Cervical spondylitis also referred to as cervical osteoarthritis is an age related spine condition that impacts the bones, joints and discs of the neck. It occurs as a result of damage in the cartilage and bones of the cervical spine.
According to research over 85% of people over 60 years have cervical spondylitis
Causes and Risk Factors
While there isn’t a way to prevent cervical spondylitis, there are ways to control and lessen the symptoms. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the symptoms of cervical spondylitis, how it’s diagnosed, possible complications of the condition, and treatments.
One of the main reasons for cervical spondylitis is wear and tear in the neck joints that can involve dehydrated and herniated discs, bone spurs and stiff ligaments. The spinal discs become dry / start shrinking and sometimes develop cracks with age.
There are, however, risk factors aside from age that can cause cervical spondylitis
• Previous neck trauma or injuries
• Repeating the same neck movements throughout the day
• Work-related activities that put extra strain on the neck
• Family history of cervical spondylitis
• Being overweight and inactive
Visible and invisible symptoms
While there isn’t a way to prevent cervical spondylitis, there are ways to control and lessen the symptoms.
Below mentioned covers - how it is diagnosed, possible complications of the condition and treatments
Symptoms of Cervical Spondylitis
Many people with cervical spondylitis are not aware of their degeneration, as a majority of those with the condition often experience little, to no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, treatments are relatively conservative and typically do not involve surgery. These symptoms might be a sign that your neck condition is more severe and requires medical attention.
Some of the symptoms and Possible Complications include:
 Shooting pain, weakness, or tingling down the arm and possibly into the hands also known as Cervical radiculopathy which occurs when a nerve in the cervical spine is compressed or damaged as it exits the cervical bone
 Grinding sensations when the neck is tilted backwards or coughing
 Lack of movement in the neck or the inability to fully turn the head
 Headaches at the back of the head or a severe stiff neck.
 Numbness or weakness in the neck, shoulders, and/or arms also known as cervical myelopathy which occurs when there is pressure or damage to the spinal cord in the neck due to degeneration
A word of advice, if you have a sudden onset or numbness or any tingling in certain parts of the body like shoulder, arms or legs or lose bowel control, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.
Treatment Options :
- Physical therapy: The doctor might advice, physical therapy to help stretch the neck and shoulder muscles to make them strong.
- Medications: Some of the medications may include muscle relaxants and narcotics such as anti-seizure drugs and steroid injections, as a part of the treatment.
- Surgery: The last resort is surgery and is rarely necessary for cervical spondylitis.
- Lifestyle Changes: Exercising especially Yoga exercises, will keep spondylitis at bay and using a heating pad or cold pack on the neck can provide pain relief for sore muscles. A neck bracelet can give temporary relief, but should be avoided for long periods as it makes the muscles weaker
Few Yoga poses that will help you in treating prevention and treatment of cervical spondylitis :
Makarasana (Crocodile Pose) :
Makarasana is good for the spine to resume its normal shape and releases compression of the spinal nerves. It is effective in treating of cervical spondylitis and pain of neck and shoulders.
Marjariasana (Cat Pose) :
Marjariasana provides gentle massage to your spine and helps to loosen up the vertebral column. It is extremely recommended to those people, who have rigid spines and chronic neck pain. Marjariasana gently stretches and stimulates the spinal nerves.
Bal-Shayanasana (Infant’s Pose) :
Balshayan asana is extremely beneficial for those patients also who suffer from lower back pain or cervical spondylitis because of stress, tension and excessive workload
As they say “A milligram of prevention is worth a kilogram of cure”. So let’s have a close look at our daily practices and keep the cervical pain at bay. These methods and assistive devices like Vissco Cervical Collars and Heating belts, will help you bounce back to your peak performance