One of the common issues people face as they age is cervical spondylosis. Approximately 90% of people will have the condition. Cervical spondylosis tends to develop somewhere in your 30s and usually manifests in your 60s. There is no need to worry because it is manageable.
You may notice more neck pain, which may be a sign of cervical spondylosis. It is possible for some people not to be aware that they have it. However, it is important to know what to look out for.
What is Cervical Spondylosis?
Cervical osteoarthritis, or cervical spondylosis, is a condition that occurs when bones, discs, and joints in the neck change. It usually develops in older adults, especially those over the age of 60. Bones and cartilage experience natural wear and tear as you age. The discs will shrink, and the deterioration can lead to abnormal growths that narrow the interior of the spinal column.
The edges of the bones will form bone spurs, which are bony projections. Fortunately, cervical spondylosis does not progress in most cases. There is treatment available for severe conditions. A physical exam can determine if a patient has cervical spondylosis.
Most people will not experience any symptoms and are able to go about their normal day. If they develop, then you can easily manage them. Symptoms are often worse in the mornings and evenings, but they will likely improve after a nice rest. Some of the symptoms to look out for include:
- Stiffness or pain in the neck
- Unable to bend the neck
- Shoulder or arm pain
- Grinding sensation when turning the neck
In some cases, the space that nerve roots need as they pass through the spine will narrow. The spinal cord will become pinched, and you may feel weakness in the arms and hands as a result. Difficulty walking is another sign of cervical spondylosis.
What Causes Cervical Spondylosis?
The bones and discs in your neck will face wear and tear damage as you age. The damage can lead to problems, which may cause cervical spondylosis. Strenuous activities, like heavy lifting, may lead to the condition since it puts pressure on the neck. Repetitive neck motions also have been known to wear down bones and discs. Other possible causes are:
- Dehydrated spinal discs. The discs in your neck act as cushions in between the vertebrae or bones. Their job is to absorb the shock that comes from doing physical activities. Discs contain a gel-like material, which can dry out by the age of 40. As a result, your bones will begin to rub against each other.
- Injury. Injuries to the neck can lead to cervical spondylosis developing faster. They might tear or crack the discs, which will cause pain from bone-to-bone contact. A fall or a car accident may lead to this condition.
- A herniated disc. Also known as a slipped disc, a herniated disc is when the disc presses down on the spinal nerves. A crack may occur, and the internal cushion material may leak out onto the spinal cord. You will feel numbness and pain in your arms.
- Stiff ligaments. Ligaments are the cords that connect the bones to each other. Over the years, these cords will stiff and make the body less flexible. The neck becomes harder to move and will feel tight. Neck pain can occur as a result of stiff ligaments.
Cervical spondylosis is a natural part of life and is treatable. Southern Pain Clinic can work with you to find the best way to manage any neck pain you may have. There are a variety of options, so contact us today to get started.