By Dr. Swethaa, Physiotherapy
Cervical osteoarthritis is also known as cervical spondylosis. It is a medical condition which involves changes in the joints of neck, bones and discs. This is generally caused due to the deterioration of the muscles owing to old age. With age, the cervical spine breaks down and loses all its fluids. This leads to stiffness in the spine. It occurs usually in middle-aged and old aged people. This causes stiffness and severe neck pain. Corrective surgery is helpful to cure Cervical Osteoarthritis.
Symptoms of Cervical Osteoarthritis:
- Pain and stiffness in the neck.
- Headache which usually emerges from the neck.
- Severe pain in the arms and shoulder.
- Not being able to turn the head or neck fully while driving.
- Muscle spasm and abnormal reflexes.
- Grinding sensation or noise caused while bending the neck.
Cervical Osteoarthritis can be cured by physiotherapy in the following ways:
- Heat modalities - In this method, the pain and stiffness are reduced by putting heat on the affected area. This type of therapy is called heat therapy.
- Neck exercise - Regular stretching and bending exercises for the neck can reduce pain and stiffness
- Manipulating therapy - This form of therapy is used by massage therapists. They massage and manipulate the joints so that the muscles can function smoothly.
- Hydrotherapy - This therapy involves exercising in a pool. Hydrotherapy is extremely beneficial for people having severe joint pain and stiffness.
- Cervical traction - This is a common non-surgical treatment which cures pain in the neck by opening the cervical foramen (hole or passage).
1. Watch your posture while sitting, working, sleeping etc.
2. Use appropriately sized pillow while sleeping.
3. Take a break from work in between and stretch your neck upwards, downwards and sideways to relieve pressure and strain on the neck.
4. Make sure your computer screen is at eye level.
5. Wear neck belt to support your painful neck if necessary.
1. Don’t hang your head too low.
2. Don’t put your hands under the head while sleeping.
3. Don’t talk on the phone, leaning your head to one side or the other.
4. Don’t lift any heavyweight.
5. Don’t roll your neck as it will grind your neck bones together.
Physiotherapy is the most natural and safe way of curing cervical osteoarthritis. If you are diagnosed with cervical spondylosis, you should start physiotherapy as soon as possible.