Invest In Proper Footwear
When you have arthritis, your shoes are either going to help you or hurt you, says Jackie Sutera, DPM, a podiatric surgeon in New York City. Proper fit is a key factor in how foot-friendly shoes are. Besides having to accommodate an arthritic joint that may have stiffness, swelling, and contracture, shoes need to fit the hammertoes and bunions that often happen along with arthritis. Comfort brands like Vionic, Ecco, Clarks, and Mephisto are designed to be stylish and comfortable. They include arch support, heel cups, thick soles, cushioning, and shock absorption.
People with bad osteoarthritis in the feet may particularly benefit from shoes with rocker soles, which have a thicker-than-normal sole with a curved heel. A shoe with this type of sole reduces pressure under the big toe joint by 12 percent in people with OA, research shows. In a recent study the pain score in those who wore rocker sole shoes improved by 22 points.
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When Is Surgery Needed For Cervical Spondylosis
Cervical spondylosis tends to be a chronic condition. But in most cases, it is not progressive. Surgery is required only in rare cases. The goal of surgery is to remove the source of pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. The surgery may also include adding stabilization in the form of implants or through fusion of the vertebrae. But surgery is considered only when there is a severe loss of function. For instance, it might be considered if you had a progressive loss of feeling and function in your arms, legs, feet, or fingers. Any type of spinal cord compression could result in permanent functional disability.
The surgeon can approach the cervical spine from the front or the back . Approaching from the front might be used to remove the discs and spurs that are causing pressure. The disc may be replaced with an implant. A more extensive surgery calls for the removal of both discs and parts of the vertebra. These parts are replaced with a bone graft or implant.
Approaching from the back would be used to perform either a laminectomy or a laminoplasty. In a laminectomy, the rear parts of the vertebrae in the neck — the lamina and spinous processes — are removed. In a laminoplasty, the vertebra is left in place, but is cut free along one side. Both procedures relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.
As with any surgery, there is risk of infection or complications with anesthesia. Surgery is usually followed by a rehabilitation program.
Working With Neck Pain
Overall, getting back to work sooner rather than later is helpful for most people. In the past, people were advised to rest up in bed, but we now realise that it does more harm than good. Its much better to keep moving, even if you need to take some painkillers to allow you to do so.
Most people are able to return to work within 23 days, although this varies from person to person and depends on the type of job you do.
You dont need to wait until your neck problem has gone. In many cases, the longer youre off work the more likely you are to develop longer-term problems and the less likely you are to return to work.
Its important to keep in contact with your employer and discuss what can be done to help you return to work. If your work involves physically demanding tasks, you might find it useful to work shorter hours or move to more desk-based duties for a couple of weeks.
If you have an occupational health adviser at your workplace, they can help advise what work you are fit to do and arrange any simple adjustments to help you to cope. If you are having difficulties travelling to or from work or need an item of equipment, the Governments Access to Work Scheme might be able to help.
If you are unable to get back to work after two weeks of absence because of your neck pain, you should talk to your doctor and employer about getting physiotherapy or other treatments that can get you moving again.
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Neck Pain Caused By Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis of the neck, called cervical spondylosis, is also common. This is characterized by arthritic deterioration of the discs and facet joint cartilage of the cervical spine. Spondylosis is nearly universal in elderly patients, but can also affect younger people. Some people experience no symptoms, while others may feel stiffness and/or pain in the neck, shoulders and/or between the shoulder blades. See also .
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Shoulder Arthritis
Symptoms of shoulder arthritis vary from person to person. Signs and symptoms include:
- Pain in your shoulder joint: This is the most common symptom. At first, you may feel shoulder pain only during activity. Later in the disease process, you may feel pain at any time of the day, with or without arm movement. Your pain may worsen when you lift heavy objects or after exercise. The pain may spread down your arm and even to your elbow or wrist if your arthritis is severe.
- Stiffness and loss of range of motion: You may feel stiffness in your shoulder and lose range of motion. These symptoms may make everyday tasks such as dressing, bathing, driving or doing housework difficult.
- Grinding, clicking, popping or cracking in your shoulder joint: Loss of cartilage, which leaves an unsmooth surface, causes these noises. The noises occur with or without pain.
