Neck arthritis is also known as cervical spine arthritis or cervical osteoarthritis. Arthritis of the neck is typically caused by the breakdown of articular surface cartilage within the facet joints of the seven cervical vertebrae. The most common type arthritis found anywhere in the body is osteoarthritis. What exactly is osteoarthritis? With aging, the facet joint surfaces in the neck and throughout the body roughen and thin. The gradual breakdown of joint surfaces is usually a result of the normal wear-and-tear that comes with age. Breakdown may be accelerated by upper spinal injuries, or jobs involving repetitive motion. Some genetic markers have also been linked with premature cartilage breakdown. Generally speaking, cartilage breakdown in joints indicates that osteoarthritis is present.
Women are almost twice as likely as men to develop degenerative arthritis (osteoarthritis) in the neck. However, risk factors are the same – regardless of gender – and include age, genetics, body weight and others. Neck arthritis symptoms are also the same in men and women. They include tenderness in the neck, radiating pain, stiffness, loss of mobility and more.
Several spinal conditions are known to be associated with neck arthritis, including:
If you have been diagnosed with any of these conditions related to neck arthritis, your physician may choose to pursue a course of conservative treatment, including exercise, physical therapy, over-the-counter or prescription pain medicine and more. However, the specific regimen of techniques that are recommended will depend entirely on your specific condition and circumstances. If the chronic pain and stiffness of cervical spine arthritis has not been relieved by conservative treatments and symptoms impede the ability to function in daily life, a health care provider may suggest surgery as a treatment option.
Should that happen, the medical professionals at Laser Spine Institute can treat your neck arthritis symptoms with a variety of minimally invasive, outpatient surgical procedures designed to help you find pain relief as quickly as possible. Contact Laser Spine Institute for a complimentary review of your MRI or CT scan and to learn more about our treatment options.