What Causes Neck Pain
What Causes Neck Pain in arthritis? Poor posture, injury, not using an ergonomic chair or pillow. It can be from Osteoarthritis in the neck or Rheumatoid arthritis in the neck Neck arthritis pain has a burning type of pain that frequently radiates into your facial area as well as your shoulder area. It can be aggravated by a neck injury or strain that will cause swelling and sometimes you will hear a popping sound when you move your head.
This is your tendons and ligaments moving tightly over your cervical spine because of the pressure that swelling is causing in that area. Here are a few things that can worsen your neck arthritis pain:
- Sports activity where weight is carried on top of the head, like a basket, or sporting equipment
- Professional sports like football, gymnastics and even break dancing
- Injuries that cause neck compression, like an automobile accident or a fall where you land on your head
- There may even be some genetic predisposition to this condition as well
Although you may feel severely debilitated there are some really good arthritis exercises you can do and remedies you can take. They can really help you recover quickly and fully and regain full mobility without pain or surgery.
Neck Pain And Cervical Spondylosis
Neck or cervical spine pain becomes more common as you age, often because of age-related degeneration of the neck bones. This wear and tear is what causes cervical spondylosis, also known as osteoarthritis of the neck or cervical osteoarthritis, and osteoarthritis may be accompanied by the growth of bony spurs and problems with the ligaments and disks in the neck.
Spinal Arthritis May Contribute To Other Issues In The Spine
Spinal arthritis may cause bone spurs overgrowths on the edges of the bones. In the spine, bone spurs particularly affect facet joints, making them grow larger. This condition is called facet joint hypertrophy. Although bone spurs on their own are not harmful, they may narrow the passages for the spinal cord and the nerves exiting the spine. This may lead to two painful conditions:
Spinal stenosis compression of the spinal cord inside the spinal canal
Radiculopathy pinching of the peripheral nerves as they exit the spine
Ankylosing spondylitis may also cause additional problems such as:
Stress fractures in places where new bone has formed
A spinal deformity called kyphosis
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What Causes Neck Arthritis
The human head weighs roughly as much as a ten-pound bowling ball. Its no surprise that the stress of supporting our heads can cause wear-and-tear on the discs and joints in our necks.
These changes occur in almost everyone, even if a person has no symptoms at all. In fact, nearly half of all middle-aged and older people have worn discs and joints that do not cause any painful symptoms.
Below are some of the most common risk factors.
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New Research On Neck Pain
Arthritis cannot currently be cured, but researchers are working from many different angles to learn how this disease develops in order to find a cure.
Some of the new research on arthritis includes:
- Focus on cells. Scientists are studying T-cells, a major player in immunity. They want to find out how inflammation starts so they can stop it.
- Gene study. To find the genes responsible for rheumatoid arthritis, the National Institutes of Health and the Arthritis Foundation are supporting the North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium. At 10 research centers around the United States, scientists are gathering information and genetic samples from 1,000 families in which at least two siblings have the disease.
- Other studies. Researchers are also looking at hormones, bacteria, and viruses in the hope of learning more about RA.
- Clinical trials. As for research into cervical spondylosis, a recent look on the NIH clinical trials Web site turned up eight trials involving this disorder.
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Vegetables And Fruits Containing Phytochemicals:
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower all contain a compound called sulforaphane. While sulforaphane is not an antioxidant, studies indicate it may help prevent or slow down osteoarthritis.
Alliums like onions, garlic, shallots, and leeks contain another powerful antioxidant called quercetin. Researchers studying the anti-inflammatory properties of quercetin in rats have suggested it has potential as an osteoarthritis treatment.
Citrus fruits contain high levels of beta cryptoxanthin, which gives them their orange and red colors. This has been shown to maintain joint health and prevent osteoarthritis in mice. Citrus fruits are also a great source of vitamins A and C, which are important for bone and cartilage health.
Give Yourself Some Time
If you have neck pain, modify your activities for a few weeks to avoid putting additional strain on your neck. To relieve more severe pain, you can take an over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug or get a prescription from your doctor. The drug gabapentin may help with nerve-related neck pain.
If you dont improve on these medications, your doctor might suggest an epidural steroid injection to decrease inflammation around and inside the nerve.
Once the pain subsides, Dr. Mroz recommends seeing a physical therapist or doing range-of-motion exercises to improve mobility in your neck and prevent stiffness. If youre still having pain after six weeks, see a doctor.
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Neck Pain: Related Conditions
Neck pain is common among those who are 50 or older. âBut I have children who come into my office with neck pain,â says Robin Lustig, DC, CCSP, of New Jersey Total Health in Lodi, N.J.
Other common causes of neck pain include:
Pinched nerve. This occurs when too much pressure is placed on a nerve by surrounding tissue. The pain from a pinched nerve in your neck can radiate into your shoulders, arms, or back. When you have a pinched nerve, you may also feel numbness or tingling in the area.
