How To Diagnose Cervical Spondylosis & What Is The Best Medicine For It?

Cervical spondylosis is a disease that causes local symptoms such as neck pain, stiff neck, and back pain, and is mainly caused by age-related changes in the cervical spine. Symptoms appear without any particular trigger. Severe pain does not occur often, and symptoms often continue. Symptoms may also appear in the arms or legs when pressure is applied to nerves caused by deformed discs or facet joints and disturbance of the tension of surrounding ligaments and muscles.(1)

How To Diagnose Cervical Spondylosis?

An X-ray examination of the cervical spine is one of the methods used to check for cervical spondylosis. Images such as frontal view, lateral view, oblique view, anterior flexion, and posterior flexion are taken to examine the alignment of bones, the height of the intervertebral disc, the presence of osteophytes, and the exit of nerve branches. Others include MRI examination of the nerves and bones in the neck, MRI, compression of nerve tissue in the spinal canal and the extent of stenosis, and myelography.(3)(4)

What Is The Best Medicine For Cervical Spondylosis?

Rest And Follow-Up: Symptoms of cervical spondylosis are characterized by sudden pain and subsequently marked relief or complete disappearance of pain. Rather than rushing to proceed with treatment, if you have pain that you can tolerate, you should rest and watch the progress. Usually over 6 to 8 weeks, more than half will be better.

Analgesics: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory analgesics abbreviated as NSAIDs can be used. Side effects include gastric discomfort, edema, rash, shock, gastrointestinal ulcer, aplastic anemia, mucocutaneous ocular syndrome, acute renal failure, nephrosis, severe asthma attack (aspirin asthma), interstitial pneumonia, congestive heart failure. Severe brain disorders such as myocardial infarction, aseptic meningitis, liver disorder, Reye’s syndrome, rhabdomyolysis, cerebrovascular gastritis.

These drugs may be associated with gastric ulcers, so they are prescribed together with gastric and anti-ulcer drugs. Please note that long-term administration for 5 to 10 years may have side effects such as reduced renal function. In rare cases, hemodialysis may be necessary, so avoid inadvertently taking long-term administration as much as possible.

The problem with analgesics is that gastrointestinal symptoms and decreased renal function occur at a high rate when taken for more than several months, so after the acute phase, consult with your doctor and consider dose reduction or drug suspension.

Nerve Regeneration Drug: Vitamin B12 has the action of promoting the repair of damaged nerves. There are several generic drugs. There is an improvement rate of 64% when taken for 4 weeks. Side effects include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and rash.

Rehabilitation: Rehabilitation of traction is effective in cervical spondylosis. Although some improvement was observed, weakness and the inconvenience of daily life may not disappear totally.

Decompressive Laminectomy: This is a surgery to remove the part called the vertebral arch of the spine, which is a bone component, to remove pressure on nerves.

Anterior Spinal Fusion: If it is difficult to approach from the back, surgery from the front of the neck is required. The intervertebral disc is removed and iliac bone graft and plate fixation.(5)

Symptoms Of Cervical Spondylosis

As a symptom of degenerative cervical spondylosis, when the spine ages, the part called the vertebral body collapses. The feature is that a thorn-like part is generated from the crushed part on the edge of the bone and it deforms. This is also characterized by the pressure on the cervical spinal cord and nerves originating from it, causing pain in the neck and shoulders, and numbness of limbs. Distorting the neck backward causes pain from the neck to the shoulders, limiting the movement of the cervical spine, which is also characterized by severe pain.(1)

Causes Of Cervical Spondylosis

The cause of degenerative cervical spondylosis is the deformation of the cervical spine due to aging. The intervertebral discs connect the vertebrae that make up the cervical spine. The intervertebral disc becomes weaker with age. As a result, the intervertebral disc does not play the role of a cushion for the vertebrae, which causes factors such as wear of facet joints. As a result, the cervical spine gradually deforms due to the deterioration of the intervertebral disc due to aging.(2)

References:

  1. Ahmed SB, Qamar A, Imran M, Usmani A, Mehar Y, ul Haque S. Cervical Spondylosis; An Inevitable But Preventable Catastrophe. 2019.
  2. Kadaňka Z, Jura R, Bednarik J. Cervical vertigo in severe cervical spondylosis: frequent or over-diagnosed? 2019.
  3. Binder AI. Cervical spondylosis and neck pain. Bmj. 2007;334(7592):527-531.
  4. Baron EM, Young WF. Cervical spondylotic myelopathy: a brief review of its pathophysiology, clinical course, and diagnosis. Neurosurgery. 2007;60(suppl_1):S1-35-S31-41.
  5. Gopinath N. A Comparitive study on Pain Management of Cervical Spondylosis with Homoeopathic Medicine and Homoeopathic Medicine with Physiotherapy, Sarada Krishna Homoeopathic Medical College, Kulasekharam; 2018.

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