Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Are you getting treated for cervical spondylosis? Do you know that along with medical treatments, there are some essential dos and don’ts for cervical spondylosis that speed up your recovery? Here’s a piece of read which tells you what all you should and should not do when suffering from cervical spondylosis.

All About Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis, also known as neck arthritis or osteoarthritis, is a degenerative skeletal condition which affects the joints and discs in the cervical spine present in the neck. Aging is the greatest risk factor for cervical spondylosis, due to which the neck joints undergo changes. The bones and protective cartilage in the neck experience wear and tear resulting in bone spurs, herniated discs, dehydrated spinal discs and ligament stiffness, which in turn lead to cervical spondylosis. Apart from age, certain occupations, sports, injuries, obesity and medical conditions too, increase the risk of cervical spondylosis. With appropriate dos and don’ts for cervical spondylosis it is possible to prevent cervical spondylosis to some extent. Hence, people who are at risk can be greatly benefited from these.

Most cervical spondylosis patients do not experience any significant symptoms. In symptomatic cases, mild to severe signs can appear gradually or occur suddenly. Neck pain and stiffness, pain around the shoulder blade, pain and tingling in arms and fingers. Progressive stiffening of the neck, headaches, balance loss, tingling or numbness in the limbs, and loss of bladder and bowel control are symptoms of cervical spondylosis which requires immediate medical attention. The doctor can conduct imaging tests like CT scan, MRI and X-ray to diagnose cervical spondylosis. Myelogram, electromyogram (EMG) and nerve conduction test (NCV) can also be used to confirm the diagnosis of cervical spondylosis. Treatment of cervical spondylosis mainly includes pain medications, muscle relaxants and steroid injections, along with physical therapy. Apart from the mainline treatment, there are some important dos and don’ts for cervical spondylosis, knowing which can help in preventing further complications.

The dos and don’ts for cervical spondylosis can be greatly helpful for all, more particularly those who are suffering from cervical spondylosis or those who are at greater risk.

Dos & Don'ts for Cervical Spondylosis

The Dos for Cervical Spondylosis

If you have suffered from an injury or for those at risk, it is always advisable to do some kind of exercise and therapeutic exercises to strengthen the neck, arms and back muscles. This is vital for initiating the natural healing process of the body and one of the most important dos for cervical spondylosis. Exercising also helps to prevent the patient from becoming dependent on medical aids. To strengthen the joints, muscles, and ligaments, and avoid immobilization, the patient must exercise regularly.

  • People with cervical spondylosis must perform yoga exercises to maintain strength and flexibility of muscle and joints post neck pain. Regular practice of such exercises is one of the important dos for cervical spondylosis. It can help keep the muscles relaxed and protect from further injuries or pain.
  • Patients of cervical spondylosis should always sleep on a hard bed. Sleeping on the floor with a thin pillow and a firm mattress is the best thing to do. This is one of the other important tips and essential dos for cervical spondylosis. Those suffering from back pain should ensure that their bed is warm before they tuck in.
  • When watching the television or working on the computer, take regular breaks and walk for short distances, particularly when you notice strain building up. One of the most useful dos for cervical spondylosis is to take frequent breaks from work and avoid sitting in the same position for long hours to avoid building up of neck pain.
  • When in acute pain, it is important to immobilize your neck, rest and take prescribed pain relieving medication. This is one of the other important dos for cervical spondylosis, when taking rest in the acute phase can help in faster recovery and prevent worsening of the problem.
  • Wearing a cervical collar during the day can help to support the neck and protect the injury from worsening. While this is another important of the dos for cervical spondylosis, it is necessary to use cervical collar only for a short period, during which immobilization is required.
  • It is important that spondylosis patients protect their neck when travelling, playing, during adventure sports or other regular activities and use appropriate safety gear. One of the important dos for cervical spondylosis is to wear a seat belt while driving or travelling in a car to jerks, injuries or pain due to bad bumps on uneven roads.
  • One of the essential dos for cervical spondylosis is to pay a timely visit to your physician to keep a track of the condition of your neck. They should use proper medical aid which best suits their condition.

The Don’ts for Cervical Spondylosis

  • Sleeping posture significantly affects the injury and pain. The most important don’ts for cervical spondylosis is to avoid sleeping on the stomach, as sleeping in such a position can restrict the neck from resting in a naturally aligned manner.
  • Spondylosis patients should avoid making any sudden movements like twisting the neck or the body all of a sudden. This is one of the most important don’ts for cervical spondylosis s this can cause further damage to the muscle and joints. It is advisable to make gradual movements which give time to the body to accommodate the change.
  • Another commonest don’t for cervical spondylosis is to avoid turning to one side while rising up from lying down position. This can cause excess strain on the neck and cause more pain.
  • While it is best to sleep without a pillow or use a very thin pillow, stacking up pillows under the neck or shoulder can be very harmful to the neck. Hence, using thick pillows or stacking pillows is also one of the don’ts for cervical spondylosis.
  • One of the most important don’ts for cervical spondylosis is to avoid inappropriate postures, like reading when lying down or sitting for long hours for desk work.
  • Holding the telephone on one shoulder and leaning on it for long, lifting heavy weights or performing high impact exercises are some of the strict don’ts for cervical spondylosis.
  • When trying to turn around, persons with spondylosis must avoid twisting the neck or the body, but rather turn around by moving your feet first.

Another essential don’ts for cervical spondylosis is to avoid spinal manipulations or rigorous exercises when having acute pain. Instead, rest and relaxing exercises may help, but seeking medical advice is the best.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: October 17, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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