Methods of treatment and prevention of cervical disc and osteoarthritis

What is the difference between cervical disc and cervical osteoarthritis?

Pain or decreased neck flexibility is a significant cause of cervical disc disease or osteoarthritis of the neck, but the two conditions are different. Usually, both occur in old age.

What are cervical disc disease and neck pain?

Nothing lasts forever, especially the human body. Decades of bending, lifting, and twisting can hurt your neck. Given all these repetitive pressures, it is not surprising that about two-thirds of people experience neck pain at some point in their lives. However, cervical disc disease is more than neck pain. (Treating Low Back Pain Is Easier Than You Think)

A degenerative process can cause radiant pain, numbness, and weakness in your shoulders, arms, and hands. This discomfort and loss of mobility can significantly impact your life, family, and quality of life.

Neck disc: Natural shock absorbers

The cervical spine in your neck comprises seven bones called vertebrae, the discs filled with a cushion of jelly. Your cervical disc makes for comfortable and soft movements of your neck. Without the discs, the spine will be very dry.

The cushion also acts as a shock absorber. Over time, this natural absorber wears out and can begin to decay. The space between the vertebrae becomes thinner, and the nerve roots are compressed. This process is known as disc degeneration.

Research shows that about 25% of asymptomatic people under the age of 40 and 60% over the age of 40 have some degree of the disease. As the disease progresses, the neck becomes less flexible, and you may feel neck pain and stiffness, especially late in the day.

When a disc ruptures or protrudes, the pressure is applied to the spinal cord or nerve roots. Although cervical disc disease is generally a slow process, disc herniation can sometimes occur after injury or trauma to the neck. , Occur quickly.

The most common and obvious symptoms of the disease are disc degeneration, pain, and stiff neck. When one of these conditions puts pressure on one or more nerves moving through the spinal cord, you may feel pain, numbness, or weakness in your shoulders, arms, and hands.

Diagnosis of disc degeneration

To diagnose your disc degeneration, your doctor will first get a medical history to determine your disease’s symptoms, how severe they are, and what causes them to improve or worsen. You will probably have a neurological test for You will have strength, reaction, and feeling in your arms and hands if they are affected.

Imaging tests such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans can help your doctor visualize your spinal cord in his or her mind to reach the source of your neck pain.

What to do about disc degeneration?

Even if you have disc degenerative or slippery disc disease, it is possible to treat it without surgery. The first line of treatment for these diseases is analgesics, such as acetaminophen, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen.

These medications can help reduce pain and inflammation. If these over-the-counter medications are ineffective, your doctor may prescribe steroids or other medications.

Physiotherapy is another treatment option for cervical disc disease. The therapist can use neck stretching or contraction or gently manipulate the muscles and joints to reduce your pain and stiffness. The therapist can also increase your range of motion and show exercise and posture to relieve your neck pain. Neck pain should improve with these conservative treatments.

Contact your doctor if you also have significant numbness or weakness. You and your doctor should consider the next step in treatment. Surgery is a treatment option, and deciding whether or not you need it is often a mental process.

Some people can tolerate more pain and numbness than others. Doctors try to make patients wait at least six weeks [before surgery] because most patients get better within six weeks.

The main procedure of the disease is called disc discectomy. During this process, the disc surgeon gets worse. Discectomy is often performed by replacing a prosthetic disc, in which a metal disc is inserted in the place of the disc.

A discectomy may also be performed with a fusion of the neck, in which a small piece of bone is inserted into the space between the vertebrae.

After recovery from the disease, disc degeneration

  • Keep your neck in a healthy position.
  • It can take several weeks for your neck pain to improve and three months to a year for the bone to heal after surgery.
  • When a person has a spinal problem, doctors think about their spine’s health in the long run; they will prevent further problems.
  • Even disc degeneration, often due to age, can be influenced by lifestyle factors.
  • To make sure you keep your spine healthy, eat a balanced diet, and exercise regularly.
  • Cigarette smoke and smoking are risk factors for cervical disc disease.
  • Also, look at your posture; always keep your neck straight and your back well supported.
  • Although neck pain caused by degenerative disc disease can be reversed, if you take good care of your neck and the rest of your body, the risk of developing this can be significantly reduced.

