Cervical spondylosis or neck arthritis is best described as a degeneration of the vertebrae in the neck region. The bones and cartilage will start to show signs of wear and tear while the joints are no longer cushioned effectively. The aging process is the main cause of spondylosis but the condition can also develop due to trauma or injuries to the neck and back.
Spondylosis can manifest in various symptoms that tends to vary from one individual to another. The treatment for cervical spondylosis typically includes rest, physical therapy, medications for pain and even surgery in severe cases.
The primary indication of cervical spondylosis is pain that can occur in various parts of the body. The pain in the neck can be triggered by the deterioration of the joints and also from the bone spurs which oftentimes form along with the condition. The pain can also spread down to the arms and legs if wear and tear causes the compression of the neck or back.
In some cases, those who have spondylosis can also complain of headaches. Individuals who are taking over-the-counter medications can help alleviate the pain but must consult a doctor regarding their symptoms if relief is not provided.
Loss of sensation
The tingling sensation and numbness is constant with most cases of neck and back problems that can lead to the irritation of the nerves. When it comes to cervical spondylosis, the loss of sensation is limited to the arms but can also affect the legs of the individual. The loss of feeling or sensation in the bladder area due to spondylosis can lead to both fecal and urinary incontinence. Additionally, the loss of sensation in the bladder is considered rare and typically indicates severe damage that can be corrected through surgical intervention.
Weakness and poor reflexes in the arms during a physical examination can be considered as signs of spondylosis. The weakened muscle tone and reflexes are due to nerve damage that occurs during the degeneration process. The diminished reflexes might not be apparent until examined by the doctor.
Range of motion
The individual will also have limited range of motion in the neck when turning the head to the sides. This clearly indicates spondylosis especially if the neck is painful. The doctor or physical therapist will recommend certain exercises as well as the application of heat to the stiff muscles. You can learn more on how to effectively use heat during first aid care if you will enroll in a first aid course. After some time, if the individual responds to the treatment, the range of motion will be restored to normal.
Individuals with spondylosis can find it difficult to maintain their balance. Take note that these balance issues must be assessed by the doctor to rule out other underlying conditions. The loss of balance typically occurs along with other symptoms of spondylosis such as tingling in the extremities and pain.