Cervical Osteoarthritis-Causes-Symptoms-Risk-Treatments

Cervical Osteoarthritis-Causes-Symptoms-Risk-Treatments

Cervical OsteoarthritisThere’s a variety of different things that can cause cervical osteoarthritis. Cervical osteoarthritis is also called cervical spondylosis. It is a condition involving changes to the disc, bones and joints of the neck. Such changes are caused by the normal wear and tear of aging. As we age, the discs of the cervical spine wear and break down, losing fluid, and becoming more solid. Cervical osteoarthritis often occurs in men and women 50 or older.

One or more nerve roots can be compressed by the degeneration of cervical spine discs. The compressed nerves can cause a number of different symptoms, such as arm pain, weakness, tingling and numbness. It also causes neck pain that can range in minor to extreme.

Aging is the major risk factor or cause of neck arthritis. Even so, neck injuries can contribute to the arthritis years down the road. The wear and tear that is caused by aging can result in a number of different changes. Dehydrated discs results in your disc shrinking. This causes bone-on-bone contact between vertebrate. Disk dehydration begins around age 40. Bone spurs are another related condition. Bone spurs refer to the extra bone that is produced by degeneration. Herniated disc are caused by aged cracks in the disc that result in bulges or ruptured disc pressing on your nerves or spinal chord.

Symptoms of Cervical Arthritis

Early stages of neck arthritis are usually unnoticed. Very few ever feel symptoms from early neck arthritis. When symptoms do occur, the neck is the primary center of pain. Cervical osteoarthritis can portray a number of different symptoms.

  • Severe pain at the end of the day
  • Pain that radiates between your shoulder blades into the shoulders
  • Pain moves from the neck down the arm and shoulder
  • Feel grinding when moving your neck
  • More then normal headaches
  • Numbness in your arms, fingers or hands
  • Weakness in your arms, shoulders, hands

Diagnosing Cervical Spondylosis

When diagnosing cervical spondylosis, there’s a number of factors that need tested and examined. Both physical and diagnostics can help determine if arthritis is the source of the symptoms you’re experiencing. A physical exam is very likely to be performed. Your doctor may ask what level of pain or discomfort you are in.  He or she will examine your neck, see what type of range of motion you have, while also checking for weakness in the arms. A complete medical history can also be used to aide your doctor. Your doctor will likely run test on your neck, such as X-rays, CT scans or perhaps a MRI if needed.

Risk Factors for Neck Osteoarthritis

There are a number of risk factors for neck osteoarthritis. The main risk factor is aging. Genetic risk factors and neck injuries are also important risk factors to note. If you have a job that requires a lot of movement, this can become a risk for you. Due to the location, all these risk are valid, serious and should be kept in mind.

Possible Treatments Of Cervical Osteoarthritis

A number of medical, physical and surgical treatments are available for neck arthritis depending on the level of pain, discomfort and type of degeneration present.

1. Medications both over the counter (for milder symptoms) and prescribed (for more chronic pain) are available.

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS),
  • Non-narcotic analgesics,
  • Corticosteroid injections,
  • Muscle relaxants, including cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril, Amrix) and methocarbamol (Robaxin) may be required for more severe pain management.
  • Narcotic analgesics, such as hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab) or oxycodone (Percoset, Roxicet) are also prescribed for more severe pain.
  • Anti-seizure drugs including some types of epilepsy drugs such as gabapentin (Neurontin, Gralise) and pregabalin (Lyrica) will relieve the pain caused by damaged nerves.

2. Therapy both with a therapist and at home can strengthen muscles relieving neck pain and providing increased mobility.

  • A therapist can teach a patient exercises designed to strengthen and stretch neck and shoulder muscles.
  • Traction is of benefit to some patients suffering from pinched nerves as this therapy can provide more room between disks relieving the pinched nerve.
  • Regular massage is helpful for pain management and regaining mobility.
  • Regular exercise at home can maintain muscle strength relieving pain.
  • Heating or icing the neck can relieve stiff muscles and reduce pain and inflammation.
  • A soft neck brace will allow neck muscles to rest and provide some relief but it should only be a short-term solution as it can weaken muscles over time.

3. Surgery is a last resort option when none of the above options provide adequate pain and mobility relief. It is used in order to provide more room for the spinal chord and nerve roots thus relieving pinching and compression of the nerves. Surgery always comes with inherent risks so it is used as a last resort option.

  • A herniated disk or bone spurs may be removed.
  • Part of a vetebra may be removed.

 

Age invariably brings with it degeneration of bodily systems including bone. Arthritis is a common ailment of the elderly and in rarer cases with the very young. Maintaining an active lifestyle, focusing on proper posture and eating a healthy well-balanced diet is key to reducing and slowing the ravages of the aging process. It is inevitable that our bodies will wear with age but how fast and to what degree can be controlled to some degree by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Osteoarthritis Symptoms-Causes-Treatments-Risk

Osteoarthritis Symptoms-Causes-Treatments-Risk

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common arthritis. Osteoarthritis can be caused by a number of different things such as aging joints, injury, and obesity. Osteoarthritis symptoms include joint pain and stiffness. Treatment depends on the affected joint, including the hand, wrist, neck, back, knee, and hip, and often involves medication and exercise. If you weight is the cause of your OA, weight loss can help your symptoms. In this article, we’ll explore osteoarthritis symptoms, causes and treatments.

