Neck Pain

How Do I Know If I Have Cervical Spondylosis?

How Do I Know If I Have Cervical Spondylosis

There are a number of ways to believe that you could be developing cervical spondylosis. However, the only way to confirm that you have this spinal condition is to get it checked out by a physician.

You will be able to get a script for x-rays from your family physician. Once you have the x-rays performed on your cervical spine area, which includes the vertebrae in the neck area, you can set an appointment with a spine specialist.

This specialist will be able to take a look at your x-rays and tell you one way or the other if you have cervical spondylosis. This is a potentially serious condition; therefore, if you feel as though you are exhibiting any of the symptoms, then you should consult with a physician immediately.

A physician or doctor will be able to send you to the appropriate specialist in order to properly diagnos, treat, and work through the coping process of having cervical spondylosis.

What Exactly Is The Condition Of Cervical Spondylosis?

The condition of cervical spondylosis is when the vertebrae begin to narrow around the spinal chord. While there is no immediate threat to the body from this happening, there are long-term effects that will potentially do some serious damage.

You will experience a number of symptoms that are covered in the next section, and you can risk having inefficient blood flow from the spine to the limbs.

While this condition can affect people of any age, it is more likely to develop in older people with the degeneration of the bones and one’s health. When you wish to diagnosis this condition you will under go a Spurling’s test which is when you turn your head to one side and have pressure put on your neck.

If at this time you begin to experience some pain in your arm or should of the side of your body that you are facing, then you may very well have the condition known as cervical spondylosis.

Other identifying keys include shocks when you flex your neck muscles, and even an inability to move your head freely because of tension and pain in the neck that is unassociated with an accident or previous injury. Remember that this condition is degenerative and not inflicted.

You are going to have a long road ahead of you in terms of finding various ways to cope with having a condition that is typically caused by aging. Therefore, you are going to need to take it one day at a time and have the patience to work through every avenue to avoid needing to get surgery.

Are There Symptoms That Go Along With Cervical Spondylosis?

There are a number of symptoms that go along with the condition known as cervical spondylosis. If you are experiencing the narrowing of the vertebrae around the spine in the neck area then you are going to experience a tingling or pain in the limbs.

You will most likely notice aggravation and discomfort in the neck, shoulders, arms, upper back, and depending on how low your vertebrae are effected by the condition you can even notice pain in your legs.

It is because of the compression in the spine that you will potentially experience muscle weakness as a result of the consistent pain that you may feel through out the body.  It is like a snowball rolling down a hillside.

You will notice the pain and you will start to restrict your body from movement to help with the pain. However, the longer your body stays out of motion, the worse the pain gets, and therefore you want to not even move. It is like the domino effect.

There are ways to help with the pain, however, it involves going through more pain in order to deal with it. You are going to be able to participate in various exercises in the neck area in order to get the pain to dull a bit and in order for you to be able to make your condition more tolerable over the course of time.

While you will always have this condition once you are diagnosed with it, unless you are one of the very few people to get surgery to help with the pain, you are going to be able to participate in exercises in order to make your life a little easier one day at a time.

What Neck Exercises Can I Do To Help My Cervical Sponylosis?

As previously mentioned, cervical spondylosis mainly affects the neck area, and then has symptoms of causing pain in the shoulders, arms, upper back, and potentially the legs. If you are suffering from this condition then you are very familiar with the pain and discomfort that you can feel in regards to movement in the neck area.

However, you are going to want to go against your natural instincts in this instance and create a situation where you are able to move your neck more freely with neck exercises. There are stretches and exercises that will help to restore the range of motion that you have in your neck area on a daily basis.

You will need to roll your neck slowly and stretch your neck muscles from side to side. You can pull your arms across your chest and help to stretch out the muscles of the upper body on both sides.

This will not be comfortable and could potentially cause significant pain. However, you are avoiding worse pain by stretching your neck muscles regularly.

The pain that is associated with lack of motion is much worse than this. You can consult with your physician about more in-depth exercises that will help with this condition.

Is There Physical Therapy That Can Help With Cervical Spondylosis?

Much like any condition that affects the human body physically, there is physical therapy that can help with the coping with the condition. However, the physical therapy is not likely help to open the vertebrae back up. Once you have this condition, you are stuck with it unless you are going to get surgery.

Surgery is an absolute worst-case scenario for dealing with this condition. There are a lot of risks associated with surgery so it is only reserved for patients with completely intolerable discomfort and pain that just will not subside, to the point that the quality of life is affected so significantly that the risks associated with the surgery would still provide a better quality of life for the patient.

The weakness and pain that the patient experiences as a result to this condition can be modified with the consistent participation in physical therapy. Once you get in to a routine of stretching and utilizing your muscles to aid in the distribution of blood through out your system, you can get a healthier and more stable outlook on this condition.

There are tons of people who live with this condition every single day because of the help of physical therapy and not with the use of surgery. Surgery is the absolute last resort when it comes to dealing with being diagnosed with cervical spondylosis. While there are other physical conditions where the first answer is surgery, there are other conditions like this one and any other surgery that has to do with the spinal area that you will need to avoid if it is at all possible.

There are some surgeries for this condition that are performed each year; however, they are absolute worst case scenarios, not people who are experiencing a mild pain in their upper body. There is a huge difference.

What About Cervical Spondylosis Without Myelopathy?