Injury or trauma such as a car accident or a fall. Injury or trauma to the neck can have long-lasting effects and cause arthritis years later, Dr. Lustig says.
A stiff neck. This is when itâs painful or difficult to move your neck from side to side. âA stiff neck can be caused by sleeping on your stomach in a funny position for a long time or from a muscle that went into spasm,â Lustig says.
Cervical myelopathy. This condition occurs when the spinal cord channel in the back of your neck narrows, putting pressure on the spinal cord, which can result in neck pain and numbness or weakness in your hands, arms, legs, and feet.
Shoulder arthritis. âPeople often develop shoulder arthritis where there is wear and tear or overuse,â Lustig says. The pain from shoulder arthritis can radiate into the neck.
Poor posture. If you sit hunched over your computer all day or hold the phone with your neck while youâre working at your computer, your neck can hurt at the end of the day.
How Is Spinal Arthritis Treated
The treatment for spinal arthritis depends on many factors. They may include your age, level of pain, type and severity of arthritis and personal health goals. Because the joint damage caused by arthritis is irreversible, the treatment usually focuses on managing pain and preventing further damage.
Nonsurgical treatments for spinal arthritis may include:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids to reduce pain and swelling
Other medications targeting specific symptoms or triggers of inflammatory arthritis
Physical therapy to improve back muscle strength and range of motion in the spine
Lifestyle changes to reduce inflammation or stress on your spine: losing weight, quitting smoking, changing your posture, etc.
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How Do I Get Rid Of Fluid In My Neck
Treatments may include: Manual lymphatic drainage, or gentle massage- like treatment for the head and neck area. This moves fluid from damaged areas to healthy areas where the lymph system works well. Compression bandages or garments to help soften hard tissue, reduce swelling and prevent fluid from building up again.
Osteoarthritis In The Neck
Osteoarthritis in the neck is the degeneration of joints, vertebrae, and discs in the cervical portion of the spine. With less padding between them, vertebrae may rub against each other. That can cause tiny bone fragments to break off and float in the synovial fluid .
Sometimes this process stimulates the growth of bony projections along the edges called bone spurs, or osteophytes. Since the padding is now thinner, the vertebrae become closer to each other. That leaves less room for the spine nerves that stick out from the spinal cord.
Symptoms of neck osteoarthritis range from none to pain, stiffness, and inflammation. Osteoarthritis in the neck pain tends to worsen after activity. Complications such as loss of coordination can happen if the spinal cord becomes pinched.
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Acupuncture Herbal Remedies Massage And Yoga
In developing your treatment plan for neck pain, your doctor may suggest alternative treatments such as acupunctureor you may want to try these treatments yourself. Many patients have reported that these alternative ways of dealing with their neck pain have really helped.
Your doctor may suggest alternative treatments such as acupuncture.
However, a word of advice: Please talk to your doctor before trying any alternative treatments. Some people think that these are 100% safe alternatives, but there may be interactions, for example, between an herb that you want to take and a medication that youre using. For that reason , keep him or her in the loop when you want to try alternative treatments.
Acupuncture: Acupuncture practitioners believe that your body has an energy force called your Qi or Chi . They think that when your Chi is blocked, you can develop physical illness. Acupuncture works to restore a healthy, energetic flow of Chi.
Herbal Remedies: Some herbal remedies that neck pain sufferers have found useful are:
Massage: A lot of neck pain is caused by stress, overuse, and misusefor example, sitting hunched over the computer for too long every day because you have to meet those deadlines. A massage will help release that tension and relieve muscle inflammation and pain. Consider getting regular massages as a neck pain prevention measure.
What Are The Symptoms Of Arthritis Of The Neck
The main symptoms of cervical spondylosis are pain and stiffness in the neck which can be mild or severe. These symptoms are usually made worse by holding the neck in one position for a long time, for example, when reading a book. The pain goes away when you lie down or rest.
Other symptoms of arthritis of the neck include:
- Feeling a popping or grinding noise when you swivel your neck
- Muscle spasms occurring in the neck and shoulders
- Weakness and numbness of the hands, arms, and fingers because the space that the nerve roots and spinal cord pass through narrows
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Rheumatoid Arthritis Of The Spine
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the immune system turns on itself. It attacks synovium the lining of the joints. Although rheumatoid arthritis is more common in other joints, it can also affect the spine, specifically the cervical region . Rheumatoid arthritis of the spine is not caused by wear and tear, so its considered an inflammatory arthritis. It may cause back pain even when these joints are not in use. It tends to affect women more than men.
How Is Spinal Arthritis Diagnosed
Your doctor may use some or all of the following diagnostic methods to confirm spinal arthritis:
Medical history and physical exam
Blood tests for genetic markers and/or RA antibodies
X-rays of the spine to locate the arthritic joint
MRI, CT scan, myelography, bone scan and/or ultrasound to zero in on the damage, detect nerve and spinal cord involvement or rule out other causes
Joint aspiration: testing of the synovial fluid inside a joint
To pinpoint the painful joint, your doctor may numb it with an injection and check whether the pain goes away.
