Cervical spondylosis is caused by chronic wear on the cervical spine. This includes the disks or cushions between the neck vertebrae and the joints between the bones of the cervical spine. There may be abnormal growths or “spurs” on the bones of the spine.
These changes can, over time, compress one or more of the nerve roots. In advanced cases, the spinal cord becomes involved. This can affect not just the arms, but the legs as well. Everyday wear and tear may start these changes. People who are very active at work or in sports may be more likely to have them. The major risk factor is aging. By age 60, most women and men show signs of cervical spondylosis on x-ray.
A number of different medications can help reduce the neck pain and other symptoms.
and Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Aceclofenac,Â Diclofenac, Naproxen sodium , and Etoricoxib can help with the pain. However, NSAIDs may not be suitable if you have asthma high blood pressure, liver disease, heart disease or a history of stomach ulcers. In these circumstances, Paracetamol would probably be more suitable.
and Low doses of prescription medicines like anticonvulsants or antidepressants may help some patients whose long-term back pain has made it hard for them to work or interferes with daily activities.
and Your doctor may give you pain medicines called narcotics or opioids to use when the pain is very severe. These medicines are rarely, if ever, used to treat neck pain on a daily basis.
and Gabapentin or a similar medication called pregabalin may also be prescribed for helping radiating arm pain or pins and needles caused by nerve root irritation. This medicine is otherwise used as an anti-epileptic drug. Gabapentin needs to be taken regularly for at least two weeks before any benefit is judged.
and Muscle relaxants: If you experience spasms, when your neck muscles suddenly tighten uncontrollably, a short course of a muscle relaxant may help.
Surgery may also be recommended if you have persistent pain that fails to respond to other treatments. It is important to stress that surgery often does not lead to a complete cure of symptoms. It may only be able to prevent symptoms from getting worse.
Surgical techniques that may be used include:
and Anterior cervical discectomy, which is used when a slipped disc or osteophyte is pressing on a nerve. The surgeon will make an incision in the front of your neck and remove the problem disc or piece of bone.
and Cervical laminectomy. The surgeon will make an incision in the back of your neck and remove pieces of bone contributing to compression of your spinal cord.