Medicine has many names for neck arthritis. Doctors refer to this condition as cervical spondylosis or degenerative disk disease. But whichever name they have for it, it is very important that the nature of this disease is made known so that the proper way of treating it may be carried out.
Neck arthritis has a lot of causes. Although it is very hard for doctors to tell a patient exactly what made them acquire the disease, they can certainly instruct them what to do whenever the diseases strikes.
The Symptoms of Neck Arthritis
You probably have neck arthritis if you are suffering from severe neck and shoulder pains, as these are the body parts that neck arthritis commonly targets. Although such pains are concentrated in and around these areas, it is not impossible that you are going to suffer from episodes of headaches as well.
Aside from such unbearable pains, it is also common that neck arthritis patients experience a certain level of stiffness around their necks as well. This stiffness is characterized by the person's inability to bend or turn their necks and heads from one side to another.
Since neck arthritis affects the shoulders, the pain may possibly shoot down from the tips of the shoulder down in to a certain part of the arm. Along with that pain, there would also be weakness and numbness in the arm area. These two sensations are caused by neck arthritis. It is not a different type of problem altogether, although the arms are far from the neck. There are also instances that the symptoms are felt on both arms and cause the hands to be clumsy.
Unfortunately, the pain doesn't always end in the arms alone. More often than not, it also goes down into the legs as well. The same type of pain is felt. A decreased level of sensation and vibration will also be experienced around the leg and foot area, whenever neck arthritis attacks.
Another noticeable symptom of neck arthritis would be problems with urination. There are instances that the patients of this disease urinate a little too often than they used to. Some, on the other hand, have the need to urinate immediately. This is the reason why urinary incontinence in patients with neck arthritis is a little too common.
The Causes of Neck Arthritis
Neck arthritis is commonly caused by the changes in a person's cervical spine. A person's body changes as he ages. And this is the main reason why the instances of neck arthritis are rather common to elderly people. Following the same principle, calcium build ups and bony growths can also be the cause of this disease.
When a person's body changes, more particularly in these areas, certain nerves are affected. Some of them are inflamed, compressed, or pinched. These are the main reasons why the symptoms of neck arthritis show. Blood flow may also be affected due to this disease.
Treating Neck Arthritis
The primary treatment for neck arthritis is to restrict the movement of the neck. To do this, a cervical collar may be used. In certain cases that a collar is not sufficient to do the job, a brace has to be fitted around the neck. These devices become necessary to treat the disease.
But if mere treatment is not enough, there might be a need to perform a surgery. Usually, surgery becomes an option to the patients that complain of severe and unbearable pains. And if there are notable neurological deficits, surgery is very likely to be suggested by the doctor as well. Neurological deficits are characterized by difficulty in walking, total weakness of the hands, and problems in the bladder area. Any determined compression in the spinal cord is also enough reason to go for surgery.
These are the basic facts associated with arthritis in the neck. Knowing all of these would cause people to understand the disease better and act accordingly. Neck arthritis really is a very serious disease. Therefore, it has to be addressed the moment it is diagnosed.