What is the difference between cervical disc and osteoarthritis of the neck?

Osteoarthritis of the neck occurs when the cartilage around the joints ruptures, making it difficult for the bones to move quickly and eventually causing swelling and pain in the joints. When this happens in the cervical vertebrae, it is known as osteoarthritis of the neck. Some forms of cartilage damage can occur due to malignant diseases called osteoarthritis of the neck.

As an explanation, there are two small neck joints behind each vertebra that allow you to move forward, backward, and bend. These joints contain cartilage at the upper and lower levels to protect the backs of the bones of the spine.

In the absence of cartilage, the bones move on top of each other, leading to wear and tear, inflammation, and pain, leading to the neck’s osteoarthritis. However, the cervical disc consists of a woven layer of cartilaginous fibers that is flexible while rigid. The inside of this annular fibrous layer is filled with a soft protein jelly material that allows the disc to inhibit shock and stress.

What exactly does osteoarthritis of the neck do to us?

Some daily activities and injuries cause osteoarthritis of the neck. With age, the risk of this problem increases, which is usually accompanied by headaches.

Causes of osteoarthritis of the neck and ways to treat it

Aging is inevitable; In fact, it happens every day in each of us; It occurs with aging, wear and tear on the joints of the body, including the spine. Cervical spondylosis, which is often related to age, among other types, is a degenerative change that occurs in the joints and plates of the spine.

You may think of cervical spondylosis as osteoarthritis of the neck or a debilitating disease of the neck. Osteoarthritis of the neck usually begins around the age of forty and lasts for several years, when men are said to have the problem at a younger age than women.

Cervical spondylosis can lead to myelopathy; The condition in which surrounding structures compress the spinal cord is, in fact, cervical spondylosis, the most common neck problem that causes myelopathy. It may also lead to radiculopathy. Both are described in more detail in the section on moist health.

neck arthritis

How changes occur in the cervical spine Osteoarthritis in the neck begins with osteophytes – aka bone spores in the body’s vertebrae. Spores are the body’s response to wear and tear.

The spine helps achieve a goal by increasing the joint surface area and distributing the weight evenly over it during daily activities. The problem is that bone spores can cause pain, mainly when pressure is applied to the nerves. Or spinal cord is placed.

Such pressure can also cause numbness, weakness, and even intestinal incontinence, a medical emergency.

Risk factors for arthritis in the neck


The most significant risk factor for cervical spondylosis is age. When you reach middle age, you are more likely to develop arthritis of the neck. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons says this condition is prevalent in the elderly.


After age, genetics pose the most significant risk. Along with several other types of spinal problems, cervical spondylosis can be inherited in families. If the spinal canal or intervertebral canal is naturally, The smaller the diameter, the higher your risk for corrupting complications.

The spinal cord is a susceptible structure that carries messages between the brain and the rest of the body – there is less free space in that space. Contact between the spinal cord and the spine may irritate the spinal cord and cause the myelopathy defined above.


No matter how you use it, smoking can be terrible for you. This is associated with an increased risk of degenerative disc disease, reversible surgery, and other conditions, including neck arthritis.

Psychological risk factors:

Depression and anxiety are psychological risk factors for arthritis in the neck. A study published in the BMC newspaper in 2009 reported a strong association between psychological factors and neck pain in general. The authors conclude that “the higher the level of pain in the neck, the more attention should be paid to psychological and social distress.”

In particular, the authors of a study on neurosurgery estimate that more than one-third of patients with cervical spondylotic myelopathy, or CSM, are depressed or anxious. CSM is a cervical spondylolisthesis that affects the spinal cord and causes associated symptoms.

They say that these mood disorders are highly dependent on patients’ ability to move.

daily work:

Talk about your job. The Association of Orthopedic Surgeons says that if your job involves a lot of movement and work being done over your head, your risk may be higher again. Depression or anxiety is the psychological risk factor listed above. They are mentioned; it also happens in the workplace.


Finally, injury, especially recurrent injuries, increases your risk for cervical spondylosis. It is said that most osteoarthritis of the neck is not caused by trauma.

