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What is the cause of cervical spondylosis?
Cervical Spondylosis is a common disease that affects the joints and disc of the cervical spine. It is a disease that affects 85% of people over the age of 60, commonly an age-related disease due to degenerative changes that occur in the spine. But during these times many young people are affected due to lifestyle changes. Traditionally this disease is more common in people who are carrying heavy loads, heavy workers, practicing martial arts, gymnastics, etc. People who are working for long hours with computers, mobile devices, leading a very stressful life, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and acidity are commonly suffering from neck pain. Improper positioning while watching television, mobile or laptop monitors, etc is one of the major reasons for neck pain in the young population Usually men are affected by the disease at an earlier age compared to women.
It includes Age; It is an age-related disease condition causing wear and tear of spinal disc Occupation; Those who are heavy workers jobs that involve neck motion, a lot of overhead work, which causes stress to the neck. Genetic factors: Certain families and some individuals experience more changes over time, while others will not. Neck injuries: Those who are having neck injuries increase the risk of the disease. Smoking: Smoking will cause increases neck pain
It is commonly an age-related disease, in which the disc loses water content and begins to bulge and also, which in turn causes the spinal disc to dry out and shrink which allows the bone to bone contact between vertebrae (disc loses height ).
Grading of the features
No disc degeneration
minimal anterior osteophytes
Disc pathology, canal narrowing, no impingement
definite anterior osteophytosis, possible narrowing of the disc space, sclerosis of the vertebral plates
Spondylosis, anterior cord impingement
moderate narrowing of the disc space, definite sclerosis of the vertebral plates and osteophytosis
Spondylosis, restricted motion, anterior or posterior impingement
severe narrowing of the disc space, sclerosis of the vertebral plates, and multiple large osteophytes
CSM, anterior and/or posterior impingement
STAGES OF DISC DEGENERATION
STAGES OF ANKYLOSING SPONDYLITIS
Some of the common findings related to cervical spondylosis
- Loss of normal lordosis leading to straightening of the neck
- Loss of normal range of motion
- Pain in the neck or radiating towards hands fingers
- Numbness or tingling sensation in hands
- Swelling behind the neck
- Recurrent headaches
- Loss of balance
- Disc bulge – disc herniation, disc prolapse, extrusion sequestration
- Ligaments stiffening
- Facet joint arthropathy
- Bony spurs
- Nerve impingement
Common differential diagnosis
- Ankylosing spondylosis
- Cervical myelopathy
- Cervical stenosis
- Vit B12 deficiency
Mostly the people affected by the disease condition have no symptoms. When symptoms occur, it includes pain and stiffness in the neck. Cervical spondylosis causes narrowing of the space needed by the spinal cord and the nerve root. You may also feel the symptoms like numbness and weakness of arms hands due to cervical radiculopathy. Numbness and weakness of legs and feet, Difficulty in walking, Lack of coordination, Loss of bladder or bowel control in advanced cases due to cervical stenosis or cervical myelopathy. Patients may have recurrent headaches, loss of balance in some cases. Acidity insomnia stress is usually associated with the majority of the patients.
Usually clinically diagnosed. Radiological investigations like X-ray and MRI are often advised.
The physical examination includes
Checking the range of motion in the neck
Testing muscle strength and reflex
examine to see spinal compression is affecting gait
Role of Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy also plays an important role in the treatment of this disease. in acute conditions, rest and icepacks are advised. Usually, stretching and neck exercise are given to the patients during the condition. Mechanical traction is also given which helps to promote mobilization of the cervical region. Isometric exercises are also done to the people who are affected by this condition. Massage, Mobilization, and manipulation help in getting relief from this disease condition.
Treatment in Ayurveda
Treatment in Ayurveda includes internal medications as well and external therapies
Brumhanam is the main treatment in Ayurveda to revitalize the muscles ligaments and joints. The aim of the treatment is to relieve the pain and to maintain your usual activities and to prevent permanent injury to the spinal cord and nerves. In inflammatory/acute stage Podikizhi, Valukam, Lepam etc give good benefits for joint pain, and any type of massage is not advised.
Ayurvedic therapies like Elakizhi, taila Dhara, Navarakizhi, Greeva Basti are done further to revitalize the ligaments, joints and muscles.
Special Soups prepared out of spine and legs of goat is very beneficial
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Which is the best treatment for cervical spondylosis?
It depends on the condition of the patient and the stage of the disease. If no serious neurological symptoms suggestive of myelopathy, always conservative management with Ayurveda treatments and physiotherapy is the best.
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Is exercise good for cervical spondylosis?
Yes. proper exercises will help you stretch, strengthen the ligaments and muscles.
Is massage good for Cervical Spondylosis?
Not on an acute case/ severe inflammatory stage. At the initial stage, kizhi is beneficial not massage.
Does weather affect Cervical Spondylosis?
Yes, cold climates can contribute to an increase in inflammation.
Can headache be caused from the neck?
Yes headaches can be triggered from cervical spondylosis. Migraine can be triggered due cervical spine condition.
Can acidity cause cervical spondylosis?
Yes, it can contribute as it is another symptom of increased pitta in the body so it represents accelerated degeneration. In this regard smoking, alcohol, use of chewable tobacco products, patients taking gastric irritant medications like aspirin associates for a long time are also more susceptible to accelerated degenerative diseases like cervical spondylosis.
Why Tingling sensation or numbness in hands?
It can be from cervical radiculopathy. The affected area is shown based on the corresponding nerve supply.
|ERVICAL NERVE SUPPLY DERMATOMES|
|C5||Shoulder, Lateral upper extremity||Deltoid|
|C6||Lateral forearm, First two digits||Biceps||Absent|
|C7||Posterior forearm, third digit||Triceps||Absent|
|C8||Medial forearm, fifth and sixth digit||Finger abduction, Grip|
Can lack of sleep cause neck pain?
Yes, it can cause neck pain, headache, etc because it causes Vata dosha aggravation.