Can My Headaches Be Caused By Arthritis In My Neck Some Non
Lots of people get headaches every now and again. Your cervical vertebrae, located at the top of your spine, support the weight of your head on a delicate column. If you have osteoarthritis that impacts the vertebrae at the top of your spine, your headaches could actually be related to this larger condition, called cervicogenic headaches. With treatment, you can address your arthritis symptoms and headaches.
The experienced care team at Spine & Joint Physicians of Frisco, led by S. Justin Badiyan, MD, can diagnose the real cause of your neck pain and help you put together a useful, noninvasive treatment plan. With the right support, including minimally invasive procedures, non-opioid medications, and physical therapy, you may be able to solve the issue without needing to resort to surgical treatment.
Heres what we think you should know about the connection between headache pain and arthritis in your neck.
Can Cervical Spine Issues Cause Neuropathy
Image by epainassist
A cervical nerve root trapped, compressed, or damaged in the cervical region of your spine can cause symptoms like numbness. A person may feel numbness, tingling, a cold, or a warm sensation in addition to numbness, tingling, a cold, or a warm sensation. You may also be afflicted with headaches or neck pain.
Treatment Options For Cervical Osteoarthritis
Cervical osteoarthritis can usually be successfully managed without surgery. Common treatments include:
- Rest or activity modification. Going easy on the neck during a painful flare-up may ease pain. Also, you may need to modify some activities, such as using a different swim stroke if you enjoy swimming.
- Physical therapy. A physiatrist, physical therapist, or other medical professional can customize a neck exercise program for you. A stronger and more flexible neck has improved function, which may reduce pain.
- Over-the-counter medications. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may help relieve inflammation from osteoarthritis. A few examples include ibuprofen and naproxen . Remember to carefully read the instructions before using any medication to reduce the risk for serious complications.
Don’t Miss: Is Elderberry Good For Arthritis
Cervical Spondylosis Diagnosis And Treatment
To diagnose cervical spondylosis, your doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and perform a physical exam. You may also need to undergo imaging studies, such as X-rays or an MRI , so that your doctor can view the vertebrae, disks, and ligaments of the neck and look for any abnormalities, such as bone spurs, that may be contributing to your symptoms.
Treatment options for cervical spondylosis include:
- Limiting neck movement, which may mean wearing a cervical collar
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or other pain medication to help relieve your pain and swelling
- Physical therapy
What Is Neck Pain
Neck pain is pain that is felt in the upper part of the spine. It is sign that the joints, muscles or other parts of the neck are injured, strained or not working properly. Neck pain is very common, with about one in 10 people having it at any given time, but it is not usually a sign of arthritis or any other serious medical problem.
Neck pain is common and is rarely due to serious disease. Staying active will help you get better faster and prevent more problems.
Recommended Reading: How To Tell What Type Of Arthritis You Have
Spinal Arthritis Causes And Risk Factors
The causes of arthritis in the back or neck vary depending on the type of arthritis you have. Besides normal wear and tear and autoimmune triggers, in many cases the exact cause remains unknown. Genetic components have been identified in connection with some forms of spinal arthritis, meaning that it may be hereditary.
Other spinal arthritis risk factors include:
Presence of certain conditions such as diabetes, gout, psoriasis, tuberculosis, irritable bowel syndrome and Lyme disease
What Is Cervical Arthritis
Cervical refers to arthritis of the neck, which results from swelling around joints in an area of the neck called the . The cervical spine consists of the top seven bony of the , along with the flexible that are between each vertebrae, absorb shock, and allow movement. Arthritis of the cervical joints can limit movement and of the neck and cause significant neck pain, among other symptoms.
You May Like: How To Improve Rheumatoid Arthritis
How Is Neck Arthritis Treated
The best way to treat neck arthritis will vary depending on the individuals symptoms and the severity of their condition. However, some common treatments for neck arthritis include:
- Pain medication to control pain and inflammation may help relieve symptoms of neck arthritis. Prescription medication, which is stronger, may be recommended by a doctor when over-the-counter medications fail to work.