Symptoms of osteoarthritis of the neck

In general, the source of osteoarthritis pain is not well understood by the medical community, and it is possible to have this condition without symptoms.

Head and neck symptoms:

Intermittent neck pain called cervicalgia with stiffness is usually the most common when symptoms occur. About one-third of people with arthritis also have headaches, most commonly in the lower skull.

Headaches sometimes rule out pain or stiffness, and symptoms predominate.

Symptoms of radiculopathy and myelopathy:

Two other types of common symptoms in people with the cervix, as we said in the section on moist health, are radiculopathy and myelopathy. Radiculopathy is a disease process that affects the spinal nerve.

The spinal nerve is the name given to the nerve that branches from the central spinal cord. Most often, a kind of pressure on the root of the spinal nerve causes the symptoms.

Symptoms may include pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling sensations in part. Similarly, myelopathy is a disease process affecting the spinal cord. As mentioned above, the spinal cord is a long nerve structure covering the length of the spine. It is located in the spinal canal, a passage in the center of the spine.

This is one of the two main structures of the central nervous system. It is also the other structure of the brain. As the symptoms of radiculopathy, most of the myelopathy symptoms are due to compression, but in this case, it will be less than the spinal cord.

Myelopathy progresses slowly over time. It may present in various ways but not limited to compressed spinal nerve roots or radiculopathy symptoms.

These symptoms include:

  • the pain
  • Weakness
  • Anesthesia or electrical sensations to some extent

But there are other types of myelopathy symptoms, for example, dizziness.

Also, if you have symptoms from the top of your neck, which may lead to a condition called cervical cancer, you may have a syndrome called “numbness.” These symptoms may occur when the Spinal cord should be pressed between C – 5 and C – 7.

Diagnosis of cervical spondylosis:

As with most diagnostic procedures, your doctor will probably gather information about cervical spondylosis by taking a history and performing a physical test.

MRI for osteoarthritis of the neck:

MRI is the gold standard when it comes to diagnostic imaging tests. This is especially true when your doctor needs to determine the source of your neurological symptoms.

It can help your doctor see your bones and your soft tissues and nerves and accurately estimate how much free space there is in the areas where the rope and roots There is a spinal nerve.

X-ray for osteoarthritis of the neck:

X-rays are also used to diagnose cervical spondylosis because they allow imaging of bony passages that include the spinal cord and spinal nerve roots.

If you do not have neurological symptoms, you may only need one x-ray. The value of an x-ray depends mainly on its ability to show what is happening in the bones.

Instead of having pain or other symptoms, having a symptom may alert your doctor to things like disc herniation, bone warnings, and reduced spinal canal diameter that can lead to myelopathy.

X-rays may also help your doctor classify cervical spondylosis as mild, moderate, or severe.

CT scan of neck osteoarthritis:

CT scan is another diagnostic test commonly given to people with cervical spondylosis. A CT scan is similar to an X-ray, except that it takes several pictures of the inside of the body and puts them together to show a cross-section of this area.

Its image quality is better than an X-ray, which may allow your doctor to study the spinal canal better and show any changes in the bones.

Diagnosis of osteoarthritis of the neck with myelography and CT myelography

Myelography is a visualization of the spine’s nerve roots. As a way to hunt it down is obstacles referred to as the symptoms of radiculopathy discussed above.

There is also a CT myelography test, which some professionals prefer because it will have fewer false-positive results (compared to myelography).

Some physiotherapists prefer CT myelography tests because they appear to have fewer false-positive results (compared to myelography). CT myelography is often used during surgery.

Nerve conduction study of osteoarthritis of the neck

Finally, doctors use another type of test to diagnose (or confirm a diagnosis) is the neural conduction study. They are studying nerve conduction measures the function of your nerves.

It is sometimes accompanied by an EMG test that monitors nerves for muscle function during contraction and relaxation. The nerve conduction test may upset you, as an electrical stimulus will be attached to the skin through electrodes.

The EMG test is done by injecting a needle.

Treatment of osteoarthritis of the neck

Your primary care physician or internal medicine specialist may be able to provide treatment for your cervical spondylosis. It is said that many referrals are made to a specialist for arthritis.

