With the increase in the number of professionals who sit for hours together doing desk work or sitting for hours in front of the computer and call center jobs which requires continuous sitting in one posture, the number of people suffering with cervical spondylosis is on the rise. Cervical spondylosis is a ‘wear and tear’ of the vertebrae and discs in the neck. It is a common cause of neck pain. The symptoms include pain and stiffness in the neck, there could be radiation of the pain from the neck to the right hand, or the back of the head, there could be giddiness associated with pain and stiffness, there could be numbness in the tips of the fingers etc.
Treatment of mild cases
Mild cases of cervical spondylosis may respond to:
- Wearing a neck brace (cervical collar) during the day to help limit neck motion and reduce nerve irritation.
- Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) for pain relief.
- Doing exercises prescribed by a physical therapist to strengthen neck muscles and stretch the neck and shoulders. Low-impact aerobic exercise, such as walking or water aerobics, also may help.
Treatment of more serious cases
For more severe cases, nonsurgical treatment may include:
- Hospitalization with bed rest and traction on the neck for a week or two to completely immobilize the cervical spine and reduce the pressure on spinal nerves.
- Taking muscle relaxants, such as methocarbamol (Robaxin) or cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), particularly if neck muscle spasms occur.
- Injecting corticosteroid medications into the joints between the vertebrae (facet joints). The injection combines corticosteroid medication with local anesthetic to reduce pain and inflammation.
When Surgery is required?
If conservative treatment fails or if you find neurological signs and symptoms, such as weakness in your arms or legs, are getting worse, you may need surgery. The surgical procedure will depend on your underlying condition, such as bone spurs or spinal stenosis.
What are the Risks of surgery?
Risks of these procedures include infection, a tear in the membrane that covers the spinal cord at the site of the surgery, bleeding, a blood clot in a leg vein and neurological deterioration. In addition, the surgery may not eliminate all the problems associated with your condition.
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