- Neck brace to help prevent excessive movement of the neck, which can exacerbate symptoms, and to also provide additional support to the neck as it heals.
- Physical therapy exercises that strengthen the neck muscles help reduce the strain placed on the spinal joints in the neck. In addition, physical therapy exercises can help improve neck range of motion. Exercises for neck arthritis are gentle and do not unnecessarily strain the internal structures of the neck.
- Heat and ice therapy Alternating between heat and cold compresses help the neck muscles relax and reduce swelling and pain. Heat improves blood flow, which enhances healing.
- Steroid injections epidural injections that contain anesthetic and powerful steroids that control inflammation can provide long-term relief from symptoms of neck arthritis.
What Are The Symptoms Of Arthritis In The Neck
Surprisingly, many people do not experience any symptoms of arthritis. Those who do, however, may experience the following symptoms:
- fatigue and/or trouble sleeping
These arthritis symptoms could last for several months or become chronic over time.
With rheumatoid arthritis, you may also experience stiffness in the hands and wrists, particularly in the morning after waking up, Dr. Shah notes.
Ankylosing spondylitis may affect the back and hips, again with symptoms worse after waking up, he says.
Recommended Reading: Do You See An Orthopedic Doctor For Arthritis
Diagnosis Of Neck Arthritis
A thorough assessment from a physiotherapist combined with appropriate investigations is usually required to diagnose neck arthritis. An X-ray of the spine will typically demonstrate degenerative changes associated with the condition. Other investigations such as CT scans, bone scans or MRIs may also be indicated to assess the severity and to determine the exact structures that are affected.
Can Cervical Stenosis Cause Neuropathy In Feet
This is a possibility. If your spinal stenosis is pinching the sciatic nerve, which is a nerve that runs from your lower spine down your leg to your foot, you may experience pain or numbness, tingling, or muscle weakness.
While numbness or tingling in your feet may appear to be a minor annoyance, it can have a significant impact on your overall health. Pain and numbness in your feet can be caused by nerve damage in your peripheral nervous system as well as in the central nervous system. There are several causes of spinal cord injury. These are the most common causes of spines that narrow the spacing. Upper cervical chiropractic is an excellent treatment for spinal stenosis. Chiropractic care corrects spinal cord misalignments in the upper neck region, while adjusting the spine on a precise basis. In most cases, when the spine narrows, it does not cause paralysis however, if that narrowing extends and the spinal cord is compressed, paralysis is frequently accompanied by permanent numbness. The only way to avoid such situations is to seek professional advice as soon as possible. When you experience numbness and pain in your feet, you should seek medical attention in the upper cervical region.
You May Like: Where Does Psoriatic Arthritis Affect
Before During Or After A Flare
Arthritis is a chronic condition, but you can also have periodic flare-ups. An arthritis flare is a period of intense disease activity in which you have more severe symptoms. You can use ice and heat before, during, or after a flare. However, you should avoid putting heat on joints that are swollen or inflamed.
What you choose to use depends on what helps you feel better.
When Should You See A Doctor For Arthritis In The Neck
If your symptoms of arthritis in the neck do not improve over time, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
If neck pain is not relieved by activity modification, rest, or over-the-counter pain relief medications, and symptoms remain unimproved for four to six weeks, it is time to consult a physician, Dr. Singh says.
Its especially important to check in with your doc if your neck pain symptoms are associated with neurological deficits, such as weakness in your hands or legs, loss of balance, or trouble walking.
Recommended Reading: How Did I Get Arthritis In My Knee
Spinal Stenosis And Neuropathy
There are other causes of back pain, such as spinal canal narrowing and compression, which can cause neuropathic pain. It is possible that nerve damage is the result of a back surgery complication.
Your spine is being compressed by a spinal nervel narrowing. The amount of space available for your spinal cord and nerves decreases as you grow older. When the spinal cord is compressed or irritated, it becomes irritated, compressed, or pinched, which can lead to back pain and sciatica. The spine contains 24 bones , as well as the sacrum and coccyx, which are fused together. The spinal canal is the vertebraes main opening. The spinal cord, the bodys master cable, runs through the spinal canals center. SPINE STEEPRY are the most common causes of spinal stenosis.