Cartilage is a firm, slippery tissue that permits nearly frictionless joint motion. In osteoarthritis, the slick surface of the cartilage becomes rough. Eventually, if the cartilage wears down completely, you may be left with bone rubbing on bone. There’s a lot of different risk factors that are attached to osteoarthritis. We typically see osteoarthritis found more in women then men. Bone deformities can also increase your risk for OA. As we mentioned earlier, both aging and obesity can cause osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis affects a lot of people across the world. Nearly 27 million people in America alone have osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Osteoarthritis symptoms often develop slowly and worsen over time. Signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis include:

  • Pain. Your joints can hurt during and after physical activity.
  • Tenderness. Your joints may feel sore and tender when pressure is applied.
  • Stiffness. Joint stiffness may be most noticeable when you wake up in the morning or after a period of inactivity.
  • Loss of flexibility. You may not be able to move your joints as they should be able to move.
  • Grating sensation. You may hear or feel a grating sensation when you use the joint.
  • Bone spurs. These bone spurs, which are pieces of bone that form lumps, may appear around the affected joints.

Ostoarthritis

There’s several different symptoms that may suggest that you have osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a disease of the joints. Unlike many other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus, osteoarthritis does not affect other organs of the body. This type of osteoarthritis is limited to your joints.

The most common symptom of osteoarthritis is pain in the affected joints after repetitive use. Joint pain is usually worse in the evening hours. You may experience swelling, warmth, and discomfort of the affected joints. Pain and stiffness of the joints can also occur after long periods of inactivity. You may experience these symptoms while sitting for hours. The longer the duration, the worse symptoms can get.  In severe osteoarthritis, complete loss of cartilage causes friction between bones, causing pain at rest or pain with limited motion. This can cause mile/extreme pain and discomfort.

Osteoarthritis symptoms can vary from one person to the next. Some patients can have severe mobility issues and pain. Completely opposite, others may have few symptoms if any despite severe degeneration of the joints shown by X-ray. Symptoms also can be intermittent. It is not unusual for patients with osteoarthritis of the hands and knees to have years of pain-free intervals between symptoms.

Osteoarthritis of the knees is often associated with obesity or a history of repeated injury and/or joint surgery. We see this a lot in sports and athletics. Progressive cartilage degeneration of the knee joints can lead to deformity and outward curvature of the knees referred to as “bow legged.” Patients with osteoarthritis of the weight bearing joints (like the knees) can develop a limp. The limping can worsen as more cartilage degenerates. In some patients, the pain, limping, and joint dysfunction may not respond to medications or other conservative measures. Therefore, severe osteoarthritis of the knees is one of the most common reasons for total knee replacement surgical procedures in the U.S.

Osteoarthritis of the spine causes pain in the neck or low back. Bony spurs that form along the arthritic spine can irritate spinal nerves, causing severe pain, numbness, and tingling of the affected parts of the body.

Osteoarthritis causes the formation of hard bony enlargements of the small joints of the fingers. Classic bony enlargement of the small joint at the end of the fingers is called a Heberden’s node, named after a British doctor. The bony deformity is a result of the bone spurs from the osteoarthritis in that joint. Another common bony knob (node) occurs at the middle joint of the fingers in many patients with osteoarthritis and is called a Bouchard’s node, named after a French doctor who studied arthritis patients in the late 1800s. The Heberden’s and Bouchard’s nodes may not be painful, but they are often associated with limitation of motion of the joint. The characteristic appearances of these finger nodes can be helpful in diagnosing osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis of the joint at the base of the big toes leads to the formation of a bunion. Osteoarthritis of the fingers and the toes may have a genetic basis, and can be found in many female members of some families.

Osteoarthritis Treatments

There’s several different osteoarthritis treatments that can be used to relieve your pain. The type of OA treatment depends on the location of your osteoarthritis. There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but there are medications to help relieve pain, when needed. The doctor may recommend physical therapy (PT) or occupational therapy (OT) to help improve strength and function. When pain is severe and frequent or mobility and daily activities become difficult, surgery may be considered.

Exercise, massage, hot/cold treatments and Yoga are all options for those who suffer from osteoarthritis. 

Spinal Osteoarthritis Treatments

Spinal osteoarthritis is arthritis that affects the spine. Even though there’s not a cure for osteoarthritis to date, there are treatments out there that can help you with your back pain. The Doctor’s Back Pain Systems is a powerful back pain system that relieves spinal osteoarthritis. If you do suffer from spinal osteoarthritis, be sure to take the time to sign up for our free pain relief webinar. Just scroll to the top of your page and fill out the form on the right. It only takes a second and I promise you won’t regret it.