Cervical spondylosis, also known as cervical osteoarthritis or cervical spondylarthrosis is a natural age-related wear and tear (degeneration) process of the neck. It can involve the bones, discs, and joints of the neck.
With age or with over use in wrong postures ( at an early age too) as the cartilage wears out, the discs loose their original volume and can become dried and develop cracks and eventually become stiffer. If left unchecked they can further develop into disc herniation, commonly known as slip disc.
Cervical spondylosis can also lead to ligament thickening and formation of bone spurs (osteophytes) in the areas where the bones rub against each other due to the lack of top layer of protective cartilage. All of these changes can lead to narrowing of the spinal column or the openings where spinal nerves exit, leading to a condition known as spinal stenosis.
Symptoms of cervical spondylosis:
Cervical spondylosis usually occurs in middle-aged and elderly people. One or more of these symptoms may be seen:
- Neck pain
- Stiffness in the neck
- Pain or tingling numbness may radiate to the arm, forearm and/or hands and fingers.
- Muscle weakness in the upper limbs.
- Headaches, originating from the back of the head.
However, these symptoms can be easily managed by maintaining a good posture and maintaining flexibility and strength of the neck muscles.
But if the symptoms get worse it is always better to address them with a physiotherapy session. Physiotherapy can help to manage neck pain and stiffness and other symptoms caused by cervical spondylosis. Physiotherapy treatments can help patients achieve improvements such as reduction of pain, increased neck movements, increased neck strength, improved posture and therefore helps to return to activities of daily living and eventually potential return to sports.
Our physiotherapists will assess your neck and treat the presenting symptom with a combination of therapies, some of which are mentioned below:
- Manual therapy such as mobilisations
- Tissue releases
- Short wave diathermy
- Different current forms
- Postural and ergonomic education are also a vital part of the treatment.
Home treatment includes exercises for stretching the tight muscles, strengthening exercises for weak muscles and use of cold packs to ease the inflammation.
We are also well versed with specialized treatment techniques such as:
- Dry needling
- Decompression therapy
- Radial shock wave
- SCORES – Spinal Core Stability Program for muscle strengthening and diaphragmatic breathing control, to strengthen the deep stabilising muscles of the spine.
- Achievo pressure feedback system – This provides an audio-visual indication of whether you are working the correct postural muscles in the right manner when performing specific core exercises.
These specialized treatment techniques give an added advantage to the patient as they help to fasten healing and thus speed up the recovery time.