It is possible to develop a bone spur or a hernia due to an inadequate disk. It is possible to experience pain from spine narrowing, but this is usually not accompanied by paralysis. If a spinal nerve or spinal cord is compressed for a long period of time, it can cause permanent numbness or paralysis. Surgery is not required in the vast majority of patients who have spinal stenosis. During a laminectomy, the lamina portion of the vertebral bone is removed. A number of ligaments and bone spurs may be removed as well. There is a permanent connection between two vertebrae when spinal fusion surgery is performed.
Can Ra Cause Headaches
RA in the neck can also affect surrounding areas, and may cause referred pain in the shoulders, back, and head. Referred pain is when a person feels pain in an area of the body that is not the original source of the pain.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, neck RA can cause referred pain in the form of secondary, or cervicogenic, headaches.
People may feel pain on one side of the head or at the front of the head and behind the eyes.
Although there is currently no cure for RA, a range of treatments can help manage the condition, relieve painful symptoms, and prevent further damage.
You May Like: Is Arthritis Considered An Autoimmune Disease
What Are The Symptoms Of Cervical Arthritis
Cervical is characterized by progressively worsening pain along the neck that may travel to the , shoulders, and arms. The pain tends to decrease during rest and increase during . Depending on the underlying cause of an individualâs cervical arthritis, a variety of additional symptoms may present. If inflammatory arthritis is the root source, the case of cervical arthritis will often be accompanied by arthritis along the limbs of one side of the or along other parts of the spine. Regardless, the most commonly associated symptoms include limited range of motion of the neck, stiffness, and headaches. Individuals may also experience swelling of the fingers due to inflammation, called dactylitis.
Popping And Grinding Noises
Just like many arthritis types, cervical spondylosis makes its presence known every time you twist, bend, or turn your neck. Some say it sounds like they have gravel in their bones. This audible symptom may result from:
- Pressure changes that form tiny gas bubbles that pop in your joint
- Tendons or ligaments maneuvering around bones
- Bones rubbing against bones
This symptom is called neck crepitus, and it may be accompanied by some pain and stiffness as well.
Recommended Reading: How To Help Arthritis Pain In Hands
What Will Happen To Me
For most people neck pain settles down fairly quickly. This usually takes several weeks but can vary between people. Some people still have problems with their neck even after the original problem has settled down. This is often because a lack of activity has caused stiffness and weakness of the neck muscles.
Surgical Treatment For Neck Arthritis
Surgery is not commonly recommended for cervical spondylosis and arthritic neck pain unless your doctor determines that a spinal nerve is being pinched by a herniated disk or bone, or your spinal cord is being compressed. Surgery may also be recommended if you have severe pain that has not been relieved by nonsurgical treatment. However, most patients with neck pain only and little or no arm pain will not be surgical candidates.
To learn more and get help for neck arthritis please Schedule an Appointment with Regenerative Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Specialist Daniel Southern, M.D. in Danbury or Wilton in Fairfield County Connecticut by calling 203-456-5717.
You May Like: What Can Rheumatoid Arthritis Lead To
What Are The Symptoms Of Cervical Spondylosis
The symptoms of cervical spondylosis include:
- Neck stiffness and pain
- Headache that may originate in the neck
- Pain in the shoulder or arms
- Inability to fully turn the head or bend the neck, sometimes interfering with driving
- Grinding noise or sensation when the neck is turned
Less common, or “atypical,” symptoms include vertigo, headache, palpitation, nausea, discomfort in your abdomen or GI system, tinnitus, blurred vision, and memory problems . Some studies also show that chronic neck pain from causes such as spondylosis have been linked to higher blood pressure.
Symptoms of cervical spondylosis tend to improve with rest. Symptoms are most severe in the morning and again at the end of the day.