Referrals to rheumatologists, neurologists, orthopedists, or neurosurgeons are also common. But surgery is not generally given for osteoarthritis of the neck. Instead, conservative care can help you control pain and slow the progression of the disease.

Symptoms that may require surgery include;

Unimaginable pain to control or depressive symptoms that get worse over time

If you need surgery, you can have a laminectomy, also known as compression surgery.

A 2018 study found that neck compression surgery, known as anterior pressure reduction, effectively relieves vertigo symptoms associated with cervical spondylosis.

Physical therapy for osteoarthritis of the neck

While you can not stop the age-related joint degeneration, you can slow it down. You may only need conservative care if your symptoms are mild or moderate and you do not have progressive nerve problems.

This may include one or more of the following:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) include aspirin, naproxen, or ibuprofen to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
  • Painkillers like acetaminophen (Tylenol) are just for pain relief.
  • Corticosteroid injections to treat radiation pain and reduce swelling
  • Nerve blockers to relieve temporary pain.
  • Limit physical activity, but not eliminate it.
  • Necklace for support and stability during the recovery period
  • Do exercise and, as mentioned above, physical therapy.

In general, you should see a physical therapist recommended by your primary care physician for conservative care.

This is not the case in all countries, so you may want to check specifically. As noted in the Moist Health section, the good thing about physical therapy is that your conservative care is likely to be tailored to your particular condition and symptoms.

Rest when symptoms appear.

Sometimes limiting neck movements for a short time, for example, for an afternoon or a day, is enough to let the inflammation subside and the pain go away.

Treatment of cold or heat:

Some people prefer a cold compress, especially after an activity that causes pain and minimizes inflammation. Other patients prefer a warm compress, such as a warm mattress or warm blanket or damp heat. Such as a damp heat cover for the neck or a hot bath.

Activity modification:

Sometimes, limiting or eliminating certain activities can prevent pain. For example, a person may find a specific swimming movement around the neck that causes pain. In this case, the movement should be limited or entirely in Avoid it in the future.

Prescribed drugs:

Your doctor may prescribe drugs, also called drugs, that block pain receptors in the brain.

Another option could be muscle relaxants that relax painful muscles in the neck and surrounding muscles. Prescribed drugs are often short-term solutions and are not consistently recommended.

Radiofrequency degradation (RFA). This RFA method is a minimally invasive procedure that provides heat from the needle’s tip to create lesions on the small nerves that share the funds. This method prevents pain signals from being sent to the brain.

While RFA can provide long-term relief from more than one central nerve block or joint injection, it is still a temporary solution, as nerves are likely to regenerate in a year or two.

RFA is usually not tested until a central nerve block and a joint injection is successful for the patient and identifies it as a possible cause of pain.

When the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the neck begin, it is usually characterized by pain and the following:

  • It starts gradually and may get worse over time.
  • The feeling of dryness and stiffness, instead of being soft, occurs mainly in the early stages.
  • The first morning is worse; it gets better after getting up and moving around.
  • It gets worse at the end of the day.
  • It gets better with rest.
  • Pulls on the shoulder or between the shoulder blades
  • When the neck is compressed, you feel irritation and pain.
  • They wake you up in the middle of the night.
  • Causes headaches, especially in the back of the head

A person with osteoarthritis can either experience all of these symptoms, or only a few of them may progress or change over time.

The most effective supplements and foods to relieve osteoarthritis pain

Most people with osteoarthritis suffer from any pain and hardship, but some supplements and foods are the best treatment to relieve osteoarthritis pain.

Discovering the most effective natural and oral treatment for osteoarthritis and reducing pain by scientists

Scientists Introduce the Most Effective Supplements and Foods to Relieve Osteoarthritis Pain (and This Is Good News for Those Who Eat Fish and Cabbage Oil Easily) After analyzing more than 60 studies; researchers found that consuming only One and a half or one gram of fish supplement daily significantly reduces joint discomfort, inflammation.

Studies have also shown that vitamin K, found in kale, spinach, and parsley, relieves symptoms by improving bone and cartilage.

