Cervical Spondylitis Introduction
We will cover cervical spondylitis and cervical spondylosis under one heading. It is commonly called Arthritis of the neck. Cervical spondylitis can be caused due to a variety of factors but it is commonly related to getting older as with increasing age wear and tear changes occur in the vertebra of the neck.
Cervical spondylitis is the commonest cause of persistent pain in the neck, as well as causing stiffness.
Cervical Spine Structure and Neck Anatomy
The neck includes the cervical spine, muscles, and ligaments. Our spine is made up of 24 bones called as vertebrae which are placed on top of one another. These bones connect with each other and create a canal to protect the spinal cord. The cervical spine is supported by muscles and ligaments.
The cervical spine consists of seven small vertebrae that start at the base of the skull and form the neck. Cervical spondylitis is caused due to degenerative changes or abnormal wear (due to age) that occur in these vertebrae and discs. The intervertebral disc becomes less elastic and compressed.
Cervical Spondylitis Causes and Risk Factors
There are a few other factors other than age which contribute to cervical spondylitis:
- Hereditary factors- it is seen to run in families.
- Cigarette smoking
- Anxiety and depression
- Occupational factors – a job involving repetitive neck work or trauma due to carrying a load on the head, gymnastics, dancing, etc.
- Injury to the neck.
- An improper posture of the neck while working on the computer, using telephone watching TV or lying down.
Cervical Spondylitis Symptoms
- Pain and stiffness in the neck are the most common symptom. Pain may radiate to shoulders and base of the skull.
- The severity of pain and stiffness may differ from patient to patient from mild to severe. This type of pain is usually aggravated after keeping the neck in one position for a long time such as working on a computer, reading book or driving. Pain is relieved after rest.
Other associated cervical spondylitis symptoms include:
- A nonspecific headache starting from the nape of the neck and radiating to shoulders and vertex.
- Vertigo and loss of balance.
- Numbness and weakness in arms, hands, and fingers (termed as cervical radiculopathy)
- Muscular spasm in neck and shoulder.
- On examination, the patient may show difficulty and limited motion of neck while bending or rotating the head. Muscles reflexes and strength may be reduced.
Cervical Spondylitis Diagnosis and Treatment
- Although signs and symptoms indicate towards cervical spondylitis investigations are required to confirm the diagnosis as well as to evaluate the extent of degeneration.
- X-ray cervical spine – Useful for the confirmation of diagnosis showing bony outgrowths on the vertebrae called as 'Spurs'.
- MRI spine is done to confirm the diagnosis and to evaluate the extent of degeneration or neural damage.
- EMG (Electromyography) is sometimes required to rule out cervical radiculopathy.
- Blood investigations to rule out anemia.
Homeopathy Treatment for Cervical Spondylosis
Homeopathic treatment is aimed at significant pain relief with better mobility for the patients without any side effects. Homeopathic medicines for neck pain are very effective.
At my similia clinic based on an experience of treating patients with cervical spondylitis worldwide, we can claim to control comprehensive symptoms and give better and long lasting pain relief to the patients.
The requirement of painkiller reduces and ultimately it can be stopped.
Aging is a continuous process, homeopathic medicines help to reduce the inflammation and arrest the degenerative process to a certain extent. It works on increasing the immune strength of an individual.