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Spondyloarthritis In The Neck
Other types of neck arthritis include psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, which are both considered a type of arthritis called spondyloarthritis. Its an umbrella term for inflammatory diseases that involve both the joints and entheses, the places where ligaments and tendons attach to the bones.
Psoriatic arthritis is a form of arthritis often accompanied by psoriasis, an inflammatory skin disease. For some people who have psoriatic arthritis, the condition involves the spine, which impacts the neck. Pain happens when inflammation strikes the joints between the vertebrae. This pain can occur on just one side of the body, the neck, and the lower and upper back. Read more about psoriatic arthritis symptoms.
Ankylosing spondylitis is a form of arthritis that strikes the bones in your spine and pelvis as well as peripheral joints. Early signs and symptoms might include pain and stiffness in your lower back and hips, especially in the morning and after inactivity. Fatigue and neck pain are common. AS symptoms might worsen, improve, or stop at irregular intervals.
How In Motion Oc Can Help With Neck Arthritis
In Motion O.C. understands just how frustrating it can be to live with symptoms of neck arthritis and we dont want you to have to deal with the symptoms any longer.
Weve helped dozens of people overcome their symptoms of neck arthritis and wed love to help you, too.
As the number one physical therapist in the country on Yelp! and Google, we are committed to providing the best possible care to each and every person that walks through our doors.
*This information about physical therapy for neck arthritis was reviewed by Dr Natalie Thomas, PT, DPT. If you have any questions, please dont hesitate to contact us here.
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Neck Arthritis Treatment In Hartford County Ct & Springfield Ma
The orthopedic specialists at Advanced Orthopedics New England can help you find relief from neck pain due to arthritis. We are highly experienced in treating patients with this condition and improving their lives through medical and therapeutic interventions. We take the time to carefully assess your symptoms in order to design a treatment plan that is most effective.
Advanced Orthopedics New England has five convenient locations in Enfield, Bloomfield, Rocky Hill, Vernon, Connecticut, and Springfield, Massachusetts. To schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, call our office today at 728-6740 or use our convenient appointment request form.
Inflammatory Arthritis Of The Spine
refers to various chronic, autoimmune disorders that cause joint inflammation. Forms of inflammatory arthritis of the spine, known as , include , , and other conditions.
These conditions can affect adults and children alike. Symptoms vary, but some forms are characterized by low back and/or neck pain, morning stiffness, and limited motion in the back which are typically improved through exercise and return after periods of rest. Patients with some inflammatory conditions of the spine, such as ankylosing spondylitis, may have their back symptoms overshadowed by pain and inflammation of other joints, such as the knees, hips, shoulders, wrists, etc.
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Using Heat And Ice Packs
Applying a heat pack to your neck can help to ease pain. You can use a microwavable wheat bag, a hot-water bottle or a reusable heat pad which you can buy from chemists and sports shops. An ice pack, or even a bag of frozen peas, can also be helpful.
Make sure you wrap heat or ice packs in a towel and dont put them directly onto your neck to avoid burning or irritating your skin. You might want to consider applying a heat pack to your neck before and after exercise to help soothe the muscles.
Vs Symptoms Of Osteoarthritis In The Neck
Osteoarthritis in the neck is a type of arthritis that happens due to wear and tear of the joints, vertebrae, and discs in the neck.
Most people have no symptoms of osteoarthritis in the neck. If people do have symptoms, they can include:
- mild to severe pain and stiffness in the neck
- pain that is worse after activity
- pain that gets worse when looking up or down, or holding the neck in a set position for a long time
- pain may improve when lying down or resting
- numbness, tingling, or weakness in hands, arms, or legs
- muscle spasms in the neck or shoulders
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Acupuncture For Neck Arthritis
There are many ways to alleviate neck arthritis. Conventional treatments include pain medications, muscle relaxants, and massage. Acupuncture can also be used. It has been used for thousands of years and has been proven to help relieve symptoms.
Acupuncture works by triggering the release of neurotransmitters that reduce the sensation of pain. The acupuncture needle causes the production of cortisol, a hormone that helps control inflammation.
Acupuncture for neck arthritis can be effective. However, it depends on the severity of your symptoms. If you have a persistent condition, you may want to consult with a physician. You can also try other methods of relieving neck arthritis, such as exercise or ice therapy.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that involves inserting small needles into specific points on the body. These points are said to help unblock energy and allow for better flow.
Acupuncture can help to decrease inflammation and strengthen muscles. It can also provide relief for headaches and shoulder pain.
Unlike other treatment options, acupuncture can be effective for long-term neck pain relief. However, you should keep in mind that it is not a substitute for conventional care.
Before starting acupressure, you should make sure that you have a qualified acupuncturist perform the treatment. He or she will assess your body and choose the appropriate acupressure point. Also, it is a good idea to pace yourself when getting acupuncture.