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What is Cervical spondylosis ? Cervical spondylosis is a general term for age-related wear and tear affecting the spinal disks in your neck. As the disks dehydrate and shrink, bone spurs and other signs of osteoarthritis develop.
Causes for cervical spondylosis:
The major risk factor is aging. By age 60, most women and men show signs of cervical spondylosis on x-ray
Abnormal growths or "spurs" on the bones of the spine (vertebrae).
These changes can, over time, press down on (compress) one or more of the nerve roots.
Every day wear and tear may start these changes.
People who are very active at work or in sports may be more likely to have them.
Being overweight and not exercising
Having a job that requires heavy lifting or a lot of bending and twisting
Neck injuries: Previous neck injuries appear to increase the risk of cervical spondylosis.
Past spine surgery
Ruptured or slipped disk
Small fractures to the spine from osteoporosis
Genetic factors. Some families will have more of these changes over time, while other families will develop less.
Some Do's and Don'ts in Cervical Spondylosis:
1. Keep your spine straight like the picture, while sitting or standing.
1. We strongly advice against forward bending exercise. Avoid jogging, running, jerking. Avoid carrying heavy bags and don't lift heavy weights.
2. Reduce tension by practicing Pranayama & meditation.
2. Soft chair, bed should be avoided.
3. Have milk, milk products, green vegetables, small fishes They contain calcium.
3. Don't take painkillers it causes stomach Ulcers?
Sign & Symptoms of cervical spondylosis : The symptoms of cervical spondylosis may include:
Neck stiffness and pain
Headache that may originate in the neck
Pain in the shoulder or arms
Inability to fully turn the head or bend the neck, sometimes interfering with driving
Grinding noise or sensation when the neck is turned
Symptoms of cervical spondylosis tend to improve with rest. Symptoms are most severe in the morning and again at the end of the day.
If cervical spondylosis results in pressure on the spinal cord (cervical stenosis), it can put pressure on the spinal cord, a condition called cervical myelopathy.
Symptoms of cervical spondylosis with myelopathy (pathology of the spinal cord) include:
Tingling, numbness, and/or weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
Lack of coordination and difficulty walking
Loss of control over bladder and bowel (incontinence)
Another possible complication of cervical spondylosis is cervical radiculopathy, when bone spurs press on nerves as they exit the bones of the spinal column. Pain shooting down into one or both arms is the most common symptom.
For more details on symptoms of Cervical spondylosis you can watch:
Plain cervical radiography (X-RAY of the cervical spine) is routine in
every patient with suspected cervical spondylosis.
This examination is valuable in evaluating the intervertebral disk spaces, and osteophyte formation.
In select circumstances, flexion-extension views may be needed to detect instability.
Myelography, with computed tomography (CT) scanning, is usually the imaging test of choice to assess spinal and foraminal stenosis.
Most physicians depend on MRI in diagnosing cervical spondylosis.
Myelography adds anatomic information in evaluating spondylosis.
Myelography may be especially useful in visualizing the nerve root takeoff.
CT scanning, with or without intrathecal dye, can be used to estimate the diameter of the canal.
CT scans may demonstrate small, lateral osteophytes and calcific opacities in the middle of the vertebral body.
MRI:is a considerable advance in the use of imaging to diagnose cervical spondylosis: An MRI uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to produce a detailed picture of the inside of your body.
It offers the following advantages:
Direct imaging in multiple planes
Better definition of neural elements
Increased accuracy in evaluating intrinsic spinal cord diseases
High signal-intensity lesions can be seen on magnetic resonance images of spinal cord compression; this finding indicates a poor prognosis.
False-positive and false-negative MRI results occur frequently in patients with cervical radiculopathy; therefore, MRI results and clinical findings should be used when interpreting root compression.
Other Tests: Nerve function tests: In some cases, it may be helpful to determine if nerve signals are traveling properly to your muscles. Nerve function tests include: Electromyogram (EMG). This test measures the electrical activity in your nerves as they transmit messages to your muscles when the muscles are contracting and when they're at rest. The purpose of an EMG is to assess the health of your muscles and the nerves that control them. Nerve conduction study. For this test, electrodes are attached to
your skin above the nerve to be studied. A small shock is passed through the nerve to measure the strength and speed of nerve signals.
