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  • Writer's pictureTanvi Desai

Chiropractic for Neck Arthritis

Updated: Jul 27, 2022

Arthritis is one of the leading factors behind work disability and medical care in the US. And Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease (DJD)–is the most common type of arthritis. This condition leads to a gradual deterioration of joint cartilage, ligaments, and tendons–often causing severe pain, swelling, or other discomforts.

And when this condition develops in the cervical spine, we call it cervical/neck arthritis.

How does cervical arthritis develop and what may cause it? What are the symptoms to look out for? And more importantly, how can chiropractic be the solution?

Here’s the idea-

What can go wrong with the cervical spine?

Generally, because of the normal wear and tear in the spine that comes with age–the discs of the cervical spine begin to degenerate. This is very common with aging, and may not always have painful symptoms. Although, that is no reason to leave it undiagnosed. Arthritis may worsen with time and have more serious effects.

Over time, the discs lose fluid content and begin to dry out. This eventually leads to a collapse of disc spaces and there remains no “cushion” between the discs. And when the cartilage (the flexible connective tissue between each joint) wears away completely, bones begin rubbing on each other–causing pain and inflammation.

And to make up for the lost cartilage, the body may add new bone mass at the end of the vertebrae. These “bone spurs” reduce the range of motion in the cervical spine and also “compress” a cervical nerve in some cases. This condition leads to more serious symptoms–like balance issues and lack of coordination.

Common causes of cervical osteoarthritis

Age is usually the biggest factor behind osteoarthritis. And naturally, in middle-aged/older people, this condition is extremely common.

Although, some factors may increase your risk of developing cervical osteoarthritis or aggravate any existing spine problems. These are the most common factors-

  • Obesity or sudden weight gain

  • Misalignment in the neck

  • Intense/repetitive physical activities

  • Joint injury or other physical trauma

  • Genetics/Being predisposed to weak cartilages

  • Anxiety or depression

For most patients with cervical osteoarthritis, pain and stiffness are the primary signs. And this usually worsens when in motion. Apart from this, there are not many symptoms necessarily common for every arthritic patient. Some people report muscle spasms in the neck and frequent headaches. And in some cases, patients experience a loss of balance and have trouble walking.

Unlike other types of arthritis, the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis may take months, or even years to develop. That is why it is important to grow healthy habits and keep yourself in check.

Chiropractic care for cervical osteoarthritis

Experiencing neck pain? A good course of action would be to visit a chiropractor.

In my office, I start with obtaining a complete history of the patient’s symptoms. Using X-rays and other forms of assessments, I will examine your spine and joints. This may be helpful in identifying the source and reason for the pain or discomfort.

In the case of cervical osteoarthritis, the primary goal will be to correct your spinal alignment. The further the cervical curve gets from the “C-curve”, the more the degeneration occurs. And the closer the cervical curve comes to normal–lesser the wear and tear seen. So, using gentle adjustments to restore the neck’s natural curve–has been effective in reducing the “degenerative” effects in the spine.

In addition to spinal manipulation–gentle pressure and adjustments also help reduce pain and stiffness. Ultimately, the goal here will be to help you manage your symptoms better. There is no complete “cure” for this condition. But a combination of chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy has been incredibly effective in minimizing the pain and troubles associated with osteoarthritis.

In Lotus Chiropractic Care, Dr. Tanvi Desai will assess your condition and develop the perfect treatment plan for your condition. Some basic exercises and lifestyle recommendations can also be key in improving your condition.

Say yes to natural healing!

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