Neck arthritis, also referred to as Cervical Spondylosis, may just feel like a pain in the neck, so how do you differentiate it from a strain, a pinched nerve, a pulled muscle or stiffness? In most cases, the symptoms can be quite similar, if not the same, but you should be able to pinpoint at least a couple of important differences.
If the following information does not help or if you are unsure as to the potential cause of your achiness, do not hesitate to see your primary care provider, as they are the ones who can most accurately diagnose your ailment.
A crick, crack or crunch, each just another pain in your neck that does not go away no matter which way you turn or stretch. You tried heating pads, ice packs, aspirin, Tylenol, cortisone cream and some leftover anti-inflammatory drugs from your last injury, though nothing seems to get rid of this nuisance pain in your neck.
These remedies might minimize the pain, allow you to get some sleep or even send your symptoms away for a few hours to a day, but they keep on returning. This persistent pain to which there seems to be no cure or successful treatment is either a muscle injury or neck arthritis, both of which require you to see a medical professional.
Since your neck connects to your spine, which bears a great deal of your body’s weight and is responsible for most, if not all, of your movements, the symptoms of neck arthritis may travel beyond this region. Arthritis of the neck can occur at its base, around the area where the cervical and thoracic vertebrae of the spine meet, a location that also connects with the shoulder blades.
The shoulder blades, or scapula, work with the shoulder joint, clavicle, or collarbone, and the large bone of the upper arm, known as the humerus. These connections, which also house networks of nerves, allow pain and sensory receptors to travel, thus leading to the feelings of pain, weakness or numbness through the arm and down to the fingers. You may feel these sensations in one or both arms and they may present in part or all of your upper limb.
Another limitation posed by neck arthritis is weakness in your legs, a problem that can pose difficulty when trying to walk. Although the neck does not directly connect to your legs, it still attaches to the spine, home of the nervous system. If your neck is sitting on a nerve that descends to your legs or causes so much pressure to the lower portion of the spine, trouble with the lower appendages is quite possible.
If you feel or hear a popping sound when you move your neck, you are probably hoping the noise is from your favorite childhood breakfast cereal that you still enjoy each morning. This positive attitude puts you ahead of the game when it comes to your health, and may even be a reason you feel little or no pain, but unfortunately, it is not enough to treat the neck arthritis you most likely developed.
This symptom is definitely a reason to see your health care provider but in the meantime, buy a cheap neck brace to provide your bones and joints with the support they need and keep enjoying your healthy breakfast, so long as strawberries are your sweetener and not sugar.
In the modern world, you or a loved one probably go online and look up all kinds of information, some of it credible, some of it not. This is a good thing if you use reliable sources and are seeking an education; it is not beneficial when you try to self-diagnose.
No one likes to go to the doctor but neck arthritis is a serious condition with several less-than-favorable treatment options, including an epidural block in the cervical vertebrae of the spine, or surgery. To avoid invasive procedures and living with neck pain, see your doctor soon after the onset of symptoms which do not disappear within a week, if not sooner.
Assistive Devices to Ease Life with Arthritis
Heated Mattress Pad - An all-natural alternative to pain relief, heat helps to alleviate multiple problems and improve overall health.
Adaptive Clothing - can make life with arthritis much more convenient and reduces the chance of injury, flare-ups, pain or discomfort.
Magnetic Mattress Pad - using magnets for pain relief has been around for hundreds of years, the best way to use them for the full body is in a mattress.
Book Holder - with all the options out there, there's one that's right for any arthritis sufferer.
Hair Brush - using a one is not going to cure your arthritis or completely change your life but it can make you feel better.