If cervical spondylosis results in pressure on the spinal cord , it can put pressure on the spinal cord, a condition called cervical myelopathy. Symptoms of cervical spondylosis with myelopathy include:
- Tingling, numbness, and/or weakness in the arms, hands, legs, or feet
- Lack of coordination and difficulty walking
- Abnormal reflexes
- Loss of control over bladder and bowel
Another possible complication of cervical spondylosis is cervical radiculopathy, when bone spurs press on nerves as they exit the bones of the spinal column. Pain shooting down into one or both arms is the most common symptom.
What Are The Symptoms Of Spinal Arthritis
Symptoms of spinal arthritis may differ from person to person. In general, they may include:
Back and neck pain, especially in the lower back
Stiffness and loss of flexibility in the spine, such as being unable to straighten your back or turn your neck
Swelling and tenderness over the affected vertebrae
Feeling of grinding when moving the spine
Pain, swelling and stiffness in other areas of the body
Whole-body weakness and fatigue
Pain and numbness in your arms or legs if the nerves are affected
Although back pain is a common symptom, not all people have it, even those with advanced spinal arthritis. On the other hand, some may experience pain even before arthritis can be seen on an X-ray.
In certain types of spondyloarthritis, eye inflammation may occur, causing pain, watery eyes and blurred vision.
You May Like: Is Cheese Good For Rheumatoid Arthritis
What Are The Signs Of Neck Arthritis
Pain is the most obvious symptom of a disk problem in the neck, yet the degree of damage has little to do with how much it hurts.
You can have 100 people with the same amount of degenerative changes in their cervical spine, and only a small percentage have neck pain, says Dr. Mroz. Among those who do experience neck pain, the discomfort is usually short-lived, improving on its own within six to 12 weeks.
Sometimes, cervical arthritis narrows the space where nerve roots exit the spine, pinching the nerve. You can feel this as a radiating pain down your arm, or as numbness and weakness in your arm and hand. If a collapsed disk or a bone spur pushes into the spinal cord and causes compression, it can produce more serious symptoms
Why Does Arthritis Lead To Headaches
Arthritis, the degeneration of a joint, can lead to inflammation and pain. If you experience arthritis damage at the top of your spine, in your first, second, or third vertebrae, headache pain can be a resulting symptom. Sensitive nerves connect your scalp to the top areas of your spine, so as your vertebrae deteriorate, you can feel referred pain in your neck, head, or jaw.
Recommended Reading: Can Arthritis Affect The Eyes
Whats The Outlook For Children With Lyme Disease
When doctors detect Lyme disease early and treat it with appropriate antibiotics, many children can make a full recovery from Lyme disease.
But some individuals continue to experience symptoms even after treatment. This is frequently called post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome or chronic Lyme disease. It is unclear why some individuals experience this. This usually clears up in time. Although, it may take months or sometimes years to feel healthy again.
Can Cervical Spinal Stenosis Affect Your Feet
Cervical spinal stenosis is a condition that can cause the narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck area. This narrowing can place pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, causing symptoms such as pain, numbness, and weakness in the arms and legs. In some cases, cervical spinal stenosis can also affect the function of the bladder and bowels. Although symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the condition, most people experience some degree of pain and/or numbness in the feet as a result of cervical spinal stenosis.
The cervical spinal canal is narrowed with cervial spinal stenosis. The most common cause of this condition is aging and joint degeneration in the intervertebral discs and facet joints. Arthritis is the most common cause of arthritis, which causes joints to expand, resulting in little space for nerve roots. Pressure from nerves can cause numbness and tingling in the extremities, resulting in a loss of strength and balance. The presence of cervical spinal stenosis causes pain in the hands and grip. Foot drops or drags can occur as a result of spinal spondylolism, which causes a drop in foot length.
Pain in the feet and hands is the most common symptom of spinal stenosis, but there are other symptoms as well. People who have cervical spine stenosis may also experience difficulty walking as a result of loss of fine coordination.
Recommended Reading: How Do Compression Gloves Help Arthritis