Further results show that eating fish itself has more benefits than taking oil supplements. Using supplements may be easier than incorporating fish into a person’s diet, but the high cholesterol created by taking these supplements is associated with osteoarthritis. Yes, because it causes inflammation and accumulation of cartilage and leads to its destruction.

The importance of exercise and a good diet on osteoarthritis pain

Eating more fiber and adding barley or nuts to patients’ diets may help lower their cholesterol levels.

“The importance of a good diet and regular exercise should never be underestimated. This factor not only keeps us healthy but as we have learned from this study, it can cause painful symptoms,” said Professor Margaret Riemann, author of the study.

“Given the limited treatment options available to patients, we try to reduce any risk of disease progression or symptoms, so the scientists rated the most effective treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee,” he said. Scientists considered five effective and non-surgical treatments for the knee in a study published earlier this month.

A study by the Hitchcock Health System, New England, found that cortisone injections were the most effective short-term treatment for pain relief, followed by ibuprofen, platelet injections, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, naproxen, and celecoxib. Naproxen is the best available treatment to improve joint function and minimize discomfort. Researchers believe that using naproxen as a first-line treatment is appropriate for treating the knee. Previous research has shown that naproxen causes fewer strokes and heart attacks than other drugs.

Treatment methods for lumbar osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis of the back (or anywhere in the body) begins with cartilage erosion in the common area. (Cartilage is a softer material than bone that provides an intermediate layer or cushion in the joint space; the joint space is the area between two bones).

Treatment of lumbar osteoarthritis (spondylosis) with physiotherapy, braces, and exercise

If you have osteoarthritis (spondylosis) in the lower back, you do not need to say how painful and annoying it is.

Osteoarthritis of the back (or anywhere in the body) begins with cartilage erosion in the common area. (Cartilage is a softer material than bone that provides an intermediate layer or cushion in the joint space; the joint space is the area between two bones).

As osteoarthritis progresses, your cartilage may be destroyed so that during their everyday activities, the bones move together, and you know how crippling this complication can be!

What are the risk factors for low back osteoarthritis?

There are many causes for osteoarthritis, according to the Spine Clinic of Hope. Some of them are specific to the joint. An example of this is joint damage. The affected joint is likely to develop osteoarthritis in the future. If the joint is abnormal, the risk of osteoarthritis is higher. Some risk factors affect the whole body. These include age, female gender, genetics, and obesity. Of course, some of these risks, such as age, sex, race, and genetics, are not under our control. However, other issues, such as obesity, are more under our control.

When should I suspect I have osteoarthritis?

How osteoarthritis is diagnosed depends on what parts of the body it affects. In general, however, pain is the most common symptom. Initially, the pain intensifies when using the joints and gets better with rest. But if osteoarthritis gets worse, the pain may become permanent. The affected joint may also become tender, meaning pressure on it can cause pain.

Fractures and erosions of cartilage often lead to joint problems. This is because of a process known as bone regeneration. “Bone regeneration may cause bone spores and cysts to form at the edges of the bone.”

The lower back is significantly affected when there is osteoarthritis of the lower back. This is because your back bears the mechanical strain and weight of your body throughout the day. Excessive pressure on the lumbar region leads to pressure and irritation of the joints, aggravating back pain. In general, the joint and spinal discs are the most damaged.

This reduction in abilities makes it more challenging to perform your usual activities at a level you may be accustomed to. Lumbar osteoarthritis also makes it harder to exercise. “These are indirect consequences of osteoarthritis of the spine. Although they are not a disease, they certainly affect it.”

How is lumbar osteoarthritis or spondylosis diagnosed?

If a person has the above symptoms and problems, a joint x-ray is usually enough to diagnose low back osteoarthritis—no need for advanced imaging like MRI. If there is any doubt about the diagnosis of lumbar osteoarthritis, a sample of joint fluid can be taken and examined under a microscope, but this is usually not necessary.

Ways to treat low back osteoarthritis

The treatments used for osteoarthritis are generally focused on relieving pain, slowing the progression of the complication, controlling arthritis, and improving your ability to do the things you love to do.

Can taking medication help with osteoarthritis of the back?