It is common that people who are diagnosed with cervical spondylosis also experience some degree of myelopathy. Myelopathy is a part of the condition that affects the body in a more universal sense. Instead of localized pain in specifically one arm, or the neck, the person might experience Myelopathy, which is a sort of  “all over” type of pain.

This all over pain can also cause pressure on the spine in a way that makes the patient lose his or her balance frequently, and also causes bowel issues. There are a lot of people who experience cervical spondylosis and myelopathy together; however, there are also a lot of people who experience only the implications of the spondylosis.

If you are diagnosed with cervical spondylosis without myelopathy, then you are in a much better place. You would rather have localized pain than a pain that radiated through out your entire body. Furthermore, one could definitely do with out the bowel problems to add insult to injury.

If you are diagnosed with this condition with out the addition of myelopathy, then consider yourself very lucky that you have the type of condition that can absolutely be rectified and treated with consistent physical therapy.

It is completely possible for you to be diagnosed with cervical spondylosis without the addition of myelopathy. In fact, there are a lot of people each year who are diagnosed with isolated cervical spondylosis. If you are going to be diagnosed with the condition, you certainly hope that it is without the addition of myelopathy because that complicates things greatly.

You will have trouble performing a lot of functions with the implications associated with myelopathy because of the pain that you feel all over your body, and the increased possibility of loss of stool and bowel control.

Is There A Surgery That I Can Get To Fix Cervical Spondylosis?

There is a way to help with the symptoms of cervical spondylosis with the implementation of surgery. However, this is not a surgery that you jump in to quickly to just fix the problem. While the pain is excurcaiting at times and can impact your life significantly, you do not want to get this surgery unless you absolutely have to.

If the pain in your neck and body were impacting you to a point that you are no longer able to live a fulfilling life, then you would consider the surgery. However, surgery on your vertebrae to relieve the pressure on your spine is not one hundred percent effective. You are not promised great results and you are warned of serious implications if the surgery does not go exactly as planned.

While it is possible to get a surgery, there are many doctors who will tell you that cervical spondylosis is simply due to aging and that you will simply be in the same place in a couple years. There is some truth to this and that is why many people opt in to physical therapy, yoga, acupuncture, and other forms of treatment rather than jumping in to surgery.

While many people decide against surgery, there are some that are performed each year in an effort to improve one’s quality of life and provide some relief from the pain.

You want to avoid the consideration of surgery at all costs because it is always a scary thing to think about spinal surgery. There are so many things that could potentially go wrong if you are having spinal surgery. This is an extremely delicate procedure that could cause serious problems if any complications happen. Therefore, you are going to want to try all other options before you think about surgery.

What Are The Differences Between Spondylosis and Stenosis?

The major difference between spondylosis and stenosis is that spondylosis is a narrowing of the vertebrae in the neck area and upper spinal area, while stenosis is a condition where there is narrowing of the vertebrae in the lower back or lumbar areas. The areas impacted by spondylosis are the neck, upper back, shoulders, and arms.

The areas affected by stenosis include the lower back, and legs. These are similar conditions that are both as a result of the vertebrae narrowing and placing pressure on the spine and creating radiant pain in specific areas of the body.

However, the areas that are impacted are the greatest difference between spondylosis and stenosis. These are the greatest differences between the two conditions that both affect the spinal area and cause limb pain through out the body.

What Other Treatments Are There For Cervical Spondylosis?

While you are able to get physical therapy in order to keep the blood pumping and keep the muscles in and around the neck area from freezing up, you are also able to get surgery when the symptoms are so bad that they affect you so terribly that you need it. Remember that surgery for this condition is only on a completely necessary basis.

While you may want to get surgery quickly just to not be in pain anymore, you cannot make that decision. That is a call that is going to need to be made by a physician or doctor who determines that you are basically not able to lead a fulfilling life because of the intense pain that you are experiencing.

This is the only point where you would even be able to consider surgery because it is not always necessary. There are other alternatives to helping with the pain.

Some people turn to yoga in order to help with that is associated with cervical spondylosis. Yoga tends to help to keep the mind and body connected in an effort to create a better state of living for the person that is suffering. When you have cervical spondylosis that is still enabling you to move around it is advised to get in to a physical program that is going to stretch your muscles.

Another way that people deal with having the condition known as cervical spondylosis is to get acupuncture. Acupuncture is a great way to relieve some of the tension and pressure that you are feeling in and around your body. This is an ancient art that is proven to help many people with the various pains and aches that they are feeling on a regular basis.

If you are suffering from having cervical spondylosis, then you are going to need to find ways to keep your body active even in the face of intense pain. You are going to need to have a way to ensure that your neck muscles do not freeze up do to inactivity from trying to avoid aggravating the pain.

Your best friend will be any program that encourages you to stretch daily and loosen up your muscles in your upper body. While this will be painful for some time, it still far outweighs the risks that are associated with ignoring it or getting surgery. You will want to avoid surgery at all costs because the complications can cause a physical situation that is much worse than simply dealing with the localized and radiant pain that is a result of the narrowing of the vertebrae and the pressure that is put on your spine.

This can occur in people of all ages; however, it is most common in older people due to bone degeneration from aging. Therefore, you may be engaging in ways to alleviate pain, but it is a constant battle because of the fact that it is natural for bones to degenerate over the course of time.

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