Cervical Spondylosis is a very common disorder that worsens with age. Though it is a degenerative disorder but nowadays people with different ages complains about their neck pain and day by day develops cervical spondylosis.
Bone spurs: It is a tiny pointed outgrowth of bone that makes the spine stronger and results pain.
Dehydrated spinal disc: Disc herniation causes bones (spinal vertebrae) to rub together more, which is painful in activities like lifting, twisting etc.
Herniated disc: Spinal disc herniation can press on the spinal cord and nerves which resulting in symptoms of numbness as well as pain also radiates on arm.
Injury: If patient had any injury to his/her neck than due to aging he/she may develops cervical spondylosis.
If you’ve had an injury to your neck (during a fall or car accident, for example), this can accelerate the aging process.
Risk factors for the condition:
Work related activities in bad posture
Family history of cervical Spondylosis
Being overweight and inactive.
Sign & Symptoms of cervical Spondylosis:
Pain around the shoulder blade.
Sometimes pain may radiate in fingers.
Numbness and tingling sensation in the arm or shoulder.
Pain might increase when standing, sitting, sneezing, coughing.
Weakness of muscles around neck.
Other common signs including neck stiffness and headache in the back of the head.
In chronic condition symptoms like loss of balance, loss of bowel and bladder.
If the patient has come to a physiotherapy center than that physiotherapist will likely start with some physical exam that includes:
Checking the trigger points.
Checking the range of motion in neck.
Testing reflexes and muscle strength to find out if there’s pressure of spinal nerve or spinal cord.
Watching patient’s gait to check out compression.
Nerve function test: Electromyography; Nerve conduction study.
Neck X-ray: An X-ray can show abnormalities such as bone spur that indicate cervical Spondylosis.
CT scan: A CT scan can provide more detailed imaging particularly of bones.
MRI: It can help to pinpoint areas where nerve might be pinched.
Patient must concern with a physiotherapist for better solution. A physiotherapist will apply two types of treatments. They are:
1: Activity modification: A physiotherapist will find out the improper techniques for which he/she suffers from the disease. Also the physiotherapist will correct his/her functional techniques.
2: Postural education: Bad posture is one of main cause for cervical pain. A physiotherapist will help the patient to maintain good posture and control pain.
3: Soft tissue mobilization: Soft tissue mobilization is important for releasing trigger points from cervical muscles.
4: Range of motion improving exercises: After checking ROM of the affected region physiotherapist will improve the condition of restricted motion.
5: Cervical mobilization: Mobilization and manipulation in combination with exercises are effective for pain reduction and improvement in daily functioning in sub-acute or chronic mechanical neck pain with or without headache.
6: Stretching exercises: Patient should keep his/her body straight. Push chin forward in a way that stretches the throat. Softly tense the neck muscles. Hold this for 5 seconds and back to the neutral position. Repeat it for 5 times.
7: Forearm traction: For cervical forearm traction patient should be in supine lying and the physiotherapist should stand by the side of patient’s head. The position of patient and physiotherapist also make 90 degree angle. Than physiotherapist place his/her forearm below patient’s neck and make exercise from supination to pronation.
8: Home advice: A physiotherapist also advice the patient to do some home exercises- such as: cervical extension, side to side rotation, deep cervical flexor strengthening, scapular stretching and strengthening etc.
UST– It is a sound wave which passes through in deep tissues and also makes a resonance that increase blood circulation and release pain.
TENS– Electromagnetic wave that helps to reduce pain.
HIL– Helps in deep penetration and reduce pain.
ESWT– In case of chronic condition ESWT helps to create micro trauma and also helps in automatic healing.
Jamila is a registered physiotherapist with degrees from BPT,Faculty of medicine (DU),PGD- Exercise physiology (BKSP). She has worked in a variety of Stroke Rehabilitation, Respiratory and Chest Physiotherapy, Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy and Sports Physiotherapy through Mayfair wellness clinic.