness in the region of the cervical spine. The pain of the condition can vary in range from mild to severe, often worsening when the individual looks up or looks down for an extended period of time or by activities in which the neck is held in a stationary position for prolonged amounts of time, such as driving or reading a book. Other symptoms include: headaches, grinding or popping sensations with movements of the head, muscle spasms in the neck and shoulders and loss of balance.
Chiropractic Treatment for Neck Arthritis
The symptoms associated with neck arthritis are commonly treated with anti-inflammatories and pain relievers, but prescription medications only temporarily alleviate the pain without addressing the source of the problem. Chiropractic treatment is a popular, alternative treatment option used to naturally treat numerous types of injuries and conditions, including arthritis.
Chiropractic care doesn’t simply target the underlying cause behind an individual’s symptoms, chiropractors are also concerned with the health of the individual’s entire body, focusing on restoring the proper function and motion of the spinal joints and the soft-tissues that surround them. After the initial diagnosis from a chiropractor determines the type of injury or condition affecting the patient, an appropriate treatment plan using primarily spinal adjustments and manual manipulations will help correct any spinal misalignments, or subluxations, which may be causing the symptoms. Spinal manipulations also help reduce inflammation and swelling around the affected area that cause stiffness and pain, improving and maintaining the spine’s flexibility and mobility to restore overall health and function.
Chiropractic Alleviates Neck Arthritis
In addition, chiropractors may use several stretches and exercises together with chiropractic adjustments to speed up the rehabilitation process. Chiropractic treatment is effective for many types of injuries and conditions, as for older people with spinal degeneration seeking relief from painful symptoms, chiropractic can decrease and even eliminate the pain and discomfort of cervical arthritis.
For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.elpasochiropractorblog.com
Improving Overall Health with Fitness & Chiropractic: A Client’s Story
Dr. Alex Jimenez’s chiropractic clinic and Push-as-Rx system has helped many people restore and maintain their health as well as helped them achieve their fitness goals. Luis Martinez chose to come to Push-as-Rx ®™ in order to change his life and now he’s in the best shape he’s ever been. Mr. Martinez encountered health challenges despite taking care of his health but Push as Rx helped him overcome his hardships. Luis Martinez is grateful to the trainers for believing in him to succeed in regaining his health once more.
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By Dr. Alex Jimenez
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