Treating cervical spondylosis: Treatment for cervical spondylosis aims to relieve symptoms of pain and prevent permanent damage to your nerves. In most cases, cervical spondylosis treatments are conservative. They include:
Use of non- steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or other non-narcotic products to relieve pain from inflammation
Chiropractic manipulation that can help to control episodes of more severe pain
Wearing a cervical collar to limit movement and provide support
Other forms of physical therapy, including the application of heat and cold therapy, traction, or exercise
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are thought to be the most effective painkillers for symptoms of cervical spondylosis. Some commonly used NSAIDs include:
If one NSAID fails to help with pain, your doctor may try an alternative. However, NSAIDs may not be suitable if you have asthma, high blood pressure, liver disease, heart disease or a history of stomach ulcers. In these circumstances, paracetamol is usually more suitable. Your pharmacist or GP can advise you.
Codeine If your pain is more severe, your GP may prescribe a mild opiate painkiller called codeine. This is often taken in combination with NSAIDs or paracetamol. A common side effect of taking codeine is constipation. Codeine may be unsuitable for a number of people, especially if taken for long periods of time. Your GP can advise on whether it is safe for you to take codeine. It is generally not recommended for people who have breathing problems (such as asthma) or head injuries, particularly those that increase pressure in the skull.
Muscle relaxants If you experience spasms, when your neck muscles suddenly tighten uncontrollably, your GP may prescribe a short course of a muscle relaxant such as diazepam. Muscle relaxants are sedatives that can make you feel dizzy and drowsy. If you have been prescribed diazepam, make sure you do not drive. You should also not drink alcohol, as the medication can exaggerate its effects. Muscle relaxants should not be taken continuously for longer than a week to 10 days at a time.
Injection of a painkiller: If your radiating arm pain is particularly severe and not settling, there may be an option of a "transforaminal nerve root injection", where steroid medication is injected into the neck where the nerves exit the spine. This may temporarily decrease inflammation of the nerve root and reduce pain.
Side effects include headache, temporary numbness in the area and, in rare cases, spinal cord injury (limb paralysis). Your GP would have to refer you to a pain clinic if you wished to explore this option.
Surgery Surgery is usually only recommended in the treatment of cervical spondylosis if:
There is clear evidence that a nerve is being pinched by a slipped disk or bone (cervical radiculopathy), or your spinal cord is being compressed (cervical myelopathy)
There is underlying damage to your nervous system that is likely to worsen if surgery is not performed
Surgery may also be recommended if you have persistent pain that fails to respond to other treatments. It's important to stress that surgery often doesn't lead to a complete cure of symptoms. It may only be able to prevent symptoms from getting worse.
The type of surgery used will depend on the underlying cause of your pain or nerve damage. Surgical techniques that may be used include: Anterior cervical discectomy This is used when a slipped disc or osteophyte (lump of extra bone) is pressing on a nerve.
Cervical laminectomy The surgeon will make a small incision in the back of your neck and remove pieces of bone that are pressing on your spinal cord. Prosthetic intervertebral disc replacement This relatively new surgical technique involves removing a worn disc in the spine and replacing it with an artificial disc. Most people can leave hospital within three to four days, but it can take up to eight weeks before you can resume normal activities. This may have an impact on your employment, depending on the type of work you do.
EXERCISE FOR CERVICAL SPONDYLOSIS: Low-impact exercises can improve your health and fitness without harming your joints. Research suggests that moderate-intensity low-impact activity, such as yoga and fast walking, is just as effective as high-impact activity, such as running. High-impact exercise isn't advisable if:
You've injured your joints, bones or connective tissue
You have chronic problems, such as arthritis, osteoporosis or stress fractures
You're very overweight
You're new to exercise
Home exercises These home exercises are ideal if you're not very active but want to improve your health, lift your mood and remain independent. Don't worry if you haven't done much for a while. These exercises are easy, gentle and can be done indoors.
Swimming:works the whole body. It's a great way to tone up and get trim. Swimming a few lengths involves most of the muscle groups and you'll get a good aerobic workout if you increase the pace. Swimming can also help you lose weight if you swim at a steady and continuous pace throughout your session.
