Cervical spondylosis is a condition that causes deterioration of joints, vertebrae, disc, ligaments and cartilages in the cervical spine which is the neck region. It is a common medical condition and involves mostly aged people.
Cervical spondylosis is also known as arthritis of the neck or cervical osteoarthritis.
With age the cervical disk gets dehydrated and shrinks, and there is development of bony projections which is also known as bony spurs along the edges of the bones.
Swollen neck joints with time start pressing the nearby nerves, resulting in tingling sensation in the upper arms and hands. With time when the condition worsens you may experience numbness and pain in the extremities.
Risk factors –
- Cervical spondylosis results from the long term wear and tear of the cervical spine.
- A previous neck injury may also lead to this condition
- Occupation like carrying heavy loads daily for long term increases the risk of developing cervical spondylosis.
- There may be genetic cause also which leads to develop this condition
- Smoking may also increases the risk
Most people do not experience any symptoms. When they do it includes –
- Pain and stiffness in the neck
- Tingling, numbness and weakness in the arms, hands, legs or feet
- Neck pain which extends to shoulders, arms and hands
- Difficult walking
- Occasional headache
- Dizziness, vertigo and blackouts
- Loss of bowel or bladder function (less common symptom)
Changes occur in cervical spondylosis
Dehydrated discs- Discs are like cushions between vertebrae and nerves. As we age these cushion-like discs become thinner so there develops friction between vertebrae, which irritates the nerve root and results in symptoms like tingling and numbness in extremities.
Disks Herniation- cracks start appearing on the disc with age, which leads to bulging. These bulged out discs can press the spinal cord and nerve roots.
Bone spurs- with age our bones start degenerating. So to correct it our body tries to strengthen the spine by producing extra bone. This compensatory action of the body results in bony spurs which pinches the nerve roots.
Stiffness of ligaments- with age all ligaments of the body start stiffening including cervical ligaments which restricts the neck movements.
Kalmia latifolia- it is one of the very good remedies for cervical spondylosis. Pain from the neck radiates down the arm. Weakness, numbness, pricking and a sense of coldness in the limbs. Tingling and numbness especially in the left arm.
Sanguinaria- this remedy is specially indicated when the pain involves the right shoulder and arm, nape of neck and left hip region. Pain worsen at night and by raising the arm.
Causticum- dull, tearing pain in the hands and arms. There is great heaviness and weakness. Specially indicated when patient complain of numbness and loss of sensation of hands. Pains feel better by warmth, especially the heat of bed.
Magnesium phosphoricum- weakness in arms and hands, finger tips stiff and numb. Involuntary shaking of hands.