The drug does not reverse the treatment of low back osteoarthritis, but it can undoubtedly reduce pain. There is no case for taking over-the-counter drugs, and in fact, acetaminophen is one of the best drugs. More severe pain can be relieved with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Opioid or more potent medications are not usually recommended, although weaker opioids such as tramadol may be prescribed. Not all drugs are in pill form. Some NSAIDs can be applied to the skin or applied as a patch.

Does injectable therapy help treat osteoarthritis?

The injection is a method of injecting medicine directly into the joint. You can use them if you are in pain or if you are waiting for an operation. The most common injectable drugs are steroids (“cortisone”) and hyaluronic acid. Steroid injections are very common to reduce the pain of low back osteoarthritis. They can reduce pain and help the joint move more quickly in 3 weeks but should not be injected more than once every three months. Hyaluronic acid injections can also be considered, but it is best to remember that several injections may be required and may take several weeks to take effect.

Do I have to wear a brace?

Using a brace is a way to reduce pain and help joint stability. Not all braces are the same. They can range from simple sleeves to knee braces and more sophisticated braces and vary in design.


Physiotherapy can be tailored to your needs and often provides a multifaceted treatment. Because different corrective movements are usually included in a physiotherapy treatment program for osteoarthritis of the back, it makes sense to include them in your daily routine.

If you have trouble deciding to exercise, consulting a physiotherapist can be helpful. A physiotherapist can help you design an exercise program that fits your needs. If exercising on the ground is too painful for you, your physiotherapist can even design a “water exercise” program.

When should I think about radiofrequency ablation?

If you have severe lumbar osteoarthritis, which is very painful and does not respond to other treatments, you may be a candidate for this surgery. This type of surgery is called “joint replacement” and can be called arthroplasty. Joint replacement is not possible for all joints, but it can also be done on the pelvis, knees, shoulders, elbows, and ankles. Hip replacement is one of the most successful “replacement” surgeries. An orthopedic surgeon usually performs this operation. But joint replacement is not a treatment option for low back osteoarthritis. However, there is a treatment called radiofrequency for osteoarthritis of the back.

This is an outpatient procedure performed with a needle and is relatively safe. This treatment reduces pain transmission by disconnecting some of the terminal nerves. As with all invasive treatments, you should first consult with your doctor to see if you are the right candidate for joint replacement or radiofrequency ablation.

Exercises to strengthen and increase flexibility

The following exercises will increase both the strength and flexibility of your back. It is better not to do them on the ground. It is recommended to use a floor or blanket for your floor.

Practice stretching the knee into the chest

Lie on your back and stretch one knee toward your chest with the help of your hand. Do this exercise slowly, and there is no need to hurry. Stay in this position for 15 seconds and then return your foot to its original position. Do this about 10 to 15 times and then repeat with the other leg. This exercise should be done once or twice a day. Doctors also recommend doing it at the beginning of the morning and at the end of the day to relieve pressure on your spine. If you can painlessly pull one knee toward your chest, try doing the exercise with both feet.

Waist screw

Lie on your back and bend your knees. Keep your shoulders on the floor and hold tight. Slowly bend both bent knees to one side and the body to the other and stay in this position for 10 to 15 seconds. Let the breath flow! Return to the starting position and repeat the back screw on the opposite side. Like stretching the knee into the chest, do it twice a day, 10 or 15 times each time.

Stretching all fours (cat mode)

Sit on all fours. First, gently round your waist and then slowly straighten it and tighten your abdomen. Cat or four-limb exercise is a good back pain exercise for people with osteoarthritis of the back, which warms the body for further exercises and is very useful for moving the joint disc in the back of your spine.

Is there anything that can be done to prevent or slow down osteoarthritis?

It is important to note that we do not yet have a way to reverse osteoarthritis after it has occurred. Therefore, prevention of this problem is preferable to its treatment. One of the most important things we can do to prevent osteoarthritis of the back is to maintain a healthy weight. An intense study has shown that losing about 11 pounds of weight can halve the risk of osteoarthritis! It is easy to understand why if we know that each pound of body weight puts about 4 pounds of pressure on the knee! It has been observed that being active and exercising also has sound effects on joint health.


Also read:

The correct way to care for sutures and surgical wounds


Back to top button