The type of neck arthritis treatment prescribed by your physician will depend on the type of arthritis you have, the severity of your neck pain, the limits of your mobility, how far the degeneration has progressed and other similar factors. The most common course of treatment for neck arthritis symptoms is conservative, or non-surgical, methods. When a patient’s mobility remains restricted after several months of conservative treatments, or if pain becomes chronic, a health care provider may suggest surgery as a treatment option.
There is no known cure for arthritis, and most patients will experience some long-term effects from this condition. When a person is diagnosed with neck osteoarthritis, also known as cervical osteoarthritis, most health care providers will present their patients with a wide variety of options for conservative neck arthritis treatment, including:
- Physical therapy – Exercise to strengthen the neck muscles
- Hot or cold therapy – Heat pads to increase circulation and flexibility, or cold pads to reduce swelling and pain
- Behavior modification – Avoiding activity that might exacerbate neck arthritis symptoms
- Anti-inflammatory injections – Cortisone or other steroidal solutions to reduce swelling
- Pain medicine – Over-the-counter drugs like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as well as prescription pain killers
- Chiropractic therapy – Including traction or non-surgical spinal decompression therapy
- Others – Acupuncture, massage, cervical pillows
If individuals with cervical spine arthritis discover that their symptoms have not improved significantly after months of conservative treatment, they might consider open spine surgery. The pain associated with cervical osteoarthritis can be attributed to inflamed nerve endings in arthritic joints, or irritated, compressed nerve roots. Spinal decompression surgery is designed to relieve pressure on nerves, thereby reducing irritation and pain.
At Laser Spine Institute, our surgeons employ a minimally invasive approach to address neck arthritis. If you experience persistent symptoms associated with cervical osteoarthritis, contact us for a complimentary review of your MRI or CT scan and to learn how one of our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures could help you find relief from neck pain.