Cervical spondylosis is a degenerative condition related to the wear of the cervical vertebrae. Cervical spondylosis might or might not be related to age; however, its occurrence is more prominent in elders, middle-aged people and women. Loss of fluid from the cervical spine work as a reason for stiffening of the neck, which is a common symptom associated with the condition. In extreme cases of cervical spondylosis, degeneration of the cervical discs and supporting cartilages can be noticed, which can result into growth of abnormal spurs that interfere with the nerves exiting from the spinal cord, causing severe complications.
The risk factors
Usually, aging is considered as one of the major risk factors for cervical spondylosis. With age the degenerative actions in the bones increases and the vertebral discs loses their cushioning ability. In addition to that, with age the ligaments also become thicker, taking up more space within the spinal canal, which reduces the flexibility of the vertebrae. These conditions taken together can result or worsen cervical spondylosis to a great extent.
Previous injury to the neck or over using of the neck muscles can also work as a cause for this condition. The other common cause of cervical spondylosis is poor posture, which triggers changes in the spinal cord.
- Stiffness of the neck associated with continuous or irregular pain in the neck area is the most common symptom of cervical spondylosis.
- Pain in the shoulder blades, upper back or arms can also be observed in many patients of cervical spondylosis.
- Severe headache generating from the back of the head is the other common condition.
- Inability to move or bend the neck completely is the other common symptom.
The symptoms in most of the cases vary from time to time. The stiffness and pain are usually maximum in the morning and by the end of the day. In severe cases, when cervical spondylosis causes pressure on the spinal cord it can result into other severe symptoms, like weakness of the arms, legs, muscle spasms or even complete paralysis.
Remedies of cervical spondylosis
Cervical spondylosis is quickly becoming common even amongst the young generation, and the bad food habits coupled with improper posture is to blame for that. In cases, where cervical spondylosis is not caused due to aging or injury, having a food rich in calcium, correcting posture and following some simple neck exercises can be of great help. Most of the treatments of cervical spondylosis are aimed towards treating the symptoms. When the cervical spondylosis is related with aging or injury any or all of the below mentioned remedies can be effective,
Epsom salt bath
According to a study it is found that taking bath with Epsom salt on a regular basis can cure the symptoms related to cervical spondylosis. Epsom salt has magnesium in it which is used to regulate the pH levels in the body and also reduces problems related to neck and shoulders such as stiffness, inflammation and pain. All you need to do is make a thick paste by mixing 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt in little water. Apply all over the affected area and massage it for 15 to 20 minutes. This will end up giving you a soothing effect. You can also add 2 cups of it to a warm bath. Soak yourself for 20 minutes and take this bath 3 times a week.
Garlic is considered one of the best remedies when it comes to treating the symptoms of cervical spondylosis. It inhibits anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. This, in turn, reduces the pain, swelling and inflammation. Try to eat raw garlic buds every morning on an empty stomach. Garlic capsules are also available in the market. But it should be taken only after consulting your doctor. You can also heat few crushed garlic cloves in vegetable oil. Use this to massage all over the affected area for 15 minutes. Continue this daily for better results.
The anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric reduce the muscle pain and stiffness by increasing the blood circulation. Drink a glass of milk by mixing 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder to it. You can also add honey to it.
Sesame seeds are Ayurvedic in nature and contain calcium, magnesium, manganese, Vitamin K and D in it. This helps to reduce the neck pain. You can apply some warm sesame oil on the affected area or chew 1 tablespoon of roasted sesame seeds daily in the morning.
Physiotherapy involves certain exercises or stretching of the muscles of the affected area which can be very helpful to reduce the neck pain and stiffness associated with cervical spondylosis. Physiotherapy of the neck ensures strengthening of the muscles of the area helping to reduce the pain and the condition over time.
Massaging is the other treatment that can be effective to control the pain and stiffness associated with cervical spondylosis. However, it is essential to ensure that the person providing the massage therapy is actually skilled and experienced in treating patients of cervical spondylosis; otherwise, it might even increase the pain or deteriorate the condition.
Hot and cold compress
Alternate hot and cold compress can be an effective and easy way to treat the symptoms of cervical spondylosis. All you need to do is to place a hot water bag and ice bag alternately on the affected area of the neck. It is believed that alternate hot and cold compress does not only relax the tensed muscles that might be causing the pain, but also boosts the natural regeneration process of the bones and cartilages.
Medications used to treat spondylosis are particularly aimed towards treating the pain. Normal pain-killers, local pain-killer sprays are often advised in order to reduce the pain. Apart from that, different muscle relaxants are also suggested in order to ensure proper flexibility of the neck. However, the action of these medications is temporary and they need to be repeated several times a day according to the prescription of the doctor.
Surgery is considered only as a last measure in case of severe cervical spondylosis, when the condition starts to interrupt the cervical nerves exiting from the spinal cord.