What Is The Prognosis For Cervical Spondylosis & Lifestyle Changes For It?

Spondylolisthesis is a disease in which the vertebrae of the spine (spine) are displaced in either the anteroposterior, lateral, or lateral directions. When this occurs in the neck, it is called cervical spondylolisthesis.

Originally, the cervical spine has a gentle curve when viewed from the side. However, with slipping, for some reason, the bone cannot be supported completely and slippage occurs. Be aware that increased slippage can cause other conditions, such as spinal canal stenosis.(1)

What Is The Prognosis For Cervical Spondylosis?

In general, cervical spondylosis improves without intervention. The long-term prognosis is less evident for this disease. Many patients witness a steady deterioration, although others experience from long stretches of symptom stability with occasional exacerbations.(3)

Prevention Of Degenerative Spondylosis And Lifestyle Changes

This is a change that occurs with age and occurs in many people, and there is no preventive method. However, there are some things to be aware of from the perspective of “protecting/deteriorating vertebral bodies and discs”. To reiterate the discussion in the Risk section, the following are important:

First, reduce the load (do not overload). If you can squeeze your body, squeeze it so that you don’t get overweight. Tobacco is also bad because it promotes the degeneration of the intervertebral disc. Also, diabetes has been shown to promote disc degeneration.

What you can say from this is to have a regular lifestyle, be careful of your daily life and eating habits, do moderate exercise to prevent obesity, and build muscle. There are no special things that are often said to keep you healthy.(4)(5)

Lifestyle Changes For Cervical Spondylosis

Mild cervical spondylosis may respond to:

Exercising Daily: Maintaining movement will help improve healing, even though some of the workouts need to be temporarily changed due to neck pain. Those who walk every day are less likely to feel discomfort in the neck and lower back.

Common Pain Relievers: The pain relievers available as over-the-counter drugs such as Ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, or acetaminophen is often enough to manage cervical spondylosis-associated pain.

Heat Or Cold Treatment May Be Helpful: You may try to apply heat or ice on your neck that might relieve aches and pains in the muscles of your neck.

Using Soft And Comfortable Neck Brace: The brace helps the muscles of your neck to relax. Nevertheless, a neck brace should only be worn for brief periods as it might potentially weaken the muscles of your neck.(4)(5)

Causes And Pathology Of Cervical Spondylosis

The spine is made up of bones called “vertebral bodies” and “discs” that act as cushions between them. The intervertebral disc, which is a cushion, has received various forces since it was young. It gradually deteriorates with age. As the intervertebral disc degenerates, its elasticity is gradually lost, and it cannot serve as a cushion. Then, the bones (vertebral bodies) will also be affected. Due to changes in cervical spondylosis (bulge of the intervertebral disc and formation of bone thorns) due to aging, the spinal cord in the vertebral canal (bone hole) of the cervical spine is compressed and symptoms occur.

What Is At Risk For Cervical Spondylosis?

Anyone can have sporadic spondylosis. However, from the perspective of factors that are prone to degenerative spondylosis, that is, factors that tend to cause degeneration of vertebral bodies and intervertebral discs, there are load-bearing, smoking, and diabetes.

For example, the more the load is applied to the lower back, such as sports and lifting of heavy objects, the more degenerative the vertebral bodies and intervertebral discs become. Also, it has been pointed out that degeneration of the intervertebral disc is related to heredity, although it is not necessarily related to osteoarthritis of the spine.(2)

Diagnosis Of Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis diagnosis is based on symptoms and diagnostic findings such as increased reflexes of the extremities. X-ray findings show cervical spondylotic changes and MRI shows compression of the spinal cord.

Cervical spondylotic changes on X-ray can be seen in most people after middle age, and spinal cord compression findings on MRI can be seen even when there are no symptoms, so it is not possible to make a diagnosis only by laboratory findings.(1)

Symptoms Of Cervical Spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis symptoms include clumsiness when removing buttons, using chopsticks, and writing letters, and feeling like legs getting tangles when walking or holding a handrail on stairs. Numbness in the limbs also appears. If you are relatively young, you may be aware of mild symptoms such as difficulty in walking and walking, but it may be delayed in older people.(2)

References:

  1. Metzger RL. Evidence-based diagnosis and treatment of cervical spine disorders. The Nurse Practitioner. 2019;44(8):30-37.
  2. Bai J, Yu K, Sun Y, Kong L, Shen Y. Prevalence of and risk factors for Modic change in patients with symptomatic cervical spondylosis: an observational study. Journal of pain research. 2018;11:355.
  3. Wang J, Tong H. Study on the improvement of hemorheology and prognosis of cervical spondylosis of vertebral artery by combination of strong dingxuan tablet. Chinese Journal of Biochemical Pharmaceutics. 2017(5):226-228.
  4. Robinson J, Kothari MJ. Treatment and prognosis of cervical radiculopathy. UpToDate, Waltham, MA.(Accessed on August 21, 2019.). 2017.
  5. Manna S, Mallik N, Dey B, et al. Safety and Efficiently Management Through Alternative Medicine (Yoga and Naturopathy) Lifestyle in Patients Suffering from Cervical Spondylosis. Research and Reviews: A Journal of Ayurvedic Science, Yoga and Naturoapthy. 2017;4(3):11-22.

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