Many individuals who have sudden stiffness in the neck or experience pain while moving their head often shrug this off. Usually, people attribute these symptoms to sleeping awkwardly, making a sudden neck movement, or some other minor cause. In many cases, these symptoms are the result of some benign cause. Over the years, the spine gets a lot of wear and tear from things like sports injuries, car accidents, or just living an active lifestyle. As we age, however, specific changes in the neck and spine can lead to conditions that cause symptoms.
The spine is the primary supportive structure that holds the head upright, provides a pathway for neural impulses, and enables mobility. As such a substantial structure, it’s imperative to take care of it and take note of sudden back pain, neck stiffness, numbness, or other symptoms. While onset symptoms could result from reading or sitting in front of a computer too long, it could also result from a condition known as cervical spondylosis. This is a broad term that describes a problem related to the natural wear and tear on the disks in the neck. Also known as neck arthritis, this condition is common in people over 60. Let’s take a look at cervical spondylotic myelopathy and possible chiropractic treatment.
Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy
Commonly called neck arthritis, cervical spondylotic myelopathy is the most common cause of spinal cord dysfunction in older people. Wear and tear, along with the aging process, results in degenerative changes within the cervical spine. The most advanced stages of the condition can result in compression of the spinal cord. Symptoms are often subtle and usually include neck stiffness, arm pain, numbness in the hands, and hand and leg weakness.
Cervical spondylosis is so common that it’s believed that around 85 percent of people over 60 years of age experience some form of it. Most people will have few or no symptoms. Over time, however, the condition could progress to the point where there is pain, reduced flexibility, stiffness, lack of mobility, or other symptoms. At this point, a patient might need to seek treatment and chiropractic care to relieve symptoms.
If you’ve been diagnosed with cervical spondylotic myelopathy, you should consult your doctor for the best treatment plan. Many patients end up seeking chiropractic treatment because it’s non-invasive and doesn’t rely on medications. A chiropractor will target the problem and work or manipulate the area to relieve symptoms like physical therapy. If you feel that you could benefit from chiropractic care, search for a specialist near you. Looking for Denver Chiropractic, for example, will help you find a doctor that can provide specialized care and pain relief in your area.
To treat cervical spondylotic myelopathy, a chiropractor will use spinal manipulation to help relieve pain in your neck, back, and joints. They will identify problem areas and help with improved muscle balance, decreased nerve compression and irritation, better alignment, improved joint mobility, and relief from pain and stiffness. In addition, patients will receive chiropractic mobilization involving gradual stretching of the joints and muscles. This is a gentler chiropractic approach.
In other situations, a patient may need a more high-velocity chiropractic adjustment. This is a combination of techniques that involve rapid rotations and side bending of the patient’s neck and head. In some cases, chiropractic mobilization is preferred over adjustment to treat neck arthritis because of spinal instability.
It’s essential to take care of your spine and take steps to maintain it early on. However, if you’ve been diagnosed with a condition, your doctor and chiropractor might advise you to take certain anti-inflammatory medications or supplements and make some dietary changes. You might also have to do some exercises at home to help your condition. But, in most cases, if appropriately treated, cervical spondylosis doesn’t have to interfere with everyday life.