Spondylosis is a term used when there is wear and tear in the spinal discs located in the neck. It is an aging problem, as with aging bones and ligaments wear and tear causing osteoarthritis (bone spurs). Genetics, spinal injury etc also can lead to Spondylosis. People with professions of Gymnasts or other athletes tend to stress their neck during performing and are at risk.
The following are the common symptoms of Spondylosis:
- Pain and stiffness in the neck
- A headache which feels originated from the neck
- Inability to turn or bend it fully
- Grinding sensation/noise when the neck is turned
- Loss of bladder/bowel control
- Difficulty in walking
- Numbness/weakness in legs, feet, hands or arms
When to seek medical attention?
Visit the doctor when you experience loss of bladder/bowel control or if you notice a sudden onset of weakness or numbness in your arms, hand, legs etc
The doctor will check the physical motion of the neck, testing reflexes and muscle strength. He will also watch you walk to check if spinal compression is affecting your gait. The doctor might recommend taking an X-ray, CT scan, MRI, Myelography and nerve tests such as Electromyography and nerve conduction study.
The treatment for Spondylosis depends on its severity and the goal is to relive the pain and to continue normal daily activities without any pain
- The doctor might prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs which will relieve pain and inflammation.
- Steroid injection can be given to ease the pain if it is severe
- Muscle relaxant can be given to relieve muscle spasm in the neck
A physical therapist can teach you exercises that will help your muscle to stretch and strengthen it.
If none of the above works, the doctor might suggest a surgery which includes
- Removing a part of the vertebra
- Removing a bone spur or a herniated disk
- Fusing bone segment using bone graft and hardware
Human beings have a very delicate body when compared to the lifespan. So, it is vital not to take your body for granted. Give enough time to rest your body and pump it up with a balanced diet and exercise to make sure that you have done everything to keep yourself healthy and fit.