Spondylosis is a general term referring to “wear and tear” in the spinal joints, which includes the spinal vertebrae and neural foraminae. Most people of adult age have some degree of cervical spondylosis in their spinal joints.
Symptoms include morning stiffness, increased pain when sitting for long periods, more pain on extremes of movement and postural problems. Muscle spasm and neck stiffness is very common, but there can be referral of symptoms into the shoulders and sometimes radiating down into the arm, forearm, hand and fingers. Occasionally there are referred symptoms that radiate into the lower limb.
X- rays and scans can be inconclusive as they can sometimes show “wear and tear”, but they may not be the joints causing the most symptoms. In severe cases there is sufficient pressure on the nerve roots to lead to tingling or numbness and muscle weakness in the limbs.
Spondylitis can affect any joint in the spine, with the cervical spinal joints being affected due to their multi axial movement patterns. Many factors can increase the risk of spondylitis, including :-
Age: as one gets older we are less able to repair the damage we cause to our joints through daily activities.
Activity Level: we do need to keep mobile but there is a fine balance between doing too much and too little exercise. Sitting for long periods, especially in a poor position, increases the potential damage to the cervical spinal joints, ligaments and musculature.
Injury: past injury makes a person more susceptible to future cervical spondylitis.
Hereditary: it may be that the anatomical and physiological factors can play a role in developing cervical spondylitis.
A comprehensive clinical picture is recommended and will guide us to the most effective treatment, providing the best possible long term outcome. Our active rehabilitation programme aims to restore full function and reduce pain levels too, with high emphasis on improving posture at home and work.
Treatment can involve massage, electrotherapy, mobilisations and acupuncture, but the emphasis is always to work with you giving you advice to manage your problems long term. Early intervention leads to accelerated results and allows you a fast return to your normal lifestyle.
Contact us today for information or just advice.