Cervical Spondylitis is a common, age-linked, degenerative condition that affects the cervical (neck) spine from (wear and tear) of the cervical vertebrae and the intervertebral disc. Many times, the edges of the vertebrae often develop bone overgrowths (spurs, osteophytes). Over time, the intervertebral discs get shrills, and their ability to absorb shock is lost, increasing the degeneration process. Meanwhile, the term spondylosis can refer to compression of nerves in the spinal column, causing severe and chronic pain in the back and extremities. It is worthwhile to note that the majority of individuals over 40 years of age demonstrate such significant radiological changes, however only a small percentage would develop symptoms suggestive of cervical spondylitis. The cervical spondylitis calls for treatment only if the patient is symptomatic.
Some of the causes that are attributable or more likely to occur in people who have or do the following are listed below
1)Overuse or repeated trauma- Some occupations or hobbies involve repetitive movements or heavy lifting, such as construction work, gymnastics, professional dancers, IT professionals who work for long hours on computer. Injury such as car accident etc. can put extra pressure on the spine, resulting in early wear and tear.
2)Predisposition or genetic cause
3)Congenital cause like congenitally fused spine, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome etc. may be risk factors
4)Lifestyle habits - watching TV in abnormal positions or when lying down, continuous use of mobile phones, which puts lots of pressure on neck while looking down continuously.
5)Bone spurs are overgrowths of bone that exert pressure on the spinal cord and nerves resulting in pain.
6)Dehydrated spinal discs- causes your bones (spinal vertebrae) to rub together more, can led to further degeneration.
7)Herniated discs- press on the spinal cord and nerves, resulting in symptoms such as arm numbness and radiating pain.
Patients may experience one or combination of the following symptoms listed below:
1)Persistent neck pain, chronic or episodic, associated with long periods of remission.
2)Stiffness in back
3)Limited range of motion for spine
4)Local and radiating pain in the back, hip, and/or extremities
5)Tingling, numbness and weakness in extremities
6)Non-specific occipital headaches
Diagnosis can be confirmed by X-ray of the cervical (neck) spine which may show development of spurs, MRI to judge extent of neural damage.
If the spinal cord or nerve roots are severely compressed, the damage can be permanent.
Soft cervical collar may be used to limit neck motion and allow the muscles in your neck to rest.
Ice, heat, and other modalities may bring in some relief to neck pain. Take doctors suggestion before using the same.
Physical therapy: Physical therapy is usually the first non-surgical treatment that may be recommended by doctor. Physical therapy focuses on strengthening the muscles around your affected joint
Medications. Few medications are taken if not resolved with physical therapy.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) relieve both pain and swelling. Other pain medications can be considered if NSAIDs are contraindicated.
Muscle relaxants can be used to treat painful muscle spasms.
Steroid-based injection procedures like cervical epidural block, wherein steroid and anesthetic medicine is injected into the epidural space next to the covering of the spinal cord ("epidural" space) for herniated discs for short-term pain relief from steroid injections. Also, in another procedure, called radiofrequency ablation; the nerves are damaged that supply the joint with a "burning" technique.
Surgical Treatment Surgery is not commonly recommended for cervical spondylitis and neck pain unless very severe. Patients with progressive neurologic symptoms are more likely to be rcommended to have surgery. Surgery may be advised if the pain persists even after non-surgical treatment.
Homeopathic medicines have provided evidence in the treatment of cervical spondylitis and helps in avoiding surgery as well.It can majorly restrict use of painkillers.
Rhus Tox : is highly indicative homeopathic medicine for cervical spondylitis. The pain and excessive stiffness in the neck may get relieved from warm applications on the neck. Most of the complaint arises after injury to the neck, over straining or overuse.
Paris Quadrifolia : is an excellent medicine for cervical spondylitis with marked numbness in arms, hands or fingers. Pain in the neck that radiates down to the fingers. Sensation of a heavy weight around the neck and shoulders. Due to the numbness of the hands, everything the patient holds feel rough.
Conium : is prescribed for patients suffering from neck pain with vertigo. Dizziness when turning the head sideways or lying down on bed. There is feeling of tightness and pain in the temporal region or occipital area.
Kalmia Latifolia: is indicated when it presents with the following symptoms: Neuralgic pains moving downwards with numbness of the affected parts. Pains shift rapidly, shooting outward, along with the nerves. The pain is worse from stooping, leaning forward, motion, from becoming cold and lying on left side. In general, the patient feels better after being in the recumbent posture. Often the pains are accompanied with nausea. Weakness and numbness (as if paralyzed) of painful parts.
Calcarea Phos : is prescribed in patients who have developed spondylitis due to bone spurs. Bones which are thin, brittle, and degenerated. Tendency of bones to bend and curve. The spondylitis can be quite painful and also cause vertigo if a nerve gets pressed.
Causticum : is a deep acting constitutional medicine that affects multiple systems of the body. It is indicated when the patient presents with marked stiffness in the neck such that the patient can scarcely move. Paralytic weakness in the right arm, the patient can hardly raise the hand above his head. The pain is accompanied with numbness in the hands and trembling of the arms. It is one of the specific remedies for torticollis. Tendency to affect the right side of the body. Pain is better from warmth.
Hypericum :offers the best treatment when the cervical pain arises due to trauma. Along with cervical pain, there is numbness, tingling and a burning sensation in hands.
Bryonia Alba: Patient experiences pain and stiffness in the neck that worsen with motion. The pain is better while taking rest.
H4ALL recommends neck excercise regularly and above medicines. In acute pain no excercises, rest and above medicines...