Neck Pain Causing Unsteadiness and Dizziness

Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical Spondylosis is also known as Cervical Osteoarthritis. Cervical Spondylosis is characterized by chronic degeneration of the bones of the neck and the vertebrae discs. Degeneration of the facet joints, spinal nerves and spinal cord also causes cervical spondylosis. Vertigo with this type of origin usually affects older people and happens when the head is turned or tilted causing compression of the blood vessels that supply the part of the brain involved in balance.

The common symptoms associated with Cervical Spondylosis are:

• Severe pain in the neck region

• Neck pain leads to pain in shoulders and arms

• Loss of sensation in neck, shoulders, arms and fingers

• Neck pain often accompanies dizziness

Why Vertigo in Cervical Spondylosis ?

The mechanism by which cervical vertigo is induced is very debatable. Intermittent vertebral artery compression by cervical osteophytic spurs to be the cause.. The resultant effect is in the vertebrobasilar circulation that supplies the vestibular labyrinth, VIII nerve and brain stem as well as the cerebellum and occipital lobes. The reduction in the blood flow in the vertebrobasilar system results in end-organ ischemia.

Cervical Spondylosis can be diagnosed through:

• Neck X ray-Lateral View

• CT Scan or MRI Scan

• Myelogram

Treatment

Mild cases of cervical spondylosis may respond to:

Wearing a soft neck collar during the day to help limit neck motion and reduce nerve irritation. Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen Etoricoxib, Diclofen etc for pain relief. Doing exercises prescribed by a physical therapist to strengthen neck muscles and stretch the neck and shoulders.

For more severe cases, non surgical treatment may include:

Hospitalization with bed rest and traction on the neck for a week or two to completely immobilize the cervical spine and reduce the pressure on spinal nerves. Taking muscle relaxants, particularly if neck muscle spasms occur. The injection combines corticosteroid medication with local anesthetic to reduce pain and inflammation.

If you have vertigo:

Do not lie flat on your back. Prop yourself up slightly to relieve the spinning sensation.

Move slowly to avoid the risk of falling. Take rest. Resting will help prevent attacks of lightheadedness. Do not drive a motor vehicle, operate equipment, or climb on a ladder while you are dizzy. Do not use substances that can affect your circulation, including caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs.

Vestibular Sedatives like Cinnarzine will help. Start doing Vestibular exercise when the acute phase is over. Yoga therapy exercises also help, but under guidance of a trained teacher.

Surgery

Most of the time, surgery is a very extreme solution, and not always a successful one. Surgical procedures to decompress the spinal cord include approaches from the front of the neck (anterior cervical discectomy and fusion, anterior cervical corpectomy), from the back of the neck (cervical laminectomy, cervical laminectomy and fusion, cervical laminoplasty) and combined procedures in which both an anterior and a posterior approach are used. Surgery is usually only recommended if there is evidence of progressive nerve damage that cannot be treated any other way.