- Loss of sleep: Its difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. Any shoulder movement may cause pain. If you sleep on your back, place a pillow under the elbow of your affected side. This helps keep your shoulder in a more supported position. It also takes the strain off of all supporting joint structures. For some people, sleeping in a recliner can provide pain relief at night.
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When You Should Consider Surgery
For most people with arthritis of the neck, time and nonsurgical measures will relieve the discomfort. But if you have a herniated disk that causes spinal nerve compression with symptoms like pain, weakness and numbness that dont go away, it may be time to consider surgery.
One way to surgically correct a pinched nerve is with a diskectomy. The surgeon removes part of the damaged disk to relieve pressure on the nerve. Then the vertebrae may be fused or welded together to stabilize the spine. Another surgical option is a posterior foraminotomy, which widens the opening of the spine where the nerve passes through, and removes any bone spurs that are pressing on the nerve.
Compression of the spinal cord can be treated several ways surgically. They all create more space for the nerves. Anterior decompression and fusion surgery is similar to the treatment of a pinched nerve. Cord compression can also be addressed by removing a part of the vertebra called the lamina or a procedure called a laminoplasty.
The vast majority of people with a pinched nerve will improve following surgery. People with spinal cord compression also improve, but the extent of improvement depends on the severity of neurological dysfunction before the surgery, says Dr. Mroz.
This article originally appeared in Cleveland Clinic Arthritis Advisor.
What You Can Do
If you think your headaches may be resulting from neck pain you are experiencing, the team at Spine & Joint of Frisco can evaluate you for arthritis in your cervical spine. A history, physical exam, and possibly an X-ray or MRI can oftentimes give us a diagnosis.
Treatment can include non-surgical options, such as facet joint injections, which are targeted X-rayguided injections into the arthritic joints in the cervical spine of a steroid solution to reduce inflammation. This is not unlike having a steroid injection into the knee joint.
Radiofrequency ablation of the sensitive, pain-causing nerves may also be an excellent, minimally invasive option. Dr. Badiyan may recommend medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents to help with your pain and reduce inflammation in your joints, as well as physical therapy, massage, or targeted application of heat.
In addition, theres a lot you can do to adjust your lifestyle and habits to reduce your arthritis symptoms and slow deterioration. Being overweight puts added strain on your joints, so taking steps to lose weight, including regular moderate exercise and healthier food choices, can make a big difference. We can guide you to the best combination of exercise and rest to support your health and reduce your arthritis symptoms.
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How Can I Keep The Pain Away
You can work your neck muscles like any other muscles. Stretches work, but you can also do simple exercises like the ones below. They can improve your neck strength and your range of motion.
With each of these exercises, start with five repetitions of each and see if you can build up to 10.
Check with your doctor before you start.
Rotations: Stand or sit with your back and your head squarely over your shoulders. Then, turn your head as far you can comfortably to one side. Hold it for up to 30 seconds. Then turn your head to the other side, and hold it for up to 30 seconds.
Shoulder Circles: Standing, raise your shoulders straight up and move them in a circle one way. Lower your shoulder and repeat in the other direction.
Resistance Exercises: Standing or sitting, put your left hand on the side of your head above your ear. Gently press your head against your hand while holding your head straight. Do the same thing with your right hand.
Head Lifts. Lying on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor, lift and lower your head. Make sure you donât raise your shoulders as you do this. You can also do these lying on your side and on your stomach.
What You Need To Know About Neck Arthritis
When neck arthritis strikes, it can cause painful joint inflammation and stiffness. There are various types of neck arthritis, such as the following:
- Cervical osteoarthritis involves the breakdown of the cartilage within the necks joints, which may occur due to wear-and-tear over time or may be accelerated by an injury.
- Ankylosing spondylitis is a type of arthritis that causes enthesitis, which is inflammation where the ligaments and tendons attach to bone. While ankylosing spondylitis typically starts in the hips and lower back, it can eventually work its way up to the neck in severe cases.
The focus of this blog is cervical osteoarthritis, which is the most common form of neck arthritis that is discussed on this site.