Yoga can improve both your physical fitness and your general wellbeing through a series of postures and breathing exercises. Regular yoga practice helps develop strength, balance and flexibility. It also lifts your mood. Practice the following yoga regularly. Choose a time of day you can stick with so that exercise becomes a habit. No matter what time of day you choose to exercise, make sure to plan your workout two to three hours after your meal. Heal Cervical Spondylosis and Neck Pain naturally.
1. Neck exercise 1st kind: Stand straight. Turn your head toward right side. Then move your head back in normal posture. Then turn your head toward left and then come back to normal position. Do this for 10 times, and take rest. For more detailed you can watch: Benefits: This neck exercise relieves neck pain caused by posture problems.
2. Neck exercise 2nd kind: Stand straight. Turn your head toward up and bend backward then come back in normal posture. Do this for 10 times and take rest. For more detailed you can watch:
Benefits: This neck exercise relieves Cervical Spondylosis caused by posture problems.
3. Static neck exercise 1st kind: Stand straight. Place your right hand on your right cheek. Now try to move the neck toward right side and resist the neck from moving by your right palm. Both the pressure will be equal and hence the neck should not move. Hold the position and count 10. Do the same thing with left side. For more detailed you can watch:
Benefits: It strengthens the muscles of the neck, upper back, and shoulders.
4. Static neck exercise 2nd kind: Stand straight. Place two palms below your chin. Now push the palms with your chin and resist it with your palms. Both the pressure will be equal prohibiting any movement. Hold the position and count 10. For more detailed you can watch:
Benefits: It relaxes the neck and reduces pain.
5. Static neck exercise 3rd kind: Stand straight. Place your right palm above the ear and resist the head to move at right side. Both the pressure will be equal and hence the neck should not move. Hold the position and count 10. Do the same thing with left side. For more detailed you can watch:
Benefits: Strengthens the neck muscles and increases its flexibility.
Recreational Therapy The recreational therapist can use recreational and community activity to accomplish the following:
Help the patient maintain his/her physical strength, social skills, and motivation
Assist the patient and family in adjusting to the disability
Decrease the patient's atypical behaviors
Increase the patient's independence
Reinforce other therapies
Provide community integration
Further evaluate the level of functioning in cases of severe disability caused by cervical spondylosis
Occupational Therapy: Patients with upper extremity weakness often lose their ability to perform activities of daily living (ADL), vocational activities, or recreational activities. Lifestyle modifications may involve an
Disability can be improved with specific strengthening exercises of the upper extremities,
Special splinting to compensate for weakness, and the use of assistive devices that allow the patient to perform previously impossible activities.
Most cases of spondylosis are mild and require little if any treatment. In more aggressive forms of the disease, especially in the cervical spine, the goal of treatment is to relieve pain and prevent spinal cord and nerve root injury. The more common non-surgical treatments are summarized below.
Bed Rest Severe cases of spondylosis may require bed rest for no more than 1-3 days. Long-term bed rest is avoided as it puts patient at risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT, blood clots in the legs).
Cervical Traction: In most cases, spinal traction is rarely needed or
used to alleviate symptoms associated with spondylosis. Intermittent traction therapy may be included with the use of a brace.
Lifestyle Changes: In recent years many specialized diets have gained popularity among some people with arthritis. Try to keeping a food diary for a few weeks to find out if indeed what you eat makes a difference or if you have food sensitivities. Whether a person is affected by a chronic illness or not, there are some straightforward guidelines that if followed, would lead to improved health and well-being for almost everyone.
Both calcium and alcohol affect the strength of the bones, and it is a well-known fact that people with spondylitis are already at higher risk for osteoporosis, a dangerous thinning of the bones that can lead to fractures. Following a diet with adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D will help reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Alcoholic beverages can also weaken bones. Consuming more than two alcoholic drinks per day increases a person's chances of developing weakened bones. In addition, alcohol mixed with certain medications can cause serious side-effects to the gastrointestinal tract and to major organs such as the liver and the kidneys.
It is important to find out from your doctor whether any of the medications that you take affect how your body uses what you eat. For instance, some medications cause a person to retain sodium, while others cause potassium loss.
Basic guidelines to good nutrition, which are:
Eat a variety of foods that make you feel good - avoid those that do not.
Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products.
Use fat (especially saturated fat found in animal products), cholesterol, sugar, and salt in moderation.
Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day.
