Tips for living with cervical spondylosis
Living with cervical spondylosis can make everyday tasks difficult and affect your overall enjoyment of life. Cervical spondylosis, a condition characterized by the degeneration of the soft tissues and discs in the neck area (or cervical region) of the spine, is most commonly found in patients over the age of 50 as a result of the natural aging process. As we get older, our bones, muscles and joints become weaker and more susceptible to damage and degeneration. This can result in a number of common spine conditions, such as a bulging or herniated disc or a compressed nerve in the spine. The most severe symptoms are experienced when a spinal nerve root or the spinal cord has become compressed as a result of spondylosis.
While spondylosis can cause painful symptoms, there are things you can do to make living with this condition easier. These include:
- Physical therapy. A physical therapist can show you different exercises and stretches to help strengthen the muscles in your neck to relieve tension in the affected area.
- Hot and cold therapy. Alternating between hot and cold compresses can aid in reducing the swelling in the affected region of the spine and ease the pain caused by this condition.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These over-the-counter medications can reduce inflammation in the cervical spine.
- Injections. Facet joint injections and epidural steroid injections can numb the location where you are experiencing pain and help reduce severe inflammation.
- Lifestyle changes. Making lifestyle changes such as losing weight and correcting your posture can help take pressure off of your cervical spine and provide better support for your spine as a whole.
In addition to the abovementioned conservative treatment options, there are also alternative treatments that make it easier for many patients to live with spondylosis. These include yoga, chiropractic manipulation, acupuncture and massage therapy. Any nonsurgical treatment regimen will require a few weeks to take effect, so it is important to stay consistent with your treatment program and not lose hope.
While many patients will find relief from their spondylosis symptoms using nonsurgical treatment methods, you may still experience intense pain after a few weeks or months of treatment. If this is the case, you may be interested in learning about the minimally invasive spine surgery performed by Laser Spine Institute. Our outpatient procedures are often clinically appropriate and provide many advantages versus open neck or back surgery, including a lower risk of complications and shorter recovery times.^
Contact Laser Spine Institute today to learn more about the outpatient surgeries we offer to treat spondylosis and many other common spine conditions. We can also provide you with a free MRI review* to help determine whether you’re a candidate for our minimally invasive surgeries.