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Make Sure Your Doctor Knows About All Medications Vitamins And Supplements
Talk to your doctor about which pain medications are best for you. Be sure to let your doctor know what other medications you are taking, even for other health problems. Besides other drugs you take, tell your doctor about any vitamins, supplements or herbal products you use. This can help you to avoid drug interactions. Here are other .
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.
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Do I Need To Watch My Sugar Intake
Its one of lifes little pleasures, but too much sugar is bad for your waistline and your arthritis.
Excess weight puts pressure on your joints, making pain and stiffness worse. Sugar may also increase inflammation in the body. In 2018, American researchers found that giving mice a high-sugar diet led to increased joint inflammation, even without obesity.
If you take sugar in tea or coffee, or add it to cereal, gradually reduce it until you can stop it altogether. Cut down on biscuits, cakes, sweets and chocolate.
Make sensible swaps: choose unsweetened breakfast cereals rather than frosted ones add fruit to fat-free plain yogurt rather than buying flavoured yogurt.
Replace fizzy drinks with fruit juice mixed with sparkling water. Cutting down on sugar should have the added advantage of improving your overall diet.
Dr Sarah Schenker, a dietitian and author of the British Dietetic Associations food fact sheet on arthritis, says: When you cut back on added sugar, you have to cut down on a lot of processed foods, so youre more likely to think about other, healthier things you can eat.
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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How Does Shoulder Arthritis Develop
Shoulder arthritis usually results from gradual wear and tear of the cartilage. Cartilage is present in every joint in the body it covers the surface of the bones inside the joints similar to Teflon on a ball bearing. Cartilage is a living tissue 2 millimeters to 3 millimeters thick about the thickness of one or two layers of cardboard. This makes the contact between bones softer. If the cartilage is intact, it can take multiple rotations with no wear of the surface because its smooth.
Shoulder arthritis typically develops in stages. First the cartilage gets soft , then it develops cracks in the surface , then it begins to fibrillate , and finally it wears away to expose the surface of the bone . As a result, it loses its ability to act as a smooth, gliding surface.
The cartilage doesnt wear away all at once over the entire surface of the bone in a joint. Instead, it wears at different rates in different parts. So if you consider the surface of a ball bearing that was covered with Teflon, this type of wear would be as if the Teflon had pits and the surface would now be irregular .
Once the surface becomes irregular, the cartilage may undergo further damage. It may begin to thin out, eventually leading to the bones of the shoulder rubbing against each other . Many people think that arthritis is bone-on-bone traction in the joint, but in reality arthritis is the process that can lead to the bone-on-bone traction.
Treating Neck Pain Nausea And Dizziness
Assuming you dont have a condition warranting emergency medical attention, resolving the cause of the neck pain will usually clear up the dizziness and/or nausea as well. The tricky part is that even among patients with the same diagnoses, the effective treatments may differ. Finding what works best for you is often a matter of experimentation and talking to your doctor.
- Physical therapy: Muscle exercises can sometimes relieve the neck pain brought on by muscle strain or injury in the neck. Massage and gentle exercises are also known to help in certain cases of whiplash, Barre-Lieou, cervicogenic dizziness, or other cervical muscle injury.
- Traction: Sometimes keeping still is the best remedy. In certain cases of neck fracture, too much movement can end up causing severe or long-term damage if the bones get shifted the wrong way. Traction while the injury heals is the safest treatment in these situations.
- Hot/cold treatment: Temperature therapy with ice packs, hot compresses, and the like can help soothe swelling and ease tension in the neck.
- Ginger: Ginger will not help your neck but it can help ease the feelings of nausea or dizziness while you wait for the injury to mend.
- Medication: If your neck pain, dizziness, and nausea are proving resistant to normal means, medication is always an option. Your doctor can prescribe painkillers, muscle relaxants, nerve blocks, or other methods that can target the specific causes of your neck pain.
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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.
What Is Neck Arthritis
More than 85% of people over the age of 60 experience neck arthritis also referred to as cervical spondylosis.
Cervical spondylosis affects the spinal disks in your neck.
Over time, the cartilage in your neck joints begins to break down.
Just as in other forms of arthritis throughout the rest of the body, neck arthritis is the age-related wear-and-tear of bones, joints, and discs in your neck.
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