Most people receive daily requirements of vitamins and minerals by eating a well-balanced diet, but others need to take vitamin supplements.
Avoid alcohol or foods that can interact with your medication. Talk with your doctor and/or pharmacist about potential interactions.
Maintain a Healthy Weight Besides the well-known medical problems individuals can develop as a result of Weight gain (high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, stroke, and heart disease), extra weight puts additional stress on joints and bones. For example, the corticosteroid prednisone causes weight gain to some degree in nearly all patients who take the medication and can lead to redistribution of body fat to places like the face, back of the neck, and abdomen. On the other end, Underweight persons can suffer from medical problems ranging from
Lowered resistance to infection and
Loss of appetite or upset stomach,
Making it difficult for some people with spondylitis to maintain a healthy weight. This is especially true for those with spondylitis of inflammatory bowel or Crohn's disease that experience gastrointestinal problems on top of the arthritis symptoms. Report any severe weight loss to your doctor.
If a person's oral intake is poor, then they will need to be supplemented with liquid formulas or to explore food habits and preferences to encourage a person to eat through consistency of food and planning a balanced diet. The dietician will be able to determine the appropriate modified consistency of food (i.e. blended, soft and moist or easy chew) and fluids (i.e. pudding, honey, nectar or thin) of a person Planning a balanced diet is important to allow adequate nutrition for the recovery in a person with TBI. The table below will be a guide to choosing and planning meals from the four major food groups.
Nutrition Plan for Cervical spondylosis patients:
Many patients experience poor appetite. To boost your appetite, consume small portions of food- about 7-9 snacks/meals throughout the day. Nausea is another common complaint that could be caused due to medications. Take the prescribed medicines on full stomach. Consult your doctor if nausea persists. A day's meal comprises of several food items. Generally, all food items can be classified into six major groups:
Herbal Remedies/Supplements: Before trying any herbal remedies or supplements, make sure you do your research and talk to your doctor. Even though herbs are natural, there may still be side effects that you're unaware of - an herbal remedy could interfere with a prescribed medicine you're taking, for example. One of the most common herbal remedy you may want to consider for spondylosis is:
Ginger: Ginger can be used an anti-inflammatory. You can make your own ginger tea by adding a teaspoon of fresh, grated ginger to hot water.
Immediate Diet Plan:
Include lots of fresh, seasonal, local and if possible organic Fruits and Vegetables in your daily diet.
Add plenty of Whole Grains (whole wheat flour, brown rice, whole beans).
Choose foods high in Good Fat such as olive oil, peanut oil, fatty fish, walnuts, flaxseeds. If you do not eat fish, talk to your doctor about taking fish supplements.
Instead of whole milk, choose low fat or skim milk.
Include food sources rich in Magnesium and Potassium to increase heart health.
Say NO to all Sugary and Refined foods (cakes, pastries) and do not add any sugar to beverages.
Avoid Unhealthy Fats such as Cholesterol, Saturated and Trans Fat. Stay away from egg yolks, cream, butter, ghee, coconut, deep fried items, whole milk, dalda, vanspati.
No Carbonated, Caffeinated and Alcoholic beverages.
Curb Salt intake, as it can increase blood pressure. Don't add salt while cooking and reduce packaged food consumption.
Sample Diet Plan:
Below is a sample Diet Plan for a patient who has undergone angioplasty. Talk to you doctor or dietician about any restrictions on fluid or water intake. Do not add SALT or SUGAR while cooking or as seasoning. For cooking, use only Olive Oil.
- 1 Cup lukewarm water with 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1/2 tsp. honey
- 1 Cup Dahlia, porridge made with Skim Milk OR 1 Moong Dal Dosa(Recipe)OR 1 Ragi Dosa(Recipe)
- 1 medium Apple ?OR medium Orange OR 1/2 Cup pomegranate seeds
Early Morning Snack
- 1 Cup boiled Sweet potatoes, sprinkled with lemon juice OR 1 Cup Brown rice Poha with low fat yoghurt
- 1 Cup Coconut water (discard the %u201Cmalai")
- 2 dried apricots and 1 whole walnut OR 2 dried figs and 2 almonds (unsalted)
- 1 large bowl of Salad (carrots, cucumbers, beets, tomatoes and onions)
(Dressing is important , use - Olive oil, lemon juice and pepper)