Cervical spondylosis is a disorder that occurs in the cervical disk, the middle seven disks in your spine. As we age these disks start to decompose, calcify and produce bone spurs, which causes pain to occur.
This disorder is generally caused by normal wear and tear that’s seen as people age. In fact, all but 10% of people over 65 have this disorder, but remain asymptomatic.
What are the symptoms of cervical spondylosis? What are things we can do to treat it? Is there ways to slow it down? I will answer these questions in the following paragraphs.
Are My Symptoms from Cervical Spondylosis?
People with this disorder usually have pain and stiffness in the neck. When a disk degeneratesit can cause a nerve to become pinched and this could cause a person to have weakness, tingling, numbness in their extremities.
They can have trouble with mobility and have poor coordination. A person can have bowel or bladder incontinence. How Do I Know If I Have Cervical Spondylosis?
Why does it occur?
When we’re first born our disks are made up of 80% water. As we age our disks loses some of the liquid, starting at the age of 40. This causes them to shrink, and become brittle, which lead to spinal disorders.
When the disks losesits moisture they become dry and sometimes the outer harder ring known as the annulus fibrosis,can crack.
This leads to herniated and bulging disks. These bulging disks, when pressing on a nerve root, can cause pain.
When a disk degenerates it tries to compensate by forming more bone. This causes little pieces of bones to appear known as spurs. When these little bits of bone presses on the nerve, it causes pain.
As we become older, the ligaments in our back stiffens and this can cause back pain.
Besides genetics, age, what we do at our job and previous neck injuries seem to play an important role in this disorder,
Other causes include; by poor posture, back strain, sporting injuries, being hurt on the job and psychological issues.
How Will I be diagnosed?
The doctor will first get a medical history on you. This should include the medicines and supplement’s that you are currently taking.
He will then ask you questions like where does it hurt? When did the pain begin? Did you ever have whiplash or other neck injuries? What makes the pain worse and what helps?
Have you experienced neck pain like this before? Are you having difficulty walking? Have you had bowel or bladder incontinence?
Do you feel tingling, weakness, numbness in your extremities? What have you done to help stop the pain? What do you do for a living? What other activities do you participate in? Lastly he will ask for some family medical history.
The doctor will check your reflexes and your muscle strength. He’ll check to see if you are having any difficulty with moving your neck He may ask you to walk across the room to check for walking difficulties.
He will then order an imaging test like an MRI, myelogram, x ray or a CT scan. To check for any abnormalities.
He will then do a neurological exam, perhaps an EMG to check to see how your nerves respond during stimulation and rest.
The doctor might stimulate the nerves with small amounts of electrical impulses to determine how well your nerves are sending and receiving signals.
What Are My Treatment Options?
The doctor will treat your condition according to the signs and the severity of your disorder. His optimist goal is to be able to give you pain relief so you can resume normal activities, while prevent damage from occurring.
The doctor might suggest over the counter pain relievers like the non- steroidalanti-inflammatory.
He might suggest a corticosteroid injections. This will reduce inflammation, swelling which helps reduce the pain.
The doctor will instruct you to suggest seeing a physical therapist. They will teach youexercises that will help reduce the pain. They might do other types of therapy like massage, and traction.
He may prescribe muscle relaxers to relieve any muscle spasms you might be having.
The doctor could suggest taking a combination of antidepressants and anticonvulsants to help relieve the pain.
If the pain is really severe he might order a narcotics for you to take.
If these above options doesn’t work the doctor may suggest surgery. The type would depend on the underlying cause.
The Top 14 Pain Relieving Herbs
- Natural Pain relief alternatives include;
- Devils claw pain reliever anti inflammatory
- Kudzu anti-inflammatory and also helps with the in pain
- White Willow Bark it’s an all-natural anti-inflammatory.
- Mullein root is used for nerve pain, for muscle spasms.
- Menthol found in sports creams helps relieve pain.
- Rue is known to relieve all types of nerve pain.
- Camphor also helps with pain relieve
- Massaging in Wintergreen will help reduce inflammation and pain in the affected area.
- Black pepper helps with pain relief.
- Wild lettuce helps relieve pain and with insomnia.
- Skullcap it helps with stress, anxiety, fatigue pain and insomnia.
- Lavender helps stop the pain and it relieves stress, fatigue and insomnia.
- Black birch is a pain reliever and it helps with digestive issues.
- Saint John’s wart Pain fatigue, stress and anxiety
Home Remedies to Relieve Pain
Massaging the area often relieves the soreness out of your muscles. Especially when you use a natural herbal oil like jasmine, lavender, or rose,
Some people apply warm, moist heat with either a warm water bottle, damp towel warmed in a microwave, or a rice sock.
Some apply ice to the area to relieve the pain. Only leave on for 20 minutes. then leave it off for half an hour.
How To Slow down the Process?
- Using good posture and proper lifting are two ways to slow it down.
- Eating right and taking a multivitamin with calcium will also help slow the progression.
- Lastly be careful not to cause back and neck injury in your daily activities.