What Chiropractic Patients Want to Know About Cervical Arthritis
Among the conditions that chiropractors treat, one of the most common is called cervical arthritis. This is a common source of back and neck pain. Over time, cervical arthritis can lead to debilitating, chronic health problems that could ultimately prove disabling.
In general, cervical arthritis is a degenerative, chronic condition. It is marked by stiffness and pain in the neck and upper back. The good news is that chiropractic care can help patients with cervical arthritis manage this condition, find pain relief, and improve the overall quality of their life.
What Is Cervical Arthritis?
The spine is made up of a chain of small bones that are called vertebrae. These vertebrae are separated from each other by small discs. The discs act as cushions between the vertebrae, allowing nerves to leave the spine with ease while also preventing the vertebrae from rubbing against each other.
When someone has cervical arthritis, which is also called cervical spondylosis, there are age-related changes that lead to degeneration in the bones, discs, and joints of the upper portion of the spinal column. Specifically, cervical arthritis targets the first few vertebrae at the top of the back. This leads to pain, inflammation, and stiffness in the neck.
What Are the Symptoms of Cervical Arthritis?
Similar to other medical conditions, the symptoms of cervical arthritis can vary from person to person. In general, the symptoms of cervical arthritis will get worse as people get older, particularly if they are not receiving regular care. Some of the most common symptoms of cervical arthritis include:
- Neck pain and discomfort that might be worse in the morning depending on someone’s sleep position
- Neck stiffness that makes it hard for someone to move the head from side to side
- Pain in the upper back that might impact shoulder mobility or sensation
- Pain that is present between the shoulder blades
- Headaches that are centered in the back of the head
- Reduce neck flexibility
Depending on the severity of someone’s symptoms, individuals with cervical arthritis might even notice swelling at the site of inflamed vertebrae from time to time.
What Are the Chiropractic Care and Treatment for Patients with Cervical Arthritis?
If someone has been diagnosed with cervical arthritis, this is usually done with a combination of a strong patient history (that includes the symptoms above), a physical exam that is consistent with cervical arthritis, and possible x-ray studies that show chronic, degenerative changes that are present in the cervical vertebrae of the spine.
After this, chiropractors can use adjustments to shift the areas of the back that might be impacted by cervical arthritis. This can help increase the amount of space between the cervical vertebrae, providing more space for the bones and nerves in the back, while also freeing ligaments and tendons that might be tight. With regular chiropractic care, patients with cervical arthritis can enjoy a greater range of motion in the neck along with reduced pain.
Finally, chiropractors might also recommend other treatment options as well. This could include soft tissue massages, physical therapy, and posture correction strategies. In this manner, the goal in the treatment of cervical arthritis is to both relieve the symptoms and eliminate the root cause of the problem by strengthening the bones, muscles, and ligaments of the back. The goal is to tailor the treatment option to meet the unique needs of each individual patient.
Chiropractic Care for Cervical Arthritis
The goal of chiropractic care for cervical arthritis is to provide strong, targeted, and long-lasting treatment options for patients with cervical arthritis. If you are looking for relief from neck pain caused by cervical arthritis, call us today to make an appointment! We’re here to serve you!