Neck arthritis is a condition which features with pain in the neck and gradual loss of functions in the neck. The necks joints may be affected by degenerative process which happens in osteoarthritis of the joints, or become damaged due to autoimmune disease called rheumatoid arthritis.
Neck arthritis is basically age -related medical condition. It may also occur due to calcium build ups and bone growths. And finally, people with poor neck posture are likely to eventually develop neck arthritis.
Neck Arthritis Symptoms
The leading symptoms of neck arthritis are pain localized in the neck and the shoulder area. The person is highly likely to suffer from headaches as well. The can be easily explained since the pain may be localized onto the neck or it may radiate towards surrounding structures. Apart from the pain neck arthritis also features with stiffness of the neck muscles. Stiffness of the muscles can be palpated and felt when the patient tries to bend or turn his/ her neck towards left and right. Some patients may also complain about numbness in the hands and fingers. The numbness can eventually reflect in inability of the patient to hold certain things which can be characterized as clumsiness but is in fact a consequence of the disease.
Treatment for Neck Arthritis
The treatment basically starts with restriction of the movements in the neck area. Proper immobilization of the neck can be achieved by neck braces. This way the symptoms may be partially alleviated. Patients can also benefit from physical therapy. Physical therapist explains the patient which exercises he/ she is supposed to perform to maintain the strength of the neck muscles.
If the pain is rather intensive patients are prescribed pain killers and other medications which may suppress the activity of immune system and lead to alleviation of the symptoms. This particularly refers for rheumatoid neck arthritis.
If the patient has tried all the previously mentioned and still suffers from excruciating pain and severe stiffness in the neck he/ she may need to undergo surgery. Surgery is also performed in patients who are suffering from severe weakness of the hands.
Apart from the previously mentioned patients are supposed to make certain lifestyle changes. Namely, they should avoid spending too much time in front of the computer and to maintain a straight posture as much as possible. They can also benefit from firm mattresses and anatomical pillows. And finally, people suffering from neck arthritis should keep away from all those sports and activities which may cause jerks of the neck and lead to additional damage to the joints.