GENERAL INFORMATION, SIGNS & SYMPTOMS, OSTEOPATHIC AND SELF MANAGEMENT OF
Neck Arthritis
(Neck Degeneration)

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Generally described as a disorder of abnormal wear and tear on the structures of the neck (spine, discs, bone, joints, capsule, cartilage, and ligaments).

Causes
Most commonly an age related degenerative issue. Mostly occurs in those over 40 years of age. Potential increase incidence in those who have experienced long term repetitive strain. May also occur in those with a family history of degenerative diseases. 

Symptoms
  • Neck Pain: Mild intermittent to constant pain/ache that can be worse with movement
  • Morning aches and pains and stiffness
  • Pain can interfere with sleep
  • Pain and stiffness with cold weather
  • Headache
  • Radiating pain to upper back, arms, legs
  • Can progress to spinal cord or nerve root compression causing neurological symptoms such as radiating pain in limbs, pins and needles, and in severe cases loss of some functions (e.g. muscle movements/strength or walking).


Diagnosis
An osteopath will perform a full past medical history and conduct a comprehensive physical examination. A neck x-ray may assist with evaluating the extent of the degenerative change but a CT Scan or MRI will provide detailed information about the full extent of degenerative change. Any suspected neurological issues will require immediate referral to a specialist.

Osteopathic Treatment
An osteopath generally provide a conservative treatment for neck degeneration with an aim to relieving pressure on compressed structures through the neck which may reduce pain and muscle spasm. Your osteopath will identify simple self management tools with an aim to reduce symptoms.


Self management

  • Stretching and strengthening: gentle range of motion and stretching to the neck, back, shoulders and general body will assist with freedom of motion and may reduce symptoms (your osteopath will assist with this)
  • Heat may assist in reducing muscle spasm and pain during flare ups
  • Swimming and or hydrotherapy classes can a great pain relieving and also improve mobility.
  • Postural/Lifestyle changes: your osteopath will aim to identify factors that may be contributing to exacerbating your symptoms which will allow you to practice habits that may reduce your symptoms.
  • Click Here for Stretches for The Neck.
  • Click Here